A booking can hold one of four statuses - complete, checkout, cancelled and owes.

This article covers:


A booking is only marked as complete once the booker has finished the following within the checkout period:

For free events:

  • The booker completes any mandatory fields in the booking form and selects Continue

For paid events:

  • The booker completes any mandatory fields in the booking form


  • The booker either pays online or agrees to pay later, then selects Complete Booking.

The booker is then shown the 'Booking Complete' page and receives the confirmation email.

💡 To note: The system will only send the confirmation email (containing the booking reference number) to the booker, attendees and admins once the booking is complete.


A booking enters the 'checkout' phase when the booker selects the Book now button on the public pages. Bookwhen will reserve the place(s)d for the duration of the 'checkout reservation period' (you can change this in your Booking options). A booking remains in the checkout status even if abandoned.

💡 To note: If a booking with an associated cost has filled the booking form in, but the booker hasn't paid or agreed to manual payment, it will show a 'checkout' status on the 'latest bookings' list on your overview page. These bookings are incomplete and don't take up space, and Bookwhen doesn't send any emails at this stage.

✨ You can read more about checkout reservation periods here.


A booking can be cancelled by the booker, attendee, or admin according to the cancellation rules as defined on the booking options page. The system will send a cancellation email to the booker, attendees, and admin users. Once you or the booker cancels a booking, the places will be released to people on the waiting list and then the public (if you have this enabled).


When you (the admin) or the booker (if permitted) cancel a booking and money is owed, the status shows as 'owes.' A booking also shows as 'owes' for those who do not yet have payment recorded.

✨ You can read more about refunds here.

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