Dollar Dance indeed! With the expense of weddings these days, you might need to up the ante on taking a few steps with the bride during the reception. The average wedding in the U.S. now costs $27,800, according to The Knot. It gets worse. In urban areas, the price of saying “I do” is closer to $40,000 or more.
All of which might explain something else. The most requested Dollar Dance song in recent years, at least according to DJ Intelligence, is “If I had $1,000,000 (A Million Dollars),” by Barenaked Ladies.
So as you write and send off check after check for all of the things you’ve planned in your dream wedding, it’s important to also think about how you can help protect this huge investment. Say, for example, you’ve chosen to have the ceremony in a beautiful, romantic outdoor venue or on the beach in an exotic, tropical location. However, when the big day arrives, Mother Nature rears her ugly head and the wedding is rained out in the biggest storm of the season. Now you’ve got to reschedule the entire event, AND you’re still responsible for paying the venue, caterer, band, photographers and everyone else you’ve already booked for that day. Your dream wedding has quickly turned into a nightmare.
How can you manage the costs? Well, if one of those checks you wrote is for wedding insurance, formally known as special event insurance, you could file a claim for all non-refundable deposits you lost as a result of the cancellation.
The amount of coverage you should purchase depends on the total price tag on your dream wedding, but typically policies range from $125 to $400, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Here are just a few examples of when having a wedding insurance policy could help you save the big day:
Mother Nature can often create a truly romantic and beautiful backdrop for a wedding, but she can also ruin your special day without warning in an almost infinite number of ways. In addition to soaking a perfectly lovely outdoor ceremony in an unexpected thunderstorm, your nuptials could be postponed due to icy conditions or snow preventing your bridal party and guests from traveling to the ceremony, a tornado causing destruction at the venue or strong winds cutting off power at the reception.
Let’s say the groom has a little too much fun at his bachelor party and ends up diving head first into the shallow end of a swimming pool. The next day (your wedding day), he’s got a black eye and a concussion as a result of his antics. He’s in no condition to say “I do,” so the wedding is postponed until the swelling goes down – assuming you’ll still want to marry him.
No-shows (and cold feet)
You’re counting on a number of different vendors to show up and make your wedding day go as smoothly as possible. However, things don’t always go according to plan. Consider these scenarios:
- The band you booked for the reception misses its flight and won’t make it in time to play your first – or any – dance.
- You shell out thousands of dollars to serve a first-class, catered meal for 145 of your closest family members and friends. However, you get to the reception only to find that the caterer’s equipment has failed and all the crab cakes, mini-quiches, shrimp cocktails and other plates are completely inedible.
- The person you’re planning on marrying gets cold feet! As long as he or she backs out more than 180 days before the wedding, you could be reimbursed for the deposits you’ve already paid and start to move on.
Many venues require you to purchase some sort of liability insurance before you can book an event in case an accident were to happen on the property. If a guest spills red wine or otherwise damages the venue property, or if someone accidentally injures himself at the party, neither you nor the venue should have to foot the bill.
In all of these scenarios, a wedding insurance policy should help you recover the investments you lost by postponing or canceling the big day.
It may also be wise to invest in additional riders on your policy to cover these big expenses:
- Wardrobe: You can insure your wedding gown, bridesmaids gowns and tuxedos against damage or to protect your investment in a deposit if the store you’re renting from goes out of business.
- Gifts: Some brides and grooms-to-be purchase insurance against theft and damage to their wedding gifts.
- Honeymoon: If you’ve put down a big deposit on an exotic honeymoon but end up canceling or postponing it due to weather, illness or other circumstances, you could be reimbursed if you’ve purchased a rider.
Your wedding day should be one of the happiest, most memorable days of your life. As you plan the details, make sure you’ve protected yourself against financial loss so you and your future spouse can start right away with the living happily ever after.
This article was contributed by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Editor of the HomeInsurance.com blog. Carrie has been writing insurance news and consumer information for HomeInsurance.com since 2008. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington in 2005 with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Journalism.