Sometimes things don’t go according to plan – I’ll be the first to admit it. I have had weddings where a vendor has had to cancel, I’ve also had couples book me at the last minute to help them figure things out for the same reason. I want to address this issue today because it’s a sensitive topic on both sides and merits some discussion. Also, please note that I am not talking about vendors who ghost on you – only vendors that reach out in advance to discuss a cancellation. So, with that said,
What do you do if your Wedding Vendors Cancel?
This is going to sound silly, but try not to panic. As stressful as it is when you get notice that a wedding vendor is having to cancel on you, chances are there is a solid reason for it. Most wedding vendors are well intentioned people who also have families, personal lives and any host of things that could cause an emergency to come up. If the vendor wasn’t legit, they would have ghosted on you and attempted to keep your money (we have seen this before, too). The fact that they are reaching out means that they are just as committed to helping you find a solution. Here are a few things to keep in mind before and after booking your wedding vendors.
Consider purchasing wedding insurance from the onset of your planning
Wedding insurance liability policies often have additional optional provisions that can save you a LOT of frustration and money if a vendor happens to cancel on you. Click here to read more about enhanced wedding liability insurance. Policies cost as little as $55.00 for a LOT of peace of mind!
Life happens sometimes – try not to take it personally
In most cases, when a wedding vendor cancels, it is because of a personal emergency. While you are dealing with a business, the people behind the business do have families and circumstances that are sometimes out of their control. I’ve seen many examples of this, including
- Death in the family
- Personal illness
Do keep in mind that vendors are not required to disclose the nature of personal issues even though some will. Remember to be gracious as this person is navigating murky waters that have blurred across personal and professional lines. It’s easy to only think of the wedding but a little compassion goes a long way. Chances are, your vendors are doing everything they can to deliver the perfect wedding for you, and are considering alternatives in case they cannot.
So what do you do if a wedding vendor cancels?
Let’s go through our options.
Pull out your contract and review cancellation clause to understand what is required of you vs the vendor
Anyone providing a service or product should have a cancellation clause in their invoice and/or contract. This clause will outline what happens if the client cancels vs if the vendor cancels. Typically if a client cancels within a certain amount of time, there is a forfeiture of initial payment (deposit). Usually if a vendor cancels, there is a full refund of the amount paid. If there is a partial cancellation (ie some services will still be provided) the amount paid is adjusted on the final invoice.
As the vendor who cancelled to suggest alternative vendors for their service or product
Chances are, they’ve done this already. Like I said before, it’s stressful for a vendor to have to cancel. This is their livelihood and most wedding vendors are very keen to provide end-to-end excellent customer service. In the unfortunate instance of a cancellation, chances are they have sought out alternative vendors available on your date to cover the service or product they are providing. Some vendors will do this under their contract with you on the back end, others will have you cancel with them and create a new contract with the new vendor.
Consider hiring a planner if you’re super stressed and are out of resources
Not to throw in a shameless plug, but wedding planners have the resources to find you vendors very quickly. Not only that, they are finding you reputable vendors that can provide the same, if not better, quality than you originally contracted. I’d love to say that hiring a wedding planner from the onset means that you won’t have any vendors cancel, but that wouldn’t be fair.
To my beautiful couples out there in internet-land reading this – if a wedding vendor cancels, they probably are mortified. Chances are they are super stressed about letting you down, and also with whatever it is that has caused the cancellation. You do have options, and don’t be afraid to ask your original vendor to help you navigate this tricky issue.
Events by Whim is a team of Toronto Wedding Planners committed to creating intimate and elegant celebrations for Toronto’s discerning couples. Contact us today if you have any wedding planning questions or are ready to get started on your dream day!