(Closed) My rights in cancelling a caterer 8 days before wedding – AUSTRALIA

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 17
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

legally, you aren’t entitled to that money. The moment we booked our caterer (a year before) we put down $2,000 and no matter what if something were to happen that money is gone. I mean think about it, it’s only 8 days before your wedding? I would be a bitch too if I were her!

Post # 18
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011



We have asked her via email to give us the reasons for keeping all the money & the only rude response we got was we put her out, she had bought all the stuff already (8 days before?!?! yeah right!!) – that and she tried to claim as they were such a popular cafe, they could have had another function on & lost out. My argument to that is it was a Sunday night in a small quiet town & it was coming into winter & was very quiet. It’s a very small town & it would be noticed if there were functions etc on, and I can say with 100% confidence it was just us that weekend.

you don’t know that someone else didn’t inquire about that date and get turned away. You also don’t know that the cafe could not have planned a special promotion to draw in business, had that date been open and un-booked. Or decided to close entirely for maintenance– many cafes and caterers take a scheduled closure during their slow times to paint, install new equipment, repair floors or do a yearly deep cleaning. Your securing the date via a deposit means these things can’t be scheduled then. And the fact that there was no other function means pretty much nothing, because by giving a deposit you’re saying “I take the risk of not needing your services and losing this money in exchange for your guarantee to turn away anyone else that may prevent you fom serving me.”

Do we have any rights??? I mean it is a lot of money for us, but mostly its principal, I can’t believe she is so rude and wont be at all a little compassionate and give us just some back.

its  not about compassion or being nice. It’s about business. If your venue agreed to refund you on such short notice, perhaps they had another inquiry and could serve the other customer that day. Perhaps they’re just nice. Or perhaps they’re not good business people and not protecting their income. But I don’t think any of those mean your caterer owes you anything.




Post # 19
488 posts
Helper bee

Sorry, this sucks for you, but the point of deposits is to protect everyone involved when things go wrong. If she had tried to back out, you could have argued that you paid the deposit and she was bound to perform. When you backed out (even with good reason) you loose the deposit. You both took a risk on eachother and the point of the deposit was to protect the party who didn’t break the contract against loss from the risk.

Legally, it doesn’t matter if she could have rebooked or not, thats irrelevant. She also had no reason to have to justify herself to you, she was doing what was in her right.  She obviously didn’t need to be rude, but just because she wasn’t as nice as your other vendors doesn’t necessarily mean she was being rude.  Try to look at it from her perspective, this is the way she makes money, if people regularly back out and get all of their money back it puts her in a really hard position. As a business, it’s generally easier to stick to a hard and fast rule, when you make one exeption everyone wants to get special treatment. 

I work at a hotel. We have a cancellation policy, if you cancel within a certain time of your reservation we charge you a certain fee, and we make sure everyone understands the policy when they book a room. It doesn’t matter if we rebooked that room or not. Basically, unlelss we believe you when you say someone dies in your family or we are just feeling particularly nice you will get charged. It sucks when you have to pay the fee, but it also sucks when people (whose money you were depending on) cancel and you’re out money. 

Post # 20
254 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

you don’t have a case. 8 days before is a very short period of time. She is within her right to keep the money, she probably did lose money on this. The whole point of the deposit is to protect her from a situation like this. If everyone cancelled just like that due to a reason such as the guests did not come she would be out of a business. Similarly, if she had cancelled on you 8 days before you could have argued that she is bound to you to perform the service.

I put down 9,000 on a banquet hall in deposits before my wedding and if I had just cancelled a week before I would have lost everything.

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