With disappointment, we are sharing our unfortunate experience with this vendor through the COVID pandemic and strongly recommend against using this vendor.
Our wedding was scheduled for 6/20/2020 but due to national/local restrictions from C...
OVID, we were forced to cancel.
We met Diana on 2/23 to discuss our event. She was unavailable for our date due to a commitment to shoot her own family member’s wedding, so we agreed to allow a “junior” shooter and she’d edit for a fee of $2,200. We paid the requested $1,600 date hold deposit.
A few weeks later the pandemic hit. On 4/6, we emailed Diana as restrictions were beginning to take affect. In the email we released her from the date, explaining our event could not legally proceed & we wouldn’t be able to rebook in Jackson given the serious health risks & impending venue restrictions forbidding large gatherings & in house dining. In addition, we live in MA & all our guests were coming from MA or CA, so quarantining would be needed on arrival. As April went on, the remaining early summer weddings at our venue continued to be cancelled or postponed.
In her follow up to our 4/6 re pandemic, she said ‘have you considered another date?’, ‘you’re my first cancellation’ and ‘I am unable to refund your deposit.’ Yet — her own family member’s wedding for the same date had been cancelled.
It’s important we note that by April our venue/catering, photographer and coordinator all immediately and without hesitation REFUNDED the deposit. They expressed support and said they understood these were unprecedented and unique times and not everyone would be able to postpone their date.
These veteran vendors were professional, kind and understanding this was not our fault/choice and would not be able to post pone to a to fall date given the timeframe for reopening in Jackson was not only uncertain. In addition to that, we are pregnant with our first child due in Oct so it would be also impossible to come in fall. Which she was aware of since our first meeting.
Despite the legal inability to hold the event for this date or near future, she still refused to return our deposit. A few days later, she then sent a “cancellation contract” email which said she would offer back 50% deposit, with a contingency to not post anything about the experience in a review. No other vendor requested this.
On 4/17, she had a town attorney email us saying we “had no case” if we attempted to arbitrate in small claims, adding “any disparaging posts or otherwise will be considered tortious interference with her business and we could be liable.” Adding shamefulness to the matter for her, Diana replied to the email chain, not realizing we were on it, requesting they “add one more part that makes me sound like a nice human.”
We reiterated this was not the intent of the ‘act of god’ clause and that “pandemic” was not included in the agreement.
It’s in times like these we see how businesses & people respond. As small business owners ourselves, we know first hand this pandemic has been devastating. Yet, there has been extensive support from self-employed unemployment insurance & PPP to provide small biz resources. To forcibly keep a client’s event funds from this crisis is unfathomable. We have sent letters to town officials to share this story, as they should be aware of how this vendor acted while they shut down businesses & tourism to the town. This all could have been avoided if she simply did the right thing.