Deposits & Payments
Often when booking a product or service for your wedding – from your reception venue to your DJ, bridal gown, florist invitations or celebrant – you will be asked to pay a non-refundable booking deposit to secure the services and/or product you require.
Circumstances sometimes change, and you may wish to cancel a booking/order you have placed. You may have changed your mind, found a better deal or simply don’t want to work with that particular supplier any more. This brings up the tricky area of ‘deposit refunds’…
The following is some very clear advice from a consumer law solicitor at Consumer Affairs relating to the purpose of a deposit. This really does clarify why in most cases, a non-refundable booking deposit will not be refunded:
“Deposits are an act of good faith/bona fides on behalf of the consumer that he or she will carry out their end of the bargain (ie proceed with full purchase, retain professional services or hold an event). This is important as often, a supplier will commence preparations / order a product / incur expense / remove an item or date from sale after receipt of a deposit, to begin their side of the ‘contract’.
“A deposit is forfeited when a valid order/contract is cancelled by the consumer without legal cause. So in the case of a consumer cancelling due to change of mind or other non-legal cause, unless the purchaser can prove the failure of the supplier to provide the goods or carry out their part of the agreement, the deposit is forfeited and should be kept by the supplier. This is their legal right to do so.”
It is essential to remember that consumer law is there to protect both the purchaser AND the supplier. Often a small business will turn away extra enquiries and begin planning for your event once a deposit has been received – so if you then cancel your booking, the business is facing significant lost time and income as a result.
A deposit is there to both guarantee your booking and to cover some of this loss in the case of unexpected cancellation. Likewise as all items are personalised, printed and or ordered in specifically for your order, all funds are non refundable as they are used towards these products as well as the preparation and planning of your event.
So when planning your big day, make sure you are committed before you pay a deposit! Most suppliers are quite happy to hold items or dates for a few days without a deposit, to allow you time to discuss options with your partner and make sure you are confident and happy with your choice.