Why I Called Off My Wedding

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bride with cold feet
Going through a breakup after you've already started wedding planning? Here's what to do.

But I also lived life in a way that felt like it was for the first time. I hadn't been with any other men, as my ex was my college sweetheart, so I reveled in the opportunity to make out with random boys in random bars for the first time. Let me tell you: This is everything it's cracked up to be, if you're doing it at the right moment for you. It was so totally the right moment for me. I became a karaoke aficionado during my late nights out with new friends, leading me to start a band. I had extra time and ambition to burn now, so I launched a feminist website with a friend. I got an agent and wrote a book. I dyed my hair from highlighted brown to pure black. I saved up enough money to get the best apartment I've ever had, in Brooklyn, all by myself, and furnished it with items I'd bought on my own.

If you haven't yet recognized what I was doing, it's known by a number of clichés: Finding yourself. Figuring out who you really are. Going through adolescence, even, despite the fact that I was 30.

I am here to tell you that canceling your wedding can be the best thing that ever happens to you. I am also here to help you through it with a few practical tips for making what can seem like the hardest decision you've ever made. Here, some step-by-step instructions:

1. Stop freaking out and try to really, truly observe your relationship for just one week. Notice everything you feel in your body, heart, and soul. For me personally, body works best here—mine usually tells me a lot, then screams at me if I'm not listening. In this case, it sent me multiple rounds of panic attacks, some of which actually landed me in the emergency room, before I took heed. You can avoid an ER visit by staying vigilant: When you're truly honest with yourself, what are you feeling, and why? If you can't breathe, can't eat, can't move your head without a neck spasm, and there's no good reason for such physical distress, check your gut to see if it tells you this is more than cold feet. But you're only allowed to do this for a week; don't use the "I'm observing" excuse to put off a decision for too long. Beat The Engagement Blues!

2. If you're sure you have doubts, talk to your fiancé about them. You must do this before anything else, if only for the sake of manners, common decency, etc. Also, you should see how he's feeling and if there's a sense that you guys can work things out.

3. If you've done your due diligence with your partner, call the wedding service providers just to ask what their cancellation policies are. This will undoubtedly make you feel better. For some reason, killing the cake order can often seem scarier than telling your fiancé you aren't feeling the "forever" vibe. Or at least it's easy to convince yourself that's what you're thinking in the confusion of this massive decision. Tell yourself for now that you're just asking. This way you'll find out how un-scary this part of the process can be. I was shocked when I finally called the caterer and the bakery and got all our money back. The only cash we ultimately lost was a $1,000 deposit on the venue and $500 in dress money. That's a small price for avoiding divorce.

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