Weddings – What are my rights?

The UK government has banned any gathering of more than two people, with the exception of funerals, for the foreseeable future, this includes weddings.

This guidance is on UK weddings, see our holidays section for weddings abroad where your wedding forms part of a package.

My wedding is in the lock-down period, what can I do?

If you are worried about the impact of Covid-19 on your wedding day, the first thing to do is speak to the venue and the suppliers if you haven’t done so already. 

If you have wedding insurance, review your policy and speak to your insurer.  They may cover a situation that does not or can’t go ahead but whether you are covered or not may depend on how you approach it.  For example, your insurance might cover the event being cancelled due to a pandemic but may not cover the cancellation of an event as a result of Government action (for example, the imposition of the “lock-down”).  It is of fundamental importance that you read your insurance policy first and understand what it covers prior to speaking to your insurer.  Unfortunately, if you haven’t already got wedding insurance, it is unlikely that you will be able to get it now with all major providers suspending the issue of new policies. 

Should I cancel my wedding?

In most cases this will depend on two factors, when your wedding is due to take place and whether there are any other ways to “terminate” the agreement. 

If your wedding is in the lock-down period, we do not think that in most cases, cancellation will be appropriate as other legal methods like “force majeure” and “frustration” are more relevant.  In essence, force majeure means something that neither party has any control over and has made it impossible to form a contract, for example, the virus, but this is not usually a term that features in wedding contracts and it does need to be included to be relevant.  Frustration is similar in that a frustrated contract is one where an “unexpected intervening event” makes it impossible for both parties to fulfill the contract.  Both the virus and lock-down could potentially frustrate the contract. 

These are complex legal issues, but these could be useful in terminating your contract and receiving a refund. 

If your wedding is after the predicted end of the lock-down period, then additional complications arise as it is likely that social distancing measures will still be in place for some time to come but, that could change and any attempt to terminate the contract could be premature although we would still suggest you speak to the venue and any suppliers at the earliest opportunity. The wedding industry has, like many other industries, suffered quite extensively as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and understandably, the wedding industry is as a result trying to hold on to as much of your money as it possibly can and either re-arranging the date or trying to put you in a position where you feel you have to cancel and do so in a manner that loses any deposit or monies you have given them in advance.  Whilst we wish the industry no ill, we are concerned that many businesses involved in weddings will go bust before this crisis ends and when they do so, they will take any monies you have paid with them.  In our view, the safest option is to get a refund and then if wish to re-book or re-arrange, you can.

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