How to Cancel a Wedding Vendor: 5 Important Steps

how to cancel a wedding vendor

Planning and preparing for your wedding day is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do. But what happens if problems arise with a wedding vendor?

What if you’re not happy with the vendor’s work ethic or skills? What if there’s a clash in personalities? What if your expectations just aren’t being met? Whatever the situation, canceling your contract with a wedding vendor can be a difficult and awkward process.

If you need to know how to cancel a wedding vendor contract, our guide can help you do so with grace and dignity no matter how uncomfortable the situation.

How to Cancel a Wedding Vendor: The Essential Steps

If you’ve decided to cut ties with a wedding vendor, you can’t just send a text and be done with it. To ensure you get as much money back as possible — and aren’t held liable — here are the steps to take to terminate your contract.

how to cancel a wedding vendor re read contract

1. Re-read your contract

Before doing anything else, it’s important to know exactly what your contract says about terminating service. While most vendor contracts are similar, each will be slightly different based on the specific type of service your vendor offers.

The contract should outline what your rights are as a client as well as the vendor’s rights. There will also be key clauses in the contract regarding retainers, deposits and termination fees that are likely non-negotiable. 

It’s important to know the difference between a deposit and a retainer before requesting a refund. Legally, a deposit is your initial payment toward a service, while a retainer is a fee paid in advance to secure the vendor’s services. While a deposit is usually returned if the goods/service have yet to be provided, retainers are not refundable.

That said, some vendors use the terms ‘deposit’ and ‘retainer’ interchangeably, so be sure to read your contract carefully so you know what you’re dealing with.

how to cancel a wedding vendor submit your request in writing

2. Submit your request in writing

After familiarizing yourself with your contract, it’s time to draft a termination request. While the e-mail does not need to be lengthy, it should reference the relevant points of your contract and be written in a formal manner.

While it might seem easier to just shoot them a text or leave a voicemail, having your cancellation request in a letter sent via e-mail is essential. That way, if you run into any issues with the vendor, you’ll have written proof not only of what you said in your letter but of when you sent it.

Following proper protocol could be a lifesaver if your vendor is difficult to deal with. By sending a formal e-mail, you’ll have a record of all of the vendor’s responses to your messages. It will also prove that you canceled within the allotted time frame to avoid paying additional fees.

how to cancel a wedding vendor follow up with a phone call

3. Follow up with a phone call

Calling your vendor and speaking to them immediately after sending your cancellation request e-mail is a common courtesy you should not avoid. While the conversation may be awkward, most vendors will appreciate speaking to you rather than just receiving a message outlining your decision.

Once you have them on the phone, you can thank them for your interactions thus far and explain your decision. You may even find that your vendor will be willing to make changes to keep your business. If that is something you’re willing to consider, you’ll be able to negotiate a new contract.

how to cancel a wedding vendor be polite

4. Be polite

Even if you’re justifiably perturbed about something your vendor said or did, it’s important to keep your exchange with them civil. Politely explain your decision to move in another direction and stay calm, even if the vendor does not. Getting into an argument with the vendor will not serve you or them.

If your vendor chooses to behave in an unprofessional manner, cut your phone call short and tell them the details will be in the e-mail you’ve already sent.

5. Offer feedback (but only if asked)

While offering unsolicited advice is a major no-no, feel free to offer constructive criticism if the vendor asks for it. Not only will you get a chance to respectfully air your frustrations, it may help the vendor to improve their service for future brides.

how to write a cencellation of service letter

How to Write a Cancellation of Service Letter

Unless you’re used to writing business letters, the idea of drafting a formal cancellation request may seem daunting. Here are a few examples that can be modified to suit your situation.

If no refund is owed

If you know you won’t be getting any money back, this concise letter will let the vendor know of your decision without expecting anything from them other than confirmation of receipt:

Dear (Name),

I am writing this letter to inform you about our decision to cancel your services for our wedding on (date). Thank you for meeting with us, but we have decided to go in another direction.

As required by our contract, this notification comes more than four weeks prior to our wedding date so no additional monies will be owed to you.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


(Your name)

how to cancel a wedding vendor refund

If a refund is owed

Asking for your money back is never easy when dealing with any vendor. Here is a firm yet polite way to do so:

Dear (Name),

I am writing this letter to inform you that we wish to cancel your services for our wedding on (date). Thank you for your time thus far, but we have decided not to move ahead with your services.

This letter notifies you of our decision more than four weeks prior to our wedding date and, according to our contract, entitles us to a refund of our ($ amount) deposit.

Please let us know you have received our request.

Best regards,

(Your name)

how to deal with a vendor who refuses to reimburse you

How to Deal With a Vendor Who Refuses to Reimburse You

If your vendor refuses to return your deposit when they are legally obligated to, your best bet is to dispute the charge with your credit card company.Your creditor should be able to help you get your money back.

If you paid in cash or with a check, getting your money back from a stubborn vendor may be more difficult. You can threaten to write a bad review for the company online but, if that doesn’t work, you may have to hire a lawyer or cut your losses.

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