What to Do if Your Wedding Venue Cancels or Falls Though

Wedding venue shopping can be the most exciting task when planning a wedding — and may the most important, too. When there's so much to consider before saying, "This place is the one," planners and engaged couples alike are faced with a lot of decision-making way before starting the fun stuff (like tasting a cake!). Expected thoughts surrounding any and all scenarios, best case and worst case, can arrive at any moment during a site tour, and the whole process can be overwhelming, even with the help of an wedding planner. This is, after all, supposed to be the most spectacular day of your life, and since we hope it only happens once ('til death do us part and all), how is it that a venue can just cancel a wedding after signing on the dotted line?

When you've been in the place that brings harmony to the balance of joy and compromise (no venue is 100% perfect), imagining your dream venue cancelling or, worse, closing before you get to say I do, is something even the engaged pros celebrity event planner Brian Kelly and event producer Sean Koski didn’t imagine. Their experience as event planners helped them navigate the unfortunate reality of planning from square one with little time remaining to their wedding date. The wedding of their dreams had to be replanned after the venue became unresponsive and ultimately closed prior to fulfilling the agreement to host their special day in December 2022. Harnessing the strength to prevail from their confidence to pull through and celebrate their love is what helped them overcome what they say was a "new level of stress awaiting at each venue visit." Closer to finalizing space for their nuptials, at a new secured location, they established an easy-to-follow protocol if your wedding venue cancels or falls through. Their idea to Remember, Forget, and Reset is what helped them eliminate any negative vibes and get back to planning the happiest day of their lives!

Co-founder of Ticket2Events Sean Koski says, “It’s best to start planning again when you’re ready to remember up to three reasons why you loved your original wedding venue that canceled. Although it may be difficult to forget all the bad feelings about not getting married there, starting from scratch this time will come with the confidence in knowing you've done this before." While the place you've been bamboozled by no longer exists in your world, it's great to probably know there's a chance to make a beautiful disaster.

Once you're ready to get back out there, it's a good idea to reset all plans according to agreements from vendors. Aside from those not upheld from the previous location, Sean Koski says, "Whatever can be salvaged will be, and whatever cannot be salvaged is better to think wasn't meant for you anyway." Easier said than done, but it is good to remember again how this is the happiest time of your life and it's going to be shared with your most precious person and special guests, too. Keep calm and carry on, as they say. If you're able to keep the same date, even better. When you make 'availability' your first question when shopping for a wedding venue again, you're sure to blow through the lengthy process. Once you've made a decision, get back to being happy again, and get ready to conquer the next item off your checklist: notifying everyone.

Next, "Alert all vendors," recommends co-founder of Ticket2Events, planner Brian Kelly. “A simple phone call to the vendors is all it really takes to make sure they're on alert of the difference in location for services requested. Most vendors will react with compassion and will even accommodate the travel request." If the new venue falls outside of anyones typical service area, paying for additional travel expenses may be helpful, too.

Then, alert your guests. For larger weddings, where a personal call to each guest is not feasible, consider a quick print-out notice from sources like minted.com. These can be sent out without breaking your budget and can help in explaining the situation, too.

"Always remember that tragedy like this can happen to anyone, including celebrities, too. Just recently, Paris Hilton changed her wedding venue with only a week's notice to guests expected to attend and vendors alike. Everyone involved in this day will be happy to make the trek to wherever it is you've decided to celebrate your love by joining in unity.”

It may not seem like success can be achieved in planning the most spectacular wedding if your wedding venue cancels or falls through, but believe it can be done. Sean and Brian now plan to get married, venue change and all, in March of 2023.

brian kelly sean koski ticket2events
Photo: Nina Anne Photography