Give your Couples a Confidence Guarantee
With the disruption caused by COVID-19 to current weddings, consumer confidence in booking for later this year or for 2021 and 2022 is understandably low.
This scheme is not intended to make deposits irrelevant. Couples won’t take unnecessary financial risks and tie up their money by paying a deposit to a business that they aren’t 100% intending to use. We have checks in place if anyone attempts to reserve more than one venue, photographer, celebrant etc so couples can’t use it to “keep their options open”.
In times of such uncertainty we need to work differently.
Couples are struggling to get wedding insurance, they don’t know when things will return to normal. They need you to give them the confidence to book you. And this is where we can help.
Deposits are usually charged to show a level of commitment for a particular date. For a limited time we’d like to work with you to offer couples a guarantee that if they need to cancel or postpone their wedding their deposit will be refunded. This will enable them to book with confidence.
This is to secure future bookings only and will not apply to couples who have already booked with you.
From the experts
Venues and suppliers who weather this storm will be those who have reassured new customers that there is no risk of loss.Dr Cath Biddle, Digital Technology and Customer Experience Expert
What our couples are telling us:
- It is near impossible to get wedding insurance at the moment
- They want to make plans and they have time on their hands for planning
- They don’t know how long weddings will be banned for
- A UK lockdown has meant that couples can’t visit venues or suppliers to be 100% sure they are right before booking them
- They are too nervous to pay deposits.
What our venues and suppliers are telling us
- Cashflow is needed now
- They want assurances that things will pick up
- They have time to help couples now
- It will be a struggle to cope with the inevitable “January” rush of bookings, if this comes during July and August
- Most are letting couples cancel or postpone without penalty already
- They want couples to have the confidence to book now
How do I activate my Book with Confidence badge?
Click here to Opt In to the scheme.
You can change the setting on your business hub at any time. Only couples who book while the badge is displayed will be covered by your guarantee.
Who can display the badge?
We are ONLY offering this to our advertisers. Those that still promote their business through difficult times are the ones that do well when things improve.
“You need cash flow now and we can help make that happen” – Alison Hargreaves
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this so important?
We spoke to digital psychologist Dr Catherine Biddle for the answer: “I’ve spent my career helping brands convert more customers. I draw on a huge body of research that understands how we, as customers, make decisions. In unfamiliar situations, such as these, customers look to others for cues; customer reviews and endorsements will be particularly persuasive at this time. Customers will also be feeling risk averse; the fear of losing something is about twice as powerful in decision making as the anticipated pleasure of any gain. Wedding venues and suppliers who weather this storm will be those who reassure customers that there is no risk of loss.”
Is there a financial risk to my business?
This scheme will encourage people to book when they wouldn’t have otherwise. Your balance payments, which you can charge as normal, should cover all your out of pocket costs. This is just holding the date they hope to get married and showing an intent to use your venue or services. If they cancel you are no worse off than if they hadn’t booked at all, and in the meantime their deposit may help your cashflow. Your usual stage payments will apply and will not be refundable.
How does this help with cash flow?
Receiving deposits now solves the immediate cash flow issue by injecting cash into the business now, when you need it. There is a risk that you’ll have to refund later, but the cash flow issue for most is in April and early May while hospitality businesses wait for furlough refunds, business rate grants and loans.
We’re already allowing couples to postpone or cancel. Does this apply to us?
This is about giving confidence to new couples who want to book. They won’t know that you’ve been great with your current couples, but they may have heard horror stories about other venues. This allows you to make your positive stance clear.
Will this mean we have to allow our current couples to cancel?
No, in fact this special offer will help demonstrate that they don’t have the automatic right to cancel.
Can I add special terms and conditions?
Couples need to have total confidence, we’d like you to avoid small print but ultimately the contract is between you and the couple.
I charge a booking fee, not a deposit. Can I use this scheme?
This scheme specifically covers deposits. It does not cover booking fees, stage payments, final payments or any other payments for work that has been done.
Who refunds the deposit, us or Guides for Brides?
Their contract is with you and it is you holding the deposit, so the refund comes directly back from you.
What stops a couple cancelling or postponing at the last minute?
Most businesses charge a deposit to hold the date followed by additional charges nearer the time. This is usually done to cover expenses before they are incurred. So, these charges will still apply so they will forfeit those payments if they cancel.
What if couples book more than one venue or supplier, in order to decide later?
We think it unlikely; there is always a degree of risk in paying a deposit and they’ll prefer to keep their money safe. But if they do, we’ll get a notification and will let you know.
What happens if they just change their mind?
Couples are unlikely to pay a deposit at all unless they are confident that they want to use your services.
Can I stop the guarantee when things return to normal?
You can stop at any time and the guarantee won’t cover any additional bookings. However you might choose to keep it as it creates so much more trust.