Email thread in response to unwarranted review

Japrice Tibbetts Tue, Mar 10, 11:15 AM
to me

Hello, before I proceed:In the event of mass quarantine due to COVID-19 that would prevent the occurrence of my wedding, am I able to reschedule without sacrifice of my deposit or incurring additional costs? The more news that rolls out the more likely it seems drastic measures are coming

Chris Gendron <gendronphoto@gmail.com>
Tue, Mar 10, 12:37 PM
to Japrice
Hi Japrice!Well, I have no problem moving it with no additional fees as long as two conditions are met….first, I have the day available (obvious) and secondly you aren’t looking at a Friday/Sat/Sunday between April 1 and November 30. So most any day between Dec1 and March 31 or a Monday-Thursday the rest of the year. If you wanted to do one of the main season Fri/Sat/Sun dates then we’d have to start over with a new contract. Because there are so few days in the year that people get married on, I can’t give essentially a two for one on the wedding days….even if our government were to do something that ridiculous. I really don’t expect that to happen!Let me know if you have any other questions about that or starting up the draft timeline!:)Chris

Japrice TibbettsMar 10, 2020, 4:43 PMto meIf we rescheduled it would be on another weekend. But if we rescheduled it would be under the stipulation weddings are banned, and with me in healthcare and Brad in public health, we are aware that this is not that far fetched. We are moving into phase 3 of measures in this state and phase four would equate to no large private parties. In that event it would not be a cancellation on a whim but rather you would be unable to perform services due to a government placed quarantine, so would we would lose our deposit? 

Chris Gendron <gendronphoto@gmail.com>Mar 10, 2020, 5:32 PMto Japrice
Hi Japrice!I totally get it that we can’t control public policy and I’d be as flexible as possible like I mentioned as to the days/weekends that I am okay moving the date to. I’ll add on that if you had to move the date and I wasn’t booked for that day (regardless of being a weekend) within 4 weeks out then we can just shift the contract. For example if that situation were to arise on April 1, then you could move it to any day I have available in that next 4 weeks….or if you rescheduled for November 1 and then on October 1 I still didn’t have that booked I would move the date no charge. That is the best I can do to move it in to a main wedding season day (as I do book shotgun weddings every year that start planning only a month or two out). Otherwise, you would lose both the first and second retainer (which was due January 5th and according to my records hasn’t been paid yet….no rush and you can lump it in with the final payment, but so you know you would owe me that as well if you were forced to cancel the wedding for that day and didn’t move it to a day I outlined that I would be available). I’m sorry this is the case but this is the nature of this business and not being able to predict the future a year or two in advance. Does that make sense?Chris

*(the text below included a screen shot of Inslee’s first news conference limiting gatherings to 250 people)

Japrice TibbettsWed, Mar 11, 12:32 PMto me

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Klos, Bradley J (DOH) <>
Date: Wed, Mar 11, 2020 at 11:32 AM
Subject: FW: Inslee issues emergency proclamation that limits large events to minimize public health risk during COVID-19
To: >

He stated during the press conference that this is likely to extend past March. From: Wiesman, John (DOH)
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 10:50 AM
To: DOH DL Agency All <>
Subject: FW: Inslee issues emergency proclamation that limits large events to minimize public health risk during COVID-19
Importance: High Please see information below. -John WiesmanSecretary of Health

Chris Gendron <gendronphoto@gmail.com>Mar 11, 2020, 12:49 PMto Japrice
Hi Japrice!I have been watching it as well! This proclamation is for gatherings of 250 people or more and based on my notes you are looking at around 100 guests, correct? So right now this shouldn’t affect your wedding!Let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you!Chris

Japrice TibbettsMar 11, 2020, 1:17 PM
to me
I understand this, but I’m just letting you know this is 3 weeks before the event, and it is evolving quickly. You stated you didn’t think the government would do anything that drastic, I’m informing you, yes, they can, will, and are issuing drastic quarantine measures. Based on the information we are receiving it will quickly change. Right now events smaller than that are already ordered to “social distance”, which, as you’ve been to several weddings, doesn’t comply with those standards of standing a meter apart. So according to current regulations, our event shouldn’t even occur. We have a good understanding of the situation and it will evolve. Fast. When we get the news events our size are not allowed we will forward you that information and revisit this conversation. 

Japrice TibbettsMar 11, 2020, 1:20 PMto meUpdate: my mother, an infection control nurse, clarified social distancing as 6 feet apart, effective through April 9th. 

Chris Gendron <gendronphoto@gmail.com>
Mar 11, 2020, 1:56 PM
to Japrice
Hi Japrice!
I’m starting to get the feeling you are mad at me for my policy on cancellations. It was my opinion that the gov wouldn’t go to this extent. I have been dealing with bridal stress for almost 20 years and so I was trying to help keep the stress level low. I am surrounded by medical professionals (my father has been an emergency room physician since the early 70s, his wife has been a charge nurse for the same length of time, my step sister is an emergency room nurse as well as my best friend) and every single one is very adamant that this is being blown out of proportion and is being handled badly by officials. In my opinion what they are doing is completely wrong, but again that is my opinion, so please don’t take that as I’m trying to start an argument over it as that is irrelevant. I’m keenly aware of every aspect that is going on as it might affect my business. Back to the cancellation policy, I am giving you more options then I normally would. It is a unique situation but it is still my livelihood. I take a risk booking weddings so far ahead but that is the nature of event planning. There is an inherent risk since we can’t tell the future. Most vendors wouldn’t even give you the options I have if this does happen. Heck, even wedding insurance has stated they won’t cover anything pertaining to this virus.  So I’m hoping that if you do need to push the wedding you understand that you’ll have a logistical problem on your hands and you’ll have to make some concessions as well if the money is the utmost concern for you. I know this is stressful and you are not the only one that is irritated about this! But in the end I can can only do so much…I can’t take all the responsibility to give free cancellations to couples….I would go out of business quickly!
I truly hope that you are mad at me for this unfortunate situation that is affecting everyone.
Please let me know if you’d like to talk further, otherwise let’s keep our fingers crossed that this all stops soon.
🙂
Chris

Japrice Tibbetts
Mar 11, 2020, 2:27 PM
ALL my other vendors have gracefully offered to move the date without penalty to me, and this is any date of my choosing, upon my first email asking what to do. So your “most vendors” argument is entirely irrelevant, as my venue, DJ, baker, florist, officiant AND photo booth have been fabulous. And While I appreciate your opinion, Brad is literally working on this disease, as an epidemiologist, aka: a person who studies diseases and he has facts, and it doesn’t matter if this is getting blown out of proportion or not, these orders are happening and ILLEGAL not to follow. I also do not understand your point that I booked early ergo you took a risk. I STILL would have booked well before this all happened. This isn’t a shot gun wedding, as you formerly mentioned, I wouldn’t be looking for my photographer 2 months before the wedding. I am not asking for a free cancellation, I am asking for a negotiation to reschedule on a reasonable date (we are not getting married on a weekday; once again, this is not a shotgun wedding) nor during the holiday season. You either have available dates we can pay extra to take or you don’t. Please just give us that information so we can move on. I may be forced to cancel my wedding, it feels terrible. If this keeps up you will be losing business, that’s terrible.  We are all affected by this. Whether you think it’s blown out of proportion or not, this is happening, and will be legally enforced. 

Chris Gendron <gendronphoto@gmail.com>
Mar 11, 2020, 4:01 PM
to Japrice

Hi Japrice
Again, I mentioned this is just my opinion based on the medical doctors in my family. I trust their experience in this field. I’m not trying to argue the legality of all this. I told you what days you can move it to and what weekends you could without charge. And in my experience, most will charge you to move it no matter what. I’m glad you found some that will without charge. That’s my experience when weddings have been cancelled. The risk I mentioned is the opportunity cost…in taking your wedding I turned other brides and grooms away for their weddings, (Weddings that are outside of King County). This is why contracts for events are written this way. I didn’t refer to your wedding as a shotgun wedding….I said that if I were to give you a major wedding date that was more than 4 weeks out, I would lose the opportunity to book the shotgun weddings that would come through from other couples ( for example over the last two days I have booked weddings in May and June…those are the opportunities that I would be giving up if I gave a date like that to you with no additional charges, subsequently costing me $2500). There is only one of me and I can’t book multiple weddings on one day (like a baker/florist/officiant can do it’s very easy for them to do that at no additional fee). We can totally move to a date I have available in the wedding season but we’d have to do a new contract and start from scratch while also losing the first two deposits for this date. I’m sorry if there was a misunderstanding that I wouldn’t give you another date I had available. You can, you just have to pay for it from scratch. I looked back at your initial couple emails regarding this topic and your initial question was if you could move it without any sort of fee or charge, so I gave you the dates where that could work and not cost you any additional money. You did not ask what the charge would be to move it to another major wedding day, you didn’t ask about a renegotiation. I only answered the question that you asked of me. I’m sorry for not understanding what you wrote. I’m not happy about this either as I mentioned before. It is horrible that this is a possibility. I don’t ever want to have weddings cancel or go through something like this. If you are to the point of actually looking at dates to move to right now, I can give those to you. Did you have any month in mind in particular?
Again, I’m sorry about the misunderstanding in what you were asking and hope you don’t hold our misunderstanding against me.

Japrice Tibbetts
Mar 11, 2020, 4:55 PM
At this point I do not want your business. I’ll leave you to Brad. I have nothing else to say to you, I’ll let him have final say.

Chris Gendron <gendronphoto@gmail.com>
Mar 11, 2020, 5:07 PM
Hi JapriceI have to ask what just happened? I don’t understand what I said to get to this point of you sending this last email…I answered all your questions about cancellation policies, etc. that you were asking about and tried to clear up any misunderstandings, can you explain to me why the sudden change? 
Chris

Japrice Tibbetts
Mar 11, 2020, 5:21 PM
to Bradley, me
CCing Brad into this. 

Chris Gendron <gendronphoto@gmail.com>
Mar 11, 2020, 5:27 PM
to Japrice, Bradley
I would still like to understand what happened from you Japrice…..?

Bradley Klos
Wed, Mar 11, 7:11 PM
to me, Japrice
Hey Chris,
Pardon my late entry to this conversation. The content of this conversation is truly regrettable.
We are currently in a state of emergency, regardless of your personal opinion on the matter. There will be a large financial impact on large and small businesses. It will take a coordinated effort from all parties to mitigate the impact of mandated cancellations to mass gatherings. The NBA just suspended the rest of the season, nationwide! I can only assume your bookings are also impacted.
We had reached out assuming that we would come to some kind of compromise, perhaps a fee in order to adjust some details of the contract. I had hoped the $1,750 remaining balance plus some would be enough incentive for a Sunday evening’s work later in the year. While we could have been more explicit upfront, we wanted to hear from you about reasonable alternatives before going further.
Your accommodations were not reasonable, and your tone alternated between dismissive and condescending as the conversation progressed. As a direct result, we are no longer interested in your services for April 5 or any future event.
We’d hoped to negotiate an alternative arrangement in good faith, seeing as we did not believe it would be possible for you to fulfill the terms of the contract regardless of our intent. We will now default back to the contract, which stipulates: “in the event Client should cancel this Agreement prior to the Wedding Day, Client will forfeit, and Christopher Gendron shall have the absolute right to retain, all retainers paid by Client prior to cancellation.” We have provided you written notice that we do not wish for your services, and will not pursue a refund of all or part of the previously paid retainer fee.
Please do not contact either of us again.