Photo by Shardayyy Photography on Unsplash
We don’t mean to be wet blankets or the harbingers of doom, but some things need to be stated just in case. Like signing a pre-nuptial agreement or buying insurance, these measures are here to prevent further losses from arising. Whatever the reason, having to call off your wedding is never a good thing.
Here, the things to do.
Do it quickly
If you know things are going south in your relationship, or there’s another major event happening on the same day and you’d like to reschedule, do it quickly. It’s best to warn your vendors earlier on the change of events, so they can plan accordingly. Also, if they’re unable to do so, it’s better to cancel early, so save yourself some money (see point two).
Check if there’re any cancellation fees
It’s highly likely that you won’t be able to get back all the money you’ve put in - in fact, don't be too taken aback if you're charge 75% of the total food and beverage costs especially if the cancellation is made just a couple of months before the event. But check if you’re able to get a partial refund at least. Some vendors’ cancellation fees vary based on the amount of time – from the time of cancellation to the actual day. For more in-depth information, see this survey by CASE on hotel policies for wedding package cancellations.
If a full or partial refund is out of the question, see if your vendors are willing to postpone your event at a later date instead. Venue-wise, in some cases, hotels may also allow replacement or assignment of booking whereby another couple takes over the booking. This may or may not come with a penalty fee. It may not be listed in the contract so it's always a good idea to ask about this option before sealing the deal.
Proceed as planned
Again, whatever the reason, make the best out of the situation. This bride hosted a dinner to thank her friends and family when she was unable to cancel her venue booking when her husband fell ill.
Instead of wallowing in sadness after being left at the altar, one Seatlle bride turned her reception into a very special night for the homeless and needy in the area. Way to turn a negative situation into something positive!
Relook at your budget
If you or your partner's suddenly out of a job and don’t have the means to hold a big wedding, think about the things you might want to scale back on. That said, don’t start cancelling everything at once. See if your vendors are able to work on a smaller guest list for instance, or simply skip other things like centrepieces, the wedding bouquet, or an open bar.
Similarly, if you’re both getting overwhelmed at the thought of planning a bigger bash than expected, and just want a simpler celebration, again, inform your vendors early. But also, instead of wasting the money that was already paid, see if there are other ways to use them. (See also: 10 budget swaps to save on your wedding reception decor)