Protecting your wedding plans, graduation parties & fundraisers during COVID-19

Posted at 8:08 AM, May 10, 2020

We’ve already seen this pandemic ravage some of life’s biggest memorable moments but with more vital events planned toward the end of the year, we wanted to know, what can you be doing now to protect yourself down the line.

"When people ask me what i do for a living, I tell them I make dreams come true," said Mary Lou Penna.

Mary Lou Penna, helps run the fifty-year-old family owned banquet hall, Penna’s in Sterling Heights.

"We’re a part of someone's most important days of their lives," said Penna.

Now that they’re shut down a midst this pandemic, they’ve been scrambling to accommodate all of their canceled events.

"In our contract, we will give back the deposit within 150 days prior to the event," said Penna.

"The last thing that Penna’s wants or even another banquet hall is to keep the deposit," said Penna. "We want to make them happy."

Penna’s is working with all of their clients but not every venue or vendor will be willing to do the same and with some experts predicting that this pandemic could see a resurgence later in the year.

So, how do you best protect yourself?

"First thing, that you absolutely want to do is make sure you review your contract," said event planner Jennifer Troy from Glorious Galas. "See what it says about cancellations, what their rescheduling clauses are." said Troy.

The Metro Detroit event planner says if there’s something you don’t like make that a point of negotiation with the venue- and vendors like your photographer, florist and DJ.

"Number two, be flexible with your dates. start looking to reschedule now," said Troy.

If you want to avoid the stress all together, think about rescheduling your event to 2021 while dates are still open, or at least, ask if they’d be willing to hold a backup date should your event get canceled," said Troy.

"Third thing, don’t wait on your vendors to call you," Troy added. "Do it now while there is still the stay-at-home order. They may have a little more flexibility."

"Lastly, add a force majeure clause, this protects your contract from unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control and frees both parties from liability and obligations in case the stay at home returns down the road.

Here’s the Rebound Rundown:

  • Read your contract thoroughly
  • Negotiate better protections for unforeseen circumstances
  • Ask your vendor if they’d be willing to honor a backup date

We want to remind you, if you have a story tip, a question, a struggle that you think we need to hear about send us an email to and don't forget to join our Facebook group The Rebound Detroit.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help businesses and restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

Also, get information about Rebound Mid Michigan, with stories, information and more about coming back from COVID-19

Join the Rebound Mid Michigan Facebook Group.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.