Are you planning your wedding? As the date approaches, you might start having nervous thoughts about all the things that can go wrong. What if the weather takes a nosedive? Would a family emergency destroy all my plans? Is there a global pandemic happening?

If you’ve already put down a deposit on your venue and made promises to various vendors, that doesn’t always mean you’re going to be out of luck if your plans need to change. Luckily, wedding cancellation insurance exists to help protect you from unexpected events. 

What is wedding cancellation insurance?

Wedding cancellation insurance is a type of event cancellation insurance. It is something that can be purchased along with event liability coverage. Since planning a wedding involves booking a venue (or two, if you’re having a rehearsal party) and several vendors (including florists, caterers, photographers, DJs and musicians) many months in advance, you’ll almost always have to put down significant non-refundable deposits. If your wedding is cancelled for a reason that’s covered by the insurance, you can get reimbursed for the money you lost on your deposits. 

What kinds of cancellations are covered?

Wedding insurance may cover cancellations that result from:

  • Extreme weather
  • Illness or injury to the wedding party (bride, groom, immediate family, groomsmen or bridesmaids)
  • Issues with the venue(s)
  • Missing officiates or vendors

Wedding insurance generally won’t cover cancellations that result from:

  • A sudden change of heart or “cold feet” (Note: some insurance providers offer additional “change of heart” coverage on top of their standard cancellation insurance)
  • Deciding to change venues or vendors at the last minute
  • A lost or stolen engagement ring
  • Nasty weather that’s not considered “extreme” 

How much does wedding cancellation insurance cost?

The rate you’ll pay for wedding cancellation insurance depends on a number of factors, including the insurer you choose to go with, your location and the amount of coverage you want. Often, wedding insurance providers will let you customize your coverage so it better matches your needs, which can ultimately change the price you pay. 

What does wedding cancellation insurance cover?

Wedding cancellation insurance can cover many things in the event of a cancellation. The specifics vary from provider to provider. Here’s a list of things you can expect to see covered as part of your policy:

  • Deposits for venues and vendors. The deposit you put down on your wedding venue is one of the most significant upfront costs while you plan your wedding. Caterers, DJs, musicians and florists can all require deposits well in advance of your wedding date. Some or all of your deposits to these vendors are often non-refundable.
  • Counseling. Having a wedding cancelled or postponed can be a traumatic experience for both the bride and groom. Some insurance providers will offer coverage for the costs of counseling to help you get through an emotionally trying moment. 

Beyond cancellation, most weddings also present circumstances that require liability insurance coverage to protect you in the event that the venue you’re renting is damaged during the wedding. Liability can also protect you against injury claims from guests (yes, certain wedding guests won’t hesitate to file a claim against the newlyweds). 

Another common coverage in wedding insurance is called host liquor liability coverage. This coverage protects you from liability for wedding guests who become intoxicated and cause bodily injury to themselves or someone else. Host liquor liability is often included in general liability insurance. 

Finally, many insurance providers offer wedding insurance packages that cover various other scenarios such as:

  • Gifts. Even if you have a smaller than average guest list, the gifts your guests purchased for you could be worth several thousands of dollars put together. Wedding insurance can cover gifts that are lost, stolen or damaged leading up to or during the wedding. 
  • Attire and jewelry.  The bride, groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen all spend significant money on attire, jewelry and accessories to be worn on the wedding day. Wedding insurance can cover the costs for these items if they are lost, damaged or stolen. 
  • Photography and videography. While they may seem like another item on the endless list of things you need for your wedding, photo and video footage are perhaps the most important thing after the wedding takes place. If a photographer fails to show up or a videographer’s footage gets lost, wedding insurance can reimburse you for your non-refundable deposits and even help you pay for a new photographer.

Is cancellation insurance standard in wedding insurance coverage?

Most wedding insurance providers offer both liability and cancellation coverages. Some might package them together, others offer them separately. As you shop around for wedding insurance, your best bet is to compare costs and coverage amounts until you find the policy that works best for you. 

Do I need wedding cancellation insurance?

Whenever you make a big investment, it’s a smart idea to consider getting insurance. Your wedding will most likely go off without a hitch, but there’s always the possibility for things outside of your control to change your plans. 

Imagine the entire wedding party being struck by food poisoning the day after the rehearsal dinner. Or a powerful storm causing structural damage to your venue three days before the wedding. Insurance is all about protecting yourself from things you couldn’t possibly imagine happening. 

And with weddings, it might not only be your money invested. Your parents and your future spouse’s parents may have contributed to the wedding fund, and their money could go to waste if you’re unable to recoup all the deposits you put down. 

The bottom line is, getting wedding cancellation insurance is a small price to pay for the peace of mind you’ll have knowing your wedding is covered.