Posted by on February 11, 2011
Yes, it is the terrible scenario that every bride dreads to think about. Even in their worse nightmares. The wedding is cancelled and all of your dreams, hard work, and planning have disappeared in a puff of confetti.
Although most brides do not think it will happen to them, there are some good reasons why you should have a contingency plan in case the worse does happen. It may be that you or your fiancé decide against the marriage at the eleventh hour or it could be that one of your parents is ill.
Whatever the reason, you will be under a lot of emotional strain at that time, so it useful to have at least a passing glance at the proper procedure, just in case unforeseen circumstances should arise.
Tell Your Family and Friends
Obviously the first thing to do is to tell your family and friends that the wedding is off. You will need their help and support, both emotionally, and with the practical side of things. If your parents are paying for the wedding, then they need to know as soon as possible, so they can contact the wedding suppliers and sort out the cancellation procedures.
Tell The Clergyman or Registrar
It goes without saying, that you must let your clergyman, registrar, or celebrant, know the wedding is cancelled as soon as possible.
Tell Your Invited Guests
You should now tell your invited guests. Because you will be upset, it will probably be better to have someone else do this. A good way to handle it is to gather a little team of family and close friends together and get them to contact each of the guests by telephone first.
It is not necessary for them to explain the exact details of why the wedding is cancelled. Just that “Due to mutual agreement” or “Unforeseen circumstances”, the wedding is off. Having done that, you should send a letter to each guest, which formally confirms that the wedding is officially cancelled.
Tell Your Wedding Suppliers
The next step must be to contact your wedding suppliers and inform them of the situation. The venue, the florist, the dress-maker, the cake-maker, the caterer, the band etc. You will need to go through your whole list of vendors. Before doing that, it may be a good idea to check your contracts and see what their cancellation terms are. Although some suppliers may transfer your deposit if the wedding is going be re-scheduled, they probably will not do it if it is cancelled completely.
Return Your Wedding Presents
Custom dictates that now you must return all the wedding presents that people have sent you. If they live locally, then you could have them delivered by your friends and family. If they live further away, then you will need to post them with letters of thanks and apologies.
Return or Keep Your Engagement Ring
If you call off the wedding, then it is accepted practice for you to return the ring to your former fiancé. If, however, he calls off the wedding, then, unless the ring is a family heirloom, it is accepted practice that the bride may retain the ring. However, whether you would actually want to do that is a different matter. It will rather depend on your pride and whether he is going to contribute some money towards the wedding cancellation costs.
If you do not have wedding insurance, then do consider getting it now. Although most policies will not cover the bride or groom cancelling the wedding, they do offer cover for almost every other external factor that could cause you to cancel your wedding.
by Michael Breck