Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Wedding Bell Blues: Contractual Considerations for Weddings and Events in a COVID-19 World – Part 3

As an attorney who routinely drafts and analyzes business contracts and a bride during the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew that there were several contractual aspects I would need to consider when entering into countless contracts with the vast array of people and vendors involved in planning a wedding, especially during a global pandemic.

While it appears that the initial “panic” of the COVID-19 pandemic has gradually decreased and many 2020 weddings have been rescheduled, the health concerns with regard to mass gatherings are still very much present and will not be going away any time soon. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of planning like myself, or attempting to navigate the contracts you entered into months ago, below are some considerations and legal concepts you may find helpful.

Refund of Deposits

Most service contracts have a deposit or fee due at booking in order to hold the date for your event. Typically, these deposits are non-refundable. Well, what if the contract wasn’t performed due to force majeure or impracticability/frustration of purpose, can I get my deposit back? It will depend on the circumstances, but maybe not. Global pandemic or not, these initial deposits are usually just to hold that date – thereby, causing the servicer (caterer, photographer, wedding planner, etc.) to turn away other events for the same date, i.e., business for them – so that part of the contract has already been ‘performed.’ 

Previously in this series Part 1 & Part 2