What If You Have to Cancel Your Wedding?

Weddings are a happy time – full of expectations for the future.

But . . .

What if it is canceled?

No one wants to ever talk about the possibility of a wedding being canceled, but for a variety of reasons it can – and does – happen.

Everyone involved finds planning a joyful occasion but no one ever plans to cancel or postpone that event. The guidelines on how to handle this difficult time in as pleasant and civil manner as possible are relatively simple.

Short and sweet is the best route.

If a formal wedding is postponed or canceled after the invitations have gone out, all invited guests must be notified as soon as possible. When time permits, this is best done with printed cards.

Here are some wording examples:

• If there has been a death in the family, the card would read:

     Mrs. George Franklin Davis
     regrets that the death of
     Mr. Davis
     obliges her to recall the invitations
     to the wedding of her daughter
     Saturday, the second of April

An invitation recalled in this manner just indicates that the wedding will not take place as originally planned.

When it is rescheduled, it may take place as a small family ceremony if you feel a large wedding may be considered inappropriate. The couple may wear their formal attire but they will usually have honor attendants only.

• If a wedding is postponed and a new date is already set, new invitations may be sent out with this copy:

     Mr. and Mrs. Douglas John Smith
     announce that the marriage of their daughter
     Carolyn Jane
     Edward Patrick Murphy
     has been postponed from
     Saturday, the 11th of May
     Saturday, the 25th of May
     at four o’clock
     Grace Presbyterian Church

• If the wedding is canceled, invitations need to be recalled promptly with a printed card which reads:

     Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Benjamin Clark
     announce that the marriage of their daughter
     Eileen Marie
     Harold Robert Smith
     will not take place

However, if time is short, invitations may be recalled by personal notes or phone calls. Notes should be patterned after these formats and signed by the person issuing the invitations. Phone calls should also be made in the name of issuing the invitations.

Reasons other than death or illness in the family are not usually mentioned, as it really is none of their business.

A common question that arises after the cancellation of a wedding is, “What do I do with the gifts I have received?”

If the wedding is merely postponed, send an announcement to all the guests, keeping the presents you’ve already received.

On the other hand, if the wedding is canceled, every gift – even those that have been monogrammed – must go back to the person who sent it. A note expressing gratitude and explaining that the wedding will not take place should accompany the gift, but you do not need to give a reason for the cancellation.

Photo credit: Nicolas Raymondhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/80497449@N04/

Do you have a question or wedding concern? Let me know. I’d be happy to help. Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-235-2586.

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