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Cancelling or postponing your wedding


Given the amount of preparation, investment and anticipation that goes into a wedding, having to cancel or rearrange it can feel like the end of the world. This guide should help if you find your big day is in jeopardy.

First steps

One of the most common reasons for needing to cancel or rearrange a wedding is a prospective marriage or civil partner or a member of the immediate wedding party falling ill.

Obviously your first priority should be to ensure they’re okay. However, you’ll also have to take time to make some important phone calls at your earliest opportunity. Getting family members, the best man and bridesmaids to help with this can be a good idea.

People you’ll need to tell:

  • Your guests, especially those who were planning on travelling a long way for the wedding
  • The venue – for both the ceremony and the reception
  • Your caterers
  • Your florist
  • Any transport you’ve arranged
  • Any entertainment you’ve booked
  • Your photographer
  • Your travel agent or travel provider – assuming your honeymoon may need to be cancelled

And of course there’s your wedding insurance provider. If you have John Lewis Wedding Insurance you can call us on 0845 078 7598

Making a claim

If you need to make a claim for the cost of cancelling or rearranging a wedding give us a call. The more detail you can provide when calling the quicker and easier it will be, so make sure you have the following to hand:

  • Details of the item or expenses that you’re claiming for
  • The reason for the claim
  • The details of any other people that may be involved

Rearranging your wedding

Anyone who has arranged a wedding will appreciate how daunting it can be to rearrange one.

The main decision you’ll need to make is whether you want to keep the same venue(s) for the ceremony and reception. Most wedding venues tend to be booked up months in advance, especially during the summer, so if you want to stick with the same venue you’ll need to wait for the next available date.

Finding a different venue or perhaps down-sizing to fit into a smaller venue are both options you many want to consider to minimise the delay between your intended wedding date and your new one.

Once the venue and new date are arranged you’ll need to re-approach your suppliers. The more notice you can give them about the new date, the more likely they are to be able to help, so time really is of the essence.

It could be that some suppliers cannot work with your new time-frame and so you’ll have to find alternatives.

Being prepared

John Lewis Wedding Insurance is there to help should things go wrong, but preventing the need for cancellation or rearrangement would always be preferable. Here are a few tips:

  • Thoroughly research all wedding suppliers before booking, paying close attention to how well-established they are. Another reason some couples have to cancel or rearrange their wedding is because a supplier such as a caterer goes into liquidation.
  • Secure all records of deposits, receipts and written agreements.
  • Keep records in order to ensure you can provide your Wedding Insurance provider with the wedding costs quickly and easily.
  • Make a list of all suppliers you’re using along with contact numbers and keep it to hand.
  • Make a copy of this list and give it to someone responsible, such as a bridesmaid or best man.
  • Contact all suppliers a couple of weeks before the wedding to ensure everything is going to plan.
  • Look after yourself. Planning a wedding can be very stressful for the couple but overdoing it and making yourself ill could potentially ruin your special day entirely.

How John Lewis Wedding Insurance can help

John Lewis Wedding Insurance can provide financial protection for weddings that cost from £10,000 to £100,000. As part of this protection we’ll cover any irrecoverable expenses you’re faced with for all of the following:

  • Wedding clothing
  • Flowers
  • Photographs
  • Caterers
  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Plus any other wedding supplier’s services

We will always aim to settle a claim as quickly as possible and our experienced staff can often help when it comes to failure of suppliers, even at the last minute. If it looks like your big day is at risk, do get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to help. It could be that with our assistance you won’t need to cancel or rearrange the wedding at all.

Don’t forget: John Lewis Wedding Insurance can only cover costs associated with cancelling or rearranging a wedding if the reason is beyond the couple’s control. Most wedding insurance providers will not offer compensation if a prospective marriage or civil partner simply has a change of heart.

For further tips and advice, please see our quick guide (PDF).

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Terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and eligibility criteria apply. A full copy of the policy wording and the insurance complaints procedure are available on request.

John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Wedding Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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Getting married is one of the most important days of your life as you publicly declare your love to the world.

All the planning, worry and expense has come to a head on your special day, the last thing you want to think about is something going wrong.

Everything’s got to be perfect on your special day and the last thing you want to think about is having to cancel your wedding.

However, if you or one of your parents fall seriously ill before the wedding, your special day may need to be cancelled or postponed.