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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 29972
Experience:  Lawyer
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I prepaid venue son and his fiance, which he is

Customer Question

I prepaid for a venue for my son and his fiance, which he is in the army and I explained to the manager things may change. I did not sign a contract and paid in cash $1700 the wedding date is July 11 & my son may not be able to have leave. They said if we cancel they will keep $950 deposit, stating it was in my contract. Since I did not sign anything is that legal for them to keep the $950?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
If the venue is not able to find another event to take place on July 11, then you are liable for the full $1,700 you would have paid them to hold the wedding there, minus their expenses. This is because it's not the venue's fault that your son isn't able to make it to the wedding (I realize that it's not his fault either, or yours, but all of this is 100% outside the venue's control). They're not required to eat the profit they'd have made because you booked the venue before your son could confirm leave for the event.
You'd only have a right to cancel and get your money back if there was a written contract that said so. Otherwise, you're bound by the oral agreement you made when you agreed to rent the place.
They cannot charge you if the venue is re-rented for a wedding for that date, because in that scenario, they have lost no money. Note that if they wind up renting it out for less, then you'd have to pay the difference between what you agreed to pay and what the got from someone else.
Another option may be to see if they will allow you to move the wedding to a different state instead and apply the money you paid toward that date.
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