Wedding Insurance 101

I have seen my share of wedding disasters. From power outages to outrageous storms to personal injury, there is always the likelihood that something may go terribly wrong  just days before the wedding, leaving both the bride and groom wondering how they can possibly continue under these adverse circumstances. Even more unfortunate is the possibility of cold feet. It seems logical that wedding insurance would enter into the picture.

Although this may seem like a relatively new concept, wedding insurance has been around for some time. Also known as ‘Event Insurance” it became popular in the late 1970’s  when large weddings started to become the norm. Today’s wedding insurance has evolved into a comprehensive policy designed to protect you from the unthinkable.

Wedding Insurance policies typically cover the following:

Weather– postponement of the wedding due to in-climate conditions. Does February1, 2011 ring a bell with anyone? 22 inches of snow can make it hard fro anyone to get to a reception.

Illness or Injury of a significant member of the wedding party. This includes mother and father of the bride or groom.

No-Show vendors – having to book a last minute limo to replace a missing driver may cost double or even triple your original expense.

Location – whether it is fire, weather damage or even going out of business days before your scheduled event,  having the right policy may offer you the opportunity to re-coup almost all of your loss AND re-book another location immediately.

Additional coverage than you may want to consider:
Military Service– Being called to duty just days before the wedding can bring things to a screeching halt.

Gown and Tuxedo damage or loss.

Gifts – protects against loss, theft or damage.

Liability – in case someone gets injured through no fault of their own.

Honeymoon – in case you have to postpone your travel plans due to any of  the conditions listed above; bad weather, illness, injury or worse.

Cold Feet – some policies carry a rider for this  and some don’t. Even if you think you don’t need this , it never hurts to ask!

Unfortunately, all policies are not created equal. Some policies may offer coverage for a lost, stolen or destroyed bridal gown but not offer any compensation for bridesmaid gowns. Imagine the bridal salon closes it’s doors just days before your wedding and you have no way to get your garments – the bridal salon may or may not have insurance to cover this and you are stuck purchasing new garments the day before your wedding…. paying rush charges for alterations and interrupting your already over-booked schedule.

You should ask each and every vendor what type of insurance they have and make sure you get it in writing. I know it may seem ridiculous to ask a photographer what type of insurance they have but, ask anway. It will start a very beneficial conversation and you can move forward from there. What if you find out they do not cover your loss if the photographs, negatives and equipment are somehow lost or destroyed?  Have the conversation now so you can sleep later.

If you decide to purchase wedding insurance, ask questions before you sign anything. Insurance policies are filled with a lot of legal mumbo jumbo that can make it hard to read. Take the time to have everything explained to you properly so that you will not walk away with any questions remaining.

If you ask me –  having insurance of any kind is never a bad idea, especially when there is this much at stake.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago.

The Curious Case of Cold Feet

Yes, you heard right. Playmate Crystal Harris called off her wedding to Hugh Hefner this week.  I am sure Hef will have a plethora of Playmates consoling him over the course of time considering it must be hard to be super-wealthy and have that kind of influence in Hollywood and not have plenty of women willing to heal your broken heart. He’ll be fine. In fact he has cleverly turned the whole thing around and is probably laughing all the way to the bank. Personally, I don’t get it.

I am not a mean person. I wish Hef and Crystal all the best life has to offer and on a brigher note at least she wasn’t just a no-show! In fact, this is not your typical bride-groom relationship, anyway.  I am  not too concerned about how either of them will handle this since the publicity is giving them both a generous PR boost. However,  in cases of real-life brides and grooms left standing at the altar, I find myself a little jaded when it comes to last minute jitters and cold feet. How exactly do you go from being madly in love to not being sure if he or she is the one just  minutes before your wedding? How do you not know this was not the right person earlier? How do you not know that you have feelings for someone else (for instance)? And how does this all happen the day before or the day of  the wedding and not  months earlier? Hef’s reference to The Runaway Bride is not lost on me, I get it. I just don’t get it.

Unfortunately some men and women  want to be in love so badly or maybe they think they need to be married to be valid that  they jump into a serious commitment without giving it much thought. It has nothing to do with long engagements, either. There are plenty of stories chronicled in movies, books and headlines of couples with long engagements and then one party is a no-show at the wedding. Remember Jennifer Wilbanks who faked her own abduction so she wouldn’t have to take the plunge?  Seriously? There are not enough adjectives for me to express my feelings about this although ‘mentally unstable narcissist’ comes to mind.

For anyone left literally standing alone at the altar, what was supposed to be the best day of their life quickly turns into the worst. And then… life goes on. But, how do you handle the parties, the honeymoon, the gifts, the questions?

If either bride or groom is left literally standing at the altar, an announcement by a family member of the jilter (for lack of better word)should be made that no ceremony will take place. No explanation needs to be offered. It is up to the the families to decide whether or not to continue with the reception. Most say yes, even brides left standing in their wedding gown have been able to turn this nightmare into a celebration. The guests should all be instructed to keep their gifts and anything sent earlier should be returned. The honeymoon is paid for so why not let the jilted party  take some time off with a friend who can offer some moral support.

What do you say to someone who is left at the altar? “I am  sorry for what happened and if you need to talk, I am here”. DO NOT use this as your opportunity to bash the other person as it will almost always backfire. Keep your mouth shut and listen. If you have a million questions, ask them later. If you really want to help, just offer support and listen! In time they will realize this is for the best, they don’t need you to remind them. Right now there is fear, sadness and loss so bring a box of kleenex and two shoulders to cry on and leave all of your opinions at home.

Really good advice: If you have any doubts about your relationship – talk about it. How  many of these situations ould be avoided by just talking? If you cannot open up to the person you are about to marry… that is the real problem.  If your fiance seems distant and nervous – talk about it. If he or she says they are feeling anxious about being married – talk about it. If you are feeling anxious or nervous – TALK  ABOUT IT. Stop planning the wedding for a few minutes and have a conversation.

If this has ever happened to you, you have my condolences. As rigid as I am about wedding etiquette and protocol, I am also a very forgiving person and I know that time heals all wounds.

I also know that Karma is a female dog.