Deciding To Cancel A Wedding
Deciding To Cancel A Wedding
Tiffany Cannis (Wedding Coordinator) gives expert video advice on: What if I cancel my wedding and then change my mind?; What can I do to avoid having to cancel my wedding?; What can I do during the wedding planning process to avoid having to cancel my wedding? and more...
What if I cancel my wedding and then change my mind?
For your own sanity and the sanity of those around you don't cry wolf, don't say that you're going to cancel unless you truly know that you are. I would say this: just think of wedding planning in general if you decide that you're not ready for any reason just take a break, just say you know what; I just need some time - be it a day, be it a week, be it a month. I've had clients who come to me and say I need three months off from wedding planning. Now realistically that puts us far behind in terms of process and I'm very honest with people you will acquire rush fees, you will acquire certain things now because you are postponing but realistically it's better than going through the planning process and getting deeper and deeper into a hole with your fiancé of not being able to communicate effectively and then deciding okay we should've just waited.
What can I do during the wedding planning process to avoid having to cancel my wedding?
The number one thing that I say that people make the most mistake when planning a wedding is not creating a finalized budget. So before you even decide where you are having your wedding, the time of year that you are having your wedding, any of that, you need to sit down and say, "Financially, what can I afford and what are people going to give me?" And it is one of those things where often parents will say, "Well, lets see how much your wedding ends up costing and I'll tell you how much I can spend on the wedding." And you want to say, "No, unfortunately, I need to know up front what it is you can contribute." And sometimes that is a challenge for people. So you can also ask your family, "Well is there any way that maybe you can take care of something like the flowers or the photographer?" Or what have you. But the biggest mistake people make is not sticking to their budget and not creating one that is realistic. One of the things that people will say to me, "I don't need your help as a coordinator." and I always say, "You do need my help and that is probably the number one thing that you need my help with is creating a realistic budget." We obviously know how much clothes cost but realistically do you know how much a diamond ring costs? Do you know how much a photographer costs? So you may say, "My friend got married four years ago and she was able to spend $3,000 on a photographer. With inflation that photographer may now be charging six...things like that, being realistic, just knowing your means. None of us would go out and say, "I can't afford to buy $60,000 car but I'm going to." It's the same way. You need to do your research, know how much things cost, definitely splurge on some items. I tell my clients, "If photography is really important to you, maybe you are going to spend $6,000 on a photographer and maybe flowers are not that important to you and you'll spend three. Just know what your limits are and know what is important to you and spend accordingly.
What if I want to cancel aspects of my wedding, but not the whole thing?
There are a couple things you can do if you want to cancel certain aspects of your wedding. When you're wedding planning, you definitely want to ask your vendor if you're contracted to them for a certain date, or if you're contracted to them for a certain amount. So those are two very distinctive things. You can be contracted to someone and say, "I will be booking your services, and therefore I'm giving you a deposit, but I can spend from x amount with you and up." So realistically, if you're booking, say, a florist, and that says, "You're going to give me a five hundred dollar deposit, and I'm going to keep that deposit to book your date, but you can change whatever you want. So if you decide to just get your personal flowers with me, meaning bouquets, boutonnieres, things like that, and you cancel all your centerpieces, that's okay." Whereas maybe another florist will say, "No. You're contracting with me for ten thousand dollars, so therefore you cannot go below that amount, but you can allocate that money in any way that you prefer." So if you're at all concerned about your budget, you need to be sure that you book the first vendor, which says that you're booking for a date, but not a set amount of money.
What are reasons that people decide to cancel their weddings?
I thought people that have cancelled for a couple of reasons. Definitely people have cancelled because they were not aligned in terms of their goals, in life. And I think that you definitely need to know if you can be with that person forever, and you need to know that person is going to be there for you forever. So realistically, if one of you wants to live in a farm and grow your own vegetables and have a 100 kids, and the other one wants to live in a city and be really involved with their work, then it's probably not a good lifestyle for you to both try to mix those two. And I think people in the end have said, "We love each other deeply but we are not compatible." And compatibility factor is not something we are taught young. We are taught, you are going to find someone, you are going to fall in love, it's going to be so wonderful and romantic. Whereas in reality, you really need to make sure if your lives connect, and you can be compatible, you can make decisions together. I think wedding planning actually is a really good challenge for people, besides doing some work like team building exercise or something like that. It's really the number one way you are saying, "OK we are going to pick about a thousand details together. I am going to compromise and I am going to give to you, and you are going to give to me, and we are going to be selfless at times, and we are going to be greedy at times." And you know if you are wedding planning together you can definitely have a successful marriage.
How can wedding planning show me a different side of my partner?
I think that a lot of people don't combine their finances right off the bat. So when you're dating someone, you know, probably until you move in together you're not going to combine your finances. I have a lot of couples to whom after they get married keep separate bank accounts. I'm not going to give an opinion about that, but I will say that when you're spending money together on large things like a wedding, it's often an eye-opening experience to see how much your counterpart in the relationship really does spend. What one is willing to spend it on? You definitely want to believe that the person you're with has the same value you do. In terms of what money is worth and what certain things are worth. And if one is a frivolous spender and the other isn't, you're definitely going to learn it during the planning process.
How do families contribute to indecision about getting married?
People will come to me and say 'neither family is in favor of this wedding,' and right there that's a red flag. My job is not to counsel a couple, but because I get so close with the couple I do tell them, 'If your family is not happy about the wedding, but they're going to have any involvement in the planning process, I need to know right off the bat.' And it needs to be something that is discussed. And if they're not happy with it, but they're willing to go through with it because you love the person or what have you, that's one thing. If it's something where they're going to make the entire planning process hell for you, and they're going to make it ruin your wedding day, it's horrible, and we need to know that right off the bat. There's definitely other things too, like cultural differences. I do a lot of multicultural weddings, I call them hybrid weddings, and basically it's where we're connecting two different cultures together. We've done an Armenian and a Latina wedding, things like that. And some families really really want you to marry within your culture, and that's okay, but you definitely need to make sure that the families are ready for the marriage to happen because it's not just a marriage and a combining of two people, it's a combining of two families. And when the families are really open to it and excited about it, the wedding is extraordinary. We're able to bring in two cultures and basically create something that both families feel like 'I was represented,' and, 'I was enhanced.' Which is really really, really cool.
What kind of opposition might I encounter to canceling my wedding?
Some people do truly feel that even if you do not want to go through with the wedding you should still not have the shame face on and you should just go through the process. And I think right there will be a challenge. Maybe it's a parent, maybe it's someone that says, you know you're not only affecting yourself, but you're affecting our family name. That's going to be a huge challenge. If you're from a small town and everyone in town knows that you are getting married, or maybe your parents have already posted in the newspaper, the LA Times or the New York Times, that you are getting married and they've put in the engagement picture and things like that. That's going to be a challenge. That's something that you really need to sit down and say, I'm making this decision to not get married anymore and realistically you're not the one getting married. So you need to be respectful to your parents, or to whomever is the one that is saying please just go through with it and then we'll cancel afterwards. But realistically you need to do what is right for you, and maybe this is the first time you've ever stood up to those people. So it will be kind of like a double whammy of maturity.
Will I regret canceling my wedding?
When people decide to cancel a wedding it's usually a well thought out good decision to do. Realistically, if you're having any thoughts, there's definitely a distinction between cold feet and really wanting to cancel and not get married, and so if you decide that it's not just cold feet, but you truly want to cancel your wedding, it's always a good decision. You know, you're basically protecting yourself and the person who you're supposed to get married to from a lot of emotional stress and emotional challenges.
What should I ask myself if I'm thinking of canceling my wedding?
Not being a marriage counselor, just being a coordinator - if someone called me at three in the morning and said, "Tiffany, unfortunately I can't ask anyone else this but you because everyone is just too close to me and you're an unbiased hired coordinator." I would say, "Can you see yourself spending the rest of your life with this person? And realistically do you want a wedding or do you want a marriage?" And I think that right there, if you can't immediately say I want a marriage not a wedding then you need to take a second, and you need to take a second look at it and just give yourself that time.
Should I get into logistics upon deciding I want to cancel my wedding?
Give yourself a day; give yourself a day to think about it. Take a day off work. Don't do something where you're going to just basically postpone the inevitable and say “I'm going to make myself super busy for the next couple days, and then I'll really know.” You really need to sit down and do some soul searching. Take some time off work, take personal days, go to a spa by yourself, be with your closest friends, someone that you really feel comfortable speaking about it with and give yourself that time; because realistically people will come to me and say “Well do I really have the time to think about it?” Of course you do, because it's the biggest decision of your life, or one of the biggest. If you don't take the time now, you may be regretting it later on. Realistically if you decide after those couple days, or after those couple hours even, “You know what, no, I really do want to get married,” you're going to love the person that you're getting married to so much more, and they're going to see that, and we'll see that when it comes to your wedding day.