Sometimes bad things happen to good people and, every so often, a wedding needs to be canceled. The process for canceling a wedding is dictated by common sense, good manners, and proper etiquette. It can be a painful, tedious process, but you’ll feel better about yourself and the situation if you do it correctly. It may not be of much comfort to you now, but, as my mother used to say, it’s better to cancel an engagement than a marriage!
A Valley bride asks: “Call it cold feet, or the inability to compromise, but planning our wedding seems to have been too much for my fiancé. So, he decided to call it off, despite the fact that my parents have already thrown us an engagement party and that the save-the-date cards have already gone out. Now, I’m left having to let everyone know. How do I let ‘my side’ know and what do I do about ‘his side?’ ”
Dear bride: First let me say that etiquette “dictates” that you send each guest an informal note, saying that the wedding has been called off by mutual decision. Believe me when I say that, although this is a time-consuming process, it will be easier on you than a phone call. A note rather than a call will also ensure that everyone who was invited will know unequivocally that the event was canceled. Nothing could be more horrible than a guest showing up for a wedding that’s not taking place.
If you wish to do the right thing, it’s you who will need to let his side of the family know. There are two reasons for this: Because your parents were the ones hosting the event, his side are their guests, so either your parents or you need to notify the guests about the cancellation. The more practical reason is that you’ll want to make sure that those guests do get notified, and the only way you can be sure of that is if you sent the notes.
Sorry about the cancellation — hope this helps!
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