Booking Fee? Deposit? Hold the date?

How do I book Corin as my photographer?

I require a booking fee of €400 to confirm a wedding booking and hold that date. This is non-refundable.

No wedding date is secure until the booking fee is paid and I will continue to answer any enquiries for that date.

I don’t hold any dates in the diary. In fact, nothing is entered into the database and diary until the booking fee is received.

Why is the booking fee non-refundable? Basically it is a commitment by both parties to have me as photographer for your wedding. If anyone else enquiries about the date then they are turned away. The date is exclusively yours! So if you cancel I cannot guarantee filling that date with another wedding, which of course is a big loss of income for me.

What’s the difference between a booking fee and deposit? Not a lot really, it’s mainly that people normally perceive a deposit as refundable down payment. The word ‘booking fee’ hopefully makes this a little clearer. However the important thing to remember that if you’re asking someone to exclusively hold a date then you can’t expect to get the booking fee or deposit back. This is true for pretty much all suppliers.

So what if I cancel my booking? If you cancel within the regulatory 7 day ‘cooling off’ period then you are entitled to a refund. After that time then it’s non-refundable. As I’ve turned away other enquiries for that date then I may not be able to fill the date which is a big loss for me and my family (please don’t forget that suppliers like me are not faceless corporations with lots of money, are income is solely from what we do and we simply can’t afford a loss because of a cancellation).

What if you get another booking for the date I cancelled? Do I get the booking fee back? No, I’m afraid not. Even if the wedding is quite a way off I still will have to spend a lot of time, effort and money from that booking fee trying to get the wedding date filled. I’ve already spent a lot of my time in meeting the couple and administrating the booking. I’ve paid TAX, VAT and transaction fee’s on the money received and while I can get some of that back, there is a big chunk I won’t be able to recover.

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