Reimbursed for Items after Wedding Cancelled

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Hello, 

Apologies if posted in the wrong place, I couldn't find a similar post. 

Long story short, our wedding venue cancelled our wedding 7 weeks before the big day as the owners sold the venue. We managed to get rebooked on a different date and at a different venue. 

I contacted our original venue explaining we had purchased lots of wedding items which were printed or engraved with the date and venue of the wedding, both of which had now changed and whether they would reimburse for these (full receipts etc available). They refused and told me to contact my wedding insurance company.

I contacted my insurance provider and they said it wasn't covered as per their terms as the wedding venue hadn't failed financially (their terms do say this).

Could I make a claim against my original venue for any of these items (invites, signage, dècor items, etc or should I just suck it up?

Grateful in advance for any advice please. Thank you. 
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  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 31,034 Forumite
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    kylegvl said:
    I contacted our original venue explaining we had purchased lots of wedding items which were printed or engraved with the date and venue of the wedding, both of which had now changed and whether they would reimburse for these (full receipts etc available). They refused and told me to contact my wedding insurance company.

    [...]

    Could I make a claim against my original venue for any of these items (invites, signage, dècor items, etc or should I just suck it up?
    Surely you've already tried a claim and it was rejected?  Who exactly did you contract with, i.e. was it a limited company, etc, and were there any cancellation provisions within that contract?
  • powerful_Rogue
    powerful_Rogue Posts: 7,517 Forumite
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    kylegvl said:
    Hello, 

    Apologies if posted in the wrong place, I couldn't find a similar post. 

    Long story short, our wedding venue cancelled our wedding 7 weeks before the big day as the owners sold the venue. We managed to get rebooked on a different date and at a different venue. 

    I contacted our original venue explaining we had purchased lots of wedding items which were printed or engraved with the date and venue of the wedding, both of which had now changed and whether they would reimburse for these (full receipts etc available). They refused and told me to contact my wedding insurance company.

    I contacted my insurance provider and they said it wasn't covered as per their terms as the wedding venue hadn't failed financially (their terms do say this).

    Could I make a claim against my original venue for any of these items (invites, signage, dècor items, etc or should I just suck it up?

    Grateful in advance for any advice please. Thank you. 
    Happy to be corrected, but can't imagine you would stand a chance in the small claims court with this.

  • kylegvl
    kylegvl Posts: 16 Forumite
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    edited 20 May 2023 at 7:24PM
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    eskbanker said:
    kylegvl said:
    I contacted our original venue explaining we had purchased lots of wedding items which were printed or engraved with the date and venue of the wedding, both of which had now changed and whether they would reimburse for these (full receipts etc available). They refused and told me to contact my wedding insurance company.

    [...]

    Could I make a claim against my original venue for any of these items (invites, signage, dècor items, etc or should I just suck it up?
    Surely you've already tried a claim and it was rejected?  Who exactly did you contract with, i.e. was it a limited company, etc, and were there any cancellation provisions within that contract?
    No, I just sent them an email asking if they would, but they refused. No claim was made as such as they eventually refunded the money I had paid them.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    What are your quantifiable losses? What does your contract with the previous owner say? Has the company been sold along with the venue, or has it been wound up?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,305 Forumite
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    You had a contract with the venue - what did it say about them cancelling it?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,479 Forumite
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    I suspect many other couples may find themselves in a similar situation with the Government forcing hotels to take block bookings from them and cancel any/all events they have booked.  I wonder if the Government is going to reimburse those who have their bookings cancelled.
  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Posts: 7,589 Forumite
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    edited 20 May 2023 at 7:46PM
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    You had a contract with the venue - what did it say about them cancelling it?
    This is the first question OP but you need to also check what it said about you cancelling as the contract needs to be balanced so if they could cancel but you can’t the term would be unfair.

    If the terms said both you and them could cancel penalty free at a period that covered the 7 week period then I believe that would be the end of the matter.

    If the terms are otherwise then you need to establish whether the party you had a contact with still exists.

    If they do I believe you could claim damages due to breach of contract.
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,842 Forumite
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    If this went to court the court would look at the terms and conditions of the specific contract you agreed to.

    Do the T&Cs include a term like 'If we have to cancel our liability to you is limited to whatever you have paid us' or 'We have no liability for any consequential loss howsoever caused'?

    Claiming consequential losses (which these are) is always difficult without clear contract terms, a court will often consider them 'too remote' eg. the venue could not have known that your extended family would book several non-refundable flights from New Zealand for the event.
    You might however be able to argue that personalised wedding stationery is very foreseeable to a wedding company. Did the venue offer to include stationery but you elected to provide your own instead?

  • tightauldgit
    tightauldgit Posts: 2,628 Forumite
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    Yes the first question is what did your contract say about the venue having a right to cancel the contract? 

    Just because someone sells the venue doesn't automatically excuse them from having to honour their contractual obligations to you. I'm no expert on weddings but I'm slightly surprised that 'we sold the venue so your event is cancelled', is even a thing. 

    I'd certainly be pushing for reasonable reimbursement of unavoidable expenses like invites etc, but as Alderbank says its not always easy and there will be limits - if you'd decided to give all  your guests a Rolex with the date and venue engraved on it then you'd probably struggle to get that back.  
  • bris
    bris Posts: 10,548 Forumite
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    I would say you had a good claim, they broke the contract not you, why didn't the new owners honour the contract?

    Normally these business are sold as a going concern and bookings aren't affected just the change of owners.

    Whatever, the original owners should cover your losses which would include any extra cost for the new venue as a consequential loss 

    Don't be put off by people telling you you have no claim, a contract has been broken and there is no get out of jail free for that.

    All you have to do is start a claim and let it play out, don't forget to add the claim costs to the claim.
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