Updated: 2 days ago
I want to start out by stating that this is really not my favorite thing in the world to address. It is awful for both parties involved and I am incredibly sad that have to write a blog about a global pandemic.
First and foremost I hope all of my clients and their families are healthy and safe during these unprecedented times. I also understand that all of my clients are not affected the same way by this pandemic. Some of you live in large densely populated cities and may still have your jobs, but your overall physical safety is a higher priority due to your travel circumstances and everyday proximity to people. Others may live in towns and lesser populated cities but have lost your jobs or are on furlough so your financial situation has become stressed, but your overall safety and exposure to COVID-19 is not as high of a concern to you. I know that some of you are battling concerns as your guest list may have a lot of international guests, or even from all over our own country, making this an added element of stress in your decisions. I also understand that you can be any combination of the aforementioned circumstances. I hear you, I feel you, and I understand each of you.
After a few months of managing all of our bookings that have been affected by the pandemic, as well as speaking with lawyers, fellow artists in the industry, fellow vendors in the industry and MOST importantly my brides, I have come to the most fair policies I can find for both parties.
MANDATORY POSTPONEMENTS OR CANCELLATIONS:
Postponements due to Federal or State Mandated bans will have their retainer applied to their new date. This is a Force Majeure, an Act of God has made it impossible for either party to move forward on the initial date. We will ask for the client to sign an updated contract, quote, and pay possibly as for an additional retainer as we are now asking for 50% to retain dates. Cancellations will be waived from owing their remaining balance, but will not be issued a refund for their non-refundable retainer. The reasoning behind this is that the retainer is primarily used towards office fees/staff and maintaining your booking. This policy would apply even if the cancellation of our services is due to our company not being available for your new selected wedding date. Should you need to reschedule/postpone your date, and would like to avoid this circumstance, we kindly ask that you work with us to find a mutually agreed upon available date. However, we are understanding that there may be circumstances of a necessary cancellation, in these cases, we are more than happy to offer the Client a credit for the remaining balance of our services to be used at a later mutually agreed upon date.
If your date is not included in a Federal or State Mandated Ban but you are considering a postponement; again, I hear you, I feel you, and I understand you. However, in order to maintain this business and all contractors on hold for your wedding, we cannot honor a Force Majeure clause. A postponement in this circumstance would be considered a cancellation of the Event. The contract does state: If the Client cancels Event, any payments will be retained by the artist. If the Bride/Signatory should cancel services by Heather Van Houten or the wedding prior to 6 months before the wedding date, 50% of the wedding total will be due. If the bride cancels between 3-6 months of the wedding 75% will be due. If the bride cancels her wedding within 3 months of the wedding date a 100% balance of the total will be due. If the client would like to book the future with our company a brand new contract, quote (with current rates) and retainer will be necessary to hold the new date.
However, we want to work with you as much as possible on this detail! We will honor an elective postponement as a mandatory postponement if you book:
1. Any Sunday-Thursday Wedding in the months of March, April, October (with the exception of 10/10/21), November in '21
2. Any July or August Wedding in 2021.
3. Any Non-Saturday in the months of January, February, May, June, September, or December in '21
4. If you are pushing forward with a small ceremony / elopement for your original date as well as booking a new date and would like to use our services for both, we can discuss waiving your original minimum to a smaller commitment and move forward with the Original Booking. Your new date will be a separate and new booking and there would be no date restrictions. (Please discuss this with the office team to get the terms of the waiver with your booking)
We will only allow for one elective postponement date change.
If your date is not included in a Federal or State Mandated Ban but you are considering a cancellation due to COVID-19; again, I hear you, I feel you, and I understand you. Sadly again, we cannot honor a Force Majeure clause. If the Client cancels Event, any payments will be retained by the artist. If the Bride/Signatory should cancel services by Heather Van Houten or the wedding prior to 6 months before the wedding date, 50% of the wedding total will be due. If the bride cancels between 3-6 months of the wedding 75% will be due. If the bride cancels her wedding within 3 months of the wedding date a 100% balance of the total will be due. We are happy to offer a credit to you for a mutually agreed upon date in these circumstances.
We want to be here for you and get this together! We understand that this is a stressful and uncertain time, and everyone involved has been incredibly affected by this. Our team is so excited hopeful to move forward with future seasons and continue to make your wedding dreams come true! Please let us if we can answer questions on these points.