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Canceling wedding and paying vendors?

So out of curiosity... If any of you were to cancel your wedding 2 weeks before your wedding day, would you tell your vendors to "talk to your lawyer" regarding any $ you may owe them? If these vendors pursued you to get paid, would you get pissed, even though it states in your signed contracts that you would owe them x amount if the wedding was cancelled within a certin amount of days. As a bride, would you fight the contract terms because you had a change of heart to go through with the wedding?

Re: Canceling wedding and paying vendors?

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    FI's in law school, and he seemed to think a lot of the clauses in some of our contracts wouldn't be held up in court, but I have no idea if he knows what he's talking about (I tune out during his law rants, honestly).
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    @emeejeeayen, FI is a computer engineer and does the same thing about his work and I tune out, too. No shame :) and yayyy one week!

    OP, read your contract, they should all have cancellation clauses. If not, don't screw people over. 
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    Ditto CMGr and HisGirlFriday13.  A contract is a contract.  Vendors make their living, feed their families, and pay their bills based on those contracts  AND they were sought out and approved by the person who signed the contract.

    It is terrible when a wedding must be cancelled, but it is not the vendor's fault and they can't replace the business.  Yeah, you cancel a wedding, you still meet the terms of the contract.
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    So out of curiosity... If any of you were to cancel your wedding 2 weeks before your wedding day, would you tell your vendors to "talk to your lawyer" regarding any $ you may owe them? If these vendors pursued you to get paid, would you get pissed, even though it states in your signed contracts that you would owe them x amount if the wedding was cancelled within a certin amount of days. As a bride, would you fight the contract terms because you had a change of heart to go through with the wedding?
    Since this is your first post I have to believe you are either a vendor with a bride and groom who think they don't have to pay OR  you are a bride who is cancelling her wedding and doesn't want to honor the contracts signed for your wedding.  Which is it?
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    There is an etsy vendor with the same name as OP.  Doesn't change anything - a contract is a contract.
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    I make any problems I have with a contact known and fixed before I sign it.  There were vendors that I turned down because I wouldn't sign a contract with a certain clause in it, and they wouldn't change it.  I only sign contracts that I agree to, and since I agree to them, I would pay out willingly regarding any incomplete contacts. 
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    So out of curiosity... If any of you were to cancel your wedding 2 weeks before your wedding day, would you tell your vendors to "talk to your lawyer" regarding any $ you may owe them? If these vendors pursued you to get paid, would you get pissed, even though it states in your signed contracts that you would owe them x amount if the wedding was cancelled within a certin amount of days. As a bride, would you fight the contract terms because you had a change of heart to go through with the wedding?
    If you cancel the wedding (and thus the contract), you pay the consequences.  If it was a change of heart to marry the person, that money may mean a lot now, but in the future, you will thank your lucky stars you paid the money and didn't go through with the marriage.
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    KDM323KDM323 member
    5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary
    I cancelled a wedding when I was engaged the first time. Some vendors were very nice and did not require me to pay what I owed them...others did. I was pleasantly surprised by the vendors that did NOT make me fulfill my contractual obligations. That was generosity on their part because, by contract, I owed them the money.
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    If the contract says the balance must be paid, then the balance must be paid.   

    Personally if I were a vendor, if I liked the bride and groom and hadn't already spent a lot of money out of pocket performing the contract (ie., paying for ingredients, supplies, etc.) I would consider letting the couple off the hook.  A) It's more likely that when they do find the right person and want to get married, they'll re-hire me. B) The bride and groom might tell other couples how understanding the I was and that could lead to more referral business. 

    But it would strictly be a matter of being nice.  The contract doesn't require niceness.
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    FI's in law school, and he seemed to think a lot of the clauses in some of our contracts wouldn't be held up in court, but I have no idea if he knows what he's talking about (I tune out during his law rants, honestly).
    You sound a lot like my FI.  Haha.  I'm pretty sure he tunes out anything law related I talk about.

    OP-yes there are times when courts won't enforce these type of clauses.  You would need to speak to a licensed attorney in your state to determine whether or not this one would.  Even if you didn't end up owing the full contract price, you would still be on the hook for damages, which could be close to the amount of the full contract price.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
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    My FI has made a few changes to our contracts before he'd sign them. In each case, the vendor didn't have a problem with the changes. One was a paragraph buried in our hotel's contract that said we had to obtain liability insurance for "any and all claims arising from activities taking place on the premises that day". Hello! I don't think so. It's a hotel, I'm not responsible if some lady who happens to be staying in Room 138 falls in the shower.

    But the point is, we read those contracts carefully before we signed them, because we knew once we did we were liable for payment, no matter what.
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    For me this is a moot point. The market is such in my area that I had the option to avoid vendors who did more than keep deposits (which are usually 50% here). Even though I had no doubts and understand the business motivation, I did not want to work with anyone who would charge me but not work. (None of the vendors with requirements to pay had any plans to provide services, like an all day family photo session, flower delivery, etc.)
    I had a couple friends with cancelled weddings. Years later they could tell you who acted with sympathy (even though the terms of the contract were followed for losing deposits) and who treated it like "woo hoo I get a paid night off." They also volunteered this information when their engaged friends talked wedding planning.
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    I'm a former knot bride. I have a friend who is in the wedding business and had a bride cancel her wedding 13 days before her date. She had to turn down 5 other brides while contractedwiththis bride and that is her reasoning for trying to recoup her $. She is afraid if she pushes to get her money (which is less than $500) that the bride will slander her name on these wedding boards. I told her that she needs to fight for her business but I'd see what other brides had to say. Her cancelation policy is contract must be paid in full if cancelled within 30 days of wedding date.
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    I'm a former knot bride. I have a friend who is in the wedding business and had a bride cancel her wedding 13 days before her date. She had to turn down 5 other brides while contractedwiththis bride and that is her reasoning for trying to recoup her $. She is afraid if she pushes to get her money (which is less than $500) that the bride will slander her name on these wedding boards. I told her that she needs to fight for her business but I'd see what other brides had to say. Her cancelation policy is contract must be paid in full if cancelled within 30 days of wedding date.

    Under the contract, your friend is entitled to the $. I guess she has to decide if less than $500 is worth a fight. Is it clear that the bride is trying to stiff her? Or that the bride will give her bad reviews?

    I cancelled a wedding a few years back. At the time of the cancellation I had 2 contracts, a wedding dress and a caterer. I had to pay the full price of the dress and the catering deposit. The caterer was a friend of the family, now a former friend. It was 8 months away from the wedding date, plenty of time to rebook. That hurt. But the dress I understood.

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    For me this is a moot point. The market is such in my area that I had the option to avoid vendors who did more than keep deposits (which are usually 50% here). Even though I had no doubts and understand the business motivation, I did not want to work with anyone who would charge me but not work. (None of the vendors with requirements to pay had any plans to provide services, like an all day family photo session, flower delivery, etc.) I had a couple friends with cancelled weddings. Years later they could tell you who acted with sympathy (even though the terms of the contract were followed for losing deposits) and who treated it like "woo hoo I get a paid night off." They also volunteered this information when their engaged friends talked wedding planning.

    Yes but you realize walking out last minute probably cost the that day's work because they couldn't book another event on the day they saved for you?
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    I'm a former knot bride. I have a friend who is in the wedding business and had a bride cancel her wedding 13 days before her date. She had to turn down 5 other brides while contractedwiththis bride and that is her reasoning for trying to recoup her $. She is afraid if she pushes to get her money (which is less than $500) that the bride will slander her name on these wedding boards. I told her that she needs to fight for her business but I'd see what other brides had to say. Her cancelation policy is contract must be paid in full if cancelled within 30 days of wedding date.
    I think that your friend should send a couple of letters to the bride requesting the last of her contracted money.  And if your friend feels its worth it, then file a case in small claims court.  Your friend should know the cost to file the case can be around $200.  If the contract states that she must be paid in full when cancellation is within 30 days, she should have an easy case and may not even require an attorney.

    As for bad reviews, your friend should set up a google alert for herself.  Anytime she would have a bad review published, your friend should be able to have a response posted to the bad review. 
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    NYCBruinNYCBruin member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited July 2013
    I'm a former knot bride. I have a friend who is in the wedding business and had a bride cancel her wedding 13 days before her date. She had to turn down 5 other brides while contractedwiththis bride and that is her reasoning for trying to recoup her $. She is afraid if she pushes to get her money (which is less than $500) that the bride will slander her name on these wedding boards. I told her that she needs to fight for her business but I'd see what other brides had to say. Her cancelation policy is contract must be paid in full if cancelled within 30 days of wedding date.
    Tell your friend send the bride a bill.  Who knows, she might end up just paying it.  A phone call might not hurt either.  If the bride refuses to pay, she could take it to small claims court, but honestly that will probably end up being more of a headache than it is worth.  It may take months just to get on the court's calendar.

    I would also suggest that your friend change her standard contract so that final payment is due due before a portion/all of it becomes non-refundable.  Let's say your friend's policy is that you must pay the full contract price if the wedding is cancelled within 14 days of the event, she should make final payment due 30 days before the event.  That way she has the money in her hand and can return a portion (if any) to the canceling party instead of trying to force payment from a bride or groom who is already probably very upset.  Having contract language is nice, but having the money in hand will put your friend in a better position to actually enforce the contract.

    Edited: typos and general clarity
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
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