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Newbie December 2021 Ontario

Mandatory Service Deposit for Vendors

Anonymous, on August 11, 2021 at 14:25 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 4


I am posting this as an anonymous person but I am curious, as being newly engaged and looking at wedding vendors, many require non-refundable deposits to be made. Now this is understandable because if I need to cancel with short notice and they are unable to have their services re-booked for the weekend that I initially reserved them, then they risk losing money.

However, why shouldn't these same vendors have a mandatory fee that they must pay if they cancel within a certain time frame? (Im not talking about the couple paying for extra insurance to cover this) Lately I've seen a few people have services, such as photography, cancel within a month of their wedding date, leaving the poor couple stressed and finding a photographer at the last minute (very difficult to do) and most likely not within their budget (maybe the new photographer is cheaper, maybe they are significantly more expensive).

Would it not be fair to hold vendors accountable to have to pay a cancellation fee if they cancel on short notice to help cover costs of re-booking a new vendor? If couples need to cancel for any reason, they lose their deposit. However if a vendor cancels for any reason, they don't lose anything (minus some business - but they are in a better position to lose a weekend of work than the majority of couples that are probably struggling by to pay off their wedding).

Another reason I am asking is because we are looking for caterers with many already being booked well over a year before our wedding. We are on a budget, and last thing we would want would be to have our caterer cancel within short notice, leaving us stranded without a caterer and either a) not being able to book one since many are filled over a year ahead of time or b) finding a caterer who will likely charge much more per plate.



Latest activity by Vinod, on August 16, 2021 at 11:54
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
    • Dispute
    Vendor deposits are mandatory though the loss of the money will be based on how long before the couple decides to cancel to get how much ever back on the terms of the contract. The other side of the token being the vendor, He/she cancels their service months before the date would have to provide a full refund due to their services not available to you. They would be held responsible which is commonly stated unless they don't specify. Yes its hard to know if something might come up and plans change though they can work around the new concept to make the day as special for you. The couple's side can be to postpone the bigger celebration and have the vendors still there if a smaller/intimate wedding takes place elsewhere beforehand. This is a suggestion that can be made and to see if they would work with you and other couples for the memories to be made.
    • Reply
  • Christiana
    Super November 2020 British Columbia
    Christiana ·
    • Dispute

    Several of my vendors included in our contract that they would provide a replacement if they were unable to attend. Not an ideal situation, but better them getting the replacement lined up than me!

    If you want something added to your contract, ask! It's not a one way street. You're both agreeing to something and you have every right to ask for coverage in the event they cancel. It doesn't mean they have to agree to it, and it might result in some vendors not wanting to work with you, but better to be comfortable with the vendor you're using and the contract you've agreed to.

    • Reply
  • Brittany
    Devoted December 2022 Yucatán
    Brittany ·
    • Dispute

    I completely agree, and usually it is signed in the contract that if you decide to cancel on any notice, you do not get your deposit back. And I have heard that vendors who cancel on the couple USUALLY give back their deposit, technically they are supposed to because they cancelled on the couple and did not provide the service (which is usually stated in the contract).

    I am also on like 4 different Wedding pages in just Edmonton area and at least once a day someone is looking for a photographer or a makeup artist. These two seem to be the ones that cancel the most.

    If it makes you uneasy about paying vendors with the worry of them cancelling - I would read over your contract before signing anything and if its not included, make sure they add that if the vendor cancels on YOU in short notice, you get fully reimbursed the amounts you have already paid. Keep receipts.

    As for for hair and make up artists, I would charge them an inconvenience fee like they do when someone does not show up to an appointment or cancel in short notice - but since its a wedding I would suggest saying that short notice is like 2 months before the wedding. Just because with how busy this year is and how much more busy next year will be. I would not risk losing out on that because someone overbooked themselves. It's not your fault, and you should be reimbursed accordingly.

    Because no matter what with all these vendors you are in a contract - and a contract is never just one sided. it is for both the vendor and the couple and if it's not and they do not want to adjust things I would walk away anyways. I would prefer a vendor who is confident they wont cancel last minute and will put it in the contract because they know they will uphold their end of the contract.

    • Reply
  • Megan
    Frequent user July 2023 Ontario
    Megan ·
    • Dispute

    Totally agree. I saw a girl in a wedding group who was looking for a makeup artist for THIS WEEKEND because hers cancelled last minute. I can't imagine having to stress about that kind of stuff!

    • Reply

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