Bridal Club Magazine
Wedding Woes - When Your Big Day Gets Called Off
Whether the timing is wrong and the day is postponed, or you
have been unable to resolve your differences, there are some
logistical issues to take care of sooner rather than later.
Contacting your friends and loved ones at this emotional time is an
essential but painful ordeal. It is a wise suggestion that you
gather some of those friends and family to help carry the
Here are some questions and answers about what to expect should
your wedding day be called off.
Q. Where do we begin to let people know that we have
called our wedding off?
A. If your invitations have not been sent, order
a printed card that is worded in a similar manner to formal
invitations as our sample suggests.
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Fowler
announce that the marriage of
Grant Francis Smith
will not take place
If the invitations have already gone out and/or there's no time
to get a written explanation to guests, someone needs to call
everyone on the guest list and let them know that the wedding will
not take place.
Q. Are we obligated to tell them why we are not getting
A. No. At this point, simply letting guests know
there will be no wedding is all that is required.
Q. Does the engagement ring have to be given
A. Traditonally, in accepting a ring, the
bride-to-be promises her hand in marriage. As long as she is
willing to fulfil her promise, she has honoured the contract. If he
breaks it off, she can keep the ring. However, if she terminates
the engagement, she makes it clear she is no longer willing to keep
the promise and should therefore not benefit from the ring. Each
situation is different, you may already have an instinct about what
to do with it, but here are some guidelines.
• If the bride calls off the wedding and her ring was a
gift from the groom, it's appropriate for her to give it back.
• If the groom calls it off, the bride may want to give
him his ring back because she does not want to be reminded of their
• If the ring is a family heirloom, it should go back to
the family it came from, regardless of why the wedding was
• If the couple bought the ring together, they need to
decide what to do with it, as they would with any other joint
purchases they've made.
If the ring becomes an issue and is under the value of $2000, it
can be settled in your local small claims court.
Q. Does wedding insurance cover this
A. Unfortunately, no. Wedding insurance can be
your best friend in the event of cancellation or postponement (due
to weather conditions, sudden death in the family, illness, natural
disaster, etc.), but 'not when the cause is a change of heart.'
Q. What do we do with all these gifts?
A. All engagement, shower, and wedding gifts
including personalised ones - will have to be returned to the
guests who sent them. Include a note to thank them for their
kindness in having given it to you. If you've used any of the gifts
(cooking-related products, towels, etc.), it's not appropriate to
return them. Some guests may insist that you keep their gifts in
which case you should accept them graciously.
Q. What do we do about the dress?
A. If you have ordered your wedding dress and
accessories from a bridal salon, your binding signature often backs
the outfits to a non-refundable, watertight and there are some ways
to help ease the financial worry in this scenario.
• Cancellation Policy: Ask if the special order dress has
been cut yet. If not, you might be able to negotiate a cancellation
• Sample Sales: If the bridal shop is having a sample sale
anytime soon, ask the manager to put your dress on sale. Agree to a
minimum price and make it unbeatable, so you can cut your losses
and put closure to the situation.
• Consignment Shops: They may enable you to recover some
of your investment. Check their policies, and make sure you are in
constant contact with the shop you've chosen -- this will help keep
your dress top-of-mind with the consultants.
Q. Oh no, not the honeymoon, too?
A. Waivers are a fee you pay in advance which
exonerates you from all or some of the cancellation fees up until
24 hours before the departure date. Unless you requested one of
these from your travel agency when you booked the honeymoon, you
could be up the proverbial creek. Cancellation fees can sometimes
be one hundred percent of the original cost.
Travel insurance is a safety net in most circumstances, but once
again, 'a change in heart' can leave you exempt. Always ask what
the cancellation fees are before booking the travel
arrangements, and always ask about waivers. Penalty fees are
usually subject to the amount of notice given. (3 months vs. 3 days
makes a big difference)
Q. Can refunds be given on any of the deposits we have
A. That depends on how close to the wedding date
your cancellation is, and how diligent you have been with your
vendor contracts. Good contracts have a refund policy. You
should be able to get back a certain percentage of any deposits you
made if the party is cancelled by a certain date. The closer it is
to the actual wedding date, the less likely you are to get your
money back -- establishments and other wedding professionals are
simply protecting their own business.