By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Image (c) 2010 Chris Barber Media
Now you ask, why would i talk about something so negative in a world of online wedding perfection. You are here on this blog reading because you are planning your wedding, excitedly plotting the details and dreaming of calling your partner your husband/wife. But the reality is weddings get cancelled.
I wanted to talk about this slightly taboo topic, because it happened to us. If you have followed the blog for a while now you will know that 6 weeks before our wedding, i called it off. We were due to marry on the 28th August 2010, after 6 months of planning and excitement. The reality of the situation was, i wasn’t up to it. I’d convinced myself i was better, but i had a set back and it all came crashing down around me. I had mental health problems and it just wasn’t worth me trying to get through a situation that scared me, while not potentially enjoying what is meant to be the best day of my life. Anyway enough about me…. i wanted to talk about my experiences and turn them into a positive by helping others.
Sometimes weddings get cancelled. There may be a hundred different reasons why, you and your partner may break up, you may have life changing events occur or you just might change your mind. Whatever the reason, it will be the most heartbreaking decision you will make, but you will come out the other side. Do what is right for you and not everyone else, your loved ones will understand. Thankfully G and I are and were still together, i cannot imagine the pain of loosing your fiance too, if this is you…. huge big snugly hugs (((())))).
It didn’t take G and I long to come out the other side and agree it was for the best., both for my health and financially. I was embarrassed for a long time, ashamed, and i felt stupid. I felt i had let everyone down, especially G. This is NORMAL. Especially when running this blog, to then turn 360 and say oh it’s off. To have to tell your loved ones is bad enough, but then when someone is an acquaintance and asks it all comes flooding back as you have to explain. You have to hold your head up and be honest. No one will look down on you, if anything they will probably realise how brave you are to make that decision.
When it comes to the practicalities, you need to let your vendors know as soon as you can and be prepared to loose your deposits. Please get wedding insurance, we had some but it wouldn’t cover my health problems unfortunately, but do do look into and and safeguard yourselves. I looked into selling off bits and pieces i had brought, vintage china sold on a wedding forum and went to a lovely bride to be. I sold my sisters bridesmaid dress on eBay, and a few other little bits and pieces. I still have my wedding dress… i listed it on a couple of sites but haven’t had any interest. In all honestly i haven’t seriously advertised it…. i know i could try and sell it through the blog but i am not sure i could face it. It sits in my wardrobe, 2 sizes to big, but i cannot imagine not wearing it. I honestly don’t know what to do. But at the end of the day the point i am making is, recoup some of the money if you can by selling the bits and pieces. Or save it if you wish, just store it away so you are not reminded all the time.
G and I don’t know if and when we will get married. I don’t think i ever want to plan a wedding again, in my mind i planned our wedding…. i couldn’t do it again. I would love to elope but G won’t let me as he thinks i will regret it. I honestly don’t know ,but at the moment we have no plans to get hitched. I get down about it sometimes, but i remember how lucky i am with my little family, and i feel secure enough in our relationship not to need a marriage certificate. It would be lovely yes, i so long to call G my husband… in fact i feel emotional now. But i have realised it’s not the be all and end all… it is about your relationship and the love. Not the details, decor and the dress or the fairytale day.
You probably think this is a mad thing to say being a wedding blogger, yes i adore pretty weddings but i wouldn’t if the bride and groom didn’t love each other. This may sound totally twisted, but i kind of live through the gorgeous couples on this blog. I live through their wedding dream, their story, their day, as i don’t see myself ever being there. Is that wrong? Or does it mean i appriciate what they are doing a tiny bit more? I’m not sure, but i know it has helped me, dealing head on with something i could have hidden from. Don’t shy away and feel like you should stay away from weddings, as it will come and face you at somepoint and you will struggle.
I hope one day we will be married, when or where or how i don’t know. But i know G and I are going to be together forever, and getting married is just another day… one day to cement that. I’m pretty sure come 28th August 2011 i will be feeling quite sad… but i know it will be ok. If you are going through this, have been through this or unfortunately do cancel your wedding… it will be OK. Nothing lasts forever, good or bad… you will be happy. Don’t forget to email me if you need someone to talk to. I think i have covered most bases there…. if there is anything i have left out do leave your advice below.
I really hope this has come accross well and that it has helped anyone out there in a similar situation. I’m scared and emotional right now as to what you think about what i have said. But i hadn’t spoken about it and thought i should 🙂 Big big big love xoxo
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What a beautifully written and honest account of not only what happened to you, but the advice you give. You’re right, people must go through this every day but no one talks about it. I hope more people read this and find comfort in the fact that we all have ups and downs and get through the other side.
Much love Lou. x
Gemma Williams Photography
Ahh Lou this is a very honest post and you are very brave to write about it – big hugs lady! You have done the right thing to mention this topic as weddings DO get cancelled! I was meant to get married when I was 21 and the bloke ditched me a few weeks before the wedding, which was heartbreaking at the time, but 10 years on I am glad it happened now because now I am with a man who is a million times better than him and we are getting married next year! So even though it seems like the end of the world, it can actually be the best thing. I hope that you and G do get married, but do it in a way that makes you happy rather than stressed. You are such a lovely person Lou and you deserve all the happiness! Well done again for writing this post, I am sure it will help a lot of people. Hugs xxxx
Thanks so much for writing this, it must have been difficult.
I cancelled my wedding about 4 years ago, I was too young and panicked at the first signs of doubt. It was unbelievably difficult, and I hardly told anyone, I just let the news filter out. Now I’m a wedding photographer I do get a bit jealous of all my clients planning their dream weddings, but I’m happy with my new boyfriend and we have no plans to get married any time soon. All I know is that if I did get married it would have to be a completely different day from the one I had planned before, so I totally understand your feelings about having already planned your wedding.
I’m sure anyone going through the same feelings at the minute will be helped loads by this post x
Emma - Aphroditeswb
What a brilliant post – it is so great of you to share your experiences and give advice on this x x
Fabulous post. I too had to cancel my wedding (and thankfully my partner and I stayed together), but like you, at that time we just weren’t in the right place. We’ve since gotten married and I’ll admit it was difficult. BUT, it was far better for us to do it at the right time. It takes a HUGE amount of courage to call off a wedding, and I admire you having the courage to tell your story right here.
Big big hugs. x
Thanks so much girls, all of your comments mean the world to me. Thank you Lauren and Gem for sharing your experiences, it goes to show that a lot of us go through it, and we can come out the other side 🙂 xx
Jay – thank you for sharing and fab news you got wed… makes me feel more positive 🙂 xx
It takes a lot of heart and guts to put yourself out there like you did and tell your story. <3 to you, Lou. Thank you for opening up. You are delightful. 🙂
Charlie (Fifties Wedding)
I think your honesty is just fantastic and I am sure your post will bring comfort to so many couples who are going through the same thing. It does happen – and it’s so sad that it does, but by talking about it you will help others through it. Well done for writing what I’m sure was a really hard post xxx
you beautiful heart! I’ll tell you what. You’ll have the wedding of your dreams when the right time comes & circumstances occur, I can’t even imagine it differently! Don’t give the first attempt another thought, scrap the date from your memories – this whole experience only proved how friggin brave you are nothing more! Things happen in life, it’s how we deal with them what shapes us, and it’s US shaping our future, not some blind fate. Tomorrow is all yours and if you want something strong enough you’ll make it happen – on your terms.
A very brave and honest thing to do. You should be proud of yourself for having the courage to share this.
Big hug x
thanks so much everyone…. you will have me blubbing at this rate hehe! Aga your words are sooooooo kind xxxxxx
WedinStyle Vietnam Wedding Planner
thank you so much for sharing. I have learnt more.
Such an honest and beautifully written post! Thank you so much for sharing – I”m sure there are dozens if not hundreds of girls that needed to hear that someone else has gone through something similar! Sending a big hug your way!
Thanks for the post, it’s heartening how you’ve opened up about such a difficult topic. As you said, it’s another day in our lives together – and in a way it simply ought to be a celebration of spending those lives together. Spending that day with those who really matter to us to join us in that celebration is what really matters, almost like a double birthday. It’s sometimes hard not to lose sight of that and not to go bridezilla. I get sick almost every year at Christmas and go down with a bad cold… I know it’s not quite the same, but very often I feel cheated by fate, however being able to be with the family, look after one another and be yourself is what matters… anyway, I wish you and G all the very best. Lots of Love, brave Lady
My cousin cancelled her wedding. They just weren’t having a good patch and you can’t get married thinking “things will get better”.
Two months after the day it would have been, they started planning again. They’ve been married for seven years and have the most perfect relationship ever. Relationship and marriage. In that order.
A totally heartfelt post and summing up that you need to do something for BOTH OF YOU.
thanks soooooooooooooooo much everyone, you have no idea how much help your support and kindness is, you lovely lovely lot 😉 xoxoxoxo
Thank you for posting your story, it is reasuring to find someone in a similar situation to me. I was due to get married in August 2010. I cancelled 6 weeks before after six months of planning. During the planning I was never sure I was doing the right thing. In the end I felt so sure that it was a mistake that I made myself ill with stress. I got myself in such a state that I couldn’t focus on anything. We are still together but it has been a very difficult year. I still think about it every day and feel very ashamed of myself. I feel happier with my partner and I am now 100% sure that he is the one for me. This is how I wanted to feel before, but it just didn’t feel right. I’d love get married now, but I can’t see a way to do it. Everyone will be judging me. If we elope then I know I would regret it. Things do get easier with time, and you start to think about it less and less. Cancelling a wedding is brave and very difficult. I think it changes you forever, but I think it can be a positive thing. You come out the other side stronger and happier. It just takes time.
Thanks again for your blog and your honesty! x
Oh Tilly ((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))) you are brave by sharing your story too. Looks like we were going through the same thing at the same time. We are never alone, thank you Tilly xxx
Laura George (@lmgeorge92)
I only just read this post. But I want to say its a beautiful piece of blogging, wedding or otherwise. I suffer with mental health problems myself and I’m always so grateful when others are brave enough to share their experiences. I wish you and your family all the happiness, ever.. no matter if the wedding day happens or not! xx
I’m so glad I stumbled on this post – well done you for being so honest and I’m so glad to hear that you got through it as a couple. In the months after we got engaged I finally felt ok to admit I was having serious mental health problems, and actually started a course of antidepressants which seemed to be the opposite of what I should be doing as an excited bride to be. I found the planning process fun at times but mainly stressful as the weight of expectation from friends and family piled on to us. I devoured all the blogs and loved looking at all the amazing ideas that people had for their own weddings but found it impossible to muster the same enthusiasm for my own when people asked. That said, the wedding day itself was fantastic and I could not have been happier. I had thought I would be happy just turning up at a registry office and signing something, the wedding with all the extras was not important to me, but I think we all focus on the details (which is the nature of the blogs with the photos and the ideas etc) and the things that should be common to all weddings get forgotten – but these are really the important things that stay with you forever – everyone you care about in a room witnessing you standing up with the man you love and making a commitment. When/if you do it I’m sure it will be fabulous, and I wish you all the very best xxxx
thanks you so much @Laura George and @Feefs this means the world to me xxxx
Hurrah! This is how the internet can be good good good! x
im in such a place at the moment.. Im due to marry in june 2013 its all booked. In the last few months my partner has totally changed and has become very horrible to my children (who are not his). We have been together for almost 4 yrs but now he has changed and is causing me to become very anxious as i never know what mood he will be in and my 12yr old son and 8 yr old daughter are also being hurt by his cruel works when he is in a mood. I dont know what to do. I know that i should leave and protect my children but how do i say its off and how do or where do i start with cancelling the wedding? i havent sent the invitations out but what do i say to the venue, photographer ect? then how do i live with my choice when i thought that id met the man i would live my life with and would love me and my children regardless..
Sarah.. (30yrs old) never been married
Sarah – sending hugs. Have you turned to family and friends to help support you? Don’t worry about what your vendors will think they will understand xx
Wow, Lou, what a touching post this is. I am so glad I stumbled upon it. I am planning my own wedding and whilst not going through the struggles you faced, mental health is something that is dear to my heart. Thank you so much for sharing your story, your honesty had me in tears. You are incredibly brave; for making that incredibly difficult decision, writing about it but most importantly, for dealing with mental health complications. Much love, Jess x
I need support right now. We should have been getting married in Vegas this April but my partner dropped the bomb shell 2 weeks ago that he wants to postpone as he just don’t know if it’s the right time, he gave me his reasons, that are too long to go on about. I was and still am heartbroken. I throw all my stuff out that related to the wedding, my dress hanging in the spare room is now in the loft. He says he still wants to get married just not yet and wants us to sill be engaged? I’m confused and don’t know what to think right now.
Firstly, big hugs. I know how heartbreaking cancelling a wedding is. It sounds as though your boyfriend loves you and hopes to marry you one day. Talk it through, try to see his reasons and only you can decide what to think at the moment. Give yourself time to heal from this and focus on your relationship day to day.
We just got married 5 years after I wrote this post and it was the best decision we made for us looking back. Stay strong xo
Thank you so much.
I have had to cancel not one (the one that I really wanted), but two (and a small one we agreed on), not even because of our relationship or arguments, but because of other people.
I am so glad you are still together, as we are too, and I hope we will be okay as well!
We have been together for nearly six years and engaged for nearly 2.
We have been there for each other through the hardest times of our lives so far.
I feel looked down upon when people see my engagement ring and ask when I’m getting married (I started taking it off and not wearing it after the second one was cancelled), and when all of my friends are getting married and we go to their weddings and they’ve been together a year and engaged for six months!
We have the strongest relationship I know and it hurts to know we can’t have that and show people how strong we are.
I have only started writing about how I am feeling. It is helping. I need to clear my head.
We have started talking about wedding planning again, but it fills me with dread in case other people interfere again, and I have anxieties over whether we will just end up cancelling again. I too am the same as you. I am spontaneous and don’t want to wait. I have learnt anything can change in a year but the wedding industry insists that you have to plan everything a up to a year or two in advance. A big wedding and spending lots of money doesn’t bother me. I would forgo the dream church wedding with my big white dress (which my mum bought two years ago when we got engaged, which is hanging in her wardrobe) for a registry office with just the two of us, and two strangers as witnesses, in a not-as-big dress(which is under my bed). that I bought for the one we planned the second time. I was getting over all of this. I have been poorly and in hospital, and it’s knocked all of the positivity out of me. I used to be a dreamer but people have told me, you need to have it here, you can’t have this, you’ve got to have that etc…
We mentioned getting married again and clearly there is still resentment in me about the first one because we argued about it. It feels unfair. I long just to be his wife and spend my life with him. Our first wedding was arranged for next summer, our second one for this summer. The beginning of this year has turned out so different to how it should have been. Is it normal to still feel like this six months after cancelling your first one? 🙁 It feels so petty to me to be get down and angry about something that seems so trivial, especially when we’re still together, but I can’t help but feel it. I’m afraid I will end up losing him and pushing him away. 🙁
Ahhh Fran, sending big hugs to you.
We finally got married last year! You can see our unconventional wedding and party on the blog > https://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2016/01/our-wedding-ceremony.html and https://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2016/01/our-wedding-reception.html
Try and find a way that makes the both of you happy and the whole experience enjoyable. Have you thought about having some kind of party (perhaps engagement) and surprising your guests by getting married then instead? I hope it all works out for you xo Lou
Awwh, thank you! Really happy for you! 🙂 I am currently thinking of ways around things. I just want to make sure things are right when we finally do. I want to feel the same we felt when we got engaged before wedding planning and listening to other people took over. 🙂 Glad you finally got there! Hope for us too! 🙂 x
Your wedding looked beautiful! Everything you wanted which was the important thing! 🙂
I am just so glad I am not the only one who has cancelled their wedding while still being together. Thank you so much, it has really helped me today. 🙂 x