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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 23 Mar 2012 (Friday) 07:54
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How many of your weddings cancel per year?

 
Michael1984
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Mar 23, 2012 07:54 |  #1

I have 16 weddings booked for 2012 so far and already have had 2 cancel due to breakups. 1 of the 2 are demanding the money back but clearly states in the contract the retainer is non refundable.

How often do you have weddings cancel due to breakups? do the clients demand the money back? Just curious of what everyone else experiences!


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jcolman
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Mar 23, 2012 07:57 |  #2

I have had 4 cancellations in the last 3 years. They lose their deposit but that is all.


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highway0691
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Mar 23, 2012 09:02 |  #3

I've had three cancellations this year, a record by the way. Although my terms and conditions state that it is non refundable I have refunded their deposit as they have let me know a fair way out from the day. I find myself feeling sorry for some of their sad stories. I don't like to capitalise on people's misery. On the other hand I have had in the past a few people cancel within a month because they decided to have a friend photograph the wedding or something of the sort and I have gotten pretty fierce and not refunded, in fact I have paid out on them, not with money though. :mad::mad::mad:


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umphotography
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Mar 23, 2012 09:13 as a reply to  @ highway0691's post |  #4

I had 1 last year. And ive got a very upset bride and a groom with cold feet this year.

My policy is you loose your deposit unless i can rebook the date.


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Michael1984
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Mar 23, 2012 09:22 |  #5

What about if the client chose to pay in full at the time of the booking instead of the 1/2 retainer?


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Mar 23, 2012 09:23 |  #6

Michael1984 wrote in post #14138662 (external link)
What about if the client chose to pay in full at the time of the booking instead of the 1/2 retainer?

What does your contract say? I'd refund whatever cept. The retainer.


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Michael1984
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Mar 23, 2012 09:33 |  #7

My contract says the retainer is non refundable. Because they chose to pay in full. The full amount becomes the retainer. the key is using retainer instead of deposit in your contract


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Mar 23, 2012 09:40 |  #8

Michael1984 wrote in post #14138735 (external link)
My contract says the retainer is non refundable. Because they chose to pay in full. The full amount becomes the retainer. the key is using retainer instead of deposit in your contract

I personally would refund half - whatever the retainer would be. You don't want to make angry customers, because we all know that unhappy customers will tell 100's of potental customers where a happy customer will only tell 10% of that.


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Numenorean
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Mar 23, 2012 09:54 |  #9

Michael1984 wrote in post #14138735 (external link)
My contract says the retainer is non refundable. Because they chose to pay in full. The full amount becomes the retainer. the key is using retainer instead of deposit in your contract

This is a bit shady and I would bet you run into issues. A retainer should be a percentage of the total, and that is what should be kept. Anything further should be returned.

Of course, if it is a destination wedding and requires flight/room/etc. that type of expense is non refundable.


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Michael1984
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Mar 23, 2012 11:06 |  #10

I agree. Im going to return half of his money. I think that's the best thing to do


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PeaceFire
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Mar 23, 2012 11:51 |  #11

I've had two cancel my entire time capturing weddings. One was due to an unexpected deployment and they didn't even ask for their money back, in fact they went out of their way to tell me to keep it or pass the savings on to another couple. The second asked for it back only if I was able to book their date again. But in that case it was only 3 weeks to their wedding and I wasn't able to.


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Peacefield
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Mar 23, 2012 17:29 |  #12

I have 1-2 every year. I keep the retainer and that's always understood and not challenged.

For one cancellation, the couple paid in full up front at their request so that they knew their photography was fully paid for (I don't get it, but they insisted). Of course, I kept only my usual retainer amount and returned the balance.


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jclaveria
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Mar 23, 2012 19:21 as a reply to  @ Peacefield's post |  #13

It really depends on the retainer as everybody has mentioned. Retainer runs around 35-50% of contract. If he paid 100% in advance, I will return the paid amount minus retainer if it's not passed the date on the contract which says she should pay full amount on or before X number of days before the wedding. After that, I can legally keep everything but would return some amount on a case to case basis.

I would not trick a customer to sign 100% contract price as retainer just because he/she was excited to book my service.


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Mar 23, 2012 23:18 |  #14

I had a client who hired me last May, then canceled last September. I kept her retainer, as per my contract. She called me back in November, asking if she could re-hire me and use the existing retainer for a different date. This was a first for me, so I said sure. Just this past January, she canceled again ...and wanted to know if I'd refund her money!
My contract states that any cancellation within 6 months of the wedding date results in complete liability for the entire contracted amount (excluding album credits), and the retainer is always non-refundable (always call it a retainer; never call it a deposit). There was one couple last year who canceled three weeks before their wedding, due to a breakup. I was expecting to have to go to court to collect my remaining balance but they sent me a check right away.


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jclaveria
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Mar 24, 2012 00:56 |  #15

You don't have to refund her for retainer at all. You've been kind enough to give her a second chance and not have to pay another retainer.

As for the three weeks before wedding, I think the best way to deal with this is to give enough time to collect the balance, latest should be about 30 days prior to the wedding. Definitely a huge hassle to go to small claims court.

PhotoMatte wrote in post #14143165 (external link)
I had a client who hired me last May, then canceled last September. I kept her retainer, as per my contract. She called me back in November, asking if she could re-hire me and use the existing retainer for a different date. This was a first for me, so I said sure. Just this past January, she canceled again ...and wanted to know if I'd refund her money!
My contract states that any cancellation within 6 months of the wedding date results in complete liability for the entire contracted amount (excluding album credits), and the retainer is always non-refundable (always call it a retainer; never call it a deposit). There was one couple last year who canceled three weeks before their wedding, due to a breakup. I was expecting to have to go to court to collect my remaining balance but they sent me a check right away.


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How many of your weddings cancel per year?
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