5 On Your Side

No Wedding, No Flowers, No Refund

Posted August 30, 2007 5:29 p.m. EDT
Updated August 30, 2007 9:30 p.m. EDT

— 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.