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How to Call Off a Wedding, According to Couples Who Did It

2 minute read

Canceling a wedding isn’t as uncommon as you might think: According to one estimate, 13% of engagements are called off. The New York Times published profiles of multiple couples who had broken off their engagements and been forced to go through the emotional process of canceling a wedding. Here are some tips from people who went through it themselves:

1. Let loved ones spread the word on your behalf
“You have to have family or social support when you’re dealing with hard emotions,” said Eve Sturges, a therapist who canceled her wedding just eight weeks before the ceremony. Sturges’ mother sent postcards to the attendees, which read, “The wedding of Eve and Jim is postponed indefinitely. Thank you for your love and support.”

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2. Reimburse the bridal party, and return gifts
After lawyer Stacey Becker called off her wedding, she canceled her Crate & Barrel and Macy’s registries and returned any gifts she had received. She also wrote checks to reimburse friends for engagement party gifts (but notes that none of them were cashed).

Read more: A Wedding Costs This Much Money in America

3. Don’t shy away from other weddings
Chances are, if you’re at the point in your life where you’re ready to get married, you have a bunch of friends in the same boat. Your own cancellation shouldn’t mean you skip out on other weddings. “On the date of her own canceled wedding, Ms. Becker, who eventually broke up with her fiancé, had been invited to a wedding of a summer-camp friend. She didn’t want to go because she was so emotional about the date, but another friend, who had recently gone through his own breakup, persuaded her that they should go together. He is now her husband and the father to their 2-year-old son,” the Times reported.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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