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What are your refund and cancellation rights if Covid affects your wedding?

  • Sharon McDougall -
  • 28th May 2021 -
  • 2 minutes to read

My wedding is cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions – Can I claim a refund?

Carefully planned wedding arrangements have been devastated by coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, which continues to disrupt ceremonies and receptions in Scotland and throughout the UK.

As the Scottish government eases restrictions on wedding ceremonies and receptions, however, couples may be looking forward to unrestricted gatherings, or certainly more freedoms.

So if your wedding arrangements have been affected by coronavirus, or you fear they may be, what are your refund and cancellation rights?

What are the current Covid-19 restrictions on weddings in Scotland?

The Scottish government has announced their plan to gradually reduce coronavirus restrictions, as follows:

  • From 17th May 2021 up to 50 people including the couple can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, and civil partnership registrations, as long as the venue applies the two-meter social distancing rules.
  • From 7th June Scotland will move to Level 1 – this means the above numbers can increase to 100 if social distancing is in place at the venue.
  • In late June the Scottish government plans to move to Level 0. This means up to 200 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, and civil partnership registrations, as long as the venue has social distancing measures in place.

It can be confusing when restrictions change and affect wedding preparations, and although it’s hoped the vaccination programme will enable Scotland to ease its way out of lockdown as planned, these dates still cannot be fully guaranteed.

Rescheduling or cancelling your wedding

If you want to reschedule your wedding or civil ceremony in Scotland, the first step is to get in touch with the venue and any other businesses supplying the event – florists, catering, or vehicle hire, for example.

If you’re cancelling your wedding, or have already cancelled, you should check the wording of your wedding insurance policy initially, for detailed information on whether pandemics are excluded.

So what are your rights to a refund and cancellation if your wedding is impacted by Covid-19? The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued their view on refunds and cancellations:

  • If a wedding has had to be cancelled due to lockdown regulations or local restrictions, your contract will be ‘frustrated’ and comes to an end. You’re likely to be entitled to a refund in this instance, with no obligation to pay any further amounts.

    The refund may include your original ‘non-refundable’ deposit, although a venue can retain certain costs related to the wedding specifically. If they do decide to make deductions from a refund, they should provide you with a breakdown of these costs.
  • If your wedding has been changed significantly you may be entitled to a reduction in cost – if the restrictions change again, for example, and the number of guests allowed are far lower than you anticipated.

    If the changes to your planned wedding are smaller and impact less on your overall arrangements, you may not be entitled to a refund, or the venue might offer you a pro-rated refund.

How to obtain specialist help if Covid affects your wedding

If you believe you’re entitled to a refund on your wedding, our expert advisers at Scotland Debt Solutions can help. We’ll provide professional guidance on your refund and cancellation rights if Covid has affected, or is likely to affect your wedding.

This will enable you to act decisively and make more informed decisions when dealing with the venue and other wedding suppliers. Please get in touch to arrange a same-day consultation free-of-charge. Our specialist team works from a network of offices around Scotland.

Sharon McDougall
Sharon McDougall
Manager
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