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Handling Cancelled Weddings

rachlynn17

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www.woodphotostudio.com
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I'm curious how any of you handle the, "We've decided to call off the wedding," conversation.
No bride is just leaping with joy to call their photographer with the bad news. What do you say to them besides, "You're not getting your $$ back." - and how do you put it nicely?
 
A deposit is just that, or like a retainer. You have passed up other work for them and need to be compensated for that. If they bail, that means you could be working else where but passed because of your obligation to them. They owe you for your time either way.

Seriously though, if the wedding is off, you are not really dealing a low blow, I think they have more to worry about.
 
I'm not going through this situation at the moment. I do have a contract that states that the deposit is non-refundable.
I was more interested in how you handle to phone conversation. They're probably going to be somewhat upset when they talk to you. What would a Professional do, when they get that call?
 
well, I guess I am not qualified to answer as I am not a professional photographer...

BUT, as a chef, and spending the last 3 years as Executive Chef for landmark management/Crowne Plaza Hotels, whenever we had someone try to back out of a banquet(contract), we pretty much told them the same thing as in my original response.

If it is in the contract that the deposit is non refundable, normally being diplomatic and dealing a calm response is enough, but when worse comes to worse, tough cookies, it is in the contract.

After all, it is a business, bottom line.
 
I think the way you handle it is say "oh I'm so sorry to hear that I will take you off of my calendar" and that's it. You keeping the deposit is a given it is in your contract they should know that from the get-go and not even mention it.
 
i would just give them there money back and tell them im sorry.
 
i would just give them there money back and tell them im sorry.

I disagree. You have a contract. You have been offered other weddings on this date and turned them down due to the scheduling. You have a family to support, taxes to pay, business doors to keep open. Say "I am so sorry to hear that, please keep me in mind if your plans should change." and let it go. If you want to go out of business, then open the doors and go on vacation. Same difference.
 
I disagree. You have a contract. You have been offered other weddings on this date and turned them down due to the scheduling. You have a family to support, taxes to pay, business doors to keep open. Say "I am so sorry to hear that, please keep me in mind if your plans should change." and let it go. If you want to go out of business, then open the doors and go on vacation. Same difference.


i think we have to agree to differ.

i would give them there money back, they are probably in enough stress as it is and i would feel a better person if i gave them there money back.

wedding togs [myself included] make a huge amount of money with the mark up of photos ect and losing out on one wedding well its not worth worrying about.
 
I agree with those who say that the deposit should be kept...however, there may be some good will to be gained by following jols's advice.

A compromise that I've heard people use, is to say that if you can still book that date, you then return the deposit.
 
In the past, I have refunded a deposit for a wedding that was cancelled becasue the groom was being shipped off to Iraq.
I kind of had it in my mind, that the 2 reasons a deposit should be refunded if the wedding was cancelled due to a death, or military obligation.
 
In the past, I have refunded a deposit for a wedding that was cancelled becasue the groom was being shipped off to Iraq.
I kind of had it in my mind, that the 2 reasons a deposit should be refunded if the wedding was cancelled due to a death, or military obligation.

Now that I agree with. Otherwise I would keep the deposit as other people have said. I don't do weddings, but I do shoot surfing and other "extreme" sports, and I can understand the whole 'you passed up other jobs to do this one' thing.
 
In the past, I have refunded a deposit for a wedding that was cancelled becasue the groom was being shipped off to Iraq.
I kind of had it in my mind, that the 2 reasons a deposit should be refunded if the wedding was cancelled due to a death, or military obligation.

I agree with this. But under most typical reasons weddings are canceled, no.
 
I'm glad you mentioned the military thing Rachlynn because I just had someone ask me if I had a military policy for weddings.
Do you all just refund it no questions asked if this happens, or do you require proof?
 

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