Etiquette Guide: Writing a Wedding Cancellation Letter

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If your wedding needs to be postponed or cancelled, it is customary to notify the guests with a wedding cancellation letterRegardless of the circumstances, when dealing with a wedding, things are costly and emotional.

A wedding can be a joyful event, or it can be the most stressful time in a person’s life. Having some anxiety before the big day is not uncommon.

Some weddings accomplish the desired result without any preparation and some, in spite of the greatest of plans, become necessary to terminate or delay due to circumstances beyond their control.

Motive For Canceling Or Delaying The Wedding

The motive for canceling or delaying the wedding might be due to a joint decision, or one individual’s change of heart, sickness or the loss of employment.

When the decision about the cancellation becomes final, it is customary to write a wedding cancellation letter as soon as possible.

This letter should be mailed to anyone that was sent a wedding invitation. Most guests are already preparing themselves for the big day and could be purchasing airline tickets or re-arranging their schedules to accommodate this big day

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Wedding Party

Those in the wedding party may be purchasing formal wear and spending money on their attire, which is usually no small cost.

One letter can be addressed to all, there is really on need to hand write or to specially write a letter to each individual.

Phone calls can follow up the letters to those who might have had a major role in the actual wedding itself. The main reason for writing the letter is to sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Important To Be Cautious

It is also important to be cautious when addressing friends and family and not put personal feelings in the letter.

Even though the relationship may have gone sour, this letter is going to both parties’ friends and family and should be nonspecific in nature.

Start the letter like a typical letter. The address of the sender should be listed first on the left hand of the page, followed by the date and then the person the letter is going to.

It is not necessary to put both parties’ names, if the relationship has split. If it is a delay in the wedding, then it would be acceptable to put both parties on the letter.

Because you will be addressing many people from many places, a formal salutation is best, especially if you don’t know the person.

The first paragraph should be used to reiterate the parties’ names and the dates of the nuptials you are cancelling.

Make sure to start with an apologetic tone even in the first paragraph, as some people may be upset by this cancellation.

The second paragraph can state a small generic reason of why the event is being cancelled or rescheduled, but this is up to the party and is not required.

This section needs to mention a thank you for the gifts and to also state that they will be returned.

Give a specific time table, as to when the gifts will be returned. End with an additional apology followed by a formal closing.


Sample Wedding Cancellation Letter

Kathy Donovan
9090 Hollow Hill Way
Columbus, Ohio 43123

November 8, 2021

Jeffrey and Kathy Snyder
6748 Willow Drive
Akron, Ohio 44143

Dear Jeffry and Kathy,

The forthcoming wedding between Kathy Donovan and Thomas Spindler, which was scheduled to take place on December 3, 2021, had been cancelled.

It is with great difficulty that I write this letter informing all of our friends and family of this decision. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and your family.

The decision to cancel this wedding was an amicable one and is best for all involved at this time.

I recognize the fact that most of you have already made arrangements by re-organizing your calendars and purchasing items for the wedding. I want to ask for forgiveness for the trouble that I have caused you.

It was so nice for those of you that sent wedding gifts in advance. Since the wedding is cancelled, I will be sending the gifts back to all of you within the next two weeks.

Again, I sincerely apologize for bothering you with our wedding preparations and am sorry that things didn’t work out.


Kathy Donovan