What to Do When a Wedding Vendor Quits at the Last Minute

Step 1: Don't panic

Updated 03/28/19

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Selecting your wedding vendors is no small task. You've researched, asked for recommendations, stalked social media pages, and compared the pricing of dozens of industry experts—all before deciding which wedding vendors are right for you. By now, contracts (more often than not) have been signed, deposits likely made, and you've breathed a sigh of relief as you made that check mark on your wedding to-do list. But with your wedding fast approaching, what happens when a vendor quits at the last minute?

That scenario seems like an actual big-day disaster! But never fear—you can still save the [wedding] day. Here's everything you need to do when a vendor quits at the last minute.

Don't Panic

This is probably the stuff your pre-wedding nightmares were made of, but it's okay. Know that at the end of the day—WORST case scenario—you'll likely be able to find a replacement on short notice. You might have to go over your wedding budget (which we know isn't exactly what you want to hear), but you will make it work. And you may have to make do with buttercream frosting instead of the whipped cream frosting you thought would top your wedding cake, but you're still marrying the love of your life.

Everything else is just icing on the cake. (Get it?)

Communicate

As with anything else in life, communication is key. What happened that caused this cancellation? A scheduling conflict? An emergency? Were there personal differences or did conflict arise during your communications with the vendor? Regardless, try to keep your communications in email form, so you can maintain clear records should you need them in the future.

Check the Contract

If the last minute change is due to personal reasons, the wedding vendor may very well place you in the care of a backup vendor. Many times, contracts have this written as a clause, that if due to a personal emergency the vendor is unavailable, a substitute may be provided. Be sure to check your contracts for any cancellation clauses and any other circumstances that may affect you. (And be sure to read them carefully prior to signing too!) If your cancelled vendor doesn't supply a backup, turn to your wedding venue for assistance.

They often have a list of vendors that they regularly work with and can step in to help.

The Power of Social Media

Now is the time to harness the power of social media. Not to bash the business, but to help find a backup! Often all it takes is a post asking for help, and your community will come through. Everyone knows someone who knows someone, and someone will come your way.

Legal Advice

If you've paid any amount of money to this vendor and they are not refunding or accommodating you in any way, you may have legal recourse. Take all your records and receipts to a trusted attorney or advisor to find out what options you have in making things right.

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