When it comes to weddings, at least, the government shutdown may be considered an act of God.
Plenty of stories emerged during the shutdown of couples forced to come up with a Plan B because the park or monument where they planned to wed was closed. Now that the government is back up and running, they may be looking to get their money back.
If there's good news, it's that costs for a wedding ceremony tend to be a small slice of the total wedding budget. (Permits from national parks and monuments typically do not allow on-site receptions.) In 2012, couples spent $1,395 on ceremony costs—not including an officiant to marry them—according to The Wedding Report. That's 5.4 percent of the average $25,656 wedding cost.
Like a strike or natural disaster, the shutdown likely qualifies as a force majeure, or act of God, said attorney and former wedding planner Katy Carrier, founder of Law for Creatives. The shutdown was something neither the couple nor the venue could control, so technically, the contract wasn't breached.