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How to negotiate the cancelation of an event

Posted at 6:33 AM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 07:33:29-04

There is a lot of time, money, and effort that goes into planning an event such as a wedding, class reunion, or other celebration, and it is not something that many of us would want to cancel.

However, due to COVID-19, a number of people are choosing to cancel and running into financial problems with their venue and vendors. If you are thinking of canceling, here is what you can do to minimize some of the loss:

Contact the venue as soon as possible to talk about options. Keeping an open mind and realizing that your venue and vendors may also be taking a loss, will help in negotiating a resolution.

Although the venue may not be obligated by contract to refund your money, if you contact them several months in advance, you may be able to re-book the event for another date in the future without losing deposits or incurring price increases. However, if you cancel too close to the date, you could be on the hook for the entire amount of the contract.

Ask if you can adjust dates, menu, or add-ons. If you re-book during a non-peak month or day such as a Sunday, Monday, or Friday, you may be able to negotiate a freeze, discounted prices, or other cost-saving measures.

If you plan to cancel or postpone, it also important to let your guests know as soon as possible so that they are not on the hook for non-refundable travel expenses.

If you have event insurance, read the policy carefully. Some policies cover cancellation expenses, but, many exclude coverage for losses due to a pandemic.

If you are unable to resolve an issue with your venue or other vendors, contact consumer resources, like our Call 4 Action office, for help.

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