Non-refundable: Is it OK to ask for reimbursements for items purchased if a wedding is cancelled?

Q: My best friends are planning a wedding, in which I am a bridesmaid and my husband is the best man.  I just found out that the groom-to-be is seriously thinking about cancelling the wedding.  My concern is that I have already invested a lot of time and money in this wedding.  I already have my dress, which was really more than I could afford.  Would it be right if I asked the groom for money back for the dress?  It may sound selfish, but we are struggling with money as it is.



A: Ordinarily, a bride and groom do reimburse their attendants for monies they have expended when a wedding is cancelled.  It may not dawn on them to offer this, but it is okay to ask.  Naturally, if you are asking either of them to reimburse you, you would then give them the dress since they would, in essence, be buying it and therefore would own it.  This is always tricky but they need to be prepared to do this since you would not have made these investments were it not for having good faith that the wedding was going forward.


  1. Lynn

    Always keep your receipts and then ask, but be prepared for them to say they can’t afford to do so. Sometimes weddings are cancelled for financial reasons.

      • Elizabeth

        Yes. And the dances can take place at any time during the evening. Some couples (and venues) prefer to get the cake cutting and the dancing out of the way before dinner, or as dinner is being served. Others prefer to do it after dinner, while dessert is being served.

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