9 Signs You Should Call Off The Wedding

9 Signs You Should Call Off The Wedding

In two decades of doing weddings, I’ve never had a runaway bride. There were a few times in which I was hoping the bride (and/or groom) would run; none ever have. But I have had weddings canceled throughout the years because one or both individuals came to the conclusion that getting married would be a bad idea. Some did the work and rescheduled the ceremony with great success. Others went their separate ways and are now married to different people. Whatever the scenario, there are times in which a wedding should be called off.

  1. If the spending is getting out of control and your fiancée doesn’t care.
    Few things can strain a relationship like money issues. While a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event (hopefully), financial wisdom is still necessary. When an individual can’t control how much is spent on a wedding, they likely won’t control how much they spend on anything. It’s sad but true, sometimes you just can’t afford your fiancée.
  2. If you are worried he might get drunk at the rehearsal or reception.
    You can’t manage your spouse’s addiction. Trying to do so is a recipe for failure. If you are concerned your future spouse might ruin a day that is important to you because they can’t control their drinking (or any other addictive behavior), call off the wedding until they get help.
  3. If you are expecting things to get better after the wedding.
    Hoping that a wedding ceremony will improve a relationship is like hoping that having more kids will make your house calmer. It’s ludicrous. Relationships can improve, but a wedding ceremony is not the key to growth. Any problems present before a wedding will be multiplied after a wedding.1 If you have major issues, fix the issues before you get married.
  4. If you think he might cheat on you at his bachelor party.
    If the relationship lacks trust, it should be ended. While every person has the capacity to cheat on their spouse, if it’s such a threat that you honestly worry about your spouse cheating in the weeks before the wedding, something is wrong. Don’t get married until you can create a deeper level of trust.
  5. If your future in-laws are unbearable.
    You only marry one person, but that person comes with a family. While it’s possible to have a healthy relationship with someone who has a difficult family, that can only happen if you and your spouse have developed a good plan. If he/she refuses to choose you over family, it’s a sign of future problems.
  6. If you are more in love with the wedding than your future spouse.
    The point of a wedding is expressing your love for one another and starting your lives together. If you are more focused on the event of the wedding than your love for your future spouse, call off the wedding.1Throw a party, but don’t commit your love to another unless you truly mean it.
  7. If there is any major red flag.
    No one is perfect. We all have faults and every relationship has areas in which it needs to improve. But there are some red flags which cannot be ignored. If your fiancée can’t hold down a consistent job, is active in addiction, has verbally or physically abused you, has a horrible temper, isn’t wise, etc, you must call off the wedding. It might be embarrassing to tell your friends, but a little embarrassment is far better than a bad marriage.
  8. If there are other people you would rather be the father/mother of your children.
    Not every marriage results in children, but most do. When you choose a spouse, you are also choosing half of your child’s genetic code and a good amount of the influence they will experience while growing up. Choose wisely.
  9. If you regret saying yes.
    Never go through with a wedding just because you agreed to the engagement. We all make mistakes. Apologize and give (or take) the ring back. Marriage should be the result of a wise decision. If getting married isn’t wise, don’t do it.

Calling off a wedding is not easy. Once a ring is on the finger and word has spread that the wedding is pending, a couple feels pressure to move forward with what is expected. This is why I don’t encourage pre-marital counseling, but instead, believe in pre-engagement counseling.1 (See: Do This Before You Put a Ring on It and Never Call a Pastor for Premarital Counseling) However, even if the church is filled and you are already wearing your wedding attire, if one of these nine signs is present, don’t get married. Wait until you are certain that your relationship is healthy enough to commit your earthly lives to one another.


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