Planning and saving up for your big day can take months or even years, so an unexpected problem derailing your wedding or civil ceremony can be catastrophic not only for you and your partner, but also for your finances.
Wedding insurance can provide peace of mind that you’ll be covered if something threatens to stop your nuptials.
Do I need wedding insurance?
Wedding insurance isn’t mandatory, but it can provide essential financial cover if you’ve poured your heart, soul and savings into your wedding day only for it to be cancelled or disrupted.
If plans have to be rearranged or cancelled due to circumstances outside of your control and you stand to lose a lot of money, wedding insurance can be worth taking out.
What is wedding insurance?
You may have planned every tiny detail of your nuptials, but unfortunately things don’t always go to plan and that’s where wedding insurance can step in.
It can cover a wide range of events that result in cancellation, damage, loss or injuries, helping you to rearrange your big day or replace stolen or damaged items.
Cover will be in place in the run up to the wedding as well as the day itself, so taking out a policy as soon as you begin signing contracts with suppliers can be a good idea. Typically, this can be done up to two years before the ceremony date.
What does it cover?
You’ll usually be covered for:
- Cancellation by the venue – If your venue backs out, the wedding will likely be called off. If this happens you could receive a payout to rearrange your big day
- Lost, stolen or damaged items – This will pay out for things like your dress, suits, rings, gifts and cake. There’ll be time limits for when you’ll be able to claim for certain items though, for instance, wedding rings may only be covered for the week before the ceremony. Check with your insurer
- Failure of suppliers – This could include your photographer not turning up or your florist failing to deliver your bouquet. Your insurer may pay out the equivalent of your deposit
- Cancellation because certain people can’t make the wedding – Typically this is for people in the wedding party who have become ill (not including pre-existing conditions), had an accident or died, so the ceremony must be rearranged
- Legal expenses and personal liability – If a person is injured or their property is damaged by the bride or groom at the wedding, this will cover the legal fees
You may want to consider an add-on for:
- Marquees – You could be charged a fortune by the supplier if you rent a marquee and it gets damaged during your wedding
- Ceremonial swords – If military personnel are attending the wedding and wearing swords, this add-on can pay out for accidents or the swords getting damaged
What doesn’t it cover?
It’s unlikely that you’ll receive a payout for:
- Poor weather – Even if it’s lashing it down, it’s unlikely that you’ll be covered unless you have a specialist policy, especially in cases where the weather was forecast ahead of time (known risk). A storm causing the venue to be unusable or preventing the officiant from getting there could be valid reasons to claim depending on the policy
- Cold feet – If you and your partner decide you no longer want to get married and lose money as a result of this, you won’t be covered
- You want to cancel the entire wedding because of a small issue – For instance, if your dress or suit is damaged, you can claim for the cost of that but if you want to cancel your wedding because of it, you won’t be covered
- Cancellation due to money problems – If the cost of the wedding is running away from you and you need to cancel because you’re struggling to cope financially, unfortunately you won’t usually be covered. You may want to consider talking to a debt adviser for free from charities like StepChange and National Debtline
It’s important to read the terms and conditions of policies carefully to see what you’ll be covered for.
Wedding insurance and coronavirus
Although there are no longer coronavirus restrictions on gathering for weddings and civil ceremonies, the virus is still spreading throughout the UK and worldwide.
Depending on the policy you choose, you may be able to add coronavirus cover onto your wedding insurance, it’s highly unlikely that it’ll be covered as standard. This could pay out if you have to cancel or rearrange your nuptials because you or your partner contracts coronavirus within a certain time period before the wedding.
The average cost of a wedding was
(excluding the honeymoon and rings)
Wedding insurance abroad
It will depend on the policy whether you’re covered as standard for having your wedding abroad or if you’ll need to purchase an add-on to be protected.
Generally, you’ll have a similar level of cover to what you would receive in the UK, but there’ll be key differences, so it’s vital that you read the terms and conditions carefully and contact the insurer if you’re in doubt at all.
This could include the wedding ceremony and reception having to be held within a certain timeframe if they’re being carried out separately, for instance if the ceremony is abroad and the reception is later in the UK. Some policies will also exclude public liability cover abroad or personal liability cover in North America.
There may be restrictions around where you’ll be covered to hold your wedding too, like Ukraine and Russia, as well as other surrounding countries due to the ongoing conflict.
Remember that wherever your destination wedding is being held, you’ll still need travel insurance to provide cover for things like medical expenses and flight cancellation which aren’t included in your wedding insurance policy.
What do I need to get a wedding insurance quote?
To get your wedding insurance quote, you’ll need to let us know:
- The approximate total cost of the wedding
- Where the ceremony is being held
- Whether the ceremony and reception are on the same date and when this is
- Whether the ceremony and reception are at the same venue
- Additional cover requirements
- Details of the two people getting married
We’ll then show you quotes for wedding insurance that match your details, so you can choose the right policy easily.
If you don’t think that wedding insurance is necessary for your circumstances, you may want to check whether your home insurance will provide cover for things like lost or stolen wedding rings and gifts.
You may want to think about purchasing items costing between £100 and £30,000 using a credit card to get protection from the Consumer Credit Act - however, there will be exclusions on what is covered and what isn't so it's better to check this first. This means that your card issuer is liable if a product or service isn’t delivered or is faulty and you can’t get a refund from the supplier.
When to buy it
Ideally, you should take out wedding insurance before you’ve started signing contracts with suppliers and the venue. Basically, as soon as you stand to lose money if it was cancelled.
Check with the insurer, but this can usually be done up to two years before the ceremony date.
Tips for cheaper wedding insurance
Limit the cost of your wedding
A large expensive wedding will be more expensive to insure, think about areas you can cut back on
Think carefully about add-ons
Only choose the ones you really need
Having your ceremony in the UK and skipping the destination wedding can lower your premium
Consider the cover amount
If you can get by with a lower level of cover, it could really cut the cost
This is the best way to get the right price for your wedding insurance
Frequently asked questions
Yes, they should be covered provided you have all the necessary receipts and correspondence as evidence, and you haven’t already lost your deposit before you take out the policy.
If you need to amend your policy, for instance if you need to up the level of cover, you can contact your insurer and they’ll be able to arrange this easily.
As with all insurance policies, you’ll have a 14-day cooling-off period in which you can cancel and receive a full refund for the premium.
No, wedding insurance only covers the ceremony and reception. A travel insurance policy is required to protect your honeymoon.
If you have to make a claim on your wedding insurance, it’s really important that you have evidence to support it. This includes receipts, bank statements, contracts, photographs, videos and any correspondence with your suppliers or venue.
Contact your insurer and explain the situation and they’ll let you know the course of action you need to take. If your claim is successful, you’ll receive a payout or they may rearrange your wedding, depending on what you’re claiming for.
You can’t prepare for every eventuality but making sure that all items that you have bought for your big day are kept safe and secure is a must. For example, keep wedding attire in protective garment bags in the wardrobe and rings out of the way.
Read reviews and try to use suppliers that have been personally recommended to you by friends and family, so you know that they’re trustworthy and reputable.