This post might be a little controversial as it’s not often spoken about (and also as my entire social media timelines are currently filled with happy couples becoming engaged or recently wed). BUT, there are some of us who aren’t in that position and who have either been brave, or lucky enough (although that won’t feel like the case straight away) to have had to cancel a wedding.
I was in this position 6 months ago and I thought I’d offer my advice. I’ve always been one to remain completely honest about all of life’s experiences (both positive and negative) and I want you guys to know that you’re not the only one if this should happen to you, and that things do get better…
Without further ado, here are the steps I took to cancel my wedding.
Not my actual dress, but one I did fall in love with!
The second time I visited my wedding venue.
1) Firstly, give it time.
I didn’t email my wedding vendors about the situation until a month after the relationship ended, for a couple of different reasons; the first being that I was still desperately heartbroken, and writing down on paper that my relationship was over was far too much to bear. The day it ended, I knew it was 100% over and there was no chance of going back, but I still needed that time to process it all in my mind and resign myself to the fact that my life was about to change drastically from the route I thought it was going to be.
Note: This is depending on how far you are with your planning; obviously, if you’ve sent out your wedding invites and the date is fast approaching, I think it’s kind to give as much notice as possible to your attending guests and vendors. My date was 5 months away by this point and the invites hadn’t yet been sent out (in fact they arrived from the printers the day the relationship ended), so I feel like I had that time, and in hindsight, was deeply grateful to have had that time to let it sink in.
2) Making the call
As most of the wedding planning was down to me, it was also down to me to contact the vendors and update them on the situation (typical, eh?). I sat down with my mum and wrote a draft email of roughly what I wanted to say. I then altered the email for every vendor (as writing 10 different letters would have been far too painful). My mum helped me do this and having her there to support me and make sure that what I was trying to say actually made sense (rather than a splurge of emotional upset) was really helpful. (I should also mention, I chose to email the vendors because, again, the thought of calling and explaining things down the phone would have been far too hard!)
Note: Please do not feel embarrassed, ashamed or worried about what your vendors will think of the situation. I can assure you they have seen this happen countless times. In my case, they all expressed deep sadness for me and wished me luck for the future.
3) Getting deposits back
This is a tricky one, but if you’ve spent £££££ on your wedding, it’s only natural to think about how not only your relationship has ended, but also about all the money you may have lost on deposits (in my case, around £10k). In my emails I added a sentence being honest and asking if there was any chance of getting a portion of the deposit back. The venue said that if they are able to book another event on the same day, that we would get a percentage back (this obviously didn’t happen). In fact, we didn’t get anything back, but it’s always worth asking!
4) Picking up the dress
This was one of the HARDEST things I’ve had to do since cancelling the vendors. Obviously my dress was made to my size and the shop were unable to accept a return, so in May I trotted down to the bridal shop (again with my mum, don’t bloody know what I would have done without her throughout this whole experience) to pick up the gown (and pay the remainder). Beforehand, I thought I’d be strong about this part, but once I got to the shop and saw another lady trying on a dress I did well up. The man in the shop showed me my beautiful dress (so, so hard) and explained that when I do find ‘the one’, they’d be more than happy for me to bring the dress back in to make the final alterations…
Note – as lovely as this is, I don’t know how I feel about this? I LOVE the dress, but in a way it feels tainted. I’ve locked it away in a suitcase for now, but have worn it around the house alone a few times (lol) so we’ll see if the time ever comes!
5) Managing the day
If you’ve already booked your date like I had, be prepared to escape on the day. As much as I felt strong and over it by that point, you never truly know how you’re going to feel come the day. I escaped to Transylvania with my family to COMPLETELY take my mind off it, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. When the day rolled around, there was a bit of tension and I did feel slightly on edge, sensitive, emotional (and also feel like I kept digging at other people), but a holiday really helped take my mind off things.
I did check the weather for my wedding day in it’s location and it was raining all day – which made me feel a lot happier that it didn’t go ahead (ha!)
6) If you ever have to visit your venue in the future
This is a bit of a weird one, but I wanted to include it anyway.
There is a chance that one day you may have to revisit your wedding venue. Unluckily for me, I’ll actually be doing that quite soon and in all honesty, I’m petrified. I can’t imagine how I am going to feel in my own, perfect wedding venue. I keep saying that I’m just going to get tipsy and hopefully forget it, but let’s face it, I am a drunk cryer, so there probably will be some tears! I’m just going to try and make some new memories there with my friends instead. Wish me luck…
Again, I apologise if this isn’t your usual post but I really hope it helps those that are in a similar position that I was. Sending all my love. Things do get better.