I wrote this post a while ago when we first bought our wedding insurance. I considered revising it in light of recent events, but I’ve decided to leave it as is. I suppose I want you all to see what my thought process was at the time. I didn’t have a crystal ball when we made the decision to purchase wedding insurance seven months ago. The entire Brooklyn community and events industry is as flabbergasted as we are on the news of reBar’s sudden shutdown. We still have no answers, but if it wasn’t for the insurance, our wedding would be be game over, thanks for playing, better luck next year.
In order to save 5% on the per person cost, we decided to pay our reception venue cash upfront. With an estimated guest count of 160, that little 5% equated to almost $2,000—a nice chunk of change if you ask me! Part of me was all, “Discount?? Sign me up, sister!” but another part of me was wary. reBar is a reputable establishment and they have nothing but glowing reviews from past brides, but I couldn’t help but feel unprotected from all the terrible, horrible, he-who-must-not-be-named what if scenarios.
If Lord Voldemort does show up at our wedding, Mr. S and I are ready.
Lord Voldemort via Wikipedia | Personal pictures at Ollivander’s Wand Shoppe (Universal Orlando)
The contract we signed with reBar includes a force majeur clause which frees both parties from liability and obligation in the case of “Acts of God,” such as hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, etc. With Hurricane Sandy in the not too distant past, I had to face the fact that we are not immune to catastrophic events and anything could happen in the year leading up to the wedding—possibly leaving us with no reception venue and no recourse with regard to our $22k upfront payment. Eyeballs, get back in my head.
Brooklyn in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
Image via Brownstoner
I must have been visibly distraught at this realization when we reviewed this section of the contract because the reBar coordinator informed me of the option of event cancellation insurance. Wedding insurance? That was a thing? Apparently yes. After a quick internet search, I found WedSafe. They have an option for liability insurance and/or event cancellation insurance. (We didn’t need liability insurance since we are covered under reBar.) Event cancellation insurance, though, did sound like something I was interested in. Basically, the policy protects the thousands of dollars we were pouring into this wedding from a slew of possibilities such as extreme weather conditions, non-appearance of vendors, or loss or physical damage to photographer’s film. The last example breaks my heart because I don’t think any amount of monetary compensation would make me feel one iota better about losing the wedding photos. ::knock on wood, knock on wood, KNOCK ON WOOD!!!::
I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but I’ve read one too many horror stories on the ‘Bee to fool myself into thinking these things could never happen to me. So, we decided to fork over the $275 to insure our wedding. Is it a wedding industry ploy to milk as much money as they can out of vulnerable brides? Probably. But my peace of mind is priceless to me (and Mr. S as he bears the brunt of my freaking out).
Epilogue: Lord Voldemort did in fact show up at our wedding and hit reBar with an Avada Kedavra curse. We are still scrambling to find a new venue, along with the 200 other couples that had weddings scheduled at reBar (most of whom also made large upfront payments). For the past two days, I’ve been either frantically Googling, calling venues for availability and pricing, or crying again at the unfairness of having to start all over. My only consolation: we have recourse for our $22k. The vast majority of reBar couples were not insured and are relying on the legal system to take action, and who knows how long that will take or if it will even be successful?
I can’t blame those couples for not getting insurance. Are Mr. S and I any smarter than they are? I don’t think so. Nobody *talks* about wedding insurance. Here on the Weddingbee boards, the thread I found about wedding insurance was from six years ago, and the general consensus was that it was unnecessary. And had we not handed over such a large sum of money, I probably wouldn’t have thought to protect our investment either.
I hope our story starts a trend in making wedding insurance “a thing.” I hope it makes it OK to talk about the what if scenarios before it’s too late. The conversations I’ve experienced in the past go something like this:
Non-bride: “What if a hurricane hits?”
Bride: “OH, DON’T YOU EVEN SAY THAT!! BITE YOUR TONGUE!!”
Say it. Acknowledge the risks. Tell your bride friend what happened to Miss Squid on Weddingbee. And then get that wedding insured.
If anyone has any questions on the process, how much it costs, and what it all covers, I am more than happy to chat about it. And WedSafe, if you’re looking for a new poster child, I’m available.