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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70830
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello, I was due to be married on 14th March 2015 however,

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I was due to be married on 14th March 2015 however, due to the breakdown in relationship the marriage on this date will no longer go ahead. I booked a wedding venue through a catering company and have paid the catering company a deposit of 25% of the total bill (which includes the food/reception drinks, some decoration and the venue itself). However, as soon as I sent them a notification of cancellation on 1st Jan, they have requested for additional costs to cover the venue itself and nothing more but this will cost me another £2400 which I feel is unfair.
The cancellation policy with the catering company contract states:
Cancellation of a confirmed Event will incur the following charges by the Client:
if over 6 months prior to the Event – Deposit (non-refundable);
if between 4 - 6 months prior to the Event – 50% of Total Amount;
if between 2 - 4 months prior to the Event – 75% of Total Amount; and  if less than 2 months prior to the Event– 100% of the Total Amount.
All Deposits, cancellation charges are non-transferable, non-refundable.
The typical Deposit amount is 25% of the total amount payable to the catering company, but if required by a venue, the Client may have to pay a larger Deposit in order to secure the venue for the Event.
Cancellation of only part of the services for a confirmed Event (for example and without limitation, cancellation of wedding stage décor) shall be subject to the following cancellation charges:
if over 6 months prior to the Event – 25% of the amount specified for such cancelled service(s);
if between 4 - 6 months prior to the Event – 50% amount specified for such cancelled service(s); if between 2 - 4 months prior to the Event – 75% amount specified for such cancelled service(s); and if less than 2 months prior to the Event– 100% of the amount specified for such cancelled service(s).
My question is:
a) Is there any way in which I will not have to pay any more money than the £2850 deposit I have already paid?
b) According to the catering company's request of further payment, it does not make sense this payment needs to cover venue cost as the contract cancellation policy states differently - something fishy is going on here - do i have any consumer rights to defend myself?
Thank you.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
When did you cancel please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello and thanks so much for your time Jo.

Officially I cancelled on 1st Jan 2015 by email however, verbally I cancelled during early Dec 2014 and also 29th Dec 2014 to reiterate but there is no proof of this.


Did the email refer to previous cancellations - eg. I refer to my conversation or similar words?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This is my precise email Jo:

Dear team,

Thank you for the payment reminder. Please note, we had a meeting with Fayaz on the 29th of December 2014 at the office explaining our marital situation and had verbally cancelled this booking (this decision still stands and should be seen as an official notification) however, Fayaz has very kindly offered to see if a small function can take place instead for lesser amount of guests and for a fraction of the cost of the initial booking quotation. We wait to hear from him in due course.

Very best wishes,

Their contract has no basis. They cannot just have blanket deductions in this way. If you act in breach of contract by cancelling then they can only claim the sum of their loss.
Presuming there is no capacity to cancel lawfully within the contract you are liable for their losses. However, they are under a duty to mitigate their loss. They do have another two and a half months to let the venue to somebody else on that day and it seems unlikely they would not be able to do so in that time.
Further, the sum you paid covers things such as food which will definitely not be used or wasted so there should be a reduction on that basis.
All you may have to pay for is the venue costs and then they would have to prove that they looked for a replacement and could not find one.
It is very unlikely it would come to that.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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