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St Audries Park Somerset - Wedding Cancellation


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Good morning, I hope I'm posting today in the correct section.

 

My Fiancé and I were due to Marry May 2020 after receiving a late cancellation booking Jan 2020.

- £500 deposit for the booking as per contract, via bank transfer.

- Due to COVID, we were advised that the venue could not host and we were only offered postponement, This was re-arranged for 4th August 2021

- £1997 further deposit requested for date transfer, via bank transfer

Due to Covid restrictions imposing limitations to our wedding and immediate family abroad unable to travel, we've asked our venue to again, postpone the date. They've advised the board of directors have decided no
- Contract is 60 guests
- Venue permitted for 66 guests
- Our running order provided by them 30/01/2020 is for 68 and we had many more to attend

- Covid restrictions affect our running order and the day of wedding

- Venue are assuring us come 19th July (2 weeks before wedding) that our wedding will be able to go ahead, as planned unlike currently set by government guidelines.

 

We now wish to cancel and are fed up with everything. Reading the CMA guidelines I feel we fit within a small group of people and our scenario is not explicitly listed in their guidelines.

My questions are:
- Contract states we must pay FULL price of the wedding if we cancel within 120 days. Under current covid restrictions and the circumstances, how likely is this to be enforceable? 

- Is there anyway that we can regain any of the deposit money paid?

- If the venue re-sells the day does that entitle us to our money back?

Thanks in advance,

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You may find the following topic of interest if not already read.

 

Andy

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Thank you Andy, I did have a read of that one and it's a shame to see the OP having to proceed in that way. I feel our situation differs quite extensively from that case.

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Quote

4th August 2021

- £1997 further deposit requested for date transfer, via bank transfer

 

Well first off you really shouldn't be using Bank Transfer for any type of payment....Debit card should suffice and offers protection.

Secondly why would you have to pay the above amount for simply changing the date ?

We could do with some help from you.

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Please will you name the venue that you are dealing with

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Debit card payment might have been an option but would have involved a 200 mile trip to use a card machine. Request of another £1997 payment was made by the venue to change the date.

BankFodder - Venue is St Audries Park, Somerset.  

WWW.AUDRIES-PARK.CO.UK

Are you looking for a wedding venue in Somerset? St Audries Park is the perfect Somerset wedding venue for your wedding and reception. Book a viewing today.

 

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Debit card payment can be made over the phone its the 21st Century....no need to be physically at the machine :???:

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We could do with some help from you.

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So is the wedding not going ahead for the 4th Aug 2021 and you wish to cancel and get a refund ?

We could do with some help from you.

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  • BankFodder changed the title to St Audries Park Somerset - Wedding Cancellation

And you have not actually requested a refund as yet...simply to postpone further and they have said no ?

 

Quote

Due to Covid restrictions imposing limitations to our wedding and immediate family abroad unable to travel, we've asked our venue to again, postpone the date. They've advised the board of directors have decided no

 

We could do with some help from you.

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That's correct, I've asked the venue via email twice for a postponement and they've advised

"At this point, we can only echo the positivity the Government has shown toward the wedding industry and talk about the fantastic feedback from the weddings we have hosted in the past few weeks. I have, as promised, spoken with our Board of Directors but unfortunately our position remains the same and a further date postponement would not be something that is currently available."

"Unfortunately, as it currently stands there is no Government legislation surrounding Covid-19 that impacts the contract between us for 4th August 2021. Therefore, a further postponement would not be something we are able to offer."

And so, they say they can deliver as per wedding contract. However subject, to changes imposed by Covid19 restrictions (eating, drinking, reception, dancing etc) the wedding isn't as it ever was planned to be.

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But surely we return to almost normal after 19th July or possibly 5t July when all restrictions will be lifted ? 

 

Quote

Regardless of the type of venue, some restrictions for these events will remain in place to enable them to take place safely. This includes table service requirements, face coverings, social distancing, and restrictions on dancing and singing.

 

The organiser must complete a COVID-19 risk assessment for events taking place in all venues. For events in gardens of private homes or on private land this is only necessary if you plan on having more than 30 people, when you must use it to determine how many attendees will be able to attend and to identify other practical steps to ensure the event takes place safely. You must follow this risk assessment as well as any relevant guidance to make the event as safe as possible.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#weddings-and-civil-partnership-ceremonies-and-receptions

 

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Posted (edited)

That's all speculation. You can see today that government has announced no early lifting of anything to be considered until 19th July. As mentioned, we have direct family abroad who cannot attend due to restrictions and the short of it is we've decided to cancel. It's how we handle the communication and legalities as it stands at the precise moment in time.

 

Edited by BStealth
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Well they must either offer an alternative date or a refund subject to their T&Cs .......If that's not satisfactory then I can only suggest appropriate action be considered as advised in my first post. 

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Thanks Andyorch, what I don't know is whether my post above falls under the guidelines of refund as per the CMA and T&C's of Wedding contract therefore become invalid in this scenario? 

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EDIT: It also looks like the £1997.50 paid was not a non refundable deposit.

"You have paid a booking deposit of £500 which is non-transferable and non-refundable as well as a further deposit of £1,997.50."

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https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wedding-services-coronavirus-covid-19-cancellations-and-refunds/wedding-services-affected-by-covid-19-statement-of-the-cmas-position-on-cancellation-and-refunds

 

4 minutes ago, BStealth said:

EDIT: It also looks like the £1997.50 paid was not a non refundable deposit.

"You have paid a booking deposit of £500 which is non-transferable and non-refundable as well as a further deposit of £1,997.50."

 

Well I would suggest that that is an unfair Term and Condition and does not mean its legally binding. If you cancel the contract, the business is generally only entitled to keep or receive an amount sufficient to cover their actual losses that directly result from your cancellation.

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Why not scan redact and upload a copy of your contract and their T&Cs for further opinion and then you can decide what action you wish to take.

We could do with some help from you.

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Please find terms attached.

15. Cancellations For the avoidance of doubt, in relation to this specific clause (15), Your Event is deemed as commencing at 9am on the date of Your Event. 15.1 Cancellation of Your Event Booking will be acknowledged by Us under the following circumstances: 15.1.1 You request cancellation in writing to St Audries Park.

 

15.1.2 You verbally request cancellation to the Venue Manager or Sales Manager of St Audries Park (You will receive confirmation of Your cancellation in writing from Us).

 

15.1.3 You fail to attend Your Planning Meeting without notifying Us in advance of your non-attendance.

 

15.1.4 You fail to make a required payment as outlined in section 4. Where cancellation is acknowledged 180 days or less prior to the date of Your Event, You will be liable for the following cancellation charges:

 

15.1.5 - 180 to 120 days’ notice: 50% of the value of the Package and additional conditions of booking or 50% of the total combined value of the Venue Charge and additional costs and conditions of booking, as set out in Your Booking Confirmation Letter or detailed on your final invoice if it has been raised.

 

15.1.6 - 120 to 90 days’ notice: 65% of the value of the Package and additional conditions of booking or 65% of the total combined value of the Venue Charge and additional costs and conditions of booking, as set out in Your Booking Confirmation Letter or detailed on your final invoice if it has been raised

.
15.1.7 - 90 to 21 days’ notice: 80% of the value of the Package and additional conditions of booking or 80% of the total combined value of the Venue Charge and additional costs and conditions of booking, as set out in Your Booking Confirmation Letter or detailed on your final invoice if it has been raised.

 

15.1.8 - Less than 21 days’ notice: 100% of the value of the Package and additional conditions of booking or 100% of the total combined value of the Venue Charge and additional costs and conditions of booking, as set out in Your Booking Confirmation Letter or detailed on your final invoice if it has been raised. 15.2 For the avoidance of doubt, please be advised that once the bulk invoice has been raised, this will form the amount from which your cancellation fee will be calculated. 15.2 Please note that deposits already paid against Your Event will be offset against Your cancellation charge.

St Audries Park Terms and Conditions - Feb 20 (1)[885].pdf

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Posted (edited)

I was thinking of sending my cancellation as follows. I don't want to sound too abrupt but I also want to know what I'm saying is fact.

 

Hi XXX, 

As St Audries Park are aware, we had planned and scheduled our Wedding to happen on XXXX. Due to covid-19 the only option given by St Audries was for us to change our Wedding to 2021. Visibility and insight into our personal circumstances, number of guests and plans for the day has always been made clear to our wedding planner. I should believe that as a result of current government COVID-19 restrictions impacting both our wedding and international travel of direct family, that we had no choice but to ask for a postponement of our wedding date. As this had been declined twice by yourself and St Audries Board of Directors, we must now inform you that we cannot proceed with our Wedding on XX August 2021 at St Audries Park.  
 
In accordance with the CMA’s position of weddings which can go ahead, albeit with restrictions and limitations, we should not receive disproportionate charges for cancelling our wedding. As per the Consumer Trading Act 2015 I ask that a proportion of my £XXX booking deposit and further £XXXX advance payment to St Audries Park to be refunded, minus actual costs incurred and a breakdown of this made available. I hope that with your venue being almost or entirely fully booked this year, St Audries Park should have no issue with reselling our date especially as it was already at a reduced price.

Edited by BStealth
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Wow nearly £2k to change a date.

I would say that is unfair as it was not your fault the date needed changing. Follow Andys advise and you should get somewhere. Good Luck. 

 

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Some changes to the proposed cancellation:


 

Hi XXX, 
 

We planned and scheduled our Wedding to happen on XXX 2020. The COVID-19 2020 lockdown imposed no route forwards for this wedding and St Audries gave only one option, which was an unfair upfront payment of £1997.50 to move our wedding to a very limited options of dates in 2021.  

Visibility and insight into our personal circumstances, number of guests and plans for the day has always been paramount and made clear to our wedding planner. As a result of current government COVID-19 restrictions impacting both our weddings day running and international travel of direct family, we had no choice but to ask for a postponement of our wedding date. This request was made to XX on 18/06/21. The request for postponement has been declined twice by yourself and St Audries Board of Directors on 24/06/21 and 25/06/21.  
 
Due to the Government restrictions imposed and unforeseeable scenario of this on our wedding day, we are unable to adequately prepare or have the wedding we had been originally planning. Due to the mentioned, we must now inform you that we cannot proceed with our Wedding on XX August 2021 at St Audries Park.  
 
In accordance with the CMA’s position of weddings which can go ahead, albeit with restrictions and limitations, we should not receive disproportionate charges for cancelling our wedding. As per the Consumer Trading Act 2015 I ask that a proportion of my £500 booking deposit and further £1997.50 advance payment to St Audries Park to be refunded. The refunded amount should be minus actual costs incurred and a breakdown of this made available. I’m informed that your venue is almost or entirely fully booked this year and imagine that St Audries Park should have no issue with reselling our date, especially as it was already at a reduced price. 

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Give it a go and see what response you get.

 

Im not sure about including the following.......

 

Quote

 I ask that a proportion of my £500 booking deposit 

 

Quote

 The refunded amount should be minus actual costs incurred and a breakdown of this made available.

 

 

Ask for in full initially.

We could do with some help from you.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Andy, after reflection and review I actually changed my plan and would very much value your feedback. Rather than sending an email and letter like above I was considering sending a letter before action since they've already declined the postponment. Reading the consumer trading act 2015, the venue should be able to refund minus actual incurred costs. If that's not your view of best approach I will of course take your lead. Here is my proposed email and letter to be sent first class recorded.

 

Dear Sir, 
 

Reference: Cancellation of XX & XXWedding 
 

As it has not been possible to resolve this matter amicably, and it is apparent that court action may be necessary, I write in compliance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct. 

 

We had planned and scheduled our Wedding to happen on XX X May 2020. The COVID-19 2020 lockdown imposed no route forwards for this wedding and St Audries Park gave only one option, which was an unfair upfront payment of £1997.50 to move our wedding to a very limited option of three dates in 2021. St Audries Park were demanding additional monies to receive an interchangeable date matching that of what we had already in contract. 
 

Visibility and insight into our personal circumstances, number of guests and plans for the day has always been paramount and made clear to our wedding planner, employed by St Audries Park. As a result of current government Coronavirus legislation impacting our weddings day , we had no choice but to ask for a postponement of our wedding date. This request was made to XX on 18/06/21. The request for postponement has been declined twice and received from St Audries Board of Directors on 24/06/21 and 25/06/21. 

From you I am claiming that in accordance with the CMA’s position of weddings which can go ahead, albeit with restrictions and limitations, we should not receive disproportionate charges for cancelling our wedding. As per the Consumer Trading Act 2015 I ask that a proportion of my £500 booking deposit and further £1997.50 advance payment to St Audries Park to be refunded. The refunded amount should be minus actual costs incurred and a breakdown of this made available. 
 

Listed below are the documents on which I intend to rely in my claim against you: 

  • GOV.UK – Competition & Markets Authority Guidance – Statement on coronavirus (COVID-19), consumer contracts, cancellations and refunds dated 07/09/2020. 

 

In accordance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct I would request that you provide me with copies of the following documents: 

  • Breakdown of actual costs incurred through cancellation of contract 
     

I can confirm that I would be agreeable to mediation and would consider any other system of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in order to avoid the need for this matter to be resolved by the courts.  
 

I would invite you to put forward any proposals in this regard.  
 

In closing, I would draw your attention to paragraphs 15 and 16 of the Practice Direction which gives the courts the power to impose sanctions on the parties if they fail to comply with the direction including failing to respond to this letter before claim.  
 

I look forward to hearing from you within the next 14 days. 
 

Should I not receive a response to my letter within this time frame then I anticipate that court action will be commenced with no further reference to you. 
 

Yours faithfully, 

Edited by BStealth
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