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AG calls for wedding venues, vendors to find compromise with couples around COVID-19 uncertainty

The Office of the Attorney General has received multiple complaints from couples recently who have been denied refunds, quoted high fees
Credit: FOX61

HARTFORD, Conn — Connecticut Attorney General William Tong Thursday called wedding venues and vendors to work with couples forced to cancel and postpone their weddings due to COVID-19. 

Tong's office said they have received multiple complaints from couples recently who have been denied refunds, quoted high fees, and given limited flexibility in attempting to reschedule weddings planned for this spring and summer.

Some examples of complaints include:

• When one couple requested to postpone their wedding to 2021, the venue charged a $5,000 cancellation fee and increased the per-plate fee.

• When a couple sought to postpone their September wedding due to uncertainty regarding its safety, the venue refused a refund due to the scheduled expiration of the state’s emergency order.

• One venue required a $7,500 change fee for a rescheduled wedding.

• One venue offered to postpone the wedding to a date in August, but refused to postpone further or refund the booking fee when the couple did not feel safe planning a gathering this summer.

• A venue offered a refund, but said it would take 4-6 months to process.

• One venue is not returning multiple calls and emails requesting a refund.

“It is getting to be peak wedding season in Connecticut, and many couples are facing the heartbreaking decision to postpone their long-planned celebrations. Couples who hoped to marry this spring and summer have already put down thousands of dollars in deposits for their dream weddings. Every contract is different, and some make it very difficult to change plans and obtain refunds—even during a global pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that venues and vendors can’t be reasonable and flexible. I get that this crisis is causing major financial pain for these businesses, but we all have an obligation to work collaboratively to reach a compromise,” said Attorney General Tong. “I urge couples to be patient in working with their venues and vendors. This is not an easy time for anyone. If you need assistance with a postponed wedding or sorting out a refund for other COVID-19 related disruptions, my office is here to help.”

If you need assistance from the Office of the Attorney General obtaining a refund or other relief due to COVID-19, you may file a complaint with the office at https://www.dir.ct.gov/ag/complaint.