Keri Mingle and fiancé Jeff Harper wanted a big wedding, but finances forced the couple to cancel the event. When they had a hard time getting back the money they paid toward the venue, they turned to NBC Connecticut Responds for help.
It was supposed to be one of the happiest and biggest days for Mingle and Harper. They were engaged in January of 2018 and looking forward to the big day.
“I was super excited. So, I immediately started looking at venues,” Mingle said.
The Plymouth couple signed a contract with Mahan’s Lakeview Fine Catering in Wolcott and paid $1,500 non-refundable deposit.
“We went...it was a beautiful location,” said Mingle.
A year later, the couple changed their wedding date, amended the contract and gave the owner an additional $2,000 toward the bill. But after looking over their finances, they reconsidered the big affair.
“We just decided it was going to be too much money and we decided to cancel,” said Mingle.
Her fiancé contacted the owner in June.
“He said to send him a letter of our intent to cancel the wedding and that he would call us when he got and then he would mail us a check for our balance,” said Jeff Harper.
Several weeks and several phone calls later, the couple told us they heard nothing from the owner.
“It makes me angry to be perfectly honest with you,” said Harper. “I just trusted that he would send the money back.”
The couple admitted it was a verbal agreement between them and the venue owner. They didn’t get the agreement in writing.
After no response, they reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds. We reached the venue owner of Mahan’s Lakeview Fine catering who told us in an email: “it was a mixup with our book keepers,” and he called the couple to pick up the $2,000 check.
Experts say remember to read the fine print in your contract.
“You have to know what money is going to come back to you and what money isn’t. Long story short, assume it isn’t,” said Lisa Antonecchia, a wedding planner.
Antonecchia said it’s better to cancel a wedding sooner than later.
“If there’s enough time for me to book your date, I will provide you back the money that you have given me. But that is only if I can make that happen,” said Antonecchia.
She recommends wedding insurance for the big day. It could cost as little as $180, depending on the cost of your event. Based on the policy, different aspects of the wedding are covered.
“If you’re having your wedding at home, you can ask your agent to extend your homeowners policy,” said Antonecchia.
But if the event is at a venue, you may need something more.
“So, that’s a liability insurance. They also ask for your vendors to often provide insurance,” said Antonecchia.