Life happens, even when you’re getting married. If you are faced with the possibility of having to delay or cancel your wedding date, know the proper protocol for doing so. Just as important, take a few tips in the hope that you might be able to avoid the worst-case scenario.
Should the wedding have to be called off, due to a family emergency, work, or something else out of your control, get the word out as soon as possible. When you reschedule, make sure the same guests are invited.
There’s no need to tell guests what the exact problem is, but enlist your close friends and wedding party members to call and/or email people with the news. If you’ve already rescheduled, give them the new date. If not, simply tell them you will keep them posted. If the wedding invitations have already gone out, etiquette says you should send out new ones, but don’t sweat the details too much.
“These things happen,” says Danielle Bobish of Curtain Up Events in New York City. “If you’re way over budget already, a phone call wouldn’t be the most inappropriate second invite.” Bobish says that you can re-do invitations if they’ve not gone to the printer, and to call all vendors immediately.
“Depending on how far in advance you cancel, you might get your deposit back,” she says. “If the vendor has lost work because they can’t rebook, you shouldn’t expect a refund.” Bobish says you should still talk to each vendor and explain the situation, as each service provider has a different cancellation policy.
Before you start making calls and stop dieting, make sure calling off the wedding is inevitable. If you can salvage your affair despite a setback, try and make it happen. “Canceling a wedding is not a decision you make lightly,” says Bobish. “It’s going to cause a lot of people a lot of money and be a huge inconvenience.”
Bobish notes instances such as vendors canceling at the last minute or site’s going bankrupt or being otherwise unavailable. “If you’re thinking of canceling because of a vendor, you can usually get another one at the last minute,” she says. “Also, you’ve be surprised at sites you can find. You can’t afford to be picky, and you’re going to have to sacrifice some of your wants, but you’ll still have your wedding.”