Economy causing disastersChamein Canton, a wedding planner in Long Island, N.Y., for more than 15 years, has heard of plenty of venue and vendor issues. In this economy, she says, it's not uncommon for reception halls or vendors to go out of business before your wedding day, despite their having signed contracts and accepted deposits. "I've also seen where the facility will tell you they can accommodate your number of guests because they don't want to lose your business," she says. "They say they can handle 250 people and you find yourself in a broom closet. Your wedding goes from this experience you always dreamed about to a nightmare where everyone is on top of everyone else." Destination weddings are probably the most vulnerable to disasters, Canton says. Plan a wedding in the Caribbean during hurricane season and you never know what might befall you and your guests.
Wedding insurance a worthy investmentWhat can you do to prevent rain on your wedding parade? Cyr believes wedding insurance is worth the small investment. Expect to pay between $150 and $500, depending on how much coverage you want.
That's a fraction of the average of $25,631 couples spent on their ceremonies and receptions in 2011, according to The Wedding Report, a research firm that tracks the industry.Wedding insurance policies vary, but typically cover items such as:
- Lost deposits
- Perishable materials
- Unavoidable cancellation due to weather or military leave
- Lost or damaged photographs
- Damaged gifts
- Host liability
Destination weddings demand insuranceCanton recommends wedding insurance for destination weddings. If you've booked the wedding online, you may be in for some surprises when you get there. Cyr says that "if you have to postpone your wedding because a commercial transportation shutdown prevents the honorees, parents, grandparents or children from getting there, you can receive reimbursement for nonrecoverable expenses," Cyr says. In addition to the United States, you can purchase coverage for locations in Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, the Caribbean islands and cruise ships leaving from a port within these territories. Travelers doesn't charge extra for these locations, Cyr says. You can buy insurance for other destinations, including Europe and South America, but you may pay extra.
Terms and conditionsLike any insurance, wedding policies are subject to policy exclusions, terms and conditions. Most require you to buy wedding insurance at least 14 days before your special day.
Wedding insurance won't guarantee that the flowers or the photographer show up, Sole says. But it may help you feel better about the disaster later.