Yesterday the BBC ran a story of a bride who cancelled her wedding owing to COVID-19 restrictions being denied the return of her £16,000 deposit.
To summarise the story, the bride had paid a wedding planning company a deposit of £16,000 for a comprehensive service encompassing the planning of her entire wedding.
When lockdown hit and it became clear restrictions on the number of attendees allowed would curtail the planned July ceremony, she cancelled her booking, instead electing to marry in a much smaller family-oriented ceremony.
However when asking for the return of her deposit, the company refused, instead reportedly offering her an alternative date in March 2021.
What does the law say on this?
Despite the impact the restrictions have had on the wedding industry, individuals whose wedding plans have been scuppered by government restrictions have a right to refund. In such instances where an agreed date has been set, the client is usually entitled to a full refund, even where these are deemed by the business to be non-refundable deposits or advance payments.
If, however, any services have already been provided ahead of the point the refund is requested, the amount for these can be retained by the service provider, where a breakdown of costs for such services can be provided.
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