If you are one of the many thousands of couples in the unfortunate situation of having to postpone, or even worse – cancel your wedding due to changing circumstances arising directly from ever-changing pandemic restrictions – you may have been give incorrect advice that your booking deposits are non-refundable.
In most cases this is just not true at all. If your wedding is postponed or cancelled due to the changing pandemic restrictions, (ie. not simply because you have changed your mind) you are in most cases due a full refund for all booking deposits and monies paid in advance of your wedding date.
If the pandemic restrictions have changed the conditions of your booking in any way, including the number of guests permitted, and as a result of this you made the decision to postpone or cancel your wedding, you are most likely due a full refund of your booking deposits and should contact Consumer Protection for legal advice.
You may also be entitled to a full refund under the new EU “unfair contracts” law which was amended in 2019, which states that if any consumer contract is unfair and therefore not in the best interests of the consumer, then the contract can’t be enforced even if the consumer has agreed to the contract in writing. For details of the EU unfair contracts law please click here: EU Unfair Contracts Law
Online purchases: If you have booked your wedding supplier through an online portal, such as their website or social media, without ever meeting them in person, your supplier is required to advise you of the mandatory 14-day cooling off period for online purchases. Failure to do this may make your contract an unfair contract.
The only exception to a full refund is where goods have been paid for in advance which were ordered/created/made especially for your wedding, which can’t be on-sold to another couple within a reasonable amount of time.
It is also essential to know that the Irish consumer law deems your bookings with your wedding suppliers to be individual contracts to provide a service on a certain date. Which means if your wedding is changed to a new date, this ends your contract with your suppliers, and a new contract must be created with suppliers for your new wedding date. Which means that you are not obliged in any way to keep a booking with an existing supplier if it is not in your best interests to do so.
If you have postponed your wedding due to the changing pandemic restrictions, and you have one or more wedding suppliers refusing to refund your booking deposit, please contact Consumer Protection right away for advice. They will advise if you are due a full refund and if so, will advise you how to proceed in order to get your money back.
Changing your mind without any pandemic restrictions which prevent your wedding proceeding as planned is not grounds for a refund of your booking deposit.
If you have postponed or cancelled your wedding during the pandemic and one or more of your suppliers is claiming that your booking deposit is non-refundable, you should contact Consumer Protection for correct legal advice.
Regarding your rights to refund of booking deposits don’t ever seek legal advice from wedding Facebook groups, or from suppliers trade associations as the advice received will most likely not be in your best interests.