5 On Your Side

No Wedding, No Flowers, No Refund

Posted August 30, 2007

— A lot of planning and money goes into a wedding, including deposits for the reception hall, catering and flowers.

That expense can be really tough to swallow when the wedding is canceled. That's what happened to Anna Honeycutt. Her wedding was supposed to be held in July, but she called it off last December.

She had already paid a $600 deposit to the reception hall and and a $1,400 deposit to The Carriage House Florist in Wilmington. Since she canceled more than seven months before the scheduled date, she hoped to get those deposits back, she said.

The reception hall quickly sent a refund. Carriage House owner Marilyn Koonce reluctantly agreed to a refund, too, according to Honeycutt.

"She did tell me the majority of florists will not return deposits," Honeycutt said. "But she told me that she would return mine because we had such a good relationship."

Honeycutt documented repeated calls to Koonce about getting the refund, but she said the florist kept putting her off.

In May, Koonce promised a refund after Mothers Day, according to Honeycutt.

"[Koonce] said after Mother's Day she should be having her funds available to pay me back," Honeycutt said.

That didn't happen. Honeycutt said Koonce soon stopped returning her calls.

When 5 on Your Side called Koonce, she said she was "shocked" that Honeycutt called us. She said she has been "working very hard to resolve it." Koonce promised to start making payments next month of at least $500. She said she hopes to have it paid back within three months.

A representative from the North Carolina Florists Association said, while policies vary, most florists will refund deposits if you give at least a month's notice of a cancellation.


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  • jetstream Sep 1, 2007

    Ah, Steve, your hate is showing. Leave the Church out of this. Does not say what religion she is.

  • jetstream Sep 1, 2007

    There are some traditions that require an engagement waiting period. My husband and I felt strongly to uphold the tradition. On top of that, when we got engaged, I was still in college. I felt very strongly that I wanted to graduate and then get married. It would have been hard to be a new bride while taking challenging courses. Some do get married in college, but it wasn't for me.

    Planning a wedding is very stressful. I'm glad I had the time to really think it through, do my research, and had a beautiful day without any hassles from vendors. Do your research girls! Quickie weddings are not the way to go!

  • Steve Crisp Sep 1, 2007

    De Beers, via some very persuasive advertising, has convinced almost everyone that the engagement ring must be a diamond and that it must cost a certain percentage of your salary. Of course, that cost is also artifically inflated to dramatic levels because of the cartel they hold so strongly. A diamond, without De Beers influence, would be the same price as a similar-sized CZ.

    The whole thing is a racket in the same vein as Hallmark manufacturing holidays so they can sell you more occaision cards. Or the Catholic Church manufacturing saints to which donations are made in their name. Or purveyors of homeopathic medicines plying their wares; wait, that's just outright fraud.

  • JennyT Aug 31, 2007

    Can I get a refund on my ex?

  • Love my boys Aug 31, 2007

    It's called having a budget. It's not the size of the ring that counts - it's the thought behind it. We paid for my dress, the reception location and the rings. My in-laws paid for the flowers, the food, and half of the photographer (wonderful photographer that took excellent pictures and was very reasonably priced - $300 for 500 pictures). It was a small, intimate wedding with a huge reception. Bottom line was not quite $1000.00 and it was beautiful!

  • puredoller Aug 31, 2007

    Your engagement ring is supposed to be ONE month's salary.

  • PikeMom Aug 31, 2007

    I don't think I spent $1400 total on my wedding! And that includes a buffet-style reception! We had flowers (from Watkins Flowers of Distinction - wonderful people, gorgeous flowers!!!!), rings, food, drinks, the whole kit-n-kaboodle.

    All I can say is WOW. Your engagement ring is suppose to be 4 months of the man's yearly salary.AT LEAST.

  • PikeMom Aug 31, 2007

    Businesses like florists, photography studios, etc., prey on weddings and funerals because they know people are emotional about these events and will pay top dollar for everything. It's almost price gouging.

    Come on now!!! This is NOT always true.My Mother is a florist in Gville,NC and she is not a bit shady.Maybe that's why she has been in her own business for more than 25 years. Someone pulled the cart b4 the horse.

  • peacebee Aug 31, 2007

    If the florist was financially unable to give her the 1400 deposit back, it would have been equally difficult if she had to deliver the promised product worth that much. In other words, if it was that hard for her to refund the deposit, how in the world was she going to even get the job done?

  • TruthBKnown Aug 31, 2007

    Businesses like florists, photography studios, etc., prey on weddings and funerals because they know people are emotional about these events and will pay top dollar for everything. It's almost price gouging.