I want to help you understand why it’s not as simple as just offering you any open date to reschedule. There is no way around that. If we don’t charge you for that, we are effectively giving you two products for the price of one. But if we give our entire 2021 season away — for free — to 2020 couples, not only are we losing most of this year’s income, we will bring in zero dollars over the next year and we may be out of business by the time your new wedding date arrives. These clauses excuse non-performance of a contractual obligation upon the occurrence of a specified, unforeseeable (or at least unpredictable) event or circumstance that is beyond the parties’ control. For many, March-May is 50% of our income for the entire year. Be sure you’re fully aware of your vendors’ cancellation policy—it can be a little scary to think about, but … These events easily frustrated the purpose of these contracts by undermining their value and making them impossible to perform. Client –The person or entity hiring the Photographer. Try to think of not just your wedding, but your wedding on a specific, reserved date as the product you are purchasing. It’s for this same reason that most vendors do not offer refunds when you cancel and why there may even be a cancellation fee or your full balance due, depending on how close it is to your wedding date when you cancel. I’m just going to say again that I am not a lawyer, but this is my understanding from having watched quite a few webinars by lawyers who specialize in wedding contracts on this topic in the past few months. As we see the human cost of COVID-19 increase, the commercial and economic implications have also become undeniable. In a venue contract, you, the couple, are agreeing to pay for a certain number of guests attending, and the venue is agreeing to provide space for these guests for a certain period of time. If a wedding venue contract is void because it is impossible or its purpose has been frustrated, then the other party is not entitled to the money paid or owed. For those of us who, like me, lack French fluency, force majeure means “superior force.” A force majeure clause is a contractual provision that excuses performance by a party—either temporarily […] Most of the time, rescheduling and cancellation are rare occurrences, so this relatively small pay cut for us is a manageable sacrifice in order to keep our customers happy. Cancellation. You reserved a bunch of services within that budget on a date you liked (probably a Saturday) and you expected to get them at the price you agreed to. In plain language, what this means is that couples have to hold their weddings (albeit on another date) and vendors have to perform their services (again, on another date.). Please try to have empathy for the devastation we and our industry are currently facing. That’s where the compromise comes in: What wedding vendors are giving up is a devastating amount of income and a lot of our 2021 days off in order to move your wedding; What you are giving up is either keeping your wedding at the same budget or keeping it on a Saturday or keeping a high guest count or possibly more than one of the above. Some vendors are, in order to AVOID charging you fees, offering you Friday/Sunday or weekday wedding dates — that’s our way of manufacturing new replacement products to sell you when the original is gone. Under these contracts, it helps to show evidence of actual cancellations by prospective attendees due to COVID-19. Since the pandemic hooked its talons into 2020, many couples have been forced to move their weddings to 2021 or drastically downsize their big day. Before courts will apply the doctrine of impossibility, they typically require a showing … In September, the CMA published its view on your rights to a refund if your wedding can’t go ahead as planned due to the pandemic. That was spring, when COVID was an unexpected and unpredictable event and there were suddenly lots of legal orders and health department guidelines that meant weddings, in any form could not happen. When you book us for a wedding, you are not just booking the products or services we provide; you are booking them on a specific date. The majority of vendors, in my experience, are being extremely flexible on rescheduling because of this (since, again, we LOVE what we do, and of course, it’s better to get paid late than never), with some charging minimal/reduced administrative or rescheduling fees and many transferring dates without any fees at all. It's harsh but true. Example Clause Search: Contracts Containing Force Majeure Clauses Covering Epidemics or Pandemics. The forced shutdown and stay-at-home orders made not only executing a wedding but opening a venue to the public, unsafe and thus prevented the terms of these contracts from being performed. There should be a clause in your wedding contract that spells out exactly what happens if either you or the vendor has to cancel. (We need to get our full fees for new clients on prime Saturday dates *because* we’re giving you these 2-for-1 deals. In many cases, you can receive a percentage of your deposit refunded if you cancel by a certain date. A complete and total shitstorm, where everyone loses. Products/services are not our inventory; dates are our inventory. Here’s what I said to her: First, I completely understand and agree with your safety concerns. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has warned wedding venues against unfair treatment towards couples whose weddings have been affected by COVID-19. FM clauses are a means of allocating risk in a contract. 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