Dear Snarky – My Parents Have Backed Out of Paying for My Wedding

Dear Snarky,

I’m freaking out that my wedding is going to bankrupt me. I’m getting married in December and everything has been picked out from the location to the caterer and flowers. My parents have helped me plan my wedding and they said they were paying for everything.

A couple of days ago my mom dropped the bomb that due to the recession and stock market they now can’t afford to pay for the wedding. They did make some down payments with vendors but the kicker is my mom had me sign all the contracts. So now, I’m on the hook for a wedding I can’t afford.

I’m beside myself. My fiancé and I don’t make enough money to pay for a grand wedding and I don’t want to get in serious credit card debt to pay for everything that’s been planned. I called one vendor and she said that since a contract was signed there’s nothing I can do. Even if I cancel the wedding I’ll still have to pay her.

Do you have any suggestions on how I can get out of this mess? I’m afraid the stress of all this is going to cause my fiancé and I to break up. It’s that bad. Also, I’m so upset with my parents for dumping this mess on me and just walking away that I think our relationship is ruined as well.

Signed, Helpless Bride

Dear Helpless,

I reached out to several wedding planners and the good news/bad news is that this happens more than one might think. Their collective suggestions were to first immediately get in touch with every vendor and explain what happened. This is best to do over email so there’s a written copy.

Tell them that there’s been a family financial crisis and since the wedding is more than six months away you will be needing to downsize it substantially. The best-case scenario would be to tailor the wedding to what’s already been paid for by your parents. 

If any of the vendors tell you this can’t happen then check your contract with each vendor because usually there’s a clause that you can cancel six months out although they may keep the down payment. Does that suck? Yes, but better to lose some money (which is your parents) then get into egregious debt trying to pay for a “grand” wedding.

According to the wedding planners, most vendors will work with you because no one wants to have to sue you for non-payment etc. But their suggestion is you need to keep your communications respectful and show gratitude. Vendors don’t respond well to “bitchy brides.”

As for your parents, just damn! In my opinion they should have told you and then together with you devised a plan B. I’m sure they were embarrassed to confess that they can no longer afford to pay for your wedding. But that doesn’t mean they should have just washed their hands of it. There is so much they could be doing especially working with the vendors on either a scaled down wedding or a way to get out of the contracts.

My suggestion is to first aggressively prioritize dealing with the vendors and when that’s done give yourself some time before you tackle healing, repairing – you name it from what went down with your parents. 

I hope everything works out for you, your fiancé and in time your relationship with your mother and father.

🥴If you have a question, concern or a dilemma 🤔 please write to me at


Umm, holy hell on that letter. Let’s all clear our minds of that drama and focus on something delightful like our summer readings plans. Have I got some great Snarky books for you to take to the pool or the beach! Including my latest book Killer Dance Mom!!! Please click this Amazon link to experience the fabulousness. 😘