How to Heal After Cancelling Your Wedding

This is being posted on the anniversary of the day I was supposed to be married in 2012. While the pain of the day is gone. While I’ve emerged on the other side of my healing journey happier and emotionally healthier, the day still brings back painful memories. This post is therapy for me however, by sharing this vulnerable piece of me I do hope this can help one other woman (or man) get through something this painful.

There is no manual for cancelling your wedding. There is no Pinterest board where you can find a checklist on what to do first. There are no self-development books I found that I could’ve read before this happened. When planning a wedding you are only seeking out articles on picking your wedding colours and the best wedding favours for guests. You aren’t seeking information on what is the best way to cancel a venue. There are no quotes to tell you how you should feel. There is potentially just feelings of embarrassment, of failure, of hurt and of pain. There is no manual to tell you how to cancel your wedding but I’m hoping I can help ease your pain with how I went about cancelling mine and starting to heal in the immediate weeks after I called mine off.

After cancelling your wedding

Steps To Heal After Cancelling Your Wedding

  1. Call your mother, a mother figure to you, your father or a father figure to you. The person that will rush to your side for the moral support and comfort needed.
  2. Allow yourself to cry. I tried to tell myself that I was too strong to cry but then I ended up bottling it up inside.
  3. Work systematically through your cancellation checklist for one day, cry, eat ice cream and pizza (or whatever your body craves) and then go back to normal life.
  4. I personally took one day off work to do the unpleasant things of cancelling the wedding and then went back to work the next day to keep busy.
  5. Get someone to take your wedding dress and store it at their house. Seeing it cab be too painful. Also try avoiding looking at it when you visit. You can decide if you want to keep it, donate it or sell it at a later date.
  6. Put what you can on kijiji and sell it immediately. If you can keep some things without it being painful put into a storage locker away from sight.
  7. Allow your family and close friends to hug you even if it induces tears. Let yourself be comforted and know that it’s not pity but care.
  8. When you send out cancellation emails to friends and family everyone will send you generic I’m sorry emails. I wish I had never read them. I wish I had just deleted them and worked through what I was feeling versus worrying about what everyone else thought. You can create an email rule to have them all sorted directly into a folder or the trash.
  9. Once you emerge on the other side of pain, acquaintances will want to take you out for coffee. Unfortunately, everyone loves a great story and some are just curious about what happened vs care. If they weren’t someone you were going to see before then now isn’t the time.
  10. Get back to basics. I focused on sleep, eating 5-6 meals a day and drinking 2-3 glasses of water a day. Focusing on my health basics gave me a purpose.
  11. You might have horrible insomnia. I scrolled through Pinterest and saved quotes that spoke to me during sleepless nights. I downloaded the Headspace app to meditate and I took melatonin to help me fall asleep. I also bought eye masks to ice my eyes in the morning after crying myself to sleep some nights.
  12. Set daily intentions on how you will attack every day in positive ways. Focus on your mental health.
  13. Book weekly appointments with a therapist to deal with the pain.

Need the steps to actually cancel your wedding?

Download my wedding cancellation checklist.

Everyone will have a different way of healing but sometimes it helps to systematically put together a healing journey checklist or to do list to get you back to your new normal. If you are reading this blog and you are in the midst of calling off your wedding my heart goes out to you. This is a kind of pain not normally talked about so there is limited advice and resources. My heart goes out to you and is hugging you through the words of this blog. You will get through this stronger than you think even if you hate hearing these words at this moment in time.


Want more steps on healing?

Another part of my healing journey was to write the book Love Lost, Life Found. While the first few chapters share vulnerable parts of my story. I really wrote the book to put down on paper all the things I did to heal my heart and find a life that I love.

4 thoughts on “How to Heal After Cancelling Your Wedding

  1. Thanks for sharing. It certainly is a strange thing to have to navigate especially with the focus of weddings being on the planning part. There’s the website I love, A Practical Wedding, and they tend to talk about the more difficult things in relationships. From eating disorders, to divorce, and yes, canceling a wedding. Maybe someone will find it helpful.

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