So yesterday my new MB came and I was reading it - there is an interesting piece, which I've been wondering lately - Page 110 talks about how to cope if a vendor goes out of business. This is something I have been very concerned with because we have been planning so far in advance.
The news isn't good folks! Apparently companies who go bankrupt don't have to refund your deposit. I was suspecting this after last week's bankruptcy lectures in commercial law.
MB recommends purchasing wedding insurance. I recommend also considering writing some kind of liquidated damages into your contract, if you can. And if the vendor is also the owner, you might consider having them personally guarantee the contract. They probably won't, but you can ask. Stay on top of your vendors and make sure that you know if they are going to go out of business. Be careful with your deposits as well - don't pay for anything in full up front, and try to haggle with your vendors about the amount of the deposit. Explain that since the economy is so questionable, and they will be able to keep your deposit if they go bankrupt, you would like to minimize the deposit and perhaps increase it closer to the event. For example, if they want a 25% deposit, offer to give 10% a year in advance and 15% closer to the date. This is how many venues work anyway.
These are the only things I can think of, but I don't know if they will work. Has anybody had this kind of problem before? How will you deal if your venue goes out of business? Do you have "wedding insurance"?