Page 37 - Network Magazine Spring 2019
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down doesn't mean you can't get it back. If that "non-refundable" deposit isn't reasonably calculated to anticipate the vender's damages, it could be an unenforceable provision, and you may be able to get it back.
4. If they don't mitigate, you can litigate. Regardless of whether it’s written into your wedding contracts or not, if you cancel on a vendor/venue, they have a duty to take reasonable steps to “mitigate” their damages. This often means that they have to make some at- tempt to rebook the date. Unlike damage provisions, the pressure is on you to show that they haven’t at- tempted to mitigate their damages. The concept of mitigation works to protect you in several ways: first, if they rebook the date and make the same amount of profit, you could be off the hook, and second, if they rebook the date but make less profit than they would have if you had not cancelled, it could reduce what you owe.
5. Know what you’re worth. While the language of a contract can be confusing, it’s important to read it through and understand what you’re obligations are. In Pennsylvania, contracts are limited to the words on the page. Just because you talked about using the
venue’s in-house catering service, does not neces- sarily mean your contract obligates you to do it, or that the venue can reasonably expect the same when determining its damages.
It’s easy to get lost the sea of legal jargon that makes up the typical wedding contract, and that’s why it’s important to consult an attorney to help you navigate the storm. Often an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and a relatively small amount of money spent having an attorney review your wedding contracts prior to signing could save you thousands on the back end.
After all, who wants to bargain for the cancellation provi- sion in your wedding contracts in front of your fiancé? Have a lawyer do it for you!
An attorney with Gross McGinley, Nicholas Sandercock provides counsel to individuals and businesses in litiga- tion matters. Since planning his own wedding in Lehigh County, Nick has worked with individuals and wedding industry professionals to ensure they understand the con- tracts they are signing and any obligations and risks they may be assuming. Nick also counsels couples who feel a vendor or venue may not have fulfilled their obligations or is attempting to keep deposits/fees to which they are not entitled.
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