Things to make you go ‘I do’.

How to cancel a wedding vendor

How to cancel my wedding vendor

Photo by Courtney Laura Photography

I think I want to break up with one of my wedding vendors – what should I do?

Ah, bum. If you’re here asking this question, we’re sorry to hear you’re in this situation.

We know it’s often hard enough to choose a vendor in the first place. To be in the position where you now want to end the relationship before the wedding day sucks. Let alone having to go through the process of finding a different vendor whose work you love and that’s available for your date.

While there’s a myriad of circumstances behind the reason for wanting to cancel a vendor, the advice we’d dish out is the same: pump the brakes. Can this be resolved? Let’s go through some mediation steps together.

Here are some common reasons a couple may decide they’d like to cancel a wedding vendor:

  • Found another similar business and prefer their work
  • Had a different expectation of what the vendor would bring to the table
  • Realised their budget is stretched and don’t think they can afford
  • Don’t feel comfortable or personally connected to the vendor

For all of the above, our suggestion is to get brave and have an open, honest conversation with your vendor. Because really, you have nothing to do lose. Well, actually you might – your wedding deposit if you cancel their services (depending on the terms and conditions outlined in your contract).

Ending any relationship – personal or professional – is never easy. Before making this tough call, we’ve addressed these reasons for cancelling and have some potential solutions for you to try first.

Found another similar business and prefer their work

Without directly asking your vendor “Hey, can you just copy your competitor’s style?”, you could share your vision for what you want via a Pinterest board or some inspo images. Your vendor will most likely be really grateful to receive this direction and if they’re awesome, can tailor their services to suit your taste (provided it’s not a total 180 degrees from their signature style).

Could it be that your vendor has done work similar to this other business that you’re just not aware of? Why not ask the question? There’s every chance they’ve been waiting for a couple like you to bring them the opportunity to expand their repertoire or portfolio too, so it’s worth sharing whatever X factor is drawing you to the work of this alternative vendor before cancelling your original partner.

Had a different expectation of what the vendor would bring to the table

Is it that you thought they’d be more involved in the planning process? Has there been a communication breakdown? Or was it just not clear from the outset what the agreed scope of work was?

If your wedding is still many months away, there’s a good chance that your vendor is heads-down bringing together another couple’s amazing day (particularly if it’s peak wedding season) and they may be a a little slow in coming back to you. Rest assured though, when it comes time for your wedding, they’ll be giving your day just as much attention and prioritising it over weddings that aren’t as time-sensitive. Even if it feels like you’re being a little neglected right now, it could be an indication of how dedicated your vendor is to the job at hand.

If you’re concerned that you’re not receiving the services that you thought you had agreed to, why not start by emailing your vendor with something open-ended like “Hey Vendor, you know we love and trust your work – we’re just feeling a little unsure of where we’re at with [insert concern]. When you get a chance, would you mind giving me a buzz or replying to give us an update? Thanks so much”.

This way, you give them the opportunity to reassure you that you’re on the same page. Better yet, just pick up the phone and have a conversation – they may think they’ve delivered everything that was promised so far and have no idea that you’re unhappy.

Realised their budget is stretched and don’t think they can afford

Talk to your vendor and just honestly explain where you’re at. If they’re a vendor with a flexible offering (e.g. florist, stylist, planner, caterer), there’s an excellent chance they’ll be able to adjust their service to suit what you can afford. If they’re a vendor with a fixed fee (e.g. celebrant, band, photographer), they might be able to jiggle things around to bring their price down – for example, your photographer might be able to shoot for less hours and provide a shorter edit of photos. Alternatively, they may be able to point you in the direction of other vendors that they recommend that are within budget.

Don’t feel embarrassed – more than 65% of couples miscalculate what they’ll spend on their wedding. We know we grossly underestimated what it was going to cost (erm, by like, half). The fact is most of us have never planned an event on this scale before so don’t beat yourself up if you’ve muffed this up. Know though, that your vendor will have already invested time, energy and emotion into your wedding that they won’t get back so they will most likely be keen to help you bring your day to life even if it means renegotiating on what the end service is.

Don’t feel comfortable or personally connected to the vendor

This is the hardest one to work around. Weddings are hugely personal days and if it’s a vendor that you’re going to be working closely with either in the lead up or on the day, then you want to be on friendly terms.

Ask yourself the question: if they do an incredible job, will it make up for the fact that we won’t ever be best mates? If the answer is yes, then see if you can delegate any communication you have with this vendor to one of your support team like a parent or someone in your wedding party. If it’s a flat no, then it makes sense to cease the partnership. Just be respectful and courteous, provide honest feedback and recognise that your vendor is just a person trying to get by too – they will likely be shattered. Be kind. And use the experience as a learning curve – what could you do differently in the future to make sure you surround yourself with the right person/people for the job?


If after all of this, you’re certain that it’s just not going to work, then let your vendor know as soon as you can. You don’t want this to sour the experience of planning your wedding, plus it’s courteous to your vendor as it allows them more opportunity to re-book the date. We always advocate for a person-to-person chat. If you only feel like you can email, remember to keep it professional, give constructive and helpful feedback and keep the feelings of your vendor top of mind – we’re all human after all.


More practical wedding planning advice? 

A step-by-step guide to writing your wedding vows.

How to acknowledge a deceased love at your wedding.

14th March, 2019

Leave a comment


  1. I wish I had done this. If anyone is looking for support, I just wanted to comment and say when I suggested changing vendors, people said “no one will know.”
    I know. And I’m disappointed I didn’t listen to my gut.

    • Hey Emily, we’re so sorry to hear you had this experience – thanks for sharing your advice. Super valuable.

      Amy Parfett
  2. My partner and I going through this dilemma at the moment – one of our vendors is just uncomfortably uncommunicative, taking a really long time to come back to every email, etc and it’s a really been a worry for us.

    We’re 6 months out from our wedding day and whilst some may say “its early days, they’re probably just focused on their current weddings, they’ll get better as it gets closer to your date”, that’s really not a risk we want to take – particularly when all of our other vendors have been faultless!

    Thankfully, if we do decide to pull the trigger, we haven’t yet paid a deposit (since they’ve been slow in committing to a quote!) so at least we’re not going to be out of pocket.

    • Hi Katie,

      Thanks for your comment and we’re sorry to hear you’re feeling that way with one of your vendors. We’re not excusing poor communication – planning a wedding is an emotional and often expensive process most couples needs to feel nurtured through – but do you think it’s worth jumping on the phone and having an honest chat with them first?

      It might be resolved simply by expressing your need for better and more efficient communication. You obviously like their work and it’s easier than going through the process of finding and securing another vendor.

      Just a thought but worth a stab. If they don’t respond well after that than at least you can be confident with your decision to move on.

      karina Lowndes
  3. I have just cancelled on a wedding vendor – it was terrifying, but I am so glad I did it. The vendor didn’t respond to emails for months, was super vague, never responded to my repeated requests for a quote and we were 2 months out. I found someone else last minute who was way more professional.
    Best decision. If it doesn’t feel right, cancel them. It’s your wedding, and considering the costs, you need to be happy and comfortable with it !! My advice is to be straight up, say “apologies but I am going to have to cancel you, we are going with another vendor, thanks & all the best.”

    • Hi Sophia, we’re so sorry you had this experience but glad to hear that you canceled the vendor and found someone who did a great job. Thanks for sharing your experience!

      Josephine Cocks
Click here to receive your free e-book: '7 simple steps to kickstart your wedding planning'

Want new unique venues sent straight to your inbox, along with wedding planning tips and shedloads of inspo?

    Successful! Thank You!