How to Help a Friend Who Says She Wants to Cancel Her Wedding

One of the hardest things you can admit to a pal is that you want to call off your engagement—and cancel your wedding. So, if you’re on the receiving end of such news, you definitely want to be as supportive and thoughtful as possible.

Of course, in a situation like this, you might be shocked or overwhelmed by what your friend reveals. Here’s how to manage your reaction so you can be as helpful to your pal as possible.

Photo: Gabriel Matula 


Keep her confidence.

Chances are, your friend isn’t telling many people about her desire to call things off. While you might feel like you want to talk with others about this situation—especially if you have mutual BFFs—resist the urge to enlist others for support unless your friend specifically says it’s okay. The last thing she needs is for everyone she knows to find out about this before she’s made up her mind completely.

Don’t badmouth her soon-to-be-ex—but assure her she’s doing the right thing.

If your friend is calling off her wedding, it’s pretty likely that you might not be so impressed with her fiancé and you may even be stoked to hear that she doesn’t want to marry the guy after all. But bashing him won’t actually help your friend—she may even feel compelled to defend him. Instead, support her by telling her that you think she’s making a good decision and remind her of this fact when she doubts herself.

Give her time to decide how she wants to proceed.

Your pal might not be 100 percent ready to pull the trigger on canceling her wedding when she tells you that she’s considering it. While you might feel a sense of urgency that she needs to make a choice ASAP—and she likely does—don’t push her too hard. She’s probably putting a lot of pressure on herself right now and she doesn’t need more from you. She may even end up going through with the wedding in the end, so it’s best to be patient and let her steer the course. These things often look cut-and-dried when you’re not the one in the situation but it’s so much more complicated for her.

Offer to call wedding guests for her—ask how you can help with other cancelation tasks.

Once she’s made her decision to cancel, find ways you can make the process easier. You can call guests, or email them, to let them know the wedding’s off. Or, you might offer to call her vendors to let them know what’s going on. Chances are, she’s not going to want to repeat the same spiel to everyone so it will be really great to have you as her mouthpiece. Another helpful task: Returning any wedding-related items she may have purchased or selling these items online to other brides.

Continue to show her support, especially on the day her wedding was supposed to take place.

Make a plan for the day of her wedding to keep her occupied and to help her from dwelling on the big day that never was. If you can, go on a girls’ vacation or take her out of town for the day for a change of scenery. Be there for her, whether she needs to laugh, cry, or sit in silence. She’ll never forget your unwavering support.

  • -Natasha Burton
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