Marriage Date Change - Ceremonies fee

Hi all, we were meant to get married in July 2020 and also July 2021 but we decided to postpone twice to move the date to July 2022 (we have relatives and close friends we really want at the wedding who live abroad).

We got to the point of giving notice of marriage at the council offices before COVID struck and all we paid to that point was a £30 deposit and £35 each to provide notice of marriage. Now I appreciate that is all lost and will suck that up...but now the council have rebooked us for 2022, they are asking for the full £350 up front, with a disclaimer on the email that any loss resulting from COVID related cancellation is not their problem.

So essentially, we have to pay more than a year in advance (and before giving notice of marriage) for a ceremony and hope that COVID doesn't impact our wedding in July or we lose £420! Yes, it's likely there will be no issue in July 2022, but you never know! Clearly, this change to request money in advance is a post COVID change, but is there anything I can do about it? I've emailed back asking why it's different all of a sudden but don't expect them to say they'll change it.

I doubt there's much I can do and it's really just more of a rant than anything else...

Replies

  • AskAskAskAsk Forumite
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    things are so unpredictable with the covid situation, it is difficult to be certain of anything.  if you want to postpone the wedding to next year, then it sounds like you just have to take the risk.  it does seem unfair that you would lose the money if covid prevented you from having the wedding but the council are not an easy organisation to talk sense to.

    it is a risk that you will have to assess and take if having guests at the wedding is important.  i personally think it is a big risk if you are delaying the wedding for the foreign guests as they may not be able to come to the UK if they are on the red list come july next year.
  • edited 12 April 2021 at 6:37PM
    sassybluesassyblue Forumite
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    edited 12 April 2021 at 6:37PM
    Is this for the venue like the registry office? If so I’d go somewhere else, it’s unreasonable to make money from the virus like this IMO. It’s perfectly reasonable to reschedule anything with a small admin fee but £420 is a bit much.

    if you have to cancel or reschedule because of covid it’s not as if they’ve lost out because they couldn’t have held the wedding anyway.


    Happy moneysaving all.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    A wedding may be okay here but travel from abroad may not be allowed , so the council would lose out if the OP wanted to cancel because relatives could attend.
  • gettingtheresometimegettingtheresometime Forumite
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    sassyblue said:
    Is this for the venue like the registry office? If so I’d go somewhere else, it’s unreasonable to make money from the virus like this IMO. It’s perfectly reasonable to reschedule anything with a small admin fee but £420 is a bit much.

    if you have to cancel or reschedule because of covid it’s not as if they’ve lost out because they couldn’t have held the wedding anyway.
    I read it as £350 for the cost of the hire of the room (?) plus £70 for the notices (that's the only way I could reach £420) 

    I think the OP's gripe is that previously the council wanted just a deposit of £30 for the hire and £70 for the notices.

    In addition, whilst the marriage in 2022 may go ahead, it's possible- though unlikely- there could be restrictions on the numbers which the OP would find probably unpalatable.

    sounds as if the council have got fed up of people cancelling because of the restrictions on numbers & decided enough was enough 
  • dannyrstdannyrst Forumite
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    Apologies, to confirm, the £350 is for the registrar to come and conduct the ceremony at our venue.

    We have no alternative but to use that registrar as they cover all weddings in that area.

    The venue are charging separately for the hire of the room, which we paid a fee to change the date on.
  • gettingtheresometimegettingtheresometime Forumite
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    dannyrst said:
    Apologies, to confirm, the £350 is for the registrar to come and conduct the ceremony at our venue.

    We have no alternative but to use that registrar as they cover all weddings in that area.

    The venue are charging separately for the hire of the room, which we paid a fee to change the date on.
    Then it sounds as if you've got no option but accept the change in t&cs (which is basically what it is).


  • AskAskAskAsk Forumite
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    sassyblue said:
    Is this for the venue like the registry office? If so I’d go somewhere else, it’s unreasonable to make money from the virus like this IMO. It’s perfectly reasonable to reschedule anything with a small admin fee but £420 is a bit much.

    if you have to cancel or reschedule because of covid it’s not as if they’ve lost out because they couldn’t have held the wedding anyway.
    I read it as £350 for the cost of the hire of the room (?) plus £70 for the notices (that's the only way I could reach £420) 

    I think the OP's gripe is that previously the council wanted just a deposit of £30 for the hire and £70 for the notices.

    In addition, whilst the marriage in 2022 may go ahead, it's possible- though unlikely- there could be restrictions on the numbers which the OP would find probably unpalatable.

    sounds as if the council have got fed up of people cancelling because of the restrictions on numbers & decided enough was enough 
    i think it is this.  that the council has been inundated with people wanting to change their weddings because they want all the criteria satisfied before they will go ahead with the wedding so this disclaimer is to encourage people to keep the wedding date unless covid means no wedding whatsoever can take place, in which case it is not a cancellation from the customer but the council, and that would be the only scenario where they would not forfeit the payment.

    they probably have a huge back log of bookings so they want to prioritise those that really really (pretty desperate, lol) to get married and will do so even if it means no one can be at the wedding except the bride and groom.
  • sassybluesassyblue Forumite
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    dannyrst said:
    Apologies, to confirm, the £350 is for the registrar to come and conduct the ceremony at our venue.

    We have no alternative but to use that registrar as they cover all weddings in that area.

    The venue are charging separately for the hire of the room, which we paid a fee to change the date on.
    Then I’d reply that you would pay the fee if YOU decide to reschedule the wedding but if you are forced to reschedule by covid then you don’t expect to lose that money. The Registar has a cheek if they think they'll still get paid otherwise!


    Happy moneysaving all.
  • MobileSaverMobileSaver Forumite
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    sassyblue said:
    dannyrst said:
    Apologies, to confirm, the £350 is for the registrar to come and conduct the ceremony at our venue.
    Then I’d reply that you would pay the fee if YOU decide to reschedule the wedding but if you are forced to reschedule by covid then you don’t expect to lose that money.
    How do you define "forced to reschedule by covid"?
    If the OP wants 50 people at the wedding, is the OP forced to reschedule if the UK government says they can only have 15 present?
    The OP wants foreign guests to come to the wedding so is the OP forced to reschedule if the foreign country is in lockdown?
    It's one thing if there's another Covid wave and the UK government says weddings can no longer go ahead but otherwise at what point should the financial risk pass from the Council to the OP if the OP cannot have exactly the wedding they want? Should the Council lose out because a foreign country says the OP's friends cannot travel to the wedding?

    Every generation blames the one before...

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  • AskAskAskAsk Forumite
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    sassyblue said:
    dannyrst said:
    Apologies, to confirm, the £350 is for the registrar to come and conduct the ceremony at our venue.
    Then I’d reply that you would pay the fee if YOU decide to reschedule the wedding but if you are forced to reschedule by covid then you don’t expect to lose that money.
    How do you define "forced to reschedule by covid"?
    If the OP wants 50 people at the wedding, is the OP forced to reschedule if the UK government says they can only have 15 present?
    The OP wants foreign guests to come to the wedding so is the OP forced to reschedule if the foreign country is in lockdown?
    It's one thing if there's another Covid wave and the UK government says weddings can no longer go ahead but otherwise at what point should the financial risk pass from the Council to the OP if the OP cannot have exactly the wedding they want? Should the Council lose out because a foreign country says the OP's friends cannot travel to the wedding?
    i think the reality of the situation is that you pay the council and you have your wedding irrespective of conditions in place at the time of the wedding.  unless you are prepared to do this, then i would suggest you forget about getting married at all for a few years and see what happens with covid.
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