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The Wedding is Off, Now What?

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When the wedding is cancelled

Now that the wedding is off

A lot of ESSENCE.com readers were surprised and disappointed to hear about gorgeous couple Eva Marcille and Lance Gross' split just months before their wedding day.

While they've gone through he hardest part of actually making their decision to part ways final and alerting the public of their breakup, the couple still has some tough stuff to do--returning all the engagement gifts, trying to get their deposits back from wedding vendors, saying goodbye to a no doubt beautiful wedding gown, reimbursing the wedding party and more.

While breaking up before your wedding is hard to do, experts say it's best to get this stuff out of the way as soon as possible.

Here's our list of What To Do When You Call Off the Wedding.

Tell everyone

Informing your guests that the wedding is off is especially important if you are having a destination wedding or if you have guests coming from out of town, as they'll have to cancel or change their travel arrangements.

Do not send your guests a card. It may get lost in the mail. It may seem hard, but you have to bite the bullet and call them. If you can't do it, enlist friends or family members to bear the bad news.

Of course Marcille and Gross' won't need to call their friends, since their reps alerted the public last week, we're pretty sure every body know.

Let go of the bling

This is where the girl loses most of the time. No one likes to return gifts that they love, but the general rule is that the engagement ring goes back to the one who bought it.

In court cases, most judges rule that the ring should go back to the "donor." However, some say it depends on who dumped who.

Do you really want a reminder of your old relationship flashing in front of your face every day. Just give it back.

Save as much money as you can

As if you're not feeling humiliated enough. It's time to grovel for your money back. Most wedding contracts state that deposits are non-refundable. However, experts say, vendors will usually return most of your money if they can rebook the date for an event. Getting a refund for your dress will depend on how much time and money your designer has put into alterations and adjustments.

It's best to be extremely humble and hope that your vendors will have sympathy on you.

Sadly, wedding insurance will most likely not help in this situation as most contracts only cover instances that are out of the bride and groom's control, like a death in the family.

Give back

If your bridesmaids and groomsmen have already bought their dresses and tuxes or paid for their travel and lodging expenses, you should reimburse them. This can get pretty pricey if you have a big party, but experts say there's no exceptions to this rule. You have to pay them back.

You don't get to keep the presents either

If you have received any engagement or early wedding gifts, they need to be returned to the senders. If you've already opened them and used them, you should re-purchase the exact item and send it to the giver or send them the monetary equivalent.

Indulge yourself

Yes, you have lost a lot of money by canceling your wedding, but if you can swing it, a trip to the spa or a tropical island will do you a world of good. Maybe you and your former spouse-to-be can cash in your honeymoon tickets for separate vacations.

Spend time with friends and family that make you happy and give yourself license to indulge a little extra in the things that make you feel good for a little while.

Get help

You're probably heartbroken over your canceled engagement--especially since you were planning to commit you life to another person. Some liken a broken engagement to a death. Seeing a therapist can help you cope with the unexpected change in your life. It can also assist with the positive growth that you are no doubt about to experience due to the challenging breakup. This situation will no doubt teach you a lot about yourself and a therapist can facilitate the learning process.

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