Primrose Opinion | To Refund Or Not To Refund
Updated: May 30
The ultimate question.
To refund, or not to refund?
With the COVID-19 crisis, more and more weddings are being cancelled or put on hold.
People are being forced to delay their nuptials due to this virus.
And both couples and wedding professionals are devastated.
Months and sometimes years of planning - gone in a matter of weeks due to circumstances out of anyone's control.
A lot of couples are not letting the emergency rain on their parade.
However, several couples are daily dropping out of the ring and opting for alternatives.
Some are cancelling vendors all together, and some are postponing until a later date this year.
Many even resort to Sunday dates just to get the deed done.
Those who do cancel, want their money back.
But, where do vendors draw the line?
What is good business and bad business at this point?
Most services provided by wedding planners, photographers, venues and more are based on a contract which is signed by both parties before the start of service.
Typically these contracts protect businesses, even during "acts of god," meaning situations just like this one. These policies are in place for this very reason, so why are wedding vendors and professionals changing their terms?
Well, we have never had a situation like this before, for one reason.
Two, it's easy to feel sympathetic towards couples who have spent so much time and money planning the event of their dreams just to have it all ruined by a pandemic.
Heck, I myself would even opt out and just elope if I was trying to get married this year.
But, these couples made a promise and some are turning on those promises.
It's understandable that couples want their money back.
It doesn't hurt to ask, right?
But here is the issue.
Professionals that you book for your wedding reserve that date in their calendar for you. The money that you provide them is what keeps their lights on and food on their table.
By making it common to start refunding, couples can potentially put professionals in the wedding industry in a financial crisis.
There is no way of telling that vendors will ever make that money back.
You are essentially taking food off someone's table, and, or setting someone back.
Would you feel comfortable knowing that you canceled on someone and did not intend to reschedule? At least by rescheduling services, it is giving these professionals a chance.
Many in the wedding industry, like myself, changed postponement policies just to ease any decisions that couples have to make.
I just want couples to start working more with wedding vendors during the rescheduling process, and try to keep as many vendors as they can.
Communication is key.
And most vendors are reaching out and being proactive and opening the lines of communication with their clients.
When clients sign on with me, I make sure they are aware that the entire process is a team effort from the beginning. Even now, it will continue to be a team effort until this is all over.
Kate Cataldo is the founder, creative director, and editor of Primrose Bride magazine and website. She created Katelyn Cataldo Collections LLC is 2017 with a vision of creating a safe, honest and pure place for brides to find dependable vendors and reliable resources to plan their perfect wedding.
She currently resides most of the year in Pennsylvania, but lives part-time in South Carolina serving the Hilton Head and Savannah, GA areas.
She is a graphic designer by trade and has worked for companies such as Shutterfly, Tiny Prints and Wedding Paper Divas, as well as leading wedding photographers in the Pittsburgh, PA area.