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
- A business has cancelled a contract without providing the goods or services.
- No service is delivered because of Covid-19.
- 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
- charging a large fee to cancel
- telling customers to claim on their insurance
- hiking prices by up to 50% for next year
- offering lower-value alternatives.
Steps you can take
- Check CMA guidance.
- Share CMA guidance with your wedding supplier.
- 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 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
- Read your policy carefully.
- If it covers this kind of event, you can make a claim.
- 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.
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
- State whether you want a refund or vouchers.
- 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.
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