Washington DC Wedding Articles » Wedding Etiquette
Sometimes mistakes happen. Two people who thought they were ready to spend their life together suddenly realize that it just wasn't meant to be. Perhaps the stress of the wedding preparations revealed a side to the other person that wasn't known, or as time went on, the two simply grew apart. No matter the reason, canceling a wedding is never simple or comfortable. The time is usually stressful enough without having to cancel services, halls, and guests, as well as trying to secure total or partial refunds.
Notify the Guests
The very first step is to notify the guests. If invitations have not been sent out, then you can send out cards announcing that wedding will not take place as scheduled. If invitations have been sent, than you will need to personally call guests and tell them that the wedding has been canceled. This can be difficult, but postponing it until the last minute will only cause irritation. Be sure to contact guests who will be arriving early or traveling a long distance first.
Prepare for the Calls
As soon as you announce that the wedding has been canceled, everyone will begin calling to find out why. If you send out invitations, you can include a message to not call, but this will likely only cause more.
Giving a reason for the cancellation is not necessary. However, failing to give a reason and not answering calls or returning messages will usually lead to gossip and speculation. A general, vague message is usually better. Something along the lines of “We decided that a marriage is not the best choice at the current time....” or similar will suffice.
You will need to contact all the vendors and other service providers who are working with your wedding. The caterers, reception hall, printers, etc. will all have to be notified that the wedding has been canceled. Ask about the cancellation policy and request any refunds you are entitled.
Return the Gifts
The gifts will all need to be returned. Failing to do so will look very bad. Each gift should be returned to the person who sent it along with a person letter thanking them for their gift. The only time a gift should not be returned is if the sender specifically says not to return it.
Canceling a wedding is never easy, but acting as soon as possible will make the situation a little less burdensome.