Why my non-refundable booking fee is in fact - non-refundable!
When you book me as your Celebrant and/or MC you will pay 50% of the full fee in order to secure the date - this is a non-refundable booking fee.
Here is what the contract you will sign says:
Should the booking be cancelled 12 months or more prior to the booked date you will receive a full refund minus an admin fee of $150. If your booking is cancelled less than 12 months before the booking date your booking fee will not be refunded. ***
Asking for your non-refundable booking fee to be refunded, puts me in a really tough position, so I decided to write a blog to take you through the reasons that a non-refundable booking fee is in place.
As you are probably aware, I am running a small business! Here are a few examples of non-refundable business costs that will not be refunded to me: Advertising. Paying staff. Equipment maintenance.
This small business is the sole income for my family. We live a pretty modest life (no boats or fancy cars!) And it really does put food on our table.
If everyone who booked me could cancel and get a refund, I would have no income security whatsoever.
I often get multiple requests for the same date - if I have locked in a date for you, then it is likely I have knocked back other couples.
I could list a bunch more stuff on how small business owners need income security, but I'm hoping you get the gist by now.
'But these circumstances are unforeseen and not our fault.'
Indeed - they are unforeseen, and also, when you think about it - not my fault. I have never heard a reason for cancellation that a couple was able to predict when they booked me - otherwise they wouldn’t have so confidently paid the non-refundable booking fee.
'Ok, yeah - but Covid 19!'
When Covid 19 came to Australia in March 2020, the circumstances were unprecedented - all of a sudden we are looking at government restrictions and lockdowns for the first time. Time has gone on and we are still very much in the middle of the pandemic. Therefore, when booking a wedding, it is the choice of the couple to assess the risk, given that lockdowns and restrictions are a known possibility for the coming years.
[Also, please note, Covid19 has absolutely smashed businesses like mine, with cancellations and postponements taking the place of new bookings - the loss of income has been entirely unpredictable and needless to say, pretty stressful]
Good news is, if you postpone to a date I am available for and still within the region that I work, then you won’t lose the non-refundable booking fee!
However, if you do have to cancel outright, your non-refundable booking fee will not be refunded.
If this puts you in a really tough spot financially - let’s talk - maybe you don’t have to get married on a Saturday? Or maybe I could marry you the day before your ‘wedding party day’ or even the morning of, or the week before? (After all, to get married all you need is the couple, a celebrant and two witnesses!) In uncertain times, where my couples ask me to be flexible, I am more than happy to do my best, but I ask you to reciprocate.
If you have any questions/concerns regarding the non-refundable booking fee, please feel free to get in touch - preferably before you book me :)