How to Cancel Your Wedding in the Best Possible Way

It’s a difficult decision, but it’s almost always the right one, because if you have any serious doubts, you should call off the wedding. Once the decision is made, you have to make sure you cancel your wedding with grace, courtesy and consideration.

Notify your guests

Printed cards should read along the lines of:

If you’ve already sent out invitations, then you should send out a printed cancellation notice, followed by a phone call to confirm. The cards should read:

Mr & Mrs Jones

Announce that the marriage of their daughter

Laura Jones


David Kauer

Will not take place as scheduled

Do you explain?

You don’t need to explain, but of course some people will need to know your reasons as you may need their support. Otherwise, a simple “…it was a mutual decision…” will suffice.

Notify your vendors

If you have to cancel because of illness or a death in the family, your insurance provider should pay out. If it’s cold feet, you shouldn’t expect this.

Contact your vendors by phone first, then in writing. Your contracts will have a cancellation policy which should entitle you to a proportion of your deposit, depending on how far in advance you cancel. Vendors will be sympathetic and will help you as much as they can, as they know what a stressful time this will be for you.

Cancel your honeymoon

You should be able to recoup some of the expenses, again, depending on how far in advance you cancel. Remember, though, insurance only pays out if the cancellation is due to circumstances beyond your control.

Cancel your dress

If your dress is bespoke, you probably won’t be able to get any money back, but call the dressmaker to see what they can do. They may be able to halt the process and give you some money back, or they may sell it as a sample or on their discount rack.

If not, then you could sell it on eBay or give it to charity.

The gifts

You should return all your engagement and wedding gifts with a thank you note. Monogrammed gifts are the exception, and if you’ve already used some gifts, then explain so the givers will probably understand.

The rings

If it’s a family heirloom it should be returned to the family, regardless of who called everything off. If the bride calls it off, she should return the ring to the groom; if the groom cries off, the bride can decide what to do with it. If the couple bought the ring together, they should decide between them what to do.