If a wedding photographer hasa booked datecancelled but they are able to re-book with someone else, must the original party’s deposit be refunded?

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If a wedding photographer hasa booked datecancelled but they are able to re-book with someone else, must the original party’s deposit be refunded?

A bride booked a date, signed a contract, and gave her deposit. A little over a month later she cancelled and requested her deposit back. In our contract it states specifically that it is non-refundable. In the time she booked and cancelled, we turned away a wedding, however 2 months after she cancelled, I was lucky enough to be able to re-book the date. I feel strongly about my contract stating no refunds but I’m concerned that she could argue that I did end up booking the date and that she gave plenty of “notice”. She now wants to file a lawsuit. Is it easier to write her a check or fight this?

Asked on June 1, 2011 under Business Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You sound like such a practical person about the entire thing!  It is difficult to give guidance in contract cases without being able to read the contract to make sure that it is "legal" for lack of a better word.  But assuming it is, if she agreed to the terms of the contract and signed it then it is binding.  Even if this contract were subject to state laws on 3 day rights of rescission, we are way past the 3 days.  What really worries me is bad press, so to speak.  Your reputation in the wedding business means a lot.  It may be a good idea to negotiate the matter with her rather than have mud slung at you.  You were lucky enough to re-book.  But remember: you would be within your rights to keep the money based upon the contract terms stated here.  Good luck.


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