It’s hard enough to deal with shattered dreams, unfulfilled promises and signed contracts, so when people ask “why,” unless they’re really close; you are not required to explain in detail. You can always say we made a joint decision to not get married right now. Your family and support system of friends will help you get through this difficult time.
As soon as possible notify those vendors whose services you contracted: Caterer, reception venue, bridal shop, band, D.J., floral and event designer, honeymoon hotel, etc. These are professional business people who understand these things happen. However, a contract is a binding agreement and there are clauses in these agreements if the wedding does not take place. It’s always best to read all contracts carefully. Most vendors will deal with situations on a case by case basis and also consider how close you were to the actual wedding date.
You may not get to wear that gorgeous white gown, but there are a few ways to defray some of the loss. If you don’t want to keep the dress in hope wearing it eventually when the right one comes along, you can try the following:
- Check to see if the dress has been cut. If not, you may be able to negotiate a cancellation fee.
- Reach out to Consignment shops who take bridal gowns.
- Ask if your bridal shop has Sample Sales. You can offer your dress for the sale. Agree on a minimum price so you can minimize your loss and walk away from the situation.
Should you return your shower and engagement gifts? Yes. Include a little note to the person who sent it, acknowledging their thoughtfulness. They may insist you keep the gift and in that case do so. Chances are you don’t want the memory of a wedding that didn’t take place and the gifts will only serve as a painful reminder.
But what about the engagement ring. There are so many variables concerning the ring. The legal requirement actually varies from state to state, but many consider the ring a “conditional gift” until the couple says “I do,” — meaning that regardless of who backs out, the ring must be returned to the person who bought it. If it was a family heirloom, it is really the right thing to give it back. Generally, the rule of thumb is, if the bride calls off the wedding, it is appropriate for her to return the ring. If he backs out, she can keep the ring.
When a wedding is called off it seems like the end of the world at first. The lost love, humiliation and disappointment are so hurtful. When the tears dry and the broken heart begins to mend, you’ll realize how fortunate it is that the break up occurred before you were caught in the web of a bad marriage. You’ll come to see the upside of the situation; maybe not immediately, but definitely when you meet the one who makes you feel they will walk through fire for you.