Wedding Woes

Wedding Band Fiasco!

My wedding is in 18 days! I hired a wedding band to perform our wedding in upstate New York over a year ago. Our wedding venue is just minutes from Canada, and we hired them before COVID19. We've paid them a 25% deposit and back in April 2021 that I had concerns about moving forward given border/travel uncertainty. 

The band told me that they already spent my deposit on union dues and to apply for their visa to work in the USA. We are now just over two weeks away from my wedding and they still do not have proper paperwork in place to perform. 

I've gone ahead and hired a band, paid ANOTHER 50% deposit with them, so I have backup entertainment in place. 

The band is refusing to release me from my contract even though we are just days away and said that they would not return the deposit on the contract because they were holding the date for us and refused other performances. From my perspective, they are not fulfilling their contractual obligations and therefore need to refund 100% of our deposit. 

I'm grateful I have a backup plan, but I'm still feeling so conflicted about what to do here. Do I tell the band it's off? I feel like if I cancel with them, they definitely won't return my deposit. The sad thing is, the band hasn't even reached out to me about wedding planning arrangements (i.e. music selections, ceremony setup, cocktail hour music, etc.) It's all been so unprofessional and unreasonable.

Does anyone have a similar story or any words of wisdom?!

Thank you, kindly! We're still so excited for our wedding whether it'll be a DJ or a live band!

Re: Wedding Band Fiasco!

  • My wedding is in 18 days! I hired a wedding band to perform our wedding in upstate New York over a year ago. Our wedding venue is just minutes from Canada, and we hired them before COVID19. We've paid them a 25% deposit and back in April 2021 that I had concerns about moving forward given border/travel uncertainty. 

    The band told me that they already spent my deposit on union dues and to apply for their visa to work in the USA. We are now just over two weeks away from my wedding and they still do not have proper paperwork in place to perform. 

    I've gone ahead and hired a band, paid ANOTHER 50% deposit with them, so I have backup entertainment in place. 

    The band is refusing to release me from my contract even though we are just days away and said that they would not return the deposit on the contract because they were holding the date for us and refused other performances. From my perspective, they are not fulfilling their contractual obligations and therefore need to refund 100% of our deposit. 

    I'm grateful I have a backup plan, but I'm still feeling so conflicted about what to do here. Do I tell the band it's off? I feel like if I cancel with them, they definitely won't return my deposit. The sad thing is, the band hasn't even reached out to me about wedding planning arrangements (i.e. music selections, ceremony setup, cocktail hour music, etc.) It's all been so unprofessional and unreasonable.

    Does anyone have a similar story or any words of wisdom?!

    Thank you, kindly! We're still so excited for our wedding whether it'll be a DJ or a live band!
    It’s definitely going to depend on what your contract says; I live in Buffalo and the while it was announced today Canada is letting fully vaccinated Americans cross the border for non-essential reasons, the US hasn’t announced a reciprocal opening- so as of now Canadians aren’t allowed to come for non-essential travel. So they wouldn’t be able to play even if you didn’t cancel, right? What does tour contract say about that? It’s probably a gray area but they’re not providing a service to you. 

    Unfortunately it sounds like you might be out of your deposit. If you cancel you’ll most likely lose it- I can’t see how/ why they’d return if you cancel. If you don’t cancel- are you really expecting them to play?It sucks but I think the best thing is to eat the deposit- you could probably fight it but paying a lawyer to do a cross-border contract dispute is probably more expensive than the deposit. Then you can focus on the band you are excited for and enjoying the lead up to the wedding!!
    MyNameIsNot
  • According to the band, they are deemed 'essential workers' so they would be allowed to cross the border with proper visas/paperwork. Alas, they have not received their work permits and we're 18 days out. 

    The contract has a standard force majeure clause stating 'neither party will be held liable' in an event outside of either party's control, but it doesn't explicitly state if deposit will be returned. 

    I will add that the deposit clause has a 'non-refundable' marking next to it, which may not work in my favor. 

    The question is, since I am proceeding with my plan B, do I cancel on the 1st band now or do I wait and see if they get their visas? 

    If I cancel now, then yes, I understand I would definitely not get my deposit back. 
    If I wait and see, then I might be on the hook for TWO wedding bands!


  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Is your deposit refundable on band B? 

  • Have they sent you the paperwork that they applied for the visa, along with the receipt for that cost?  If it were me, I would at least want to see that to verify they really paid the visa fees and applied for it in a timely enough manner.

    Assuming if all of that is true, they should at least be able to deduct their visa fees because they shouldn't be out-of-pocket for your wedding, based on something that isn't anyone's fault.  Same with the union dues, but only if the union dues are directly related to your wedding.

    Overall though, going after them for a return of the deposit probably isn't worth it.  Even if you were successful in small claims court...and you might not be...it's hard enough to get people to pay judgments even when everyone is in the same country.

    There are a flurry of weddings going on right now.  I would try to work something out with them where you still want them at your wedding, if they are able to get permission (so you are not outright cancelling).  BUT, you want them to try and rebook your date.  If they are able to do that and return your deposit (minus the visa fees), you will release them from that date.   
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875
  • My wedding is in 18 days! I hired a wedding band to perform our wedding in upstate New York over a year ago. Our wedding venue is just minutes from Canada, and we hired them before COVID19. We've paid them a 25% deposit and back in April 2021 that I had concerns about moving forward given border/travel uncertainty. 

    The band told me that they already spent my deposit on union dues and to apply for their visa to work in the USA. We are now just over two weeks away from my wedding and they still do not have proper paperwork in place to perform. 

    I've gone ahead and hired a band, paid ANOTHER 50% deposit with them, so I have backup entertainment in place. 

    The band is refusing to release me from my contract even though we are just days away and said that they would not return the deposit on the contract because they were holding the date for us and refused other performances. From my perspective, they are not fulfilling their contractual obligations and therefore need to refund 100% of our deposit. 

    I'm grateful I have a backup plan, but I'm still feeling so conflicted about what to do here. Do I tell the band it's off? I feel like if I cancel with them, they definitely won't return my deposit. The sad thing is, the band hasn't even reached out to me about wedding planning arrangements (i.e. music selections, ceremony setup, cocktail hour music, etc.) It's all been so unprofessional and unreasonable.

    Does anyone have a similar story or any words of wisdom?!

    Thank you, kindly! We're still so excited for our wedding whether it'll be a DJ or a live band!
    It’s definitely going to depend on what your contract says; I live in Buffalo and the while it was announced today Canada is letting fully vaccinated Americans cross the border for non-essential reasons, the US hasn’t announced a reciprocal opening- so as of now Canadians aren’t allowed to come for non-essential travel. So they wouldn’t be able to play even if you didn’t cancel, right? What does tour contract say about that? It’s probably a gray area but they’re not providing a service to you. 

    Unfortunately it sounds like you might be out of your deposit. If you cancel you’ll most likely lose it- I can’t see how/ why they’d return if you cancel. If you don’t cancel- are you really expecting them to play?It sucks but I think the best thing is to eat the deposit- you could probably fight it but paying a lawyer to do a cross-border contract dispute is probably more expensive than the deposit. Then you can focus on the band you are excited for and enjoying the lead up to the wedding!!
    Bolded. Not until September.
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Have they sent you the paperwork that they applied for the visa, along with the receipt for that cost?  If it were me, I would at least want to see that to verify they really paid the visa fees and applied for it in a timely enough manner.

    Assuming if all of that is true, they should at least be able to deduct their visa fees because they shouldn't be out-of-pocket for your wedding, based on something that isn't anyone's fault.  Same with the union dues, but only if the union dues are directly related to your wedding.

    Overall though, going after them for a return of the deposit probably isn't worth it.  Even if you were successful in small claims court...and you might not be...it's hard enough to get people to pay judgments even when everyone is in the same country.

    There are a flurry of weddings going on right now.  I would try to work something out with them where you still want them at your wedding, if they are able to get permission (so you are not outright cancelling).  BUT, you want them to try and rebook your date.  If they are able to do that and return your deposit (minus the visa fees), you will release them from that date.   
    Ditto to all of this, especially asking to see that they applied for the visa. 

  • According to the band, they are deemed 'essential workers' so they would be allowed to cross the border with proper visas/paperwork. Alas, they have not received their work permits and we're 18 days out. 

    The contract has a standard force majeure clause stating 'neither party will be held liable' in an event outside of either party's control, but it doesn't explicitly state if deposit will be returned. 

    I will add that the deposit clause has a 'non-refundable' marking next to it, which may not work in my favor. 

    The question is, since I am proceeding with my plan B, do I cancel on the 1st band now or do I wait and see if they get their visas? 

    If I cancel now, then yes, I understand I would definitely not get my deposit back. 
    If I wait and see, then I might be on the hook for TWO wedding bands!
    I wouldn't hold their word about being deemed "essential workers" for a wedding band. There's a lot of people who should be considered essential workers and aren't.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My wedding is in 18 days! I hired a wedding band to perform our wedding in upstate New York over a year ago. Our wedding venue is just minutes from Canada, and we hired them before COVID19. We've paid them a 25% deposit and back in April 2021 that I had concerns about moving forward given border/travel uncertainty. 

    The band told me that they already spent my deposit on union dues and to apply for their visa to work in the USA. We are now just over two weeks away from my wedding and they still do not have proper paperwork in place to perform. 

    I've gone ahead and hired a band, paid ANOTHER 50% deposit with them, so I have backup entertainment in place. 

    The band is refusing to release me from my contract even though we are just days away and said that they would not return the deposit on the contract because they were holding the date for us and refused other performances. From my perspective, they are not fulfilling their contractual obligations and therefore need to refund 100% of our deposit. 

    I'm grateful I have a backup plan, but I'm still feeling so conflicted about what to do here. Do I tell the band it's off? I feel like if I cancel with them, they definitely won't return my deposit. The sad thing is, the band hasn't even reached out to me about wedding planning arrangements (i.e. music selections, ceremony setup, cocktail hour music, etc.) It's all been so unprofessional and unreasonable.

    Does anyone have a similar story or any words of wisdom?!

    Thank you, kindly! We're still so excited for our wedding whether it'll be a DJ or a live band!
    It’s definitely going to depend on what your contract says; I live in Buffalo and the while it was announced today Canada is letting fully vaccinated Americans cross the border for non-essential reasons, the US hasn’t announced a reciprocal opening- so as of now Canadians aren’t allowed to come for non-essential travel. So they wouldn’t be able to play even if you didn’t cancel, right? What does tour contract say about that? It’s probably a gray area but they’re not providing a service to you. 

    Unfortunately it sounds like you might be out of your deposit. If you cancel you’ll most likely lose it- I can’t see how/ why they’d return if you cancel. If you don’t cancel- are you really expecting them to play?It sucks but I think the best thing is to eat the deposit- you could probably fight it but paying a lawyer to do a cross-border contract dispute is probably more expensive than the deposit. Then you can focus on the band you are excited for and enjoying the lead up to the wedding!!
    Bolded. Not until September.
    Here they are saying in three weeks which is mid-august but still too late for OP's wedding.
    charlotte989875
  • You’re not getting the deposit back unless you pursue them in Court. Cancel, move on with the new band. 
    MissKittyDangermrsconn23ILoveBeachMusic
  • My wedding is in 18 days! I hired a wedding band to perform our wedding in upstate New York over a year ago. Our wedding venue is just minutes from Canada, and we hired them before COVID19. We've paid them a 25% deposit and back in April 2021 that I had concerns about moving forward given border/travel uncertainty. 

    The band told me that they already spent my deposit on union dues and to apply for their visa to work in the USA. We are now just over two weeks away from my wedding and they still do not have proper paperwork in place to perform. 

    I've gone ahead and hired a band, paid ANOTHER 50% deposit with them, so I have backup entertainment in place. 

    The band is refusing to release me from my contract even though we are just days away and said that they would not return the deposit on the contract because they were holding the date for us and refused other performances. From my perspective, they are not fulfilling their contractual obligations and therefore need to refund 100% of our deposit. 

    I'm grateful I have a backup plan, but I'm still feeling so conflicted about what to do here. Do I tell the band it's off? I feel like if I cancel with them, they definitely won't return my deposit. The sad thing is, the band hasn't even reached out to me about wedding planning arrangements (i.e. music selections, ceremony setup, cocktail hour music, etc.) It's all been so unprofessional and unreasonable.

    Does anyone have a similar story or any words of wisdom?!

    Thank you, kindly! We're still so excited for our wedding whether it'll be a DJ or a live band!
    It’s definitely going to depend on what your contract says; I live in Buffalo and the while it was announced today Canada is letting fully vaccinated Americans cross the border for non-essential reasons, the US hasn’t announced a reciprocal opening- so as of now Canadians aren’t allowed to come for non-essential travel. So they wouldn’t be able to play even if you didn’t cancel, right? What does tour contract say about that? It’s probably a gray area but they’re not providing a service to you. 

    Unfortunately it sounds like you might be out of your deposit. If you cancel you’ll most likely lose it- I can’t see how/ why they’d return if you cancel. If you don’t cancel- are you really expecting them to play?It sucks but I think the best thing is to eat the deposit- you could probably fight it but paying a lawyer to do a cross-border contract dispute is probably more expensive than the deposit. Then you can focus on the band you are excited for and enjoying the lead up to the wedding!!
    Bolded. Not until September.
    Here they are saying in three weeks which is mid-august but still too late for OP's wedding.
    Oh. They said Sept 7th yesterday - maybe there is more on that. I only saw part of it. That's right after long weekend.
  • My wedding is in 18 days! I hired a wedding band to perform our wedding in upstate New York over a year ago. Our wedding venue is just minutes from Canada, and we hired them before COVID19. We've paid them a 25% deposit and back in April 2021 that I had concerns about moving forward given border/travel uncertainty. 

    The band told me that they already spent my deposit on union dues and to apply for their visa to work in the USA. We are now just over two weeks away from my wedding and they still do not have proper paperwork in place to perform. 

    I've gone ahead and hired a band, paid ANOTHER 50% deposit with them, so I have backup entertainment in place. 

    The band is refusing to release me from my contract even though we are just days away and said that they would not return the deposit on the contract because they were holding the date for us and refused other performances. From my perspective, they are not fulfilling their contractual obligations and therefore need to refund 100% of our deposit. 

    I'm grateful I have a backup plan, but I'm still feeling so conflicted about what to do here. Do I tell the band it's off? I feel like if I cancel with them, they definitely won't return my deposit. The sad thing is, the band hasn't even reached out to me about wedding planning arrangements (i.e. music selections, ceremony setup, cocktail hour music, etc.) It's all been so unprofessional and unreasonable.

    Does anyone have a similar story or any words of wisdom?!

    Thank you, kindly! We're still so excited for our wedding whether it'll be a DJ or a live band!
    It’s definitely going to depend on what your contract says; I live in Buffalo and the while it was announced today Canada is letting fully vaccinated Americans cross the border for non-essential reasons, the US hasn’t announced a reciprocal opening- so as of now Canadians aren’t allowed to come for non-essential travel. So they wouldn’t be able to play even if you didn’t cancel, right? What does tour contract say about that? It’s probably a gray area but they’re not providing a service to you. 

    Unfortunately it sounds like you might be out of your deposit. If you cancel you’ll most likely lose it- I can’t see how/ why they’d return if you cancel. If you don’t cancel- are you really expecting them to play?It sucks but I think the best thing is to eat the deposit- you could probably fight it but paying a lawyer to do a cross-border contract dispute is probably more expensive than the deposit. Then you can focus on the band you are excited for and enjoying the lead up to the wedding!!
    Bolded. Not until September.
    Here they are saying in three weeks which is mid-august but still too late for OP's wedding.
    Oh. They said Sept 7th yesterday - maybe there is more on that. I only saw part of it. That's right after long weekend.
    August 9 for American visitors, September 7th for all other international visitors! 
  • MNNEBrideMNNEBride Midwest member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    You’re not getting the deposit back unless you pursue them in Court. Cancel, move on with the new band. 
    I'd cancel with Band A and move on to Band B.  They are a sure thing and then you can move forward with music planning etc.  I'd want things firm now and not hinging on whether Band A can get Visas and travel.  Just my $.02.
    image
    mrsconn23
  • Yeah, I'd cut losses on Band A.  It's no one's fault that it's went down this way, but the uncertainty is just a lot.  The last thing you want is to two bands or to be finding a sound system last minute so you can iPod DJ or something at your own wedding. 
    MNNEBride
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'd also just move on with Band B. You don't want to be finding out the morning of that Band A isn't coming. 

    You could theoretically try to recover your deposit from Band A, but it's a little unclear whether you have that right depending on the contract. I think they're full of shit calling themselves essential, so they probably know you're technically entitled to it. But you'd have to file suit in Canada, so probably means hiring a lawyer there. It's probably not worth throwing good money after bad. 
    MNNEBrideILoveBeachMusic
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