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How To Cancel A Wedding

October 6, 2010
bouquet, wedding, flowers

Photo Courtesy of Tim Forbes

Okay, I’m going to pause our regularly scheduled blogging for a random post. I’d like to talk a little bit about how to cancel a wedding. I know, strange, but go with me here. When I cancelled my wedding, I Googled for advice on how to do so several times. I wanted information and guidance, but a large part of me wanted to find someone out there going through what I was going through. If nothing else, I want my blog to serve as a resource for people who have gone through rough break ups. So I hope that anyone out there needing advice on how to cancel their wedding will have a chance to find my blog through this post (and the wonders of Google).

Here are my tips for cancelling a wedding. They may not apply to all situations, but I think they may help:

  1. Stop crying. Okay, I know, this time really and truly sucks. But you have to stop crying to get anything done.
  2. Start crying. I know, I just told you to stop crying. But make sure to cry appropriately when you call vendors to cancel the wedding. They will feel badly for you and you will have a higher chance of getting your deposit back.
  3. Ask for help. Your friends and family are here to help you. Use them. Do not try to do everything yourself.
  4. Know that there are some things you have to do for yourself. Unfortunately, you may know the most about your wedding, and you’ll need to cancel many of the vendors yourself. It’ll just go faster if you do some of this work yourself.
  5. If the invitations have already gone out, someone has to call everyone. Notice I said “someone.” That someone does not have to be you. In fact, I think it is in no way your responsibility to tell everyone. That’s why you have people in your life that can help.
  6. Have your ex fiancée do some of the work too. But follow up. Learn from my mistake here. I assigned my ex fiancée two things when we cancelled the wedding: cancel the tuxes and take down the wedding website. The same wedding website where I told some obnoxious story about how we had a fairy tale romance. Gag me now. I never followed up on the website, until a friend of mine told me she had something to show me on her computer. Not only had my ex not taken down the wedding website, he made the home page “I will always love you.” How embarrassing. Follow up to make sure things not only get done, but that they get done right.
  7. Take down the wedding registry. I damn near forgot this step, until I did a Google search for myself (just to see the results) and my wedding registry came up on top. Take it down. But before you do so, be sure to buy yourself something from the registry. What was the one item that you were unbelievably excited about when you were shopping? Mine was an ice cream maker. After the break up, I bought myself that ice cream maker. Just because I’m not getting married doesn’t mean I don’t deserve nice things.
  8. Return any gifts. When you return those monogrammed towels that have your’s and your ex’s initials on them, the giver will try to convince you to keep them. They will not realize how silly it would be for you to have your ex’s initials in your bathroom in your new apartment. All gifts must be returned. Even the gift cards from the engagement party. This one is especially hard. A gift card to Target would be really helpful as you are furnishing your new place. But you must return it. It’s the right thing to do. The one thing you don’t have to return? All those congratulatory bottles of wine you got for the engagement. I don’t care what Emily Post says, I drank all that wine. Consider it a break up gift.
  9. Clear your DVR of any wedding-related shows and cancel the wedding magazines. When I cancelled my wedding, nine out of ten shows scheduled on my DVR were wedding shows. Say Yes to the Dress. Four Weddings. Bridezillas. You do not need to be reminded that you are not getting married every time you check to see what you have to watch on your DVR. Also, I had a wedding magazine subscription that I neglected to cancel. Which resulted in this. Learn from my mistakes. Immediately clear the DVR, cancel the magazines and unsubscribe from The Knot e-mails. You’ll thank me.  
  10. Figure out logically what to do with the engagement ring. Don’t, in the heat of passion, say, throw the ring at your ex fiancée (which I did, true story). Odds are, you aren’t getting it back. Check out the laws in your state and have an adult conversation with your ex about who should get the ring.
  11. Put the wedding dress somewhere far, far away. And by far away, I do not mean the closet in the extra bedroom. You do not want to have too much of that break up gift wine and decide to try it on, just one last time. Suddenly you’ll find yourself weeping in a wedding dress that you aren’t going to have the chance to wear. Or sell, because now it has a merlot stain on it. Does not make for fun times.
  12. Do something fun for what would have been your wedding day. Surround yourself with people who love you. For me, July 10 was probably one of the hardest days of my life. Luckily, I had my two sisters and one of my very best friends with me on a trip to the beach. Were there some bumps in the road? Yes. Did I have too much to drink and call my ex? Allegedly. But did I have with me amazing women who reminded me how much I have and how special I am? Absolutely.
  13. Know that someday, you will have a wedding. It will be with the right person. It may not be the same wedding of which you had dreamed, you probably won’t have the same bridesmaids or the same dress and it most likely won’t be with the same man. But this day being cancelled does not mean that your dream dies. It’s just on hold for a bit. So do not mourn the loss of this day. You can mourn the loss of your relationship. But you can also celebrate the opportunity you have now to have a different wedding, but more important, a real marriage. That’s something pretty special.

Readers, I know that most of you haven’t cancelled any weddings, but you probably have felt the loss after the end of a relationship. Is there anything else you would add to this list?

And thanks for bearing with me on this tangent. Back to regularly scheduled blogging soon …

152 Comments leave one →
  1. Professor X permalink
    October 6, 2010 10:18 am

    I especially agree with #12. Ironically, I was at a WEDDING with my new fiancee (now wife). Apparently, all my friends and her friends were asking how I was doing–and my former wedding date honestly was completely not on my radar until the Sunday of that weekend.

    I still have an unsold engagement ring/wedding band combo if anybody’s buying . . .

    • October 6, 2010 12:52 pm

      Ha, that is pretty ironic. And fast moving, Professor X! 🙂 I actually forgot that you too went through something similar, so thanks for the comment.
      If we wanna turn this into a classified forum, I also have a wedding dress, garter belt, guest book, a million paper funnels to hold rose petals… lol…. all for sale to one lucky buyer!! haha 🙂

  2. October 6, 2010 10:50 am

    Helpful list for a stressful topic.

    I like your delegate, but then follow-up on the ex-fiance’s assignments. Give him something that if screwed up is not too much of a big deal.

    • October 6, 2010 1:00 pm

      Thanks! I thought the things I gave my ex were simple, but guess not so much. Hmm, wonder if those tuxes were ever cancelled? LOL

    • October 6, 2010 11:14 pm

      Agreed with slamdunk, very helpful list. Definitely quite a few things I didn’t know myself. You all hope no one here has to go through this or something like this, but when stuff like this happens, is helpful to know.

      • October 7, 2010 12:51 am

        Thank you so much! I knew this one was pretty random, but I do hope someone somewhere who is canceling their wedding has a chance to find this list.

        • Lisa permalink
          March 10, 2011 6:59 pm

          Hi Catherine, Thank you so much. My fincee cancelled our wedding 6 weeks out. He was talking about picking up our rings on the wednesday then ended us on the friday. Some friends havent been as supportive as i thought they’d be. Tough love is really not such a helpful thing right now. Its all been such a blur that reading your blog at least stoped my tears for a little while. Thank you.
          (Im not even sure how i ended up on this site)

        • March 15, 2011 10:43 pm

          Thanks so much for your comment and I’m so sorry to hear about your wedding and the end of your relationship. I know you are going through a really tough time right now, but please know that you will survive, even thrive after this. It’s so hard right now, but you will make it. Take care of yourself first and foremost. My advice would be to not allow anyone to bring you down and away from taking care of you first – even tough love from your friends that you need to be more supportive. You should tell them exactly what you need, and really lean on the friends who are able to provide that. Take care, I’m sending positive thoughts your way.

        • April 5, 2017 10:09 am

          Your blog has helped me tremendously these past 24 hours. I called off the wedding(luckily 4 months into engagement we had not booked anything, so the only deposit I don’t get back is my time)… I did throw the ring… for the 8th time. I have known for a while this wasn’t right. I created a blog I’m not releasing… yet.. maybe later. Theglambreakup. Anyways. Thank you for giving me courage. Thank you for giving me insight. Thank you for inspiring me to write about my experience… thus far. Super scared and super unsure of what the future holds but YOU agave given me the extra push I need to make the hardest choice. One I know is the better choice for my future(and his!). Thank you.

  3. October 6, 2010 11:08 am

    Hide your facebook relationship status before changing it so that the changed status does not show up in anyone’s minifeeds. Fewer questions that way!

  4. Sunflowerdiva permalink
    October 6, 2010 11:40 am

    That must have been such a hard time for you. But, like Slamdunk siad, it’s a helpful list for a stressful topic. If I ever have to cancel a wedding (which I seriously hope I do not!) I’ll remember your advice.

    • October 6, 2010 1:05 pm

      I certainly hope you will never have to cancel a wedding either – I definitely doubt you will. But hey, you’ll be prepared with this handy dandy list. LOL 🙂 Thanks for your comment, appreciate your thoughts.

  5. ashley permalink
    October 6, 2010 12:06 pm

    I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only person who Googled “how to cancel a wedding”…and for the record, your list is much better than anything I have previously seen.

    I would also add cancelling any wedding website (weddingbee, theknot) or newsletter subscriptions. In the weeks following our cancelled engagement I received many emails telling me how “create the perfect guestlist” or “find your dream dress”…not what I needed and I promptly unsubscribed.

    Following what would have been our wedding day I also received emails congratulating me and offering suggestions on “how to have a happy marriage”. I went as far as emailing one of the newsletter creators telling her that my wedding had been cancelled so I would not like emails from her anymore. She actually emailed me back asking if that meant that I wanted to be removed from all the wedding mailing lists…WTF?!?

    Above all I think number 13 is the best piece of advice. I don’t know if I will ever get married again but I do know that there is happiness after all the crap. For me, with time, also came a huge sense of relief that it happened before the wedding and not afterwards. Cancelling a wedding is terrible but I somehow think that divorce would be worse.

    • October 6, 2010 1:12 pm

      Ashley, thanks so much for commenting. I’m glad to know you also Googled “how to cancel a wedding” as well! At least we are both sisters in that. 🙂 I do hope that other people who Google that will have the opportunity to find this list, and this blog.

      Good call on cancelling the wedding website/newsletter subscriptions. Do you know I still get those sometimes? Just when I think I’ve cancelled them all, another one pops in my inbox and I want to shoot someone. Thank God I didn’t get any about “how to have a happy marriage” once the wedding day had passed. That must have been awful to read. And as far as that one woman, people are idiots. There’s seriously no other excuse.

      Thanks on #13. As an after thought, I’ve considered updating that one to say something a little different. Because you know what, someone who cancelled the wedding may actually never get married again. And that’s OK too. The point is, you will be happy again. I promise. And I agree with you – so much relief that I am dealing with a cancelled wedding and not a divorce.

      Thanks again for your comment! I’m sending such positive thoughts your way as you recover!

  6. October 6, 2010 1:54 pm

    I studied abroad in France, and while I was there, one of my friends broke off her engagement of several years. While she hadn’t started planning the wedding already, it was pretty much set in stone. I’m sure she would have appreciated something like this, especially when she got home to face everyone.

    Kudos for being there to support other gals in the same tough spot!

    • October 6, 2010 7:36 pm

      Aww, that’s sad to hear. Thanks for your nice words – I too hope I can help a few people! And PS – how jealous am I about your studying abroad in France?! 🙂

  7. October 6, 2010 2:06 pm

    Two words about laws regarding engagement rings: 1.) Bull 2.) Shit

    Use your brain. If the man broke your heart — for whatever reason — keep the ring. You deserve a diamond and he does not deserve to get it back!

    On the other hand, if the lady busts up the guy he has every right to get his diamond back.

    I can’t fathom a reason that I would break off an engagement other than a man breaking my heart — in which case the diamond (or ruby because I want a ruby) is MINE!

    Great list Catherine — another lovely post!


    • October 6, 2010 7:51 pm

      LOL, Crystal. I have to say – I disagree on this one (shocking, I disagree with you! haha). The hurt and deceived woman in me wants to agree with you, but the person of practicality and fairness inside of me says otherwise. I mean, let’s just say, and I think you understand just tip of the iceberg here, I was pretty wronged in my situation. 9 out of 10 dentists agree I got screwed in my last relationship. However, my ex proposed on October 31 (yeah I know, Halloween, boo). We cancelled the wedding the following April. I only had the ring like 6 months. It was about 10 grand. Why I had such an expensive engagement ring is another story, but it is what it is. I loved the hell out of that ring. But no matter what he did to me (unless he like murdered someone in my family), I couldn’t imagine it being worth him being out 10 grand. He deserved that ring back. He was already losing enough on resale – there is no way he was getting all of that $ back. I don’t know, it just would seem fundamentally wrong for me to keep the ring. He spent so much on it, and it wouldn’t be fair for him to be making payments for the next five years on a ring that I had sold and for a wedding we cancelled.

      BUT – he did pay for all the wedding costs. That is one thing I stuck to (and to be frank, he showed me that part of the man that I really loved was still there, because he didn’t argue one bit, he just wanted to make things as easy as possible on me). All the money I put into the wedding, he reimbursed. He ended up being out at least 8 grand in that process. I did not deserve to go into debt because we had to cancel a wedding because of him. So trust, I got something in the end… just not the ring. Even if I didn’t throw it at him, I’m pretty sure I would have just given it to him. But part of me wishes I never threw it, because I still have that vision in my head. Would like to have had a much more mature vision in my head.

      I love that you want a ruby – that’s my birthstone, by the way! 🙂

  8. japanesemiscellany permalink
    October 6, 2010 2:11 pm

    This is an excellent post
    2 things I’d ad to they list would be #1 toss all photo’s and #2 box up all gifts he gave you with strong sentimental memories and put them in the garage for later sale.

    1# I was ready to trash photos but my mother advised boxing them them away instead because perhaps one day I’d want to remember that period in my life. I love my mother and took her advice but honestly after 3 years there’s nothing worth recalling and the box can easily be tossed without regret. The other draw back of her advice is that your new love may find this old forgotten box or computer file and think ur still hung up on your ex (true story), why have an X you’re over complicate a new relationship…I say toss old photos.

    #2 Gifts. In a fit of anger I dumped most gifts and memorabilia (including jewelry) into a box and mailed it to him. Hind sight is 20/20 and I later wished I’d set the items aside till feelings cooled then sold them for a nice vacation.

    • October 6, 2010 7:54 pm

      Thank you so much! Wow, I’m torn on your advice (but thanks for giving it). I was with my ex for seven years, and I can’t bring myself to trash any of the photos. I agree with your Mom, actually. If I were to throw those photos away, I would literally be giving up seven years of photos. Almost all the major occasions in my life, he was there. They make me sad to think about now, so I’ve tucked them away, but that was such a bit part of my life and I’m not going to just erase it. I really think I would regret it if I did. But, everyone woman for herself. If you feel like you still want to get rid of them, I think you’ve had enough time to make that decision, so I say go for it!

      As far as gifts, that’s a good point. You can definitely sell them. I’m too close to the breakup, I think. I can’t imagine selling anything. I want to keep everything for now – hidden until I’m ready to deal with it. But I can’t imagine just giving it up.

      But … the point here is… I’m just closer to my breakup than you, and I’m also very sentimental about things. Things experiences, these photos, are all part of me. They are all important parts of my life. I don’t think I can just throw them out. But, I think your advice will resonate with some people who have those urges, so thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. October 6, 2010 3:57 pm

    You are so strong and brave! There is definitely an amazing guy out there for you =]

    • October 6, 2010 7:55 pm

      Aww, that’s very sweet. Thank you so much – I hope so, I really do. 🙂

  10. October 6, 2010 4:52 pm

    I am going to print this out and put it in my wedding binder for if I ever get married and if I need to cancel it, which will probably happen. You’ve prepared us so well. I especially like #12 🙂


    • October 6, 2010 7:57 pm

      Haha… That would make your wedding binder very sad. What’s that honey? Oh that’s just the list of things I need to do if we cancel the wedding. No worries. Now, what do you think of this flower arrangement?? LOL…. thanks for your comment Gizzy. I like #12 too. I’m so happy I didn’t stay home and cry. I went to the beach and cried. But laughed a lot too!

  11. October 6, 2010 6:09 pm

    #12 my 3 year anniversay is coming up in a few months. i haven’t given much thought to it but i know i will have to face it sooner or later, MUST PREPARE!


    • October 6, 2010 7:58 pm

      Oh really? Definitely, definitely prepare. I know I’m going to put special thought each year into what I’m going to do on July 10. Actually, my anniversary of the engagement is coming up in a few weeks, not looking forward to that one. Oh well….

  12. October 6, 2010 6:55 pm

    You *would* buy yourself an ice cream maker! How perfect. I bet you would have ended up with 8 or 9 of those if you’d actually gone through with the wedding.

    japanesemiscellany said “toss all photos.” I have a close friend who did the same after her divorce. For me, I’ve got a box full of love letters from the ex that I just can’t ever bring myself to get rid of, never mind the fact that she “done me wrong,” as they say. They are mementoes of a happier time, and as such, I’ll hang onto them. The same would apply to photos.

    • October 6, 2010 8:01 pm

      Haha, I feel like you know me so well now. Yep, got the ice cream maker. Funny thing is I haven’t used it yet- I’ve been too busy with the blog! I’m gonna do it though. Can’t. Friggin. Wait.
      I agree with you – see my follow up to japanesemicellany – I say keep the photos. They are an important part of your life, your past. I can’t imagine having thrown those away. Do I want them framed on my walls? Not so much. But I don’t want to throw them out completely.

  13. Millie Turner (Mom) permalink
    October 6, 2010 7:36 pm

    Catherine, you grow stronger every day, we love the woman you have become.

    • October 6, 2010 8:02 pm

      Aw – thank you Mommy! I would call you Mom, but that comment touched me so much I feel the urge to call you Mommy. LOL. 🙂

  14. October 7, 2010 12:09 am

    I really enjoyed this post along with it being so random. But it makes sense. The only thing I would add which has already been stated is the facebook status. We all like to use facebook to get back at those that thought we wouldn’t have much, amount to much, or date/marry much so every now and then we like to stick to those know-it-alls. Lol and I think it’s justifiable, but just make sure you keep your relationship status to a minimum until everything is set in gold. And I know sometimes this doesn’t even makes no difference. It can still save you a whole other level of embarrassment or shame.

    • October 7, 2010 12:56 am

      Thanks for your comment and for appreciating my randomness. Yeah the Facebook piece is rough. Especially when you get engaged, it is so exciting to post that on Facebook and welcome the dozens of congrats. I think most people who get engaged would never imagine canceling the wedding at some point. I think the key here is to discreetly change your relationship status, and then delete the post so most people won’t see it. You shouldn’t have to deal with the questions or reactions of your friends… It’s your business and your life.

  15. ashley permalink
    October 7, 2010 8:07 am

    Just wanted to add that I agree with you about the ring. I had mine for over a year before we cancelled our engagement and although I loved it there is no way I wanted to keep it or sell it. Keeping it would have been a reminder of what was lost and selling it would just have been way too sad. Overall I’m happy with my decision to give it back, regardless of what it was worth or how much I was hurting.

    • October 7, 2010 8:05 pm

      Thanks for adding this, Ashley. I agree with you completely. It’s a tough decision – I’m happy that you can live with yours, because I’m comfortable with mine too. Just wish I hadn’t thrown it. That’s all.

  16. October 7, 2010 9:42 am

    Keep in mind that some of those things also work with regular ole break up. Like “Just because I’m not getting married doesn’t mean I don’t deserve nice things.”

    Because Hallmark doesn’t make cards that say, “Sorry you didn’t marry that jerk” OR “Glad you realized your boyfriend was an asshole”… you should spend a little time pampering yourself in an effort to aid the healing process.

    • October 7, 2010 8:07 pm

      Hallmark SHOULD make cards like that. With so many crappy guys out there, I bet there is a market for it. LOL.

      You are right on about the pampering, that’s a great tip. I’ve definitely done my fair share of that (within reason) and I find it really helps to treat yourself to whatever makes you happy. Because, at the end of the day, your happiness is in your own hands…. do all you can to make yourself happy. Don’t rely on anyone else.

  17. October 7, 2010 1:26 pm

    I hope I’ll never need to follow any of this advice (and I’ve got a good feeling about lucky Date #16) but I enjoyed the read 🙂 Only one thing to add: BUY CHOCOLATE!!! I think crises always go best with chocolate.

    • October 7, 2010 8:13 pm

      I too, hope you’ll never need this advice. And I doubt you ever will. But OMG – chocolate (and if I had to add to that, ice cream) is such a great tip. You are right on… crises do go best with chocolate 🙂

  18. October 7, 2010 2:25 pm

    I’m so sorry, Catherine. This is all such good advice, but it makes me so sad you ever had to do any of these things. Still you bring up such a good point about asking for help. The people around you will want to know what they can do to ease you through the cancellation.

    I’ve had three very close friends cancel their weddings. And I’m embarrassed to say I never once asked what I could do to help them back out of all the arrangements. Shame on me for that. I was so much younger than I am now, but that’s no excuse.

    • October 7, 2010 8:18 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, I know what you mean about being sad. Sometimes I’m sad I had to deal with it too – but I do feel like I’m much stronger now. You shouldn’t be embarrassed that you didn’t ask if you could help – you were young, and really that’s a hard thing to deal with. I know so many people didn’t know how to help me, didn’t offer because they really didn’t know what to say. And to be fair, if I needed help, I should have asked more. That’s why I added it to the tips – I was a little afraid to ask for help, and I hope that someone will find this list and not be afraid to ask themselves.

      And still, people don’t know what to say to me sometimes. My friends that get engaged hamper their enthusiasm for their weddings around me, if someone meets “the one” they don’t want to talk with me about it … that makes me sad. Because I’ve gone through this does not mean I don’t want to partake in and enjoy their happiness with them. I hope that with more time, this will subside too.

  19. L.A. permalink
    October 7, 2010 2:57 pm

    i feel like i should have seen your posts BEFORE the cancelling the wedding one. I’m all about the simply solo part — now i’m a little terrified of what comes next!

    • October 7, 2010 8:21 pm

      Don’t be terrified! I definitely don’t know what your situation is – but everything is gonna be fine. I’m Simply Solo after cancelling a wedding – back in April. I’ve had lots of time to recover. I just wanted to share my learnings in case anyone out there on the Internet would find this blog someday 🙂

  20. October 7, 2010 3:42 pm

    Excellent tip about the wine! Can’t you Americans buy wine with Target giftcards? Just saying….

  21. October 8, 2010 9:46 am

    Awww Catherine! This made me sad and happy at the same time. I am sorry you had to go through it, but I’m so glad you came out on top and can offer advice to those who need it.

    A friend of mine cancelled her wedding, too. And on the “wedding night” some girlfriends and I took her out for a night on the town for an Un-Bachelorette party. We did a bar crawl with a scavenger hunt I made (find a male virgin, a penny with your birth year, a blow job shot, etc) and it was hilarious.

    She still shed a few tears but we got tons of free drinks—the guys loved it that we were celebrating our singleness!


    • October 10, 2010 11:22 pm

      Thank you Lucky! I am happy I had to cancel a wedding, not have an divorce, so I’m happy too. That sounds like such a fun time with your friend! Amazing. It’s so important to have strong fun women with you at hard times like these. Props for being such a good friend!

  22. October 8, 2010 2:12 pm

    I’m sure there are many who will appreciate this post. It isn’t easy to share things that hit so close to home. You have gracefully come out of this horribly sad situation. You go girl; we’re all proud of you!

    Might I add that I agree with your wine-therapy? Haha.

    • October 10, 2010 11:23 pm

      Thanks so much! Very sweet. And definitely… wine therapy is where it’s at!

  23. October 9, 2010 5:35 pm

    This post was fantastic (not the fact that you had to do it obviously) but you’re right…people need to be able to to find this shit. As together and happy about being my gung-ho-god-ain’t-life-grand-appreciate-every-moment-sunshine-and-cotton-candy-swaddled-up-in-love self that I am right now…there was a moment…whoa…weird sidebar…EXACTLY one year ago this weekend…when my just-shy-of-6-year relationship ended…and you know what I was googling…how to get over a breakup…because honestly though I’d had relationships before…not a single one really came even close…and so I needed advice…in fact…I think I’m going to do just as you have done…but for my situation (BLOGPOST!!! woohoo!!!)…expect a shoutout 😛

    • October 10, 2010 11:24 pm

      Thank you so much! i love that you are all cotton-candy-swaddled-up-in-love (LOL!) right now. It’s interesting – I googled how to get over a breakup too. It’s funny, I feel like I didn’t find much good advice out there. You should definitely write about that, I think it’d be great. I’ve been playing around with a list of tips for break ups too 🙂 We link to each other!

  24. May 3, 2011 6:58 pm

    I hadn’t seen this, and it’s lovely. Heartbreaking, funny, inspiring, practical, and unique. I think you’re very brave, Catherine, and I hope to one day read you blog about the wedding you didn’t have to cancel and the marriage that made you happy. =) xxx

    • May 4, 2011 9:14 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I have the same hope that, in the future, I will write a blog about my wedding – a wedding I won’t have to cancel and a very happy marriage to the person I’m supposed to be with. I believe it will happen. I just have to give it time.

  25. Nicole permalink
    May 17, 2011 9:11 am

    I just stumbled upon this blog and I realize you wrote it over a year ago. I too googled “How to Cancel a Wedding”. My wedding is in 3 months, we have been together for five years. Two day ago I found out through a text message on his phone he has cheated on me twice in the past two weeks. He says it was just stress and nerves of the upcoming wedding and that it has never happened before. I am still in such shock I can not decide what to do, work it out, go to counseling, postpone the wedding or cancel it and leave for ever. My heart is breaking. My mom has been calling me about invitations and her dress fitting, I told her I have a stomach virus and can’t talk, I’m not ready to tell her. I know that once my parents know the truth there will be no going back. Do people change? Should I walk away? I don’t know if I am more scared of losing this wedding and marriage that I have put all my time and dreams into or if I really still love him I just can’t make a decision. I feel like my life is falling apart. Any advice

    • May 17, 2011 9:45 pm

      Hey Nicole,

      I’m so sorry to hear about everything that’s going on. I know how tough what you are going through is, and I understand your hesitation in telling anyone. Trust me, I was there too. First of all, please know that you are going to be OK no matter what you decide. If you decide to postpone the wedding, you can still have it later. With him or with someone else. It’s not gone forever if you cancel it – and I know it may feel that way. You need to take some time to think about what you want from your partner and a marriage. Do you believe that this was a one-time (or two-time) mistake? Or will you never be able to trust him again? Has he done similar things in the past? What does it mean to you that you caught it, instead of him admitting it? I can’t really give you advice and tell you to stay or go – only you know the answer to that. But please, take your time and make a decision that is recognizing that this is a decision that will affect the rest of your life. Your wedding day is just that – one day. Please do not base your decision on the money spent on this wedding or the time you put into it. And don’t base your decision on what you think people will think. You need to base your decision on what you know in your heart and your head. You only know your fiance. And you only know what you want in a relationship and what you feel like you deserve. It does not hurt to postpone the wedding to figure this out. You need time to build the trust for your fiance again, if you are to move forward. I cancelled my wedding three months before the big day, and one of the driving forces for me was that I knew I didn’t want to stand at the altar with someone I wasn’t sure I could trust. I could picture myself the day that is supposed to be on the of the happiest days of my life, filled with doubt, regrets and fear that I was making the wrong decision. This is not the way you want to be on the altar making a life-long commitment. So, if you don’t think your relationship can be repaired by then (and if not, that’s no one’s fault – this is a hard thing to overcome), please give yourself the time to be sure. This is a big decision. Right now you are cancelling a wedding. If you wait, you could be getting divorced.

      Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need someone to talk with. And please consider telling someone close to you. You deserve to talk this through with someone, and I’m afraid that if you keep it to yourself, you are almost shaming yourself like you did something wrong. Which you didn’t. Feel free to email me at And this is another good website, where real ex-brides talk about their experiences on the message board, which helped me a lot:

      Take care of yourself, I’m sending positive thoughts your way.

  26. Ally permalink
    May 26, 2011 2:32 pm

    Like a few others, I stumbled on this post when I Googled “How to cancel a wedding”. I gave my ring back three days before Christmas, and I’m still having a hard time coming to terms with things. We were supposed to be married in August, and lately I’ve had a few vendors call (despite the fact that I thought I’d canceled everything during the post-break-up shock), so I found myself overwhelmed and Googling.

    I started from the beginning (since that seemed the best place to start!), and I have to tell you how normal(ish) it makes me feel to find out that I’m not the only one going through all these crazy emotions. (And also that I’m not the only one whose ex made fun of her toilet paper use. I mean, really, since when is having clean lady parts a bad thing)?

    Anyway, I can’t wait to catch up to present day, but since this is the post that brought me here, I figured it’d be the best place to leave my first comment.

    Thanks again!

    • June 1, 2011 11:01 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear about your cancelled wedding. I imagine what you have been going through the past several months has been very hard. The vendors continously calling are the absolute worst. I was also on so many mailing lists for dresses, venues, etc, it felt like I was getting wedding-related emails forever. I promise that at some point it will end. Unsubscribe from that stuff and tell the vendors to stop calling you. Eventually (it took me several months, but eventually) it’ll stop.

      I’m so glad that my blog has been able to help you in even the smallest way. It’s been a tough road, but I can’t imagine my life now having not gone down this road. I am so much stronger now – well, maybe I’m just as strong as I was before, but now I know it. And regarding the toilet paper, I really think it’s the men that have a problem – they are probably walking around with dirty bums! 🙂

      Feel free to email me any time if you need to talk with someone who has been through this or you want to vent to a stranger. My email address is

      Take care of yourself! You are going to be OK – promise!

  27. onelittlejill permalink
    June 21, 2011 11:36 am

    I just came across this on freshly pressed. I wish I had in 2003 (were blogs even around then?!?!) when I was going through all this. You, from only the few posts I read, handled this with so much grace. And humor. Calling off my wedding was the hardest personal decision I have ever made, still to date. It was the right thing to do- I have no regrets. But I had a lot of pain. Even reading some of your posts, and feeling how I so closely connected with them at one time, gives me that little feeling in my heart. At the end of the day…I know I did the right thing though. And you did too. And even if every Sept 14, I still think about “what could have been” I also always remember that nothing that has happened since would be the same. I would have missed out on a lot. Maybe I knew that then without really know it, you know?

    Anyway, the perspective is still appreciated even after all these years.

    • June 27, 2011 6:46 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. It’s soooo great to hear from someone who went through what I have – and that you don’t regret your decision. I can’t tell you how relieving it is to read that. And, you help me feel a little more normal when it comes to always noticing my unwedding day. I wondered if it ever goes away, but from what you’ve said, it doesn’t. But that’s ok. You sound like you are really able to appreciate all that’s happened to you since you cancelled your wedding – I hope I feel that way too in a few year’s time 🙂 I already do appreciate many of the things I’ve experienced this past year. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me! Good luck to you and thanks again.

      • onelittlejill permalink
        June 30, 2011 10:00 am

        You know the ridiculously cliche saying, “time heals?” Well, it does. It really truely does. But only in one’s own time.

        Having read much more of your blog at this point, I sometimes felt we were the same person! I went through so much of what you did! Any time you want to email, my email is Feel free!

        • July 5, 2011 9:46 am

          Thanks so much onelittlejill! I may take you up on that. And my email is if you’d like to email me as well.
          And you are so right… time does heal. It just sucks that you can’t speed up time and heal faster 🙂

  28. June 28, 2011 2:50 am

    Im not certain how I ran accross this blog, but it is truely great and inspiring for me! I recently canceled my wedding 2 weeks prior to our wedding day (june 4 2011) and it has been about a month now since we ended the idea of marriage. It has been a life changing past 4 weeks, we also lived together after engagment( despite my instincts telling me not to) so not only have I had to cancel everything but move and sort my emotions simultainously :/ .. the week after our breakup we finally had a rational conversation again, and now we are actually trying to work things out, we often discuss what went wrong and how to fix it. We both mutually agreed that it was just wedding jitters and we both said some silly things wich unfortunatly cant be transformed back to a thought instead of hostil words.. Both of our families support our decision to “try again” and we are taking some counseling classes and talking with our preacher..these have all been very helpful so far, but despite all these changes we both have made to improve I still have a terrible feeling that God had his reasons for us not being married june 4th and I cant seem to figure out for my self if he wanted us to work out our issues to be happier in the future or if things will take a turn for the worse later in life because we changed our minds and decided we do want to try again?? I am very much in love he is a wonderful man despite some problems he is working on, do you think this could work for a lifetime if we really worked hard on it or have you not herd of many success stories like this with getting back together so soon?

  29. June 28, 2011 3:01 am

    also, Catherine your story was very inspiring for me because one of your posts was talking about “signs” and how promenant they can be in life, and this helped me because i had seen a bunch of signs that were telling me to slow down and work on problems before marriage, but I never listened because I was focused on “the wedding” and due to my lack of listening skills God slowed it down for me and we are not gettig married immediatly but we are talking and working through issues now at least…and I know how hard it was for you to give up someone who was part of your life for so many years, I am very sad you had to endure that in your past, but also know that you are somone with such a wonderful heart who shares stories with other people going through simlilar hardships to ease your listeners pain, and you will most deffinatly find a wonderful husband in your future..

    • July 5, 2011 9:58 am

      Thanks so much for your comments and I’m sorry for my delay replying – I’ve been out of town for several days. Wow, I’m so sorry to hear for all you are going through. That’s really tough but it sounds like you guys are making a smart decision to slow things down and seek counseling. This is your life and you deserve to take the time to make the right decisions for you – especially without a pending wedding date bearing down on you. As far as your question about whether I’ve seen couples have success after getting back together so soon… I don’t think I’m really qualified to give advice on that. I see a certain type of reader on this blog, and usually they are reading my story alongside recovering from their breakup. Once they try to work on the relationship, they often stop reading, mostly because why would you ever want to read about someone trying to thrive after a breakup when you gave it a second shot? So, I can’t say that I hear those stories as much as I hear the stories of people who moved on and were happy. So – I think it’s just circumstances that bring people here, and I hear more stories similar to my own than anything else. Unfortunately, I’m not a psychologist or a marriage counselor or anything, or else I’d be able to give you some actual stats 🙂

      I think you are taking the right steps with the counseling. You just need to continue to follow your heart and your brain – only you know what is right for you. But, if you decide to take a break from the relationship, that doesn’t have to be the end. Maybe you two just need some time from eachother. I can’t tell you how much taking some time away from my ex helped put things in perspective. I read a book – It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken – and the authors suggested that you take a break from your ex for 6 months. I didn’t follow this to the T, but I have to tell you, getting some distance from my ex gave me a lot of perspective on the relationship and my decision. When you aren’t clouded by the love you have for this person, you can see things more clearly.

      I am sending you the best of luck, and hope that everything works out for you – whether with him, or not. Just know that you will be fine no matter what happens. You are strong (and if you doubt that EVER, remember how strong you were to cancel a wedding two weeks out – how many people would have the strength to do that?!). You can handle anything.

      Best of luck to you, and feel free to email me anytime –

    • fullyalive permalink
      January 12, 2012 1:09 pm

      Sweetheart, all I can say is I can understand the pain and agony of indecision and tornness when you are so in love with someone, but something (warning bells, advice, anxiety) keeps you back. I cancelled my wedding six weeks before the day last summer due to almost paralyzing anxiety and self-doubt. You are in my thoughts because it is the hardest time and I am still recovering from it, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and you will find your way.

  30. Lauren permalink
    July 21, 2011 10:23 pm

    Wow! Finding this blog was a huge help…I am that girl who can relate my wedding got cancelled today. I just finished calling the last vendor right before I discovered your post. Thank you for all of the great tips and pointers I really needed to find this. Most of all I needed to know I was not the only one.
    You have a great blog…and most of all you really inspired me to know everything is going to be ok. I know it’s going to suck after being with someone for 6 years and then being dumped 3 months before your wedding day but I also know I’m not the only one.

    Thank you again

    • July 23, 2011 6:20 pm

      Hi Lauren,
      I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. I know this time is really tough. I felt so alone when my wedding was cancelled, so I know exactly how you feel. You are not alone. There are many other people who have gone through this, and they have some great tips. This website may help you as well:
      Everything will be OK…. It just takes time. I’m sending you positive thoughts and strength. Take care of yourself. And let me know if there is anything I can do to help. If you need to talk, feel free to email me:

  31. jen permalink
    July 24, 2011 4:57 pm

    I just made the tough decision to cancel my wedding and break things off today. I am 28 and have been dating my fiance (ex) for 8 years. I am a complete wreck and feel like my world is ending. I don’t know what to do with myself and am so happy I have come across your blog. It gives me hope, so thank you.

    • July 25, 2011 8:13 pm

      My heart breaks a little every time I see a comment like this. I’m so so sorry to hear what you are going through. I know that this time is incredibly hard. I’m happy if my blog can provide any little bit of comfort, and please email me if you ever want to talk one-on-one. My email is I’m thinking of you and hoping you heal quickly. Take care of yourself.

  32. Amanda permalink
    August 16, 2011 10:58 am

    My wedding is 3 weeks away and my fiance has decided to cancel. THREE WEEKS! I am completely devastated! Not to mention all of the money that has already been spent, on top of the money it is going to cost to cancel (most contracts require 75% payment). And I have already opened most of our shower gifts, how do I give them back? This is the most horrible thing I have ever gone through. I want to crawl into a hole for the next year and come out completely over this situation. The worst part is I did this to myself. 3 weeks ago I got VERY drunk at a party and someone kissed me. I felt very guilty about it so I told my fiance. He wouldn’t talk to me and left me hanging for 2 weeks and is now finally letting me know we will not be getting married. I have never felt more regret in my whole life. It was the worst drunken mistake I have ever made, and I would give ANYTHING to take it back. I am so angry with myself. Not only for hurting him like that, but to know that I was supposed to have my fairy tale, and I ruined it for myself. He says it wasn’t the kiss that made him not want to marry me anymore, but that it was the icing on the cake. I feel like I will never get over this, but on a better note, I did find this blog very helpful.

    • August 18, 2011 10:47 pm

      I’m sorry to hear what you are going through – this is going to be a really hard time. Lean on your friends and family as you cancel the wedding, and maybe there is someone you can task with returning the shower gifts. I assume someone took notes of who gave what, so you could send thank you notes?

      I’m really sorry that this is happening for you. I’m not in your situation, and to be frank I don’t know the whole situation, but my first reaction to your comment was that if he ends the relationship after that small mistake (that you are obviously sorry for), then how could he have handled “for better or worse” anyway? I think you need to believe that it wasn’t the kiss that made him not want to get married – and maybe, if you guys are talking, you can get a better understanding of that from him. Was it a wakeup call for him? A trigger of what he was already feeling? I think that if you can better understand why this ended, it will make it easier to move on. And at some point, you are going to have to let go of your guilt – it can just tear you apart. You are human. People make mistakes. You are still worth love and respect. And you will make it through this time – I promise. Take care of yourself.

      • Amanda permalink
        August 23, 2011 9:35 am

        Thank you Catherine! It really is amazing, and means a lot that you reply to all of these threads! I have definately been feeling the same way, that if he was willing to end a 6 year relationship over a mistake, then what would forever have been? And we definately had our problems throughout our relationship, and things toward the end were pretty rocky, but I still miss him and this whole situation is killing me. I can’t imagine being with anyone but him. He was my first serious relationship and I met him when I was 22. I worry that I am going to miss out on everything life has to offer now. I want more than anything to be a mother, and now I feel like I wasted the past 6 years, and my opportunity to have children is getting smaller by the day. My emotions are all over the place right now! I go from being so sad that I can’t even get out of bed, to being so angry with him. I am definately working on letting go of the guilt, and while I am still so ashamed of myself, I am realizing that things weren’t very good with us and maybe it happened for a reason. My head is telling me that, but my heart is whole other story. And now not only am I losing my best friend, the home we lived in together, and my sanity, but I am starting to find out who my true friends are. My good friend since the third grade has done nothing but cause problems for me throughout this mess. Her main concern right now is getting reimbursed for my shower, and the gift she bought me. Her second concern is that I haven’t really been talking to her. Why can’t she understand that I just really don’t feel like talking to anyone right now? Oh and did I mention that my fiance and I were letting her stay with us. So after I left the house, she continued to live there. And then had the nerve to complain about the $110 she paid for the shower, when she was staying in my home for only $75/month. Sorry for ranting, and you don’t even have to respond. It just felt good to get this all out. Thanks for helping me and all the other women who have visited your site Catherine!

        • August 24, 2011 8:11 pm

          Please trust me when I say I know how you feel. I was with my ex from 18-25, I thought I was right on track getting married at 25 – I’d certainly have all my babies before around 31, I figured. It was this set timeline I had in my head and honestly I don’t even know where it came from. What I’ve learned is you really do have to let go of the timeline. You can’t have 100% control of your life. Right now, you’ve got to push that stuff out of your head. You have to focus on today – getting through today. Then tomorrow. Then the next day. You can’t agonize over what the future may hold – or even what it was supposed to hold. You’ll drive yourself crazy. Things do happen for a reason. You’ll look back on this and will see it from a whole different perspective. And I believe, one day, you, me, Lisa, all of us, will realize everything happened for a reason and it led us to where we were supposed to be.

          On the friend situation, I really get that too. I lost some friends during my breakup. I’m trying to rebuild some of those friendships. I know how hard it is – especially when people let you down when you need them most. But now, try to talk with the other friends who have been helpful. You really need to lean on them.

          And really, I ditto all of Lisa’s advice. Take care and do tell us how you are doing 🙂

    • Lisa permalink
      August 18, 2011 11:22 pm

      Hi Amanda,

      My heart goes out to you lovely. Your comment where he said it was the icing on the cake says something that reminded me very much of my own experience (my fiancee ended things 5 weeks before our wedding Due April 2011 without much explanation) I know that you wont believe me but try to see the positives in this. Catherine is right, he would not have been able to go the distance and whilst it hurts like heck at the moment it would have hurt even more after the wedding. I felt compelled to write as a survivior of a similar experience. Cry – take the lessons and stop beating yourself up. Once you have done that (or during) read this blog – it was the only thing that made me smile in those moments of almost madness. If you need, go and seek some professional help. I did and it was the best thing i could have done. Give yourself time and take care of you. Stop focusing on him and why it went wrong. Time to start focusing on you, and how you are going to make things in your world right. Who are you and what defines the wonderful woman that you are, And you know what, when i did that I got so happy and busy that Mr Right + a few more want-to-be Mr Rights knocked on my door. Dont loose the lessons, be more choosy because forever is a bloody long time in the grand scheme of things. Remember someone else thought you were definatley worth trying to kiss. 😉

      Lean on your friends and reach in for your own internal support. You will be surprised how resiliant you are. Sending you much love and blessings. Lisa

      PS Catherine, you are an absolute angel and your response to these blogs means so much to so many of us. Thank you for being there for me in my time of need.

      • Amanda permalink
        August 23, 2011 9:44 am

        Lisa – do you mind me asking how old you are? I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m running out of time. I always imagined myself being married by the time I was 23 and done having kids by the time I was 27. Now I’m 27 and I have to start all over. And what did you do on your supposed-to-be-wedding-day? I can’t imagine how I am going to get through that! I really appreciate your response. It helps to hear from people who have been through what I am going through!

      • August 24, 2011 8:23 pm

        Thank you so much Lisa. Your comment means the absolute world to me. I’m so lucky that I’ve been able to hear all of your experiences – I have appreciated this support system as much as all of you. 🙂 I also appreciate your advice for Amanda – it’s right on! You should write a guest post sometime 🙂

  33. Lisa permalink
    August 23, 2011 8:18 pm

    Amanda – I feel like we have shared similar experiences. Not only did i loose my fiance but my best girlfriend as well during that horrid time. I honestly didnt know where to start when it came to recovering and healing.

    I turned 33 in March, the day he ended things for good. (he put me through a week of i dont want to marry you but i think i still luv you crap the week before my birthday then finalised it by email on my birthday – Classy hey)
    I read and felt for your fear of the whole kids thing. My story so far was not such a great one. I spent 8 years with the wrong man before meeting my ex fiancee (we got to 2 years) a big part of us getting engaged was that i had some medical issues which put additional pressure on my ability to have kids. So like you with the rocky relationship we planned to marry. (yes i look back now and ask what was i thinking) Well the sad news was that after we got engaged I had to endure 3 months of horrible treatment to which i lost my job over it and then had surgery just prior to xmas. (My ex fiancee did not pull his weight and i recall doing his xmas shoping with him after surgery cause he hadnt gotten organised) All is hopefully well medically and it took some time to come to terms with the idea that children are a blessing and we dont all get that blessing. (whether we are happily married or not) so I have decided to really look after myself because I am worth it and it will give me the best chance at starting the family i want when the time is right. Let go of the time plans, life doesnt work like that, and from what ive seen with my nieces kids certainly dont work like that so all this experience is teaching you to let go. You cant change what is so stop beating yourself up and work out what makes you the fabulous you that you are. (Even though i know you are probably reading my response and not feeling that way at all)

    As for the wedding day look to someone who “gets you” to to spend the night before with. DO NOT STAY HOME!!! Choose this person carefully, someone who will respect your wishes when you want to talk / cry about it and someone who will drop it when you want to do that to. I actually went on a first date with a random internet guy the day before (just to keep things interesting) it gave me something to giggle about with my other girlfriend who i stayed with that night. (understand this random date is a ego date, not Mr Right)let him spoil you, a good book was “its just a date” by Greg Behrendt. It was funny and made me challenge some of my own thought processes. Not to mention it gave me some awesome ways to giggle at some of the dodgy guys you will date (at some point)

    PLAN SOMETHING ON THE DAY!!! I chose to go and have a spa treatment and get pampered. I had pretty much talked it to death at that point and just didnt want to talk about it on the day. It was a late start, I think i got there just after lunch at 1pm, had a massive sleep in on the day (aided by Valarian – Sleep easy from the health food shop)
    I was realy spoilt because one of my guy firends organised a dinner with some other friends on the night that would have been my wedding night. I got glammed up, drank to much and danced. Being so glammy i also had other men hitting on me which was good for the ego. Either way I went home with my friends and the day was gone just like that…… I havent thought about the actual would have been wedding day since.

    I read an awesome book that really helped me when i was feeling the “how am i going to cope”, it was called “The ten things to do when your life falls apart” by Daphne Rose Kingma. Probably the best $10.00 I ever spent.

    I found this site incredibly useful as well. It gave me an out / somewhere to share with people who actually do get how much it sux and how bad it hurts. Family will be well meaning but truthfully they dont really know what to say so go easy on them as well as yourself.

    Stay in touch – I promise you one thing, the experience will make you a bit more wiser and a bit more aware of your tick boxes when it comes to what you want in a man.

    With love Lisa~

    • August 24, 2011 7:50 pm

      Wow, this was beautiful advice. So very wise. I hope that Amanda reads it. I can’t tell you how happy I am that my blog has been an outlet for women who have had a cancelled wedding. It truly is an experience like no other, and traditional break up advice doesn’t always cut it. I’m really happy that you all remind me that I am not alone in this journey 🙂

  34. Thinking permalink
    September 5, 2011 7:46 pm

    I’m taking this labor day to lay in bed & cry. My wedding is in November, but I’m having second thoughts. We have dated for 8 years & live together but ever since we set a date, I feel I want out of the relationship. He has been working TONS of overtime lately, he says to pay for a nice wedding, however in preparation for it, flowers, plates, cake, etc he has had serious attitude & last night after he got off late we ended up in a fight with him repeatedly saying all of it doesn’t matter. So my excitement or joy about a wedding is COMPLETELY gone & my thoughts are of selling the house in a bad housing market.

    • September 10, 2011 1:53 pm

      Thanks for your comment, I hope you are doing okay. Have you guys considered seeing a counselor? Maybe someone can help you work through some of these issues. I don’t want you to jump to any conclusions. But, if you really feel like you need to end it, know that you are going to be okay. It just takes some time.

      • March 4, 2012 8:45 pm

        My wedding was to be March 24. This is the best blog. We need to remember it is best that this is over now and not the day after the wedding. As tough as this is I am happy not to be going through a divorce. I know that this happened for a reason.

  35. Christy permalink
    September 11, 2011 1:08 pm

    I also googled “how to cancel a wedding” and came across your site. I was also engaged on Halloween and the wedding was supposed to be 11/11/11. He’s decided to call it off. Your list was helpful, thank you. I’m a little numb right now as it has just happened.

    • jillian permalink
      September 11, 2011 8:37 pm

      mine was suppose to be the 16th so less the a week.. each day gets better and some days suck.. good luck

    • September 13, 2011 7:45 pm

      I”m really sorry to hear what you are going through and I hope this post, this site, helps you in the tiniest of ways. Please take care of yourself and let me know if you need someone to talk to. My email for the blog is I promise it’ll be okay, with time.

  36. jillian permalink
    September 11, 2011 8:36 pm

    thanks for the advice.. its still really heard to move on from something like this.. my wedding is in a few days well suppose to be anyway… and thats gonna be the hardest part.. i hopei find something to do.

    • September 13, 2011 7:43 pm

      Hey Jillian,
      Sorry to hear what you are going through. I know how hard it is. You’ll survive this, just really rely on your friends and family and try to do something, anything, that can bring you a little bit of joy on that day. It will be a hard day, but you don’t have to make it harder by being all alone or sitting around being miserable. Sending positive vibes your way 🙂

  37. Seriously Conflicted permalink
    September 15, 2011 4:36 pm

    Hi Catherine! I’m so glad you posted this! I think it’s important to know that it isn’t always the guy breaking the girl’s heart. I’m supposed to get married Oct.15 this year, but have been having second thoughts for a while. We have a lot going on (a new job, a move, student loans, bills, wedding plans etc etc etc), and it feels like it’s all happening so fast. It freaks me out! I would like to postpone, not cancel out-right, but he doesn’t want anything to do with that. It’s hard conveying the feeling of “I love you, but I’m just not ready” when you’ve been engaged for over a year. I guess I feel like, if I’m having questions, isn’t it better to get my feelings sorted out now, rather than divorce at some later time? No easy answers that’s for sure!
    Thanks again for your post.

    • September 17, 2011 9:44 pm

      Seriously Conflicted,
      Really good point. It’s not always the guy who is to blame. It seems to me, in your situation, your gut/intuition is telling you something. You owe it to yourself to listen to it. It may be hard but you deserve to give yourself the time to be ready. Don’t force yourself to do anything you aren’t comfortable with. Maybe you can talk to a counselor and see if this is just your run-of-the-mill cold feet or if its serious doubts? That may help. Best of luck to you – thanks for reading and commenting.

    • conflicted. permalink
      March 22, 2012 3:04 pm

      what did you end up doing? i’m right where you were when you posted this… :\ and totally freaking out. i dont even know how to tell my fiance, but he knows something is wrong. i love him, i just don’t know if im ready to make this commitment.

    • deniconn permalink
      February 27, 2014 12:33 am

      Hello!! I’m 2 years late replying on this, but can maybe help some future reader. I was feeling all of these same things:
      I am 30 years old. We have been together 11 years, engaged 2 years, planned the date last summer for this July 19th. I had my wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, venue, photographer, officiant, etc, etc, etc, booked and began having second thought about three months ago. We’ve had a deposit cheque due for almost 8 weeks and I’ve been sitting on it, something wouldn’t let me mail it… I knew I didn’t want this wedding, but was the same as you, I wasn’t sure I want to cancel it outright, and I’m definitely not ready to end this relationship, at least not right now, but I kept feeling not right about the whole thing, something in my gut was telling me to wait. I attempted the conversation with him on THREE different occasions and gave in before finally coming out and flat out saying this weekend that I want to put it off. I totally get where you’re coming from when you said ” It’s hard conveying the feeling of “I love you, but I’m just not ready” when you’ve been engaged for over a year. I guess I feel like, if I’m having questions, isn’t it better to get my feelings sorted out now, rather than divorce at some later time?”

      And honestly, those feelings are some of the ones that sealed the deal for me. I wrote out a list of Reasons to get married this July, and Reasons not to. And most of my reasons to get married did not involve us and our love, but related to my fears. ie, losing him if I told him I wasn’t ready, the embarrassment of having to tell people we are cancelling, etc, etc. But those are no reason to get married. And when I looked at my reasons not to get married, it seemed pretty clear to me, looking at it from the outside, that telling him I wanted to cancel this wedding was the right decision for me.

      It was a really hard day when I told him. I just blurted it out, and the knots in my stomach were immediately gone. I felt relieved. It was a difficult weekend, of course he was upset, hurt, disappointed, embarrassed, all of those things. But in the end, he agreed that this may be best for us at this time, and he said he thinks we will make it through this. 🙂

      We have some things to work on in our relationship for sure. And I have been dealing with some other personal issues and depression as of late, and would like to really sort myself out and love myself more before getting into a marriage. I don’t know at this point, maybe it will work out with us, maybe it won’t. But I know putting it off was the right thing to do, and I have no regrets about that decision 🙂

  38. September 19, 2011 7:48 pm

    Wow. This is so powerful. I saw your comment on Rosey’s site and checked out yours. My heart goes out to anyone that has to go through this. Breaking up is hard enough, having to call 120 people to let them know….devastating. It sounds like you had a good attitude about it.

    • September 24, 2011 9:31 pm

      “Breaking up is hard enough, having to call 120 people to let them know… devastating.” EXACTLY! Thank you for your kind words. I just hope this post serves as a resource for people.

  39. November 1, 2011 12:51 am

    Hindsight is 20/20 so they say. ai could have used this advice years ago before I got married. I am getting a divorce at 48. A little late to cancel the wedding. Good for you to have the courage to do it!
    I have written a lot about it on my other blog.
    Long name I know I have learned a lot about titles of blogs since I started 4 years ago!
    I sent you an email about guest blogging here as well. Just a heads up. My spellcheck wouldn’t work. I spelled opportunity wrong.
    Keep writing. It heals ones soul!
    Jenni in Philly

    • November 2, 2011 9:51 pm

      Thank you so much for checking out the blog and I’m really sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. That is one of the things I’ve always said – I am so happy that I found out everything before the wedding, than after. As hard as it was to cancel the wedding, I think a divorce would be much harder. I’m sending positive thoughts your way 🙂

      Oh, and I just replied to your email about the guest post – I’d love to have you! More details in the emai. Thanks!

  40. Tiff permalink
    November 25, 2011 9:38 pm

    This site is so amazing!!!! REALLY! Unfortunately for me, I found the site three months later and despite that, it’s so helpful and supportive as I continue to deal with all the pain and hurt of canceling my wedding. Would you believe that he wants to marry me now??? Is there like a group we can set up or maybe even a conference call? Wait…wait….maybe we can all just meet up…just a suggestion? I wouldn’t mind traveling!!!!! I was suppose to get married and we decided to cancel the wedding five days before my dream wedding. My story is so long and depressing that I can’t bear to share the details. I still have so many things that I have not done from your list. For example, returning gifts that I have no idea who gave what because we opt not to open any gifts at the shower….there were just too many- some had cards and gifts receipts and some didn’t. Some have already been opened/ used and some checks were deposited and spent. It’s just a mess!!! The one person that I had helping doesn’t talk to me anymore….damn I miss her. Well over 300 people invited and I’m just overwhelmed…still to this day!!! We dated for about 7 years and engaged for over a year. I planned the wedding pretty much myself, paid for 90% of it and took on the payments of the engagement ring (while engaged) and that off. I made a huge mistake, really big…..he says he wants to cancel the wedding and immediately starts to contact vendors and family before we discuss the situation and make decisions based on out history. I lost all my money and sanity but that doesn’t matter to me anymore. I manage to get my sanity back because I have bills to pay. I came into this world without money and I will leave with out money. I just don’t know what to do…..he wants to marry me now and said that he always loved me and this was all my fault but he has forgiven me. I’m just a confused soul and all the supportive people that I had around me have all vanished!!!!

    • November 26, 2011 8:47 pm

      Wow, Tiff. That sounds like an absolute mess. I’m almost at a loss of what to say because I simply can’t understand why your friends wouldn’t be there for you through this time. Whether you were right or wrong, they are your friends, and they need to be there for you. I think you have the right attitude about the money. We lost a lot of money as well, but I can’t lie, my ex paid for a lot of that. It made a big difference in me being able to move on. I was very lucky and I feel for your deeply. Just know that while this feels like the biggest thing to happen ever – in the big picture of your life, it will look mre like a blip. You are going to make it through this time. Just keep moving forward and follow your intuition. Maybe talk with a counselor – it could help to share what you are going through, especially if your friends/family haven’t been supportive.

      And I LOVE your idea of us all of us getting together. That would be friggin’ amazing. Anyone else interested? Email me at and if I get enough interest, I can look at organizing something. That could a blast! An Unwedding Convention or Retreat. 🙂

  41. Veronica permalink
    December 31, 2011 2:19 pm

    My fiancee has been saying he does not want to get married now because he recently lost his job and wanted to be stable. We have been engaged for two years now. We are 4 months away from the wedding. Since it is a destination wedding in the Caribbean most of the guests have purchased their tickets and made their reservations. The majority of the wedding is paid for but since he has not been able to contribute because lost his job 5 months ago. He says he expected to be in a different point in his life when he got married this Spring and feels uncomfortable getting married now because of his lack of employment and “stability”. He has been seriously considering postponing the wedding and I have a strong feeling it will probably happen. So I ran across the blog and it seemed helpful. At this point it seems like it will be a larger financial burden to cancel the wedding that to have it. Other sites suggest paying back the wedding party for travel expenses and bridesmaid dresses and so on (let just say that is already looking to be very expensive). I have been trying to stay calm about the whole thing but it is so hard when you have been planning something for 2 years and just 4 months before it seems to all fall apart. It is going to be a daunting task getting deposits back and so on (if I am able to get the back). At this point, I haven’t been able to share much of what is going on with many people as it is not yet set in stone but it is currently consuming my life and was looking for advice.

    • February 6, 2012 10:04 pm

      Wow, Veronica. I can’t believe I missed your comment and I’m so sorry. I think I was wrapped up with the holidays with this came through. I hope that things have worked themselves out. The only thing I will say is that do you think he’s trying to find an excuse for other reasons he may not want to get married? That’s what occurred to me as I read your comment. Anyway, I really hope that it worked out…that financial burden you’ve described sounds awful. If you see my comment, please do stop back by and let us know how you are doing!

  42. Louise permalink
    January 8, 2012 6:03 pm

    Thank you so much for this it has really helped me through a depressing morning of ringing around and cancelling everything.

    • January 10, 2012 12:57 am

      Hey there… No problem. I know this time is tough but I promise you’ll get through it. I’m sending positive vibes your way!

  43. January 27, 2012 4:45 pm

    I am an hour away from a “talk” with my fiance where he will surely call off our wedding. I caught him exchanging naked photos with other women through email. He’s pissed at me for “making a big deal” out of it and “policing” his life…. anyway….

    This is the first post I’ve found that really addresses what I need to know. Now I just need to get a gallon of ice cream and a gallon of vodka. Here comes the fun….

    But thank you. Really.

    • February 6, 2012 9:33 pm

      I’m really sorry to hear that. I don’t know how your talk went but if it went as you thought I hope you are ok. He has NO RIGHT at all to get mad at you… what he did was totally inappropriate. Please don’t let him convince you otherwise. Take care of yourself!

  44. February 7, 2012 7:54 am

    Do you think I should buy all of the bridesmaid’s dresses?

  45. clarice permalink
    March 4, 2012 8:09 pm

    i just broke off my engagement, and i agree with everything and probably at some point or another have thought every single detail here in my head. it’s nice to see it written by someone. its a sad time for me but i will pull through in time. thanks!

    • March 4, 2012 8:38 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are right, this is going to be a hard time, but know that you are strong and will make it through. I’m thinking about you!

  46. May 29, 2012 6:37 pm

    I realize this is an old post. However, my wedding is cancelled. We did not send invites, but we did send save the dates. Should I call these people, send out notices, or something else? Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

    • May 31, 2012 7:39 am

      Hey there… I’m so sorry to hear about what has been going on for you. I’m no expert on the etiquette, but I don’t think you need to call people individually in your situation. If I were you, I’d tell a few people you know are well connected in your families or friends that you have decided not to have the wedding and let them spread the news through word of mouth. With things like Facebook and your friends, I would imagine people would find out pretty quickly. The only problem with this scenario is you may for months and months get questions about when invites will come out and stuff like that. If you are worried about ongoing questions hurting your healing, then you may want to consider having someone call everyone. But it is totally up to you!
      Take care… Good luck with everything.

  47. Tasha permalink
    May 31, 2012 9:21 pm

    He just decided to call off the wedding a few hours ago because he simply “can’t stand to be around me anymore”…….#12 makes me happy, for the time being. Thanks 🙂

    • Tasha permalink
      May 31, 2012 9:23 pm

      My wedding was 29 days away, by the way……lovely lovely…..

  48. Jessica permalink
    July 16, 2012 1:46 pm

    Wow, this is a huge help to me today. After so many vicious fights and more times than I can count of each of us threatening to call it off, I’m thinking it may be the only choice at this point. My fiance has stopped drinking for three years after it caused major problems in our relationship, so I figured that his going to counseling would help with the unpredictable rages and usual generalized anger and hatefulness toward the world. It hasn’t. Despite some times of true happiness, this roller coaster of highs and sub-hellish lows hasn’t ended. When the fights happen, he goes straight to disrespecting me. I grew up in an abusive household, and feel that I absolutely cannot let myself sign on for a life of (verbal and emotional) abuse and disrespect. However, the thought of taking a concrete step to call it off (we’re less than 3 months away) is paralyzing, to say the least. It makes me feel good to hear that you and others have done so and made it through. I can envision a happy life as a far-off prospect, but the thought of going through with calling this off is terrifying. I don’t know if I can physically or mentally withstand this, or the alternative of going through with it and getting married to this man who is tearing me apart. I have no family, because of the dysfunction that went on during my childhood, and feel very alone in this. I spoke with his niece, who I’m close with, but she is, after all, his niece. This is a horrible thing to endure, and what makes it worse is the deadline involved. We are supposed to send invitations in a couple of weeks, so a decision obviously has to made before then. I dread the humiliation and sadness to come, but it seems unavoidable. Also, we have been in dire financial straits with no help in paying for the wedding, so I have not even been sure that we could afford all that we’ve booked for it. Anyway, just had to share my lovely experience with the group! Thanks for this post.

    • Pete permalink
      July 22, 2012 7:40 pm


      Speaking from experience, I’d advise you to think very carefully about what you want out of life, before you make this difficult decision. For once you’ve called it off there’s no going back. It’s a hurtful, humiliating experience (for both partners) and things will never truly be the same again between you.

      If you do decide to call it off, the sadness is unavoidable and the whole issue may feel slightly humiliating, unfortunately. However, you’ll find that friends and family will be supportive, sympathetic and do everything they can to help you. Many will actually even steer clear of the subject or, just to offer a shoulder to cry on if you need, mention it briefly and it will all seem a little less embarrassing. It’s like having a new life, and they’ll want to help you to move on and make a good start in that life.

  49. elsie permalink
    August 22, 2012 6:47 pm

    I’m somewhat going through the same thing although it is my bridesmaids, BOTH were my bestfriends for roughly 8 years. One decided to go and spread rumours about me to our mutual friends then lying when I tried to confront her, the other decided to ditch me in the city for bogus reasons on her last night in Brisbane (she arrives back next year exactly 2 months before my wedding). I am considering cancelling my big day… my family is split in two, one sister is being so petty as to not let her little girl be my flower girl because she will have to associate with my other sisters children…. besides health problems coming out of my wazoo I just dont think I can handle the stress anymore 😥 I was never even the girl who wanted a wedding…

    Invites havent gone out as of yet and its still early days… all up we will loose 3,000 with all the deposits and dresses bought etc (found my dream dress early), booked photographer etc..

    My partner is on the same page and admits that since we got engaged our lives have been burdened by trying to make everyone happy. He and I are both happy enough walking down to the court house but the problem remains. he is an only child… I am the youngest girl and the first of all my sisters to be married.

    even after the 3k spent we have 10k saved for our honeymoon so the idea of running off is a tempting one..I cant stand the thought of walking down the aisle without the girls I thought had my back. I feel as if both want un-necessary drama and I’m not willing to be the center of it….

    please, opinions, please!

    • elsie permalink
      August 22, 2012 6:49 pm

      I’m sorry, I understand i’m not solo. Or starting over… but I feel as if I need help and I’m so bamboozled on where to look.

      • Ally permalink
        September 26, 2013 2:36 pm

        I hope it all worked out for you.

  50. Margaret permalink
    August 28, 2012 4:34 pm

    Thanks for writing this blog post. My fiance decided to postpone our wedding yesterday, 11 days until the wedding. Everything has been planned and paid for. We are going to start going to counseling, but honestly I do not know if I can overcome the pain and humiliation of having the wedding “postponed indefinitely” at such a late date. Tomorrow I will start letting the guests know and calling the vendors to cancel. It has helped to read the comments of others and know that I am not alone.

    • Jessica permalink
      August 29, 2012 1:29 am

      Oh Margaret, I’m so sorry this is happening to you! I can’t imagine how upset you must be. I really felt compelled to write for a particular reason, though. If your fiance was the one to do this, he should be the one making all these calls and dealing with the repercussions. I’m sure you are going through enough heartache without having to deal with that! It is absolutely his responsibility to deal with those dreadful tasks, as far as I’m concerned. You should just be taking care of yourself and getting support from those close to you. You will get through this!

    • August 29, 2012 11:07 pm

      Hi Margaret,
      I can assure you that you are not alone at all. It’s been surprising to me how many people have gone through this. I’m so glad you guys will be going to counseling. I hope that includes some sessions just for you, too, so you can be 100% up front about your feelings and ask for advice. I agree with Jessica, too, I hope your ex fiancé is helping with all the arrangements. He certainly owes you that.

      Best of luck to you with this. Please keep reminding yourself that you are going to get better and feel better, and you will be a stronger person after this. I promise you’ll be ok.

      • Margaret permalink
        September 10, 2012 1:59 pm

        Just an update. My fiance and I went to counseling and he decided to keep the wedding date instead of postponing. Then, 2 days before the wedding, he had his dad call my dad and cancel the whole thing. My fiance went out of town for the wedding weekend and won’t be back until later this week. I ended up having a reception party for my guests and I have never felt such love and support in my life. I’m telling people that my theme song is Sara Evans’ “A little bit stronger.” Safe to say, that he and I are over for good now.

        • September 13, 2012 9:48 pm

          Gosh I’m so sorry to hear this. Thanks for updating us. You are are going to be so much stronger and so much better off after this, I promise. I’m so glad to hear you have a strong support system. Please rely on them at this time. I’m sending positive thoughts your way.

  51. Jennie permalink
    September 15, 2012 10:09 am

    I canceled my wedding as well
    It was a hard stop and just because I canceled it everyone had turned there backs to me and has been comforting him not me
    One of my bridesmaids(ex bridesmaid) texted
    Me demanding I pay her back for the dress because it was supposed to be worn on my day but “I” canceled it 😦 this bridesmaid is my cousin… What do I do?
    Do I remeburse the girls that money and Moore around with the dresses?
    Thank you

  52. Elia permalink
    September 19, 2012 7:06 pm

    Thank you for this…this weekend will be super emotional and stressful.

  53. Chris permalink
    October 5, 2012 7:57 am

    My fiance who I have been dating for 3 years blindsided me on Wednesday by bringing me to our first premarital counsling session only to tell me he didn’t want to marry me and broke off our engagement. We were supposed to get married this New Year’s Eve. I found your blog, and I laughed and cried and have already read this post muliple times. Thank you for this!

  54. Marabeth permalink
    November 13, 2012 1:52 am

    Thank you so so much for writing this blog, I was engaged to be married on Sep 15th 2012 and exactly one month before that my fiance called to tell me we were breaking up because “we didn’t know each other well enough”… we had been together for over a year and even though it was a long distance relationship we talked all the time. I convince him that he was just freaking out and when he calmed down we got back together the next day. I was supposed to go visit him in November to really talk about us but two weeks before I went to see him (he is in the military stationed in Montana and I live in Arkansas) He dumped me again, I saw it coming this time and was a little better at handling it but still this was the person I had commited myself to. Once he proposed I chose to love him no matter what and he just turned and walked away. Now I’m left to pick up the pieces and take care of cancelling our wedding and he just gets a fresh start where people dont even know he was engaged. I am at the point in the break up where I am just so angry at him for the way he treated me and how self asorbed he was. So it was really nice to read everything you have written and know I’m not alone. It just hurts so bad ya know he didn’t break my heart he broke me I cant even trust people at all anymore… it sucks. I totally lost it in the middle of church the other day because it was the one year anniversary from the day he had proposed and everything just came flooding back, it was not a good day for me. There is a lot more to my story but its a long story ha ha worst of all I still love him

  55. Tina1108 permalink
    November 17, 2012 10:21 am

    I wasn’t able to sit and read through all the comments but I got through about half, and its nice to know I’m not completely alone. Although, my fiancé of two years, and boyfriend of three years before that, didn’t really do wrong by me. Throughout our relationship we were very open with each other and I knew he was and had bisexual feelings. He’s been fully committed to just me for the entire duration of our relationship but recently came to terms with the fact that he is gay. Obviously this meant that we couldn’t get married, although he tried his hardest to push back these feelings (even though we both know its not something he can change.) I’m heartbroken that I won’t be getting married to my soulmate, which he indeed is, but I have luckily not lost my best friend. We were high school sweethearts and we grew up together. I’m sure some people won’t understand that we can still have this bond but I’m convinced he’s still meant to be part of my life.

    Now this blog post has made me so incredibly grateful. Im so glad i decided to search “cancelling a wedding” on google. I was going crazy trying to think of where to start. We had planned for a wedding in June and had already paid for our ceremony and many other things including putting half down for my wedding dress. Do I buy my dress or just eat the cost of the deposit? What do I do with the matching shirts I got for the ring bearer and flower girl? So much to do but at least this little list will help me. I’m sorry to all those who’ve had to cancel a wedding. It’s sooo hard but we’re not alone and we will all be able to find happiness again one day.

    And also, I’m definitely one to agree that it’s better to cancel a wedding than to wait a couple years down the line and have to deal with a divorce. I’m a strong believer in one marriage and that everything happens for a reason. :/ 🙂

    Good luck to all of you ❤

  56. Kate permalink
    November 30, 2012 5:14 pm

    Just want to say a big thank you for providing this forum – just cancelled our wedding yesterday. Life feels so dark, but I have hope that when you stop and really listen to your heart, you have all it takes to know what is right. Just be still and listen…. You may not like the whispers you hear, but they are there for a reason. I admire everyone here who has gone through this – it totally sucks but we women are strong and come out the other side knowing ourselves that much better. It is very comforting to know there are others out there who understand the pain I am feeling right now, and I send strength and peace to all others who are contemplating whether to cancel or have cancelled and are going through the heartache that entails. Thank you Catherine for this blog and for your wise words…

  57. harry permalink
    December 22, 2012 4:46 pm

    he got out in the nick of time. see briffault’s law. you are all the same madamoiselle.

  58. Condemned permalink
    January 5, 2013 8:58 pm

    Hi Catherine,
    I first read your post more than a year ago when I cancelled my wedding in October 2011. It was a very helpful list in listing all the administrative matters which needs to be sorted out. Thank you so much.
    For me, the wedding was only cancelled one day before the actual wedding day. The reason for this was because my ex-fiancé never accepted no for an answer, and he finally only accepted that I didn’t and couldn’t marry him when I threatened to kill myself if he continued to force me to marry him.
    You may not believe what happened next. As many of the vendors insisted on being paid in full due to the late cancellation, his parents decided that the lunch and dinner reception should proceed as planned, even if there is no wedding. As a result, I was made to attend both receptions, even if I was just sitting there with swollen eyes, sobbing. Can you imagine having to sit through both receptions with everyone pointing at you and looking at you pitifully? I was a freak show, and I will never, in this lifetime, forget the pain and humiliation that I felt that day. It was supposed to be the happiest day of my life, but it turned out to be the biggest nightmare, and it hasn’t ended since.
    On days, I still question if I did the right thing, because it would have been much easier to just marry him, and I could have saved myself all that pain, humiliation and money. I still find it difficult to attend weddings of friends because I’m always reminded of what happened at my own fake wedding receptions. While most times I recognise that it is because he was the wrong person, I have lapses when I wonder why people are able to walk down the aisle and say their marriage vows and I couldn’t.
    Up to this day, I still feel a lot of guilt, shame and pain, and I don’t know if it’s ever going to go away. Friends tell me I need to start forgiving myself and not take on all the guilt, but I don’t know how I can do that, because I know that if not for me, the wedding would have gone ahead and everyone would be happy (except for me) but it’s still better that 100 pple are happy and only 1 isn’t.
    I still hope #13 will happen for me someday, because I still dream of getting married, having someone to share my life with and starting a family. But I am starting to ask myself if it’s wrong for me to want this and what if that is not the life that is destined for me, because I have gone through so much pain and trouble and I’m still no where near that. Perhaps it’s the universe telling me that life is not for me, and no matter how much I try, it’s still not going to happen and I shouldn’t even be yearning for that.

    • January 7, 2013 9:52 pm

      I am SO sorry to hear what you have gone through. The fact that you had to sit through the reception is absolutely ridiculous. It’s like his family (and yours?) was trying to punish you for your decision. You didn’t deserve that at all. It makes me want to fly to your town and give your folks a piece of my mind. Totally not OK. No wonder you are humiliated and feel guilty! You didn’t have the support you deserved on that hard day!

      Look, you talk about 100 people being happy and you not being happy. I’m sorry if this sounds selfish but only one person’s happiness matters at this point – YOURS. So what you need to do is only include people in your life that support your happiness. Obviously this was marriage not what you wanted. And the fact that your ex refused to take no for an answer tells me that you made the right decision. He wasn’t even married to you yet and he was trying to control your life and not respect your feelings and decisions! You are free to make your own decisions in this world. Yes, you have to live with the consequences. Your “self talk” is really concerning to me. You are really beating yourself up for deciding that this man, this marriage, wasn’t right for you. That is only your decision to make, and you made the right one. Trust yourself. Be kind to yourself. Every time you start going down this negative path, you need to force yourself to be kinder to yourself. If you don’t treat you well, who will? I think after what you went through, you could really use talking to someone, perhaps a therapist. I hope that’s something you will consider – sometimes a therapist can really help give you some perspective. I found great value in it myself.

      You need to know that you deserve love and a fulfilling marriage. But only you can create that for your future. Step one is forgive yourself. Step two is love yourself. Really, truly love yourself, with our without a man. Step three is to figure out what you want out of life and a partner. Then, and only then, can you find someone to partner with you in life.

      Please keep us updated on how you are doing. I’m sending positive vibes your way – I promise you will be OK!

  59. Bottie11 permalink
    January 31, 2013 7:48 am

    Catherine, what a star you are! thank you for being brave enough to share this horrid experience.
    I’m 8 weeks away from my wedding date and my fiance told me last Monday he can’t go through with it. Basically I fell apart and fell in to a couple of bottles of wine, I actually think I went a bit mad, which is why I had a drink-I scared myself!

    The worst part is he says he still loves me and wants us to stay together, he is a kind, caring, gentle man that worships the ground I walk on but and it is a very big BUT, he has hurt me so bad. I just can’t get my head around why! I mean does he really love me? Why did he leave it until after we sent the invites out? why can’t he tell me why he is so scared or what he is scared of? And I feel so worthless.

    He has even gone so far as to say, lets just do it, lets just get this over and done with- “lets just get this over and done with” made me want to throw things at him, I mean how to make a girl feel good!! I told him I do not trust him enough to marry him now, so it seems it’s checkmate……………. “I knew I didn’t want to stand at the altar with someone I wasn’t sure I could trust..” your words are my feelings.

    Thankfully my mum and dad know now, I gave him that bit of responsibility yesterday morning and told him he could deliver the bad news. I’m now taking a few days away from him and staying with my wonderful, understanding parents. I’m hoping I can make some sense of all this shit and will hopefully know what I need to do next but, my head is not the ruler of me at the moment.

    Writing this all down and being able to share it with someone who has gone through it, feels like the first step to some sort of normality. So once again thank you.

    p.s I have stopped crying enough to compose a cancellation letter, which will be going in the next post. How’s that for a bit of practicality : ) x

  60. Amber permalink
    April 2, 2013 9:48 am

    Im considering cancelling my wedding, its a destination wedding in 6 months. Most of the guests planning on attending have already made room deposits and I worry about them not getting their money back!

    • April 5, 2013 10:28 pm

      Hi Amber,
      I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sure you are having a rough time. I know it sucks to put your friends and family in this position where they may lose money.
      But you have to remember this is the rest of your life. You cannot make this decision based on money. You cannot move forward with this wedding just because people may lose money. Don’t forget how much divorce will cost you… Financially and emotionally! I suggest that you be very honest with your friends and family about the situation and your regrets to put them in this position but you have to make this decision based on the rest of your life.
      If you can afford to help with their costs, you can, or you can just hope they get their deposits back or can use this as a vacation. Maybe try talking to the vendors and see if there is anything they can do to help.

      Best of luck … I’m really sorry to hear you are going through this! Sending positive thoughts your way!

  61. Kim vandam permalink
    April 20, 2013 1:36 pm

    Thank you. My daughter has just made the painful decision to cancel her wedding this summer. This is healing to read. I am so proud of her strength and compassion she has shown for her fiancé. She cares about his well being, she just doesn’t want to be married at this point.
    Brave young lady !

    • April 25, 2013 7:40 am

      Sounds very brave! She’s lucky to have your support. It will be a hard time but she’ll come out of it stronger and happier in the long run 🙂

  62. irene permalink
    May 9, 2013 12:02 pm

    I googling and found your post..after together for 10 yrs my ex fiancee said he cant accept me anymore..both of us are dominant type, fight a lot, and he said he was very hurt of my words and attitude. 2years before, we have broke up, i decide to reconcile but i feel that i love him and hate him, recently i finally found out that he never been unfaithful to me, he only lied to me to makes me believe that he does. I hates him for nothing..We stay together for 2 yrs, he always come home late because he thinks our house is like “wild wild west” shooting scene.he cant imagine if he have to spend 20 years ahead in this kind of situation..reading your blogs makes me think i am not alone..the positive thing is its better to cancel married than to handle divorce.

  63. Time2letgo permalink
    June 16, 2013 7:40 pm

    My fiance and I have been in a relationship for about 13 years. We have a daughter thats almost twelve. We are currently living together, has done so on and off for the duration of our relationship, moreso on than off. A year ago he proposed to me and wedding plans are full speed ahead for a wedding that’s suppose to be in about 5 weeks. Over the years we have had many nasty fights, he gets very verbal when arguing and says stuff thats cuts me to the core. He is of course the one that’s always willing to apologize after a fight, as if that apology is powerful enough to erase everything that was said and done. I accepted his proposal because for a couple years now things really started going a lot smoother, no extreme fights and a lot more attention to our relationship/family. Yesterday for the first time in about three years we had a heated argument and although it did not get to the level of where the old fights use to go, it has really thrown me back into a place I didn’t even realize still existed for me. It was like re-living all the old fights we have had over the years, every last one of them, and the way I feel right now, I don’t even want to be in the same room with this person, yet alone walking down the isle. There is no way I can go through this, I am at the point today where I have to determine how do I call this off and how do I move forward. Everything is mostly already paid for, about thirty family members and friends flying in from overseas, airline tickets already purchased, another seventy friends and family already rsvp. Am I over-reacting or is this a blessing in disguise that this argument about something petty blew up like this yesterday?

    • June 18, 2013 10:47 pm

      Hi there,
      I’m sorry to hear what you are going through. Only you can know if this is a deal breaker, but know that emotional abuse is always a deal breaker in my book and really hurtful comments are completely unacceptable. Would you consider going to counseling either together or alone to sort out these issues? A professional may be able to help you either work through this together or help you realize that this isn’t right. I’m sorry that I can’t say more but I’m just not an expert and it would be hard to give you advice either way since I’m not in your relationship. I do believe in instincts however, and your intuition/instincts is telling you something deserves a second look. You have time to really think this through and make sure you consider many more things than just the deposits and the people you’ve invited. This is your future and “till death do you part.” Good luck.

  64. Stephen permalink
    August 2, 2013 2:35 am

    So my fiancè and I have been together for 3 years. We both had previous marriages. My marriage lasted 9 years (I was married at 21). Her’s lasted 1 year.
    I fought for my marriage. The main problem was communication. Primarily in the sexual, romantic, affectionate area. We went to a marriage counselor and my ex just wasn’t ever comfortable with discussing sex. That sucked…..not literally

    So my fiancè and I started dating and I told her about my issues with my ex. I discussed with her that communication in every area in the relationship is very important to me. I also told her that my parents divorced over money and it was important to communicate about it. I put it all out there.
    1 year into the relationship she told me that for 8 years she has had $8,000 in Credit Card debt. No problem. We can work together to knock this out. I told her to not pay me rent for 5 months and to take her money and apply to her debt. She agreed.
    10 months later I asked her when we were going to celebrate her being out of debt? She got angry and told me she didn’t want to talk about it. Well, that wasn’t an option. I pressed her and she finally told me that her debt was now $12,000.
    That didn’t go over very well. I told her she broke my trust and that this was not okay, I was pretty pissed off, but that I would work with her on this issue.

    Fast forward 8 months. We’d been talking a lot about money and every time she would get irritated. I asked again about her debt. She said it was down to $7,000.
    I was happy for her and was impressed with her progress. The debt was really bothering her, so I told her I would pay $5,000 of her debt but that she needed to pay off the last $2K for a sense of accomplishment. She agreed. A few months later we get engaged.
    Fast forward we are 2 months away from our wedding. We are talking about it and she slips and says, “I don’t want to get into any more debt than I already am.” You should know I’m paying for the entire wedding. She has nothing to buy in terms of the wedding. I asked her “What debt? I thought you were out of debt.” After pushing a little more she finally told me that she now has $7,000 in C/C debt.
    Again she broke my trust. After we talked about it for a week I decided to postpone the wedding. I didn’t think it was a good idea to get married to someone I didn’t trust and I didn’t feel was a partner in life.
    She was upset and even got angry with me. That was frustrating when I didn’t ask for this situation to happen.
    I feel bad, but at the same time I feel like it is the right thing to do.
    People asked me after my first marriage sadly ended “Do you want to get married again?” I’ve always said, “It’s not that I do or don’t want to get married again. It’s that I don’t ever want to get divorced again.” I’m frustrated that I keep attracting women who don’t seem to know how to communicate. Typically it’s the guy who doesn’t communicate. It’s very strange.
    I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

    • August 16, 2013 9:17 am

      Hi Stephen,
      I’m catching up on comments now and I think that this is less of a communication issue than it is an addiction. Your girlfriend/fiancé has a serious spending problem and while you think you have been helping her, you’ve been enabling her. She doesn’t need your loans or help paying off the debt, she needs help figuring out why she spends like this and can’t get control over herself. This is her issue to work through and while you can support her when she gets help, you can’t do the work for her. Just like
      I don’t think you would want to marry an alcoholic who isn’t seeking help, you shouldn’t want to marry her until she works through these issues. This will take time. If you marry her and she isn’t seeking treatment and dealing with her addiction, the future debt will be your debt too and jeopardize your financial future. I’m sure you don’t want that. Just my two cents 🙂

      • Tapas permalink
        September 29, 2017 8:04 am

        HII.. I realy WISH TO TAKE HELP of u. BUT confidential …if possible plz text me

  65. Kendra permalink
    August 4, 2013 10:54 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. There is almost no information to help with this situation. I am two weeks out of a destination wedding, 30 guests planning to make the day, and I feel like my head is spinning. When I couldn’t find any info on this it made me feel like I was the only one to make this decision and maybe I should have shut my mouth and attributed it to cold feet. Thank you for posting this. Guess I need to start with #1, and quickly.

  66. Amy Jean permalink
    September 8, 2013 1:33 pm

    Yesterday my fiance and I were to board a plane to go home for our wedding. Right before we were about to leave he said he was not coming to the lavish wedding my mother had thrown. I’m also 3 months pregnant. My mom sent me this this morning. It was really nice to laugh. Especially while imagining myself crumpled on the floor in my wedding dress wiping mascara away with my veil. Thank you. This is awesome.

  67. des permalink
    September 26, 2013 12:28 pm

    I am going through this now… my wedding date was set for oct 5, 2013… It was all a misunderstanding that ended out 12 year realionship. I am at a loss for words.. thank you for the advise

    • Ally permalink
      September 26, 2013 2:34 pm

      Des, I am sorry for your loss. My wedding was cancelled six weeks before the wedding. I had just mailed the invitations. The only thing that will make it better for you is TIME. I wish I can give you a hug and sit with you and have a glass of wine. if you need to talk 504-234-3528. any time you are anyone else reading this need to talk I am here to listen. Ally

  68. kat permalink
    March 17, 2014 9:55 am

    Thank you for this! I need to get down to the practical parts of cancelling the wedding and your list is a brilliant start

  69. Frances permalink
    August 28, 2014 1:23 am

    We made the decision to cancel our wedding today. It is scheduled for Jan 2nd, 2015 in Carmel. Save the Dates have been sent and me and my bridal party have bought our dresses. We have about 4,500 currently invested we won’t be getting back. I don’t know where to start. This list helps but I think I’d rather drink and stay drunk for awhile. I can’t handle thinking about everything that is about to happen. It’s getting more and more depressing and I find myself withdrawing. I’m scared at what I’m feeling and I need help. I don’t know who to talk to anymore. How do you hold on to hope and see past this. I’m struggling. When does it get better?

  70. September 1, 2014 7:21 pm

    What is your advice if you have kids with said fiancé?

  71. Candice permalink
    January 28, 2015 6:54 am

    A journalist request…

    Hello all, Catherine very kindly agreed that I could post on here to ask you all a question.

    I am a journalist in London and am looking for a man or woman who would be happy to speak to me about their canceled wedding. As you all know, this is not as uncommon as one might think and, as this post has shown, it can be very helpful for others to read what someone goes through when this happens. The interview would be written from your point of view and done in a sensitive way.

    If you are interested in finding out more about what is involved, please drop me an email at, or search Candice Pires on Facebook and message me. No obligation, of course.

    I’ve been really moved to read all of your stories. I am so sorry to hear anyone has had to go through canceling a wedding. But I am also heartened by how many of you have grown stronger from the experience.

    With best wishes, Candice

  72. November 1, 2016 10:59 am

    I wore the wedding dress…. to hoover the house in. It was such a beautiful dress and I wanted to do something silly and crazing in it that would make me smile when I remembered it rather than cry, so that’s what I did! Still smile 10 years later when I remember it 🙂


  1. 10 Things I Learned in 2010 « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey
  2. Catherine’s Dating Resume « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey
  3. Culturally Inept « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey
  4. How to Deal When YOU Cancel Your Wedding « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey

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