15 Good Reasons to Cancel a Wedding

broken paper heart on a string

One moment you’re feeling sure and excited about your upcoming wedding. You’ve sent out invitations, made plans, and talked to organizers. However, for some reason, you or your partner are having second thoughts about it – will calling the wedding off be the right decision? 

Some good reasons to cancel a wedding include financial or family emergencies, conflict with the wedding date or venue, public health concerns, and an abusive partner. Wedding cancellations can happen to a perfectly happy couple, and sometimes, it’s for the best. 

Canceling a wedding isn’t just about cheating or runaway partners (although those also count). And it shouldn’t be seen as an embarrassing and heartbreaking situation but rather the best choice for the couple. In this article, I’ll explore the good reasons to cancel a wedding in more detail. 

1. You Need to Cancel Your Wedding for Financial Reasons

Let’s face it: weddings are expensive. Even the cheapest wedding can leave you struggling and short on funds.

And being in significant debt isn’t a good start to married life. Therefore, if you are canceling your wedding because of financial issues, you may consider the following: 

You might even consider having an anti-wedding to protest the wedding industrial complex and how expensive and commercial things have gotten.

I have a budget sheet that can help you determine if a wedding is something you can afford if you cut a few things out or if your guest list and wedding dreams don’t line up.

You can check out my free budget guide if you sign up for my newsletter. It automatically calculates what you should spend where based on your budget and guest count and helps you stay on track. It’s like the fairy godmother of numbers.

2. You Are Faced with a Family Emergency

For most of us, family comes first, right? And it’s normal not to want to push through with the wedding when dealing with a family emergency. During these difficult times, it’s not always possible to determine when things will return to normality, so canceling your wedding until further notice will be a good idea. 

3. You (or Your Partner) Had a Change of Heart

As sad as this sounds, even seemingly perfect couples can find themselves falling out of love with their partner. It happens, and when it does, it’s probably the best reason to call off a wedding. 

Canceling a wedding can seem catastrophic, but being married to someone you don’t love is a recipe for an unhappy marriage and will lead to greater troubles down the road. 

bride and groom facing each other with their cat in the middle

4. Your Family Members Disapprove of the Wedding

You’re in love and 100% sure about your partner, but your family doesn’t seem as convinced. You don’t want your love story to be a Romeo and Juliet remake, do you? 

Communicate with your family and try to understand where they are coming from. If your family still disapproves after all your efforts, consider postponing your wedding to a later date. 

You have the right to postpone or call off your wedding if you feel your family’s disapproval will cause a serious dent in your married life.

The exception to this is if your family members are abusive and have a history of controlling behavior. Or if they disapprove for reasons that are selfish, racist, or otherwise prejudiced.

5. You or Your Partner Couldn’t Get Along with the In-Laws

How many times have we heard of evil in-law stories? The mother-in-law who transforms into a wicked “witch,” the toxic father-in-law who’s manipulative beyond belief, or the sibling-in-law who spreads wild gossip about you – these stories deserve a horror movie of their own. 

And there isn’t any reason to stay in a marriage where you will play the life-long victim. Therefore, if you feel your in-laws’ attitude is harming your relationship, you may consider postponing or canceling your wedding until the relationship improves. 

6. Public Health Concerns

A wedding is an important event, and you want your family to participate and celebrate with you. However, you wouldn’t want your wedding to cause health problems among your guests and organizers. 

The last few years are a brilliant example. Many weddings had to be cancelled due to health concerns. Therefore, if you’re worried about your guests’ safety, you should probably call off the wedding and postpone it to a later date when public health is no longer a concern. 

7. You Are Dealing with Venue or Date Concerns

The wedding venue and date are crucial parts of a wedding, and conflicts can be a significant setback to your wedding plans if not dealt with properly.

Therefore, if an issue with your preferred venue or wedding date is causing you and your partner anxiety, maybe you’re better off canceling the event. 

8. You Are Worried About a Weather Threat

No amount of preparation can stop mother nature from wreaking havoc. So, it’s always better to be on the safe side and cancel the wedding if there’s a severe weather threat. You don’t want your guests to be inconvenienced or potentially harmed due to bad weather. 

I’m not talking a little rain here. I mean hurricanes, blizzards, flood warnings, tornados and the like. But even a bad rainstorm could make for hazardous driving conditions for your guests (and you!) So consider even delaying things an hour when there’s a storm so people don’t have to rush in the rain or snow and potentially get into an accident.

9. You Need to Prioritize Some Unexpected Change of Plan

If an unexpected life change crops up, for example, you find out that you’ve just got your dream job in another city and need to relocate. Or you or your partner are pregnant and your due date is close to the future wedding date. Postponing the wedding could be a good idea, as you don’t want to regret not going after a dream because you rushed to get married. 

bride leading a groom away

10. You Have an Abusive Partner

Nobody should stay in an abusive relationship. Love should be wonderful and a blessing even if you encounter problems from time to time. And if you are abused by your partner, whether physically or emotionally, it’s only in your best interests to cancel the wedding. The abuse might only get worse after marriage, and it will be harder to leave. 

11. You’re Rushing the Wedding Because of Pressure

If you feel pressured to get married because of pregnancy, getting older, or for other reasons, you’re getting married for the wrong reasons. 

Here’s a lesson a bride learned from her experience of canceling a wedding despite feeling pressure:

“The fact is, we plan on getting married… when it’s right. When that will be, I don’t know. I’m just so happy to be in love with a wonderful man who is in love with me.”

Instead of rushing a wedding, focus and nurture your relationship, and the wedding will happen in good time. 

12. Your Partner Cheats and Shows No Remorse

Extramarital affairs often lead to the end of a marriage – unless both parties are willing to forgive and change for the better. 

It’s a common problem among married couples. In fact, according to studies, over 25% of married men and 20% of married women engage in extra-marital affairs throughout their marriage.

If your significant other cheats and shows no remorse or sympathy towards you, that’s a big “red flag” sign. 

13. You Have Deep Trust Issues and a Good Reason for It

It’s not only extramarital issues you should be worried about. Even seemingly petty yet trust-damaging behaviors (repeated even after explaining them to your partner) can be a good reason to cancel your wedding plans. 

Trust is the foundation of any relationship; without it, it could lead to an unsuccessful and unhappy marriage.

14. You and Your Partner Are Very Different 

They say that opposites attract, and I believe this is true. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be compatible with that person over the long haul. 

When two completely different people are attracted to each other, more often than not, it’s physical attraction. Despite your efforts to work on your differences, the spark will fade somewhere along your relationship, and you may realize that your differences are irreconcilable. 

If you find yourselves arguing a lot about your differences, struggle to compromise, or tend to put off major life decisions because you just can’t agree, it may be time to face reality. Getting married isn’t going to make things magically better.

dad walking bride down the aisle at a backyard wedding

15. Most of Your Guests Can’t Make It

If more than half of your invited guests RSVP that they can’t make it, what else is there to do? Call off the wedding and enjoy the moment with your partner and family. Consider an elopement with a post-elopement party or micro-wedding instead of the big affair you were planning.

Don’t know what a micro-wedding is? You can read more about them here.

Refinery29 shared this experience of a couple who canceled their wedding: “Ended up having a nice weekend with a few friends we hadn’t seen in a while, followed by a truly picture-perfect honeymoon.” 

Final Thoughts

When thinking about canceling your wedding, remember this: It’s your wedding; it’s your call. You’ll be the one spending your life with your significant other. 

Therefore, what others say won’t matter as long as you believe you’re doing the right thing and are ready to take responsibility for your decision.  


Need additional tips from other like-minded brides? Whether you’re planning a wedding at the last minute or on a budget, check out our free, exclusive Facebook group – Wedding Planning Club


Jaime is the owner of Loud Bride and Coast Designs LLC. She got married in 2017 in Geneseo, NY and designed her own wedding invitations and programs for the occasion. Now, she designs bespoke wedding stationery and affordable templates for other couples. She lives in New York city with her husband and two children.

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