Canceling Your Wedding

Canceling your wedding is very simple. Below are some options and basic principals to follow. However, the most difficult part will be dealing with the raw emotions, particularly if the cancellation is unexpected by one of the parties involved. Emotions can make a very simple task extremely stressful. Whatever the reason for calling off the wedding, my advice would be – try and maintain dignity at all times.

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Announcing canceling your wedding to your guests:

If possible the bride and groom should try and agree upon some wording (text). If you are not able to agree, perhaps the parents, (or alternatively the best man and chief bridesmaid) could agree upon some appropriate wording. 


– if your engagement was announced in the press you need to place a second announcement stating the marriage has been cancelled. 
– if invitations have already been posted a retraction will need to be sent.  
– if there is not sufficient time to send notice of the cancellation telephone calls will need to be made. 

I would suggest the bride, or her parents, or chief bridesmaid notifies guests of the bride. Similarly, the groom, or his parents, or best man should notify guests of the groom. 

Canceling your wedding: who else to inform and when:


– you will need to contact all the agencies, vendors, venues, etc., I would advise that any telephone calls are always followed up in writing. Beware that deposits may be lost. However, putting this into perspective, losing a deposit is nothing compared to starting a sham of a marriage. 
– you should check your wedding planning list. Banks, insurance brokers, etc. must be notified immediately by the bride and groom respectively, as this will effect premiums. Fees are usually incurred to make changes, so the sooner they can be stopped, if possible prior to happening, the better! 
– you will need to return any wedding gifts received. If you have a wedding gift list with a particular store(s), you should notify them and ask them to refund your guests accordingly. 
– if it is the bride calling off the wedding, it is usual practice for her to return the engagement ring to the groom. As to other presents exchanged during the courtship, I would suggest that after a cooling off period, the bride and groom (perhaps using a non-legal third party if necessary) list their requests. 

I believe that presents given should not requested back. After all, what are you going to do with them once they are returned? More difficult is when the couple has been co-habiting for more than six/twelve months. In the latter case it is useful to remember that solicitors/lawyers etc. cost! If at all possible try and reach an amicable and fair agreement. 

Help me!

It is so easy to get caught up in the momentum of wedding preparations. But remember, you are not only betraying yourself, but your fiancé, by not being honest about your true feelings. If necessary seek counseling, or visit your doctor who can put you in touch with a counselor.

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