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Wedding bells and wedding blues


As I wrote last month, married people in the United States can now arrange divorce insurance. It's complex, but basically either partner can buy cover – without telling the other. The higher the premiums, the greater the divorce payment but you have to pay premiums for at least four years before a claim – so you can't sign up today and split up tomorrow.

It's not very romantic. And no UK insurer offers divorce cover.

But let's look on the bright side, this is the time of year when romance frequently blossoms. The restaurants are full of candlelit menus, while cards ranging from the bawdy to the beautiful fill the shops. Many couples will get engaged in February and over the coming months – perhaps the blooming spring flowers and singing birds make our thoughts turn to love and marriage or a civil partnership.

Quotation MarksNo policy will pay if either of the two top participants changes their mind and
leaves the other standing
there waiting! Quotation Marks

April and May are peak months for tying the knot with people up and down the country saying “I do”. On top of that, this April there’s that really big wedding in London, when many streets will be closed and we can enjoy an extra special bank holiday.

But it's not just royal weddings that are big affairs these days. The average cost has moved up to over £20,000 with many costing much more. Couples who vow “ a really quiet affair with just a few family and friends” soon find they’re inviting 100, 200 or even more. Many go beyond the council registry office or local place of worship and go for a “celebrity venue”. And forget Auntie with her Instamatic camera, or friends with their smart-phones, knot-tying just has to be videoed for posterity by a full professional crew including lighting and sound.

When you’re investing so much into your big day and hoping everything will go smoothly, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected.

One of the most common reasons for postponing a marriage or civil partnership ceremony is illness - not just the two most important participants but also their parents or another member of the bridal party. This could lead to cancellation fees from the venue, caterers, photographers, florists, transport and many others.

What else could ruin the happy event?

  • Wedding dresses can be ruined at the last moment, rings stolen or lost, the wrong hire clothes could arrive or the caterers could drop the cake – these things don't just happen in Rom-Coms!
  • Have you thought about what would happen if a venue, caterer or other supplier goes bust? Or the venue could burn down, be shut down or closed on safety grounds.
  • And what if the official – and costly – wedding photographer accidentally wipes your pictures instead of downloading them? It's the stuff of pre-wedding nightmares.

The good news is that nearly all weddings and civil partnership ceremonies go to plan. But as pre-wedding nerves can be bad at the best of times, here's some more good news.

Wedding insurance, which has not been around for long, could pick up the bills for many problems that could arise, giving you peace of mind on
the big day
.

For example, if the event has to be postponed, there could be money for rescheduling. And if the photographer's computer destroys your pictures, the policy could pay for a re-shoot.

But remember, no policy will pay if either of the two top participants changes their mind and leaves the other standing there waiting...and waiting!

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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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