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  • Stephen Simmons

Should I cancel my wedding?

Is your wedding in the next 8-12 weeks? Are you worried about how the Covid-19 will affect your wedding? Are you even thinking about cancelling? If so you need to read this...

This past week has seen a change for all of our lives. A change at a pace no one could have seen.

As a wedding and events supplier, I understand many of my clients are rightly worried. I’m worried.

I have been in the wedding and event industry for 10 years and perform as a full time, professional magician and perform all across the country.

If your wedding is in the next two months, my first bit of advice, for what its worth, is to not cancel your wedding.

You have probably put hours of effort and spent thousands of pounds on this - The best thing to do is POSTPONE.

It might not seem like a huge difference but these two words, cancel and postpone, have very different meanings to suppliers.

This advice will be relevant if your wedding is in the next 8 weeks, anything beyond that, with such an evolving situation it is impossible to know what will happen.

If you CANCEL your wedding, it is unlikely you will get any of your investments back from suppliers.

If you POSTPONE, many suppliers, like myself self will attempt to reschedule, that is if they are decent suppliers and respect their clients.

I personally have had over 35 events postponed and some more cancel, all within one week. If any clients cancelled and expect their deposits back from me, all in one go, which has been requested a few times, it would be literally impossible, and this is the same for nearly all suppliers. I have Staff to pay, business costs. rent, bills, food and the same needs as everyone else.

Although contractually even a postponement would entitle my company and many others the ability to keep the investment paid to secure any bookings, however, we as a company understand that this is an exceptional circumstance, and have offered all of our clients the opportunity to reschedule at no additional cost, (to clients) and I know many other suppliers are doing the same.

So my advice is to work with your suppliers to agree to a postponement solution. This way you keep your wedding, and suppliers are not left bankrupt.

As suppliers, we don’t want our clients to feel out of pocket, we certainly don’t want to enforce cancellation policies - we want our clients to have the best service at every possible opportunity, but this is exceptional circumstances. The hard truth is if you cancel, in the current situation many simply cannot survive as a business to pay back all deposits made, and they are not contractually obligated to do so, because these payment would have been booking fees - if YOU cancel, YOU lose out, whatever the situation. If you postpone, many suppliers will help re arrange.

Postponement is a solution that works well for the clients and is the better of two bad options for the supplier.

To the supplier, postponing is still hugely damaging to their business. We offer a postponement at a considerable loss as the rearranged date would have been filled by another paying client. We lose 50% of our income per event by offering this.

Now, you might have seen this week that the majority of people who run businesses are entitled to an 80% grant to fill the void of the three months or so it’s looking like we will be out of work.

It will help keep companies afloat in the short term, but it is a grant, it still needs to be paid back to the government.

The effect of the above is going to, as I see it, have a substantial impact on my market and my company for years, long after clients’ weddings and events have ended.

The best situation for clients and suppliers, so clients don’t lose their investments, and suppliers don’t lose their business is to try and rearrange a date. Ideally, during an off-peak time, weekdays and out of season times, this will keep your costs down and allow the supplier to try and recoup some of the 50% loss we are facing.

Also, don’t feel you have to get a new date arranged right away, I have told my clients there is no rush, and whenever you get a date we can work from there.

It might seem, after so much time and effort, you just want to cancel, and try to start again in a few months or years. But don’t cancel, for the good of your bank account and for the good of suppliers. Postponing will be a logistical challenge, rearranging with suppliers and venues and guests but it can still be the perfect day!

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Stephen Simmons

Stephen Simmons Magic circle magician