Most brides do not even contemplate turning round at the altar, but there are a few that walked down that isle knowing they are making a huge mistake. Not every one of these women had the guts to turn and run, as they did not know what happens when they actually cancel their weddings at the last minute.
What happens when you decide to say No at the “I do” part?
The very first and most important thing to know is that this will be a very emotional decision that you make and emotions will rise very quickly with everybody involved. Try to get away from the large mass of people and have a good talk to your groom. He deserves to know why you decided not to go ahead.
After talking to him, get somebody to take you away from the ceremony immediately. Refer from shouting, crying and being honest – there will be lots of time later on to tackle the issues that led to this decision. For now, you should go where you feel safe and comfortable and stay there until you reached peace in your heart again.
For those left behind at the ceremony there are a couple of decisions to be made. If the families decide to go ahead with the reception and treat it like a family and friends get together, the original payment plan stays in place. Every wedding vendor will expect full payment in any case, so the guests may just as well eat the food and enjoy the company.
In some cases, the reception gets cancelled as well. The bride or groom that decided to stop the wedding now may be held responsible for all the wedding costs involved. The law is not clear on this, especially in the case where a proper contract was not drawn up between parties concerned. From experience, I can state that the person walking away usually ended up with all the costs to pay.
The photographer will be charging you full price for the day. You will receive all the pictures he took up to that moment. The photographer will not continue his usual duties unless told so by the person that pays his bill. In most cases, the photographer is tasked to shoot all the elements of the wedding that cost money.
He will thus focus on shooting the food, the flowers, the table settings and so forth. These pictures will not be beautifully lit, but would be clinical recordings of items in bright light as most of these images are used in court battles that follow the stopped wedding. The court needs to see evidence of what the claim against the run away bride is for.
All staff that worked at the wedding is entitled to full payment, as they were booked for the day. These people are also supposed to clear up as usual if the wedding went ahead. This includes the minister, music and venue that all must be paid in full as well.
As you can see, the repercussions of stopping a wedding seems quite an expensive episode, but this should not force you to get married when you know you are making the mistake of your life. You can always have another wedding if your differences are sorted.
In my career, I had three brides walk away and a single groom. From the moment, I met these couples I could sense that this wedding was not on track. All four of them never looked back and went on to marry different partners.