Q: I am canceling my Oct. wedding due to COVID-19. The venue is trying to make me pay the master bill. Is this acceptable?
My fiance and I have decided to reschedule our October wedding due to our vendors and family members canceling under COVID-19 concerns. However, our venue has been less than accommodating and wants an additional $1,300 deposit in order to reschedule. The initial $1,300 deposit that we made when we scheduled our October date will not go towards our new wedding date and will not be refunded. We are now trying to cancel due to the venue being less than helpful and making our lives absolutely miserable. If we cancel, they are forcing us to follow the cancellation policy. We will have to pay the total master bill (roughly $13,000) if we cancel. This money, along with the $1,300 deposit, will not be refunded. I refuse to pay the master bill and not have a wedding. What do I do?
A: Your contract will govern as a matter of law. I would call your local newspaper. The vendor will not want an article on how they are profiting off COVID and it will bring pressure on them to refund you.
A: Greetings. It appears you would like to either cancel your wedding hall contract or would like to reschedule your wedding to a new date without having to pay any additional expense. Whether one is able to cancel a contract because of an arguably unforeseen event like a pandemic depends on the language of the contract, first, and second, common law equitable arguments such as impossibility and frustration of purpose. A lawyer would have to review the contract to see if any provision in it would allow cancellation. If not, then the lawyer would research and determine whether you could assert any equitable arguments if eventually sued (if that happens at all). Regarding the additional deposit, the new date is the new consideration and a wedding hall can charge such additional deposit. As an aside, it appears that the management of the hall (or their lawyers) have reviewed their situation and have strategically concluded that more people will pay the $1500 then pay lawyers ten times that amount to litigate this matter out. The leverage is on their side in other words. If you are a couple that gambles (is comfortable with risk), then of course you can take your chances and simply cancel, losing the $1500, and then see if they ultimately sue for the $13000. This is purely a personal decision; not one any attorney recommends. Please contact a good New York lawyer for a more precise answer to your particular predicament. Good luck.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.