Canceling A Wedding: Returns And Reimbursements
Canceling A Wedding: Returns And Reimbursements
Tiffany Cannis (Wedding Coordinator) gives expert video advice on: What should I do with my wedding dress if I call off my wedding?; Can the shop where I bought my dress help me sell it if I cancel my wedding?; My bridesmaids have already bought their dresses, do I have to pay for them if I call off the wedding? and more...
What should I do with my wedding dress if I call off my wedding?
Wedding dress to me is probably one of the most challenging things that a bride has to do. The guy and the dress are pretty much the first thing that a bride gets besides her engagement ring and pretty much the wedding date and what have you. I think that most people will say that the dress is so important to me that I need to make sure it's the dress I want and I'm willing to spend more on it than anything else. So realistically, it's going to be a huge financial burden for you to get rid of the wedding dress so a couple really of good options for people is definitely call the wedding dress shop or the designer. If it's a custom dress, see how far along they are. If they have only purchased the fabric maybe they can use the fabric for another event. Maybe they can just sell the fabric to you and you can use it for something else. Maybe you can burn it if that's ceremonial to you. Another thing you can do is contact consignment shops. There are lots of brides that need to get a dress for cheap. So contact a consignment shop and once the dress sells you'll get some money from it. You can also donate it. There are many brides who unfortunately can't afford a dress and if you donate it at least you're helping someone and your loss is someone else's gain. You can also sell it on eBay. I have a lot of clients that sell wedding dresses even after the wedding on eBay. A couple of people have asked me if they decide to cancel the wedding should they keep the dress or alter the dress in some way. I say no; you don't want any connection to any part of the wedding. You don't want it to be a joke, you don't want it to be part of a running gag, you just want to get rid of it.
Can the shop where I bought my dress help me sell it if I cancel my wedding?
Sometimes some of the shops do things called 'sample sales' where they will actually sell dresses that were samples. So you can say " do you have a sample sale and, if so, can I sell this dress back to you or can I do it on consignment and if you end up selling it, can I get the money back from it? But again, don't expect to get all your money back from a dress, because, realistically, it's somehow been used in some way unless you really physically have not gotten it and the shop can say "we can take it back, no problem." But, usually, too, for a wedding dress, you pay in full so, sometimes, you pay half up front and half when you get the dress, but, usually once the dress comes in and you called, the dress is yours. You purchased it
My bridesmaids have already bought their dresses, do I have to pay for them if I call off the wedding?
There's a couple of things when it comes to bridesmaids, depending on when you call off your wedding. Let's say you have a nine month engagement and you call off your wedding six months before the wedding. You probably don't have bridesmaids dress yet, you know what I mean? You may not have a lot of things yet. You may not have booked vendors, but don't have actual physical items you have to return. If your bridesmaids already have their dresses, it is appropriate for you to say, would you like to keep the dress, or should I try to buy it back from you, or should I try to help you sell it. There's so many different avenues. Usually the girls will love the dress, maybe they'll want to keep it. Or maybe they'll dye it, or maybe as a group they can post it on a Craigslist or an Ebay and say, we have five bridesmaid dresses in these sizes, can anyone take them off our hands?
Can I keep the engagement ring if I call off my wedding?
Unfortunately, you never get to keep your engagement ring. I would love to say that if you were given this fat rock, that you could definitely keep the ring, especially if you're not the one that cancels. I had one girl that came to me and said, "you know, I'm not the one that canceled the wedding, and it was a gift, and therefore I'm keeping the ring" and I said "Number one, you don't want to keep the ring. I know you just want to sell it. So if you really feel like it is one of those things where it was given to you as a gift, maybe it was even a Christmas gift, a Christmas engagement, a holiday engagement, and you really feel like it was your gift, that's your call if you decide to keep it." Realistically, it's never proper etiquette to keep an engagement ring. You should give it back. Definitely if it's a family heirloom, you have to give it back. You do not have a choice.
What should we do with the wedding rings if I call off my wedding?
Usually you can sell wedding rings back to a jeweler. A lot of people don't know that. And the reason for that; unless they've been engraved, and sometimes even if they have been engraved you know you can kind of melt the gold back over it. But you can usually sell them back. You won't get full price for it. They've been made custom in most, in most regards, but at least you can sell them back and they can be used again in things like that. And so people ask me, "Well how do I know if a ring has been sold back? I don't want a ring that's tainted". And I tell people, "You're not going to know", and usually it hasn't happened. Chances are pretty slim. And usually it is a custom ring, so realistically the jeweler isn't going to be able to resell it, but at least he or she can take the pieces and create something else.
If I cancel my wedding, do I have to cancel all related events as well?
If you've decided that you're canceling your wedding, you are therefore canceling every single event that has to do with it. Now a days, most of my clients have what we call wedding weekends and wedding weeks, which would mean we would be planning 7 days of festivities, we may be planning a rehearsal dinner, a fun wine tasting before that, a great brunch after the wedding, things like that, so if that's the case, you really are canceling a lot of items,. I think most people would feel intimidated, saying well, I don't think I can do it then. You mean that my family is going to take on so much cost and so much loss for me doing this, I can't do it to them. What I would tell someone in that case, again, I'm not a marriage counselor, but I do work with couples very, very closely and I get to know brides and grooms very well. If you're not ready to get married, it's going to show in every aspect of everything you do, and it's going to be a horrible planning process when you could have just nixed it and said, "you know what I'm really sorry, I appoligize, I'm not ready, but as least I'm being mature enough to say it, as apposed to being immature and getting married."
What if I can't afford to compensate friends and family for plans made for my canceled wedding?
If you do decide to cancel and you just financially can't offer anyone anything in return, I think that your attitude and just how gracious you are will show people that you are very apologetic but truly, truly this isn't going to work out. And I think for most people its really your closest family and friends that help you plan these type of things and they're just going to be happy for you that you decided not to get married. Especially since divorce is so prevalent these days. Everyone wants to know that their friends and family are happy. And you really trust that. I think most friends and family would say, "I was hurt that you didn't trust me enough to respect your decision and that I would support you 100%."
What should we do with the gifts we bought for the wedding party?
I would say return anything that you can. Realistically, you want to cut as much financial loss as you can, so if you can return any wedding gifts--something that you purchased for your parents, something that you purchased for the wedding party--go ahead and do it. Don't ever try and give those gifts to the wedding party. They don't want them. And I've definitely had clients, when they have canceled, that have said, "Well, I'll just give them the gift. It was a great gift. I know they'll appreciate it." Nobody wants a memory of a canceled wedding. So definitely just get rid of it. Sell it on eBay. We are very fortunate to live in a time where we can get rid of anything we want at any time.
What if I had my wedding party gifts engraved?
You're pretty much out of luck. I would definitely say give the wedding gift to them if they want it. Let's say its a really nice jewelry box or maybe a flask engraved with their name on it. Maybe when you're ready you can all joke about it, but it's up to you, you may just want to take that financial loss.