With a few exceptions, weddings aren’t taking place at present in England and Wales because of Covid-19. This has left thousands of couples disappointed and, in some cases, out of pocket.

The Government is looking into allowing smaller weddings as the lockdown eases. But many don’t know if their 2020 wedding plans can go ahead.

If your wedding is on hold, don’t forget that your rights haven’t changed. One source of help and information about this is the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

When you can expect a refund

  1. A business has cancelled a contract without providing the goods or services.
  2. No service is delivered because of Covid-19.
  3. You have cancelled as Government public health measures due to Covid-19 mean you can’t go ahead.

But there have been reports of suppliers and venues being difficult.

Some wedding suppliers and venues are

  1. charging a large fee to cancel
  2. telling customers to claim on their insurance
  3. hiking prices by up to 50% for next year
  4. offering lower-value alternatives.

Steps you can take

  1. Check CMA guidance.
  2. Share CMA guidance with your wedding supplier.
  3. If you’re still unhappy, you could report your wedding supplier to the CMA.

Most businesses are being flexible. Be open and reasonable to reach a fair outcome.

Some claims are not clear cut.

For example, if flights and somewhere to stay are available on your chosen dates, you may find it hard to get a refund on your honeymoon – even if your wedding is postponed.

You may need to pay a fee to change the holiday.

If this happens, talk to the companies you booked with as soon as you can. Check the CMA’s website for help. Also consider making an insurance claim.

What to do if you have wedding insurance

Some people have been able to claim on their wedding insurance without a problem.

But some insurers say they don’t cover Covid-19. And this leaves many without the safety net they thought they had.

Making a claim

  1. Read your policy carefully.
  2. If it covers this kind of event, you can make a claim.
  3. If your claim is rejected, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

If your insurance doesn’t cover you, check the CMA guidance – it might apply to you.

What to do if your wedding is abroad

Travel abroad is a problem for everyone, meaning many overseas weddings are off - for now.

According to Which?, you should get a refund for cancelled flights and package holidays.

But some travel companies are encouraging people to accept credit vouchers instead. Remember, you can ask for your money back.

Dealing with your travel company

  1. State whether you want a refund or vouchers.
  2. If you accept vouchers, make sure they are covered by ATOL. This will look after your money if the company goes bust. Look at the use-by date to make sure it is suitable.

Don’t feel you must accept vouchers if you want a refund.

Some operators are insisting that people take vouchers now and then get a refund later. You can ask for a refund now if your package holiday is cancelled.

Which? is asking the Government to set up a fund to help travel companies struggling to pay refunds. It would make sure customers got their money back, even if the operator went bust before the holiday.

If your flights and holiday haven’t been cancelled, you can’t ask for a refund due to Covid-19. You might have to pay a fee to change the date or lose your money.

Covid-19 doesn’t mean you have fewer rights. But you may have to work harder, and be more patient, to get the result you want.

Find out more about coronavirus and your consumer rights.

You might also think about getting help from a regulated legal advisor.  

Good to know

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The information here is independent and just the facts. We're not trying to sell you anything.

We just tell you about things that are good to know to help you make better choices about legal issues and lawyers.

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Your Comments

Jade Patten says:

Fri, 06/12/2020 - 10:38
We were due to get married on the 25th April at a church and everything was sorted and pid, they are now telling us in order to get married on the 10th august (depending on gov guidelines) we will have to pay £250 for a license. I wanted some info on where i stand with this

Marcia Carter says:

Fri, 06/12/2020 - 16:38
Currently there us no refund or extension from the Government for 'Notice of wedding' payments the 'notice is currently only valid for 12 months. There is a petition but currently no comment from the Government on this.

Clare jones says:

Sat, 06/13/2020 - 08:02
Will we still have to pay for notices to be republished as it will be over the 12 months after having to postpone due to coronavirus we are both keyworkers and I feel this would be unjust

Tracey says:

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 08:01
What about the registrars? I'm pretty sure when we paid to have our names posted it said it was valid for a year.

If we have to postpone till 2021 and it falls outside the year, do we have to register our intended marriage again.?

L Latham says:

Wed, 06/17/2020 - 18:00
Our wedding was cancelled due to Covid-19, and our venue can't reschedule for next year as not renewing there lease and refusing to refund us the full amount.
We even offered our deposit an refund us the rest
They will only refund 25% when they have done nothing for us, they also NEVER sent us there t+c's although we asked for them on 2 occasions.
Are they in the wrong ?

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