My aunt came to town last weekend and told me this story. She was talking to a vendor who was creating a slide show presentation for my cousin’s wedding:
Vendor: You know your photographer is gone?
Aunt Jill: Gone. Where did he go?
Vendor: I think Heaven.
Unfortunately, the photographer was in an accident and passed away and no one at his company let his clients know. I know this is tragic and I’m not making light of the situation but Jill was in need of help and I thought if anyone else is in a similar situation they should know what I told Jill and Kimmy.
Jill had paid 50% of the photographer’s fee upfront – the wedding is a few months away – and she paid it in cash. Thank g-d she got a receipt but she’s now working with his staff on getting her deposit back and since the photographer didn’t have another shooter working with him they are shopping for a new photog.
Here’s where the wedding planning tip comes in: Always get a receipt, even if you pay in cash! While of course this is a very unusual and rare circumstance these things do happen. If you pay with a credit card your credit card company will probably be able to help you get your money back but cash is different. The vendor you are working with may have a backup for you so you can still work with them but if not, you are entitled to get your money back and if the company refuses you can make a claim against the estate, but you should consult with an attorney if it comes to that. You may not need the lawyer to file the actual claim but you should confirm what the laws in your state are before filing.