Wedding Woes

May have to cancel wedding . How do we get our deposit back

After a 10 year engagement, our dream Wedding was scheduled October 11, 2020 in the Bronx NY  for 120 people. Covid had other plans. 
Some guests are now afraid to travel by plane or stay in hotels.   Some are in high risk groups and some are having money issues due to unemployment. We were also hit hard financially and are presently assisting family  members still laid off. 
We postponed for now  and will be speaking to the venue to reschedule.  We are considering having 2 smaller celebrations in 2021 scaled down. ( Florida and then Northeast ) so that risks to guests will be lessened in case a vaccine isnt found by then. Maybe a brunch where there is no dancing and social distancing is easier.
When we spoke to the venue, they said that if we completely cancel, we will lose our deposit. 
Can we pursue legal action to retrieve our deposit?  
Anyone else in the same boat?  Am I simply screwed? The venue has not incurred any cost.  They  haven't planned our event yet,  and we are giving ample notice. 
After 10 years and with current world events, a quiet elopement sounds like a much better deal.

Re: May have to cancel wedding . How do we get our deposit back

  • Honestly, losing a deposit is pretty standard.   I can't imagine a lot of legal recourse but check your contract.  Most state that deposits aren't refundable.
    levioosaOliveOilsMommrsconn23
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Jrn3ros41 said:
    After a 10 year engagement, our dream Wedding was scheduled October 11, 2020 in the Bronx NY  for 120 people. Covid had other plans. 
    Some guests are now afraid to travel by plane or stay in hotels.   Some are in high risk groups and some are having money issues due to unemployment. We were also hit hard financially and are presently assisting family  members still laid off. 
    We postponed for now  and will be speaking to the venue to reschedule.  We are considering having 2 smaller celebrations in 2021 scaled down. ( Florida and then Northeast ) so that risks to guests will be lessened in case a vaccine isnt found by then. Maybe a brunch where there is no dancing and social distancing is easier.
    When we spoke to the venue, they said that if we completely cancel, we will lose our deposit. 
    Can we pursue legal action to retrieve our deposit?  
    Anyone else in the same boat?  Am I simply screwed? The venue has not incurred any cost.  They  haven't planned our event yet,  and we are giving ample notice. 
    After 10 years and with current world events, a quiet elopement sounds like a much better deal.

    I'm sorry that you're going through all of this.  It's a mess.  I'm just outside of NYC, two couples I know so far have had to cancel their original plans- both got married in tiny ceremonies on the original date and have postponed their receptions for a later date.  Neither lost their deposits because they didn't cancel, just postponed.  (One venue is the Central Park Boathouse, the other is a venue in Long Island.)  If you're going to cancel your Bronx venue completely, I imagine you'd lose your deposit.  Check your contract to be sure, but the deposit is almost always non-refundable.  It's pretty standard.
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • I agree with @ei34 above; if the venue is still operating when your original date is scheduled I would imagine you would lose your deposit if you cancel. They haven’t incurred any costs, that’s true, but they’ve also likely turned people away (pre covid) to reserve that date which is why deposits are typically always non-refundable. Definitely check your contract but my guess is you won’t have many legal options to get it back if the venue is open and operating. 
    short+sassyMesmrEweOliveOilsMom
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Check your contract and always ask, but industry standard is for deposits to be non-refundable in the case of cancellations. 

    You could also check with the venue about whether your deposit is transferable. October may be too soon, but there are likely couples that are looking to reschedule dates that were cancelled this spring. Potentially you could work out a deal to allow another couple to "buy" your deposit from you. 
    short+sassyMesmrEweOliveOilsMom
  • Thank you for the idea. We have a zoom with the venue next week
  • We figured as much. We may simply scale down the NY wedding have a small party in Florida where a decent number of family and friends are 
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Read your contract!  End of the day, the contract you signed and agreed to is king.  The issue is whether NY will even be open for events of that size by then given leadership in the state (they haven't even allowed gyms out-state to open yet..)..  
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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