Pandemic Party Planning Problems?

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If Canceling or Postponing Your Wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Anniversary Party or Event, Look For These When Reviewing Your Vendor Contracts


As a recent bride, I understand how overwhelming it may be to review multiple vendor contracts.  I was married during the pandemic, and I understand the stress and uncertainty associated with rescheduling your event and renegotiating and/or canceling those contracts.  Here are a few things to look for in an agreement before signing, and to consider when canceling or rescheduling your event:

  1. What are the cancellation terms? Are there any penalties for canceling your event? Also look for liquidated damages provisions.
  2. Is there a penalty or fee associated with rescheduling your event date or changing your event location?
  3. Is there an Act of God provision, also known as a Force Majeure clause? Also look for non-performance provisions.
  4. Is your deposit refundable under certain circumstances?
  5. Does your vendor have insurance? Ask your vendor for proof of insurance in the form of declarations pages or certificates of insurance (COIs).
  6. What are the notice requirements to terminate the agreement? Must notice be in writing, sent via a specific type of mail delivery, or be received by the vendor within a certain number of days prior to the event date?
  7. Is it impossible for the vendor – or you – to perform under the terms of the contract? Is your venue open?  Are there gathering or other restrictions in place by your state or local government? 
  8. If a dispute arises, identify where you can file a lawsuit for the return of your deposit or where a lawsuit may be filed against you for any money owed under the contract. Look for a venue provision, choice of law provision, and arbitration or alternative dispute resolution provisions.

If you have questions regarding your rights and obligations under any vendor agreement, or rescheduling events, notices of termination, deposit refunds, and the interplay between local rules and restrictions and the terms of your agreement here in Virginia, DC or Maryland, contact Madelaine Kramer Katz at mkatz@sandsanderson.com or 703-893-3600 for a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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