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Old June 7th, 2013, 07:35 AM   #31
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Re: Bride cancels 3 days before wedding - what would you do?

Hi Pete
From what I have seen brides tend to network with each other fairly extensively and also have bridal/wedding groups on Facebook where they discuss vendors vigorously with each other ..I have had a few weddings where the bride has said .."Oh we talk about you on our Facebook Group a lot" ...and no I have never been there, it's restricted access and you have to get invited to join so a lot goes on behind the scenes especially with the younger generation. With a bunch of brides from the past and brides to be participating you can guess who's side they will take and none of this is public so your name is either praised or condemned inside these closed groups!! I was eventually invited to a group from a very pleased bride called Brides Past and Present and believe me they toss around vendor names like wildfire!!

With my 3 x 1/3 plan if the bride cancels half way thru I still have 1/3rd and if she cancels last minute I get 2/3rds ...also if she never pays the final amount I still have 2/3rds of my package amount. I think regardless of your split. you must make sure than the couple have paid you enough to convince themselves that it's not worth cancelling ... For those taking a mere $100 on booking the bride 6 months down the line is more liable to cancel you for money reasons than if she had paid you $500 on booking.

It would be interesting to see IF she found a cheaper guy (or a family member) or if she genuinely did have to scale back everything!

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Old June 7th, 2013, 08:35 AM   #32
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Re: Bride cancels 3 days before wedding - what would you do?

Originally Posted by Rob Cantwell View Post
I wouldn't be at all pleased if they booked me then got another person to do it and try and wiggle out of the obligation.
That's a very good reason to take a substantial retainer/booking fee. Even if they find someone else that they like better or was cheaper or whatever they are not going want to lose 30-50% whereas if you had just taken a token 100 they may not feel so bad about cancelling.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 01:01 PM   #33
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Re: Bride cancels 3 days before wedding - what would you do?

Hi Pete - After reading through a lot of these posts I feel your pain and would like to throw out a few thoughts. I'm not a professional videographer/photographer but I had a bad experience back when I was in college that was similar.

Back then I was working my way through school and did some drafting for clients out of my apartment. I had invested in a drafting machine and table which was a big expense at the time and things were going along pretty good with home remodels, one restaurant remodel, and then I got this guy who wanted to convert a garage and add an upstairs apartment. Big mistake. Nothing I did pleased him and after giving him numerous good ideas in sketches and one drawing he decided he didn't like any of them. Spent a lot of time on this job during the school year and wound up basically just getting a few bucks and that was my last job. That really hurt.

Looking back I think that should have been a lesson learned. Call it the road of hard knocks. Everything I did then was without a contract and instead based on honorable intentions with good communication.

Given the on-line networking that has been mentioned and the ability to do on-line searches, one option would be to chalk the bad experience up as a business loss and lessons learned. Even landlords who rent apartments have dead beats who never pay or renters who leave the property in a damaged condition. Landlords have to factor in a vacancy factor for various reasons.

Networking can go both ways. What about trying to get in the good graces with the wedding planner? Maybe by showing an ability to try and work with the client but the client is, shall we say, "difficult", the planner may help to steer some work your way in the future. In the meantime, one can tweak the contract per some of the above suggestions.

With contracts, one of the most basic parts is that there needs to be a "meeting of the minds". Going forward, this is something that one can put more effort into. Not to scare off the potential client but ensure the best possible outcome for both parties. After all, that is what both parties want so it shouldn't be that hard.

Another unwritten law of the land is "You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip." If they don't have much money it will be "pushing a rope." I know "it's easy for me to say" but having been there, done that, I know this is tough. After all these years I still remember my old problem and ... I still have my old Brunning drafting machine! (somewhere in the garage)
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Old June 8th, 2013, 06:07 PM   #34
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Re: Bride cancels 3 days before wedding - what would you do?

It may be too late now but what about approaching the wedding planner/ coordinator? and if you're calling her from your mobile there's a good reason she's not answering - she know's who you are - try another mobile, your home phone or a pay phone - she'll certainly answer if she doesn't know who it is.

You have to find out why? - if she's run out of money you may offer to do the wedding anyway and set up regular payments before she get's the goods. If she's booked someone else, there's not much point in pursuing it.

Threatening to take her to court or actually doing so is a waste of time - the only consequences are negative. Let's not forget that you haven't actually lost anything, you may have had other enqueries and thay may have translated into bookings but ...

You needed to have the majority of the money long before this - learn from that.
** I have done a similar thing though, the bride said she was going to pay in a couple of days and kept saying that till a couple of days before the wedding - I decided to go ahead. If I hadn't turned up I would have been badmouthed all over facebook, twitter and whatever other social media she used.

She still hasn't paid - I've contacted her re time payment and she definately wanted to go ahead but I'm still waiting.
Cheers - Paul M.
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Old June 8th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #35
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Re: Bride cancels 3 days before wedding - what would you do?

You can choose not to take her to court but please don't do it because you believe she will bad mouth you.
If you have your documentation and records she is the culprit here. Personally and legally.

And just because there is a Internet you can't go bad mouthing people or businesses without merit.
And she is clearly without merit. Slandering you on the Internet would be a huge mistake for her. You may want to caution her of that upfront in writing as well. Just the same you don't want to be known as the business who is afraid of bad mouthing.

I would doubt this will ever get to court of any kind. If you stand firm she will do the right thing.
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