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Wedding 911

Wedding may be postponed or cancelled

So, this is kind of a long story, but I'll compress it as much as possible. The events leading up to this have been going on for about 3 months, but this development just hit us about a week ago and it could go either way. However, the panic is strong in this one.

My FI and I have been engaged for some time, around a year and a half. We worked with a $5000 budget for our wedding and booked all of our vendors, putting money aside each month to make payments and put money away for the final payments and so on. In February we started having heavy financial problems and after a while, our entire living and wedding budget was being spilled into making sure my car is not repoed and we are not evicted. While we're not really worried about having to move (we both have parents that would welcome us with open arms) we've gotten to the point that we may have to postpone or even cancel our wedding.

We applied for a loan in the past two weeks to pay off our debts as well as take care of our remaining wedding expenses, but we have yet to hear an answer. With 63 days left until the wedding and nothing completely paid for except for my gown and our wedding bands (thank god for Etsy! We got our wedding bands for only $70), I'm beginning to panic. If the loan is indeed denied, we will definitely have to postpone or cancel. If we're approved, Whoohoo, party time! But with 63 days I have very little time to plan for a cancellation if it does indeed happen. While it's hitting me hard at the thought of having to cancel, I'm trying to plan ahead so that I'm prepared. 

I'm posting to basically ask if anyone has ever dealt with a similar situation or personally had to postpone or cancel their wedding? How did you handle it; announcing it, any changes you had to make, etc? Did you elope and then have a reception/vow renewal at a later date, or did you postpone the entire event and wait to get married until you could afford it? (FI and I discussed all of these options a little bit). How did you handle it emotionally? In regards to my situation, what would you all suggest by ways of how I'd go about postponing or canceling should I have to? Would you suggest I just go ahead, cancel, and elope? If everything goes well and we can indeed have a wedding, which wine would you suggest I inhale to take my deep breaths with?

End note: Yes, loans are not the best idea for paying for a wedding. However, we have our reasons for needing it other than the wedding; we just took a leap of hope and the silence is killing us. Also, nothing is really set in stone at the moment. I'm just panicking because of the time limit that we are on and would like to be prepared for the worst.

Re: Wedding may be postponed or cancelled

  • I agree with PP. Cancel the wedding, get married just the two of you and call it a day. Do not take out a loan for a wedding. 
    image
    YogaSandyInLoveInQueens
  • PupatellaPupatella member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2015
    Have your invitations already gone out? If so, how many people were invited to your wedding?

    I would definitely cancel and just have the ceremony at the courthouse. Just because you are not having a reception, doesn't mean you can't still get married on your day.

    If you were planning an intimate wedding, I would call everyone, and explain that you are no longer going to have a wedding reception, and had to cancel the original plans. If they are immediate family or friends, I would tell them that they are welcome to come to the courthouse if they so wish to witness your marriage (this is if they want to see you get married - Mom, Dad, BFF). But I would make it clear that you guys are just going to the courthouse to get married, and there will be no reception, etc.

    ETA: words

    YogaSandylnixon8
  • Pupatella said:
    Have your invitations already gone out? If so, how many people were invited to your wedding?

    I would definitely cancel and just have the ceremony at the courthouse. Just because you are not having a reception, doesn't mean you can't still get married on your day.

    If you were planning an intimate wedding, I would call everyone, and explain that you are no longer going to have a wedding reception, and had to cancel the original plans. If they are immediate family or friends, I would tell them that they are welcome to come to the courthouse if they so wish to witness your marriage (this is if they want to see you get married - Mom, Dad, BFF). But I would make it clear that you guys are just going to the courthouse to get married, and there will be no reception, etc.

    ETA: words
    If you invite people to a ceremony, even if it is a intimate court house affair, you must still host a reception after to thank those that came. It can be something as simple as heading to a resturant and footing the bill, or hosting everyone at the house for lunch, but the guests must be thanked for coming to the ceremony.
    image
    YogaSandy[Deleted User]lc07
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited September 2015
    The answer to your dilemma is 'cake and punch.' Have a simple ceremony at the courthouse or your back yard. Invite the immediate families, serve sheetcake or cupcakes, punch and coffee. Bonus - you get to wear the dress that is already bought. 

                       
    MesmrEwekimmiinthemittenMaggie0829
  • PupatellaPupatella member
    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited September 2015
    justsie said:


    Pupatella said:

    Have your invitations already gone out? If so, how many people were invited to your wedding?

    I would definitely cancel and just have the ceremony at the courthouse. Just because you are not having a reception, doesn't mean you can't still get married on your day.

    If you were planning an intimate wedding, I would call everyone, and explain that you are no longer going to have a wedding reception, and had to cancel the original plans. If they are immediate family or friends, I would tell them that they are welcome to come to the courthouse if they so wish to witness your marriage (this is if they want to see you get married - Mom, Dad, BFF). But I would make it clear that you guys are just going to the courthouse to get married, and there will be no reception, etc.

    ETA: words

    If you invite people to a ceremony, even if it is a intimate court house affair, you must still host a reception after to thank those that came. It can be something as simple as heading to a resturant and footing the bill, or hosting everyone at the house for lunch, but the guests must be thanked for coming to the ceremony.

    -------------------boxes------------------

    Totally agree that if you invite people to your ceremony, that you have to host them afterwards.

    I don't think OP should host any party considering the current financial situation.

    I worded what I was thinking weirdly in my PP. I meant that OP shouldn't invite anyone to their wedding. But if Mom and Dad insist on coming to the courthouse wedding, I would allow them to be there as witnesses.

    Considering that the OP's car is in threat of being repoed, and there is also a threat of eviction, I think even doing a cake and punch reception is too much. Even if the cake and punch is $50, that is $50 that should be going towards car and rent payments.

    ETA boxes

    YogaSandyInLoveInQueens
  • Pupatella said:
    Pupatella said:
    Have your invitations already gone out? If so, how many people were invited to your wedding?

    I would definitely cancel and just have the ceremony at the courthouse. Just because you are not having a reception, doesn't mean you can't still get married on your day.

    If you were planning an intimate wedding, I would call everyone, and explain that you are no longer going to have a wedding reception, and had to cancel the original plans. If they are immediate family or friends, I would tell them that they are welcome to come to the courthouse if they so wish to witness your marriage (this is if they want to see you get married - Mom, Dad, BFF). But I would make it clear that you guys are just going to the courthouse to get married, and there will be no reception, etc.

    ETA: words
    If you invite people to a ceremony, even if it is a intimate court house affair, you must still host a reception after to thank those that came. It can be something as simple as heading to a resturant and footing the bill, or hosting everyone at the house for lunch, but the guests must be thanked for coming to the ceremony.
    -------------------boxes------------------ Totally agree that if you invite people to your ceremony, that you have to host them afterwards. I don't think OP should host any party considering the current financial situation. I worded what I was thinking weirdly in my PP. I meant that OP shouldn't invite anyone to their wedding. But if Mom and Dad insist on coming to the courthouse wedding, I would allow them to be there as witnesses. Considering that the OP's car is in threat of being repoed, and there is also a threat of eviction, I think even doing a cake and punch reception is too much. Even if the cake and punch is $50, that is $50 that should be going towards car and rent payments. ETA boxes
    The bolded is what I was referring to as being improper, if you invite people to witness the ceremony you must have a reception and thank them. So if Mom and Dad come to the courthouse wedding, then Mom and Dad are invited to the reception to follow, whatever that may be. I never said they had to do a cake and punch reception, but if people are invited they need to be thanked for coming, in whatever way the couple is able to. If the couple does not have money for this, then they don't invite anyone to witness the ceremony. 
    image
  • Thank you @CElizabeth419, this is exactly the point I was trying to make!!

    If I were in the OP's situation and I told my Mom "sorry but you can't come to the courthouse to see me get married because I can't afford to take you out to celebrate afterwards", that would start a war!! Haha.

    I wouldn't invite anyone to the courthouse. But if my Mom and step Dad told me they did not want to miss the ceremony, I would absolutely have them there (and honestly would want them there).

    JediElizabethDecemberKnot2016spockforprez
  • Totally agree with the last few posts. Too often, things are perceived as black and white when there's a perfectly acceptable shade of gray here. If I couldn't afford a wedding and all I could do was courthouse and also couldn't afford to host lunch afterwards, I would still invite my parents and siblings to be there to witness if they wanted and no one would bat an eye.

    Likewise, if my siblings or children could only afford a courthouse wedding, I would NEVER expect to be hosted afterwards for being witness. I think anyone who looks at a situation such as this -- where cars are being repoed and rents aren't being paid -- and expects to be "hosted" for witnessing their courthouse wedding has a few etiquette screws loose, frankly.
    JediElizabethPupatellaspockforprez
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    @Pupatella - I agree that the parents would probably still want to witness the vows even if there wasn't going to be a reception. I know I would. 
                       
    Pupatella
  • All-righty..  Time to pull out the big pair of scissors for your budget and rework this to what you can afford. 

    1) Invitations - Clearance rack at Walmart. 

    2) Cake & Punch... (and by cake - I mean from the big box store along with the punch)...

    3) No DJ

    4) Flowers - They sell a mixed bouquet at the florist or local grocery store/big box - put a ribbon on it!, $7 gets you a bout for FI...  If you've got BM, a single stem with a ribbon, if you've got GM, a trimmed carnation..

    Those four cuts - just saved you around $2500...  If you lose some deposits, it's not the end of the world given that you don't have the money to pay the rest of the amount.  Some vendors such as your florist and baker, you may be able to renegotiate the terms of the contract to what your reality budget is.   

    5) Dress alterations - needle and thread!  Learn to sew - you can't afford a pro to do them.  For your FI, don't rent a suit, put that money into owning a nice shirt/tie/slacks combo.  The clearance rack for a suit will be cheaper!

    6) You don't need a loan, you need to sit down with a financial advisor at the bank (free service) to figure out how to live on a realistic budget for your life and potentially refinance your car loan into one you can afford for the car.  Another possibility is taking on a part-time job.  I know people who detail cars for local dealerships in their spare time, think outside the box for odds and ends jobs you can do on your schedule to pick up some extra money now and into the future.  In the future, once your car is paid off, keep making payments into a savings account and when it's time for your next car, pay cash.  The money you'll save from interest adds up over a lifetime especially since that savings will gain interest.  Finances are the #2 reason couples break up.  If your vehicle is ready to be repo'd and you're about ready to get evicted, you need some serious financial counseling so you get out of the mess you're in, AND learn the tools you need to for the future so you never find yourself in this spot ever again. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    KeyToHisHeart2017
  • Thank you to everyone for your responses. In response to those concerned about the reasons for the loan; there's a lot more going on that I just didn't want to dig into, but I definitely understand the comments about financial responsibility and to just do what we can afford. To recap and maybe shine a little light on my original post;

    1) Our financial situation has worsened only in the last 3 months; paying for my car has been difficult because of the bank. It's a high interest bank that I got the loan through by chance some years ago, and they're not famous for working with people, thus the threat of the car being repoed and transferring that balance with the new loan.
    2) This development hit us just this week. We haven't heard back because apparently our school loans were taken into consideration, which did not make sense as we are both still in school, thus the long wait to hear back.
    3) We added the wedding funds into the loan with the hope of not having to cancel, as we'd lose all of the deposits. We didn't specifically take out the loan for the wedding, or consider it until we assessed the situation we were in.
    There was a lot of planning and moving around that's been done in the last few months. Like I said above, I didn't want to go into detail but I guess that's needed when trying to get advice from people you don't know, eh? I hope this lightens things up a bit.

    I will say that since I posted this we will definitely have to postpone. After reading all of your comments as well as talking to my mother, even if we did get the loan we would have too little time to prepare everything at this point.

    If we postpone I will definitely have to cut back on the budget more, which is what we'll work on right away (you bet I'm gonna wear that dress one way or another). So, other than budget cutting, my biggest concern is the guest list. Though no invites were sent out, everyone we originally wanted to invite has been invited vocally (I had to contact everyone to confirm addresses). How do I make the announcement for a smaller scale wedding when everyone is expecting to be invited? 
    Pupatellamadamerwin
  • Thank you to everyone for your responses. In response to those concerned about the reasons for the loan; there's a lot more going on that I just didn't want to dig into, but I definitely understand the comments about financial responsibility and to just do what we can afford. To recap and maybe shine a little light on my original post;


    1) Our financial situation has worsened only in the last 3 months; paying for my car has been difficult because of the bank. It's a high interest bank that I got the loan through by chance some years ago, and they're not famous for working with people, thus the threat of the car being repoed and transferring that balance with the new loan.
    2) This development hit us just this week. We haven't heard back because apparently our school loans were taken into consideration, which did not make sense as we are both still in school, thus the long wait to hear back.
    3) We added the wedding funds into the loan with the hope of not having to cancel, as we'd lose all of the deposits. We didn't specifically take out the loan for the wedding, or consider it until we assessed the situation we were in.
    There was a lot of planning and moving around that's been done in the last few months. Like I said above, I didn't want to go into detail but I guess that's needed when trying to get advice from people you don't know, eh? I hope this lightens things up a bit.

    I will say that since I posted this we will definitely have to postpone. After reading all of your comments as well as talking to my mother, even if we did get the loan we would have too little time to prepare everything at this point.

    If we postpone I will definitely have to cut back on the budget more, which is what we'll work on right away (you bet I'm gonna wear that dress one way or another). So, other than budget cutting, my biggest concern is the guest list. Though no invites were sent out, everyone we originally wanted to invite has been invited vocally (I had to contact everyone to confirm addresses). How do I make the announcement for a smaller scale wedding when everyone is expecting to be invited? 
    Glad to hear you will be cutting your guest list to help with the budget at your future wedding!!

    Do you see the people you invited verbally on a regular basis? How close are you to these people? Are they aware of your financial stresses?

    I would personally call, or talk to in person, the people that I am more close to, have FI talk to his friends and family, have Mom and FMIL talk to family or friends that they are more close to.

    "HI ______. My FI and I have decided to postpone our nuptials until sometime next year. We are now going to plan a very small wedding for only immediate family and friends. I hope you understand."

    Also, keep in mind that people will probably figure out that you are making this decision due to financial troubles. Honestly this is not something I would be ashamed about or deny. I think you are being smart by delaying your wedding until you can afford it!

    JediElizabeth
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Since you didn't send any STDs or invitations, there's no need to send a written announcement. First tell the immediate family members, then call anyone you think may have made travel arrangements.  I like Pupatella's wording.

    If you've recieved any gifts, return them. You may enclose a note with those that the wedding has been postponed indefinitely.


    Good luck. I hope you are able to work out your financial problems soon.


                       
    ShesSoCold[Deleted User]
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    OP, I think you're doing the right thing here. 

    You need to sit down with your FI and decide what's most important to you - being married now or waiting and having the big party. There are inexpensive ways to get married soon (as PPs have said) but if you want to wait, then wait. But, I will say that your financial situation sounds pretty bad so you may also want to discuss what kind of a timeline you'd be looking at. It may take years to dig out of this financial hole, get back on your feet and save for a wedding. 

    Good luck to you!
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    JediElizabethOliveOilsMom
  • With the added info - you need to remember, the only things you need to get married is someone to marry, a license, and someone to officiate.  The rest is window dressing. 

    Look at your contracts, you may be on the hook for more than your deposit in some cases.  I guess I'm questioning after reading the additions if there isn't another issue that's going on entirely unrelated to the loans and finances that you are looking for an excuse to postpone.  I agree with the PP in that it is entirely possible that this mess is going to take years to get dug out of (that dress may not fit by then!), so you've really got to get things figured out and taken care of. 

    So, you got a crappy loan, it happens.  Until I got my final private loan into repayment, what I did was go in (while still in school to the tune of $11K), laid it all on the line, took out a higher flat-rate interest loan that I could afford (12% is still less than 30% on a credit card!), working with a financial advisor at the bank, and got that thing paid off over four years earlier than necessary because we set a payment that even on a rough month I could afford the minimum amount, they worked with me because not only did I not give them a choice because it's to their advantage to still keep getting paid.  I also was able to afford our wedding incidentals during that time.  If there isn't something relationship wise that you're looking for an excuse to postpone over, have the wedding you can afford even if that means calling people up to say (the truth!!!) about who you can afford to invite, then start saving up for the party you really wanted for your 25th!

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  • Thank you to everyone for your responses. In response to those concerned about the reasons for the loan; there's a lot more going on that I just didn't want to dig into, but I definitely understand the comments about financial responsibility and to just do what we can afford. To recap and maybe shine a little light on my original post;

    1) Our financial situation has worsened only in the last 3 months; paying for my car has been difficult because of the bank. It's a high interest bank that I got the loan through by chance some years ago, and they're not famous for working with people, thus the threat of the car being repoed and transferring that balance with the new loan.
    2) This development hit us just this week. We haven't heard back because apparently our school loans were taken into consideration, which did not make sense as we are both still in school, thus the long wait to hear back.
    3) We added the wedding funds into the loan with the hope of not having to cancel, as we'd lose all of the deposits. We didn't specifically take out the loan for the wedding, or consider it until we assessed the situation we were in.
    There was a lot of planning and moving around that's been done in the last few months. Like I said above, I didn't want to go into detail but I guess that's needed when trying to get advice from people you don't know, eh? I hope this lightens things up a bit.

    I will say that since I posted this we will definitely have to postpone. After reading all of your comments as well as talking to my mother, even if we did get the loan we would have too little time to prepare everything at this point.

    If we postpone I will definitely have to cut back on the budget more, which is what we'll work on right away (you bet I'm gonna wear that dress one way or another). So, other than budget cutting, my biggest concern is the guest list. Though no invites were sent out, everyone we originally wanted to invite has been invited vocally (I had to contact everyone to confirm addresses). How do I make the announcement for a smaller scale wedding when everyone is expecting to be invited? 
    In regards to your original post, I've known two people who have postponed their wedding. One had sent the save the dates in November 2014 and got the word in January that it wasn't happening, not sure what the current state of that is. In the other situation, I had a cousin postpone her wedding due to financial reasons. She had not sent out formal invites yet, but the date was known to a lot of the inivitees just by word of mouth. And as easy as the word of when she was getting married was passed along, the word that she would not be getting married on that date was passed along just as easily. She did call my parents to inform them they would be postponing the date and along with her parents, they were able to spread the word that the wedding would not be taking place. I do know that in order to save costs, ironically, they had to eat some costs. She had already put down a non-refundable deposit on a venue (I do believe they were willing to give her 50% back even though it said "non-refundable" once she called and expalined the situation). I do not think they regret their decision what so ever. They were able to better plan the day the wanted by waiting (they were married with a more affordable option almost one year later) and are as happy as can be now and they kept themselves out of some excruciating debt by waiting just a little longer. I think you have the right idea of waiting and getting a few things back on track. See where you are 6 months from now and reevaluate. There really is no big deal in postponing if it's what is best for you and your FI.

  • Thank you all again for your responses. Over the past week, we've postponed the wedding until next year (we've only paid the photographer, who is a huge sweetheart and postponed no problem). Our financial situation has improved drastically (we're moving back home at the end of the week) and we've cut our entire budget to something we can definitely afford so that we can get married with immediate family and friends (and I still get to rock my gown, haha).

    To those that are commenting that there is another reason for the delay; there is no other reason than financial trouble for us delaying the big day. We have people telling us all the time that "all you need is someone to officiate and each other". Whether we win the lottery and have the wedding we were originally planning or we just have a party with immediate family and friends (which is what we are now doing), we want to feel more when we get married than just signing a piece of paper. As I told my grandmother; We're not graduating college or signing the lease for an apartment. We're getting married. It just has some significance to us to be able to have a wedding and celebrate our marriage.

    I do want to thank everyone again for a) the reality check, and b) the great advice. Again, we did postpone and are now planning an event we can afford. I'm going to skuttle over to another board to ask advice on more affordable venues in my local area, as that was our biggest budget killer (the venue itself was over half of our original budget). If anyone has ideas in Central PA that would allow us to just rent the property (I've been getting messages about packages and whatnot, which are all way out of our price range), any advice would be awesome!
    The Park was a great idea especially if they have covered buildings.

    Our big money saver was the venue, linens, plates, silver, catering, bar, and even centerpieces if we didn't get super inexpensive better ones. was a complete package deal, so we only paid one price for how many people we have coming. Almost everything was included except entertainment, cake, and extra decor that we wanted but didn't need. that made budgeting so much better!
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