EASTON, Pa. – It’s about two years into the pandemic, and couples planning and rescheduling weddings continue to have issues. Some are losing tens of thousands of dollars.
“The first advice I would ever give any client would be if you’re going to sign something of significance, have your attorney read it in full, and I neglected my own advice,” said Nicholas Sandercock, an attorney at Gross McGinley.
Sandercock’s challenges planning his own big day years ago inspired him to get into wedding law. Since the pandemic started, he’s fielded over one hundred calls from couples with questions or issues.
“Sometimes people would show up to their weddings and the venues would all of a sudden have a tent show up for what was supposed to be an indoor wedding,” said Sandercock.
“They always throw the contract in the way,” said Abbey Borroughs, a wedding planner who is the owner of Borroughed with Love Co.
Borroughs, who had to postpone her own pandemic wedding, says the biggest concerns among clients are availability and pricing.
“I got a quote from a florist for $10,000,” said Borroughs. “It’s just like something astronomical that you can’t even imagine. You’re throwing the flowers out at the end of the night.”
Instead of giving refunds, some venues and vendors are settling on credits, meaning people have hundreds to thousands of dollars to spend on services they may or may not need, depending on how their plans changed.
“I’m on a lot of wedding groups on Facebook and I’ve seen people post like, ‘oh, I have this amount of money in store credit is if anyone is interested. We can kind of do an exchange,” said Borroughs.
While many feel pressure to sign contracts quickly to get their desired date, Sandercock insists there’s time and room to negotiate.
“The force majeure clause is sometimes referred to as an act of God provision, and a lot of it comes down to what the language is,” said Sandercock.
Sandercock says that provision needs to be specific about changes due to the pandemic.