(Closed) Anyone had a traditional wedding planned then canceled?

posted 7 years ago in Elopement
Post # 3
5 posts
  • Wedding: December 2012

We didn’t do this, but my friend did. They ended up going to Vegas and bringing a few close family members with. They lost about $3,000 in deposits, I think, but it was worth it to them. They hadn’t sent out save the dates, yet, but I know they used a lot of word of mouth for people they had verbally invited already.

I firmly believe in having the wedding that matters the most to you — it’s not worth spending lots of money on something you dread!

Post # 5
1810 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

You sound a like a good friend of mine. She was going to have a huge wedding with over 200 people and she hated it. Basically everything got too much for her and just 4-5 months before her wedding she cancelled it and made it a desination wedding…she lost a lot of money in deposits, but it ended up being the best thing she ever did. Her wedding was beautiful, small, and intimate, just how she wanted it.

Post # 7
6123 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I did.


I sent out Save-The-Date Cards, had the venue/caterer booked, had the lodging paid for, the officiant reserved, the photographer booked.  I cancelled it all with 120 days to go.  However it was mainly due to my dad’s ailing health and the possibility of him dying so close to the wedding that made us cancel.

However, the planning overall was really fun to research, but man my family made it all very stressful.  I started to get nervous about how it would all happen.  i was anxious that we didn’t have a nice enough venue to warrant all the $$$ (tickets, hotels, cars) people would have to spend to get to us.

We are now planning to elope in August, rather than have a July wedding.  This will have been my second chance to have a wedding (kindof thought I should do the whole wedding event thing since I got another chance), but it’ll be a lovely elopement/honeymoon for us.  I am looking forward to it all and splurging on ourselves.

Post # 8
2 posts
  • Wedding: November 2009

Hi redheadem, I totally empathise with your feeling stressed out by problems caused by family members. Please remember that how you feel on your wedding day is the MOST important thing in all of this, NOT other peoples demands and wants and wishes.

I would advise eloping, BUT BY YOURSELVES, (trust me on this one – see below) or you will look back on your wedding day and remember how you felt – stressed, unhappy and pushed around to the point where you dont feel like the bride at all. And that memory of your wedding day will stay with you forever, you cant rewind and do it again, and it may also possibly damage the relationship between you and the family members who stressed you out.

My husband and I had planned a destination wedding in the year following my own mums death, to avoid the pain of her not being there at the church she and I went to all her life. We invited a small party, which included my Mother-In-Law, sister(initially MOH) and her husband, niece(bridesmaid) and her boyfriend. However, in the run up to the wedding, a lot of power plays ensued, sisters demands and tantrums over her dress, shoes etc, and Mother-In-Law demanding attention.

They flew out (after having missed their own flight) in foul form, bitched about the extra money they had to spend re-arranging a flight (it was somehow our fault that they missed the flight, despite having a wedding to organize we were apparently expected to be the travel agent, wake up alarm clock  and holiday reps too….) and they all fought and gossiped behind our backs to the point where I was throwing up with the stress (and hidden anger) of having to run around being everyones seamtress, holiday rep and host. I was the bride, but in hindsight I was a total doormat. A huge row happened and there was no turning back…

We made the decision to abandon the wedding, it was a tough decision as we felt beholden to THEM to get married as they had spent the money on flights and accomodation. But my only memory of what should have been a joyous occasion, would have been one of total stress had we gone ahead. We informed them that due to the fighting, we were left with no choice but to postpone the wedding until further notice.

Myself and my husband got married at our dream destination BY OURSELVES the following Christmas. It was 100 times better than the alternative, but my memory is that it was a bit sad, and a bit of a salvage job. Our family relationships have suffered as a result and no apology has ever been offered, just excuses. I stiil wake up 2 years later bolt upright in bed at night thinking of what I SHOULD have done, and Im still hurt, angry and depressed about the whole thing.

So PLEASE, PLEASE – the only people you need to please, is yourselves. If there is any indication or hint of family dispute, do not invite them to a destination wedding, as every little gripe will be magnified 100-fold. Do it by yourselves, for yourselves.

I truly hope you have a wonderful day and most importantly can look back and remember your own wedding with happiness.

Sorry for length of reply – and this was the shortened version! Will post in another thread.

Best wishes.

Post # 9
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I am right there with you.  We have been engaged for 2 months with the wedding still 9 months away.  We have planned a big wedding, and over 400 people are going to be invited, and I JUST CAN NOT DEAL.  FI’s parents are being crazy and inflexable, my mom is being a totally and utter pain in the butt and I really do not want to deal with this for another 9 months.  Fiance is getting really upset too.

At this point we haven’t sent out save the dates yet, so I think it is not too late to cancel.  We are so torn on what we want to do.

Post # 11
6123 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

it’s definitely something to hash you, sit on the idea for a while, etc.  I forgot to mention I got all my money  back except for $50 per cabin cancellation (we bought 3 cabins upfront for the wedding weekened).  However, I think that we’re still going to go to our exwedding location just to have a fun trip and some friends said they’d still fly out for a vacation. 


My Fiance wasn’t hands on with the planning but he saw how stressed I was getting, so he wants a stress free fiance!

Post # 13
484 posts
Helper bee

@redheadem:  Planning out all of those details and spending so much money on random things that we’ll never use again just wasn’t for me. When we first got engaged I had an idea of a traditional family wedding until I realized how much money and planning went into six hours. So my Fiance and I tried to find a balance. We are now eloping in Costa Rica for about $3,100 total for the wedding (includes our night before wedding accommodation and their ceremony site fee, our officiant, photographer, videographer, and their assistants but this excludes our wedding attire). After we come back from our weddingmoon we will get legally married in a small ceremony with just our parents. Even with planning such a simple ceremony (the parents one), there has been drama. “Why are you spending money on this?” “Why can’t you just have a ceremony in the park?” Um, if we are paying for it, BE QUIET! Lol. They have been well-meaning but it just reaffirms why I chose to elope in the first place. After we are legally married, Future Mother-In-Law (MIL at that point) will throw us a “reception.” We said we were fine with a small gathering and/or dinner. That small gathering is now the “reception.” I told Fiance he has to deal with that. LOL. 

It was important to me to share my wedding day with our parents, so this was a great way for us to get what we hoped for while still getting what we want the most (eloping). Maybe you could elope and then renew your vows with your closest friends and family and then go out to dinner? That way you get to celebrate with them without having all of those high expectations on you for decor and such. We found a beautiful wooden chapel that is $300 that we are considering getting married in. Or maybe we’ll just get married on the porch of our cabin! There’s no pressure there. 🙂

Eloping is a very personal decision that only you and your Fiance can decide. I picture my wedding day being about me and my FI’s union and celebrating it in a very intimate, romantic way. I didn’t want it to be a family day honestly. I just want to focus all of my attention on my Fiance for the entire day. Just me and him. So now I get to look forward to being woken up at 5am by monkeys (lol), eating breakfast in bed, getting ready for the wedding, saying speeches to each other, going into different rooms to put on our wedding attire, going outside into the rainforest for our first look, and then having a private ceremony that includes our own written vows and a rose ceremony where we will exchange roses covered in gold. Then once we are married in the rainforest, we will go to the beach to have our first dance and eat our cake. After that we will have a trash the dress photo shoot on the beach and then jump into our hot tub with coconuts to drink and relax until we’re ready to get ready to go to our outdoor dinner reservations with a lit candle. Once we are done eating, I think we’ll go for a walk along the beach and dance in the moonlight and then head back to our place once we’re done. I can send you any information you want if you are interested in eloping in Costa Rica. 

Woah, sorry I wrote so much! I just wanted to paint a different wedding day picture to you just in case if you hadn’t considered something like that. 

At the end of the day, all that matters is what you and your Fiance want. If it is a day with your families and friends, then don’t look back and try to get past the stress the best you can because at the end of the day, you two know it’ll all be worth it if that’s what you two truly want. Just follow your hearts and don’t let anyone else get to you two. 

Gold luck!!!!! I wish you the best happiness in whatever you decide. 

ETA: Oh, I never even answered your question! I’m sorry. I emailed vendors but never put down any deposits when I was thinking of having the traditional wedding. 

Post # 15
451 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

My Fiance proposed on Christmas- so not even that longago, but we’ve already scrapped our plans.

We had a venue booked and EVERYONE already knew the date- even our pastor. But we realized that the big wedding with the nice venue and tons of people just isnt us, so as of Saturday- we cancelled it and we are now planning an intimate ceremony and a backyar BBQ maybe a few weeks/months later, we couldn’t be any more happy.

Post # 16
484 posts
Helper bee

@redheadem:  Thank you! Very nice. If you want any recommendations then let me know. TripAdvisor is a really great help too for accommodation, tours, restaurants, and activities.

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