Several of our customers have recently got in touch with us to advise us that their catering company hired for their wedding, Red Anywhere Catering Limited, have ceased trading and gone into liquidation. In some cases, our customers paid deposits and payments literally just days before the company went bust. Not only does this have a significant financial impact on the wedding couple but also throws wedding plans into complete disarray, with couples then having to deal with the additional stress of trying to find a caterer available for their wedding at short notice.
Red Anywhere Catering Limited were based in Littlehampton in West Sussex and based on the information available from Companies House is run by two directors, Daniel Clarke and Andrew Gamble. In most cases, wedding insurance can help couples claim back lost payments and deposits made where their wedding services supplier has gone into liquidation and bankruptcy. However, typically wedding insurance policies will not cover claims for failure of wedding services suppliers that occur within a defined period of when the policy was purchased, i.e. 10 or 14 days.
As such, our advice to any customers who are looking for suitable wedding suppliers is to do your research on them to ensure they are financially stable. For example, in the case of Red Anywhere Catering limited, one look on the Companies House register would show you that they previously had an insolvency case against them in 2015 and entered into a Corporate voluntary arrangement (CVA). So this would give you an indication of the financial stability of the company so that you can then make an informed decision on who to contract with for your wedding.
Here are some practical things you can do to make sure you contract with the best suppliers for your wedding:
- Google - Use Goolge to perform searches on your wedding suppliers. In most cases you will be able to find various customer reviews on your wedding suppliers.
- Companies House - Do a search on the Companies House Register to find details on the company. In many cases this will provide financial information on the company as well as any insolvency issues either current or in the past etc.
- Payments/Deposits - Never pay more than you need to and make sure the payment plan and contract with the supplier is fair. If suppliers are requesting more money upfront and well before the wedding then ask why?
- Contracts - Get everything agreed in writing with a clear contract for goods and services, terms and conditions and payment plan etc. Make sure you read through the contract as well to make sure you understand what you and your supplier is committing to.
- Credit Card - You can have further protection by paying for payments and deposits using a credit card. This is because Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act can help you to recover payments or deposits from your wedding suppliers where there has been a breach of contract.