Dealing with wedding cancellation fallout

Meagan Dill

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may remember my guilty meltdown a few weeks back at having to turn down a friend’s request for me to be in her bridal party (I was literally unable to attend, being on another continent). Well, it turns out I needn’t have worried. She’s called off the wedding.

In this specific case, I’d prefer not to splash the details of the dissolution of my friend’s engagement all over the internet, but suffice to say the wedding was called off with good reason. And you know what? Having the guts to unravel months of careful planning while going through personal emotional trauma is really something. Honestly, I admire my friend’s bravery.

So, how did she know that this was for real and not just a classic case of cold feet? From what I’ve been able to glean so far in my conversations with her, it seems like where she should have felt butterflies she just felt an impending sense of dread – not just for the wedding, but for the marriage itself. Yikes.

Needless to say, entering into marriage is a huge transition and there’s a certain amount of nervousness that’s normal, but when most of your time is spent quietly trying to traverse internal waves of rising panic, there’s definitely cause for concern. Still, when it comes to life-changing decisions, there is no one-size-fits-all philosophy. The right choice for one person may be the wrong choice for the next, which is why taking alone time to think things over thoroughly is so important.

When it comes to actually undoing all of the wedding arrangements, it may seem near impossible – especially if you’re close to the would-be wedding day – but it’s not. There may be some extra expense and a few disgruntled ex-guests but inconvenience (no matter how dire) just isn’t a good enough reason to spend the rest of your life in misery. The aforementioned friend of mine, for example, was planning to have a destination wedding a couple of cities over from her home town as she was really into the idea of getting married on the beach. So of course many family members had already booked accommodation, and there was a fair amount of messiness when it came to attempting to reclaim deposits, and the like.

On top of that, she was also dealing with attempting to return her wedding dress (unfortunately, in the end, she was unable to), returning wedding gifts and letting the entire guestlist know about the cancellation without giving them the opportunity to unleash a barrage of personal questions she just wasn’t ready to get into just yet. What she ended up doing was selling her dress online and using the money to purchase a spa day for herself and her mum, who was the one who made all necessary phone calls to guests on her behalf.

It’s now a week or two later and things seem to be starting to simmer down. The good news: despite the pain, my friend still feels absolutely sure this was the right thing for her, and actually feels a profound sense of relief. For my part, I feel truly sad that she has had to go through this, but it’s just confirmed something I knew all along: no matter how difficult any life-changing decision may be, following your deepest intuition and looking after yourself is never the wrong choice.