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The cost of cancelling a wedding

Rachael English became seriously ill about two months before her June 2012 wedding was scheduled to occur. The Toronto resident spent three weeks in hospital as doctors and specialists tried to diagnose and treat her worsening symptoms. During this time she and her fiancÚ wrestled constantly with whether or not to postpone their wedding and honeymoon.

"I was asked everyday about cancelling or delaying the wedding and I kept saying that I needed it to happen," says English.

In the end English and her fiancÚ went ahead with the wedding, but made the difficult and costly decision to cancel their honeymoon.

Months and sometimes years of saving and planning can go into a wedding. As couples pay deposits for flowers, banquet halls and honeymoons, they rarely plan for the possibility that the celebration may need to be cancelled or postponed.

Read on for how to navigate the costs of a last-minute cancellation or postponement for one of life's major celebrations.

Planning for the unexpected
English didn't have insurance coverage in place to cover a last-minute cancellation and it is something she now suggests other people consider "for peace of mind."

Wedding insurance, such as WEDensure is relatively new to the insurance market in Canada but it is becoming more popular, says Geneve McNally, principal planner with Vancouver-based DreamGroup Productions, an event planning company.

With the average cost of weddings steadily rising in Canada (urban Vancouver weddings now cost an average of $35,000 of $70,000), people are looking to protect their investments, says McNally.

Wedding insurance can be broad in coverage and come with large premiums, so another option is to purchase item-specific cancellation insurance.

"Virtually all travel providers, including Expedia.ca, offer [trip cancellation] insurance, which is an inexpensive and effective way to protect you and your family," says Sean Shannon, vice president and managing director of Expedia.ca. "Often, people book their trips as early in advance as possible to secure the best price. Knowing that a lot can happen between the time of booking and when you depart, it is always best to be safe rather than sorry and as such cancellation insurance is always recommended."

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-- Posted August 3, 2012
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