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Canceling a wedding is definitely not the easiest thing to do. Being committed to so many vendors, guests, and yourself, it is hard to let something like that go. I mean, starting out with an elopement plan as a mindset is what we are ALWAYS rooting for, but we welcome you with open arms. You’re just a little late to the game is all! Welcome to the fun side:) Anyway, we have come up with a step-by-step process of how to cancel a wedding to prepare for an elopement! Hopefully, this helps you figure out your wedding plans, and gets you on track for your newly planned special day! Check down below to see a step-by-step guide on how to cancel a wedding!
What do you consider to be non-negotiables? What is a must-have for your wedding day? Make a list of them! In the beginning, this should be a conversation between the two of you and no one else. Ultimately, the wedding is about you two, no one else should have say in your final decision. This will help you to feel more grounded and provide a starting point for re-creating your wedding day. It’s vital to know what matters most to you right away because you don’t want to end up settling on something that would have a negative effect on your whole wedding experience.
It’s also crucial to be truthful with yourself during this period – allow yourself to grieve and be upset at the change of plans. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to get rid of your must-have things because you’re frustrated. When it comes to your wedding, the “let’s just get this done with” attitude is exactly what you never want to feel when you arrive on your big day. The worst thing you can do is self-sabotage because you’re upset, and end up having regrets about leaving something out. So, talk about this when you have a clear mind and positive outlook!
What suppliers have you agreed to work with? This can include things like a venue, photographer, videographer, florists, hotel blocks, and caterer. Have a list of all you need and gather any contracts you’ve signed. Find out just what you’ve committed to and whether there’s enough flexibility to accommodate your new arrangements with each of your contracts’ termination or rescheduling clauses. If you were to postpone the wedding due to social problems or other extraordinary situations, vendors might have a plan in place to handle you outside of their standard operating procedures.
Consider other forms that vendors can pass funds to meet your needs if you have a ton of deposits sent into vendors that have a “non-refundable deposit” policy. For example, if your location won’t be used for your wedding but you DO plan to have a reception there later, see if you can shift your deposit to the reception. Because your ceremony would last a much shorter time due to being an elopement, the cost of most of your vendors should be cheaper. Just another MASSIVE perk of eloping:)
Ask each vendor what their cancellation policy is and what they charge a rescheduling fee. Also check what their availability is if you delay, and what date they need to know by whether you’re going to change your schedule until you have a solid list of all you’ve already scheduled. Now arrange your list in a checklist for backtracking. If you want to cancel, it’s probably best not to set a new date until you’re sure you’ll be able to as well as all accompanying vendors.
This stage may be aggravating because you will almost definitely learn that there is no single day when any of your vendors will be available again. Note, you don’t have to make any new arrangements right yet. So it’s vital to find out what deposits you might get back. Figure out which vendors you can use for a rescheduled event, and which vendors you can postpone even though it means missing revenue. Many eloping couples save money by canceling their wedding and eloping instead. Budgeting should certainly be a part of this phase in the planning process, based on what you hear by consulting with your vendors.
It’s time to start making plans now that you know what’s most important to you, what your vendor’s policies are, and what your budget will be like in the future. You’ll need to consider which vendors to continue collaborating with and which to withdraw. You’ll also choose an elopement date and venue. If you’ve made the decision to elope rather than have a large wedding, your location is likely to change as well. If you can no longer host visitors, now is the time to think “where?”. Out of all of the places to elope in the world, where is you and your partner’s dream place? Look for an adventure for the two of you:)
And if you aren’t ready to start planning your elopement or wedding, notifying your vendors of a cancellation as soon as possible is preferable. We can’t talk for all wedding vendors because we’re photographers, but I know how grateful we are to be informed of the change in plans as soon as possible. Just a disclaimer, things change, plans change, people change. WE ARE UNDERSTANDING!! We want what YOU want for your wedding day!
If you’ve decided to forego a wedding in favor of eloping, you will need to will your guest list (or eliminate guests altogether). And if your loved ones are unable to attend in person, there are ways for them to be included! You might live-stream your elopement, or schedule a celebration in the future. You could even collect letters from friends and relatives to read together at your elopement. We saw a variety of imaginative ways couples told loved ones of a change of plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s high number of cancellations and postponements. You could send out notes explaining why your wedding guest count had to be cut. Then use the chance to welcome them to the reception later. There are SO many ways to alert your people that you’ve postponed the ceremony. Click HERE to see even more ways you can include your family + friends in your elopement!
We know it can be difficult to let your loved ones know of the change of plans. Just let them down easy! Guests who were not invited preferred to hear the news directly, which we heard time and time again as couples canceled bigger celebrations in favor of smaller elopements. If you may, contact your loved ones to clarify the circumstances. You can blame the decline in guest numbers on the venue or another cause, the blow would be lessened. If someone tells you their concerns or feelings about the postponement, don’t let it get to you. Last time we checked, you’re the one getting married, not them. MAKE. IT. YOURS.
There you have it! You have officially learned how to cancel a wedding! Now all you need to do is plan all of your next steps! We are so glad you are considering eloping because we have you covered there too! Check out our blog on how to elope, just follow the link we have provided!
Like we said, canceling a wedding is such a hard thing to do emotionally. Then to add in actually canceling and rescheduling vendors, it seems like a difficult and extensive task to coordinate. If you’ve made it this far, you are SERIOUSLY considering this. With that, follow our step-by-step guide on how to cancel a wedding successfully. Lastly, get you ready for your NEW big day!
If you are still looking for your elopement photo, click HERE to chat with us today! We’d love the chance to hear about your beautiful plans!
Sam + Bryt