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Ideally there will be no hitches or mishaps with the wedding plans. Having said this, they can and do happen. If it is necessary to cancel or delay the wedding due to illness or perhaps the loss of a job, there is no reason to give this explanation to those other than close friends or family.

Whatever the situation, if the invitations have not been written or posted, you need only tell friends and family. If guests have been sent invitations, they should be told as soon as possible via telephone, a hand-written or printed card or in person. If the wedding is due in less than a week it isn’t wise to send notifications via post, as many will not have time to make alternative arrangements.

For notifying your guests, a simple yet polite note is all that is needed, there is no need to go into a long explanation:

Mr and Mrs John Smith announce
That the marriage of their daughter
Mr Ian Jones
Will be postponed until…/
will not take place.

As well as informing the guests you need to compile a list of the all the arrangements made so far and cancel them. Give the suppliers as much warning as possible, you may incur a fee if little notice is given. Deposits should be returned, request this in your formal letter to each company.

Wedding gifts already received must be returned as soon as possible.

Cancelling a wedding can be embarrassing, but you need not tell anyone the reasons behind your decision unless you want to. Just make sure that you give your guests as much warning as possible and apologise for the inconvenience.