How to End A Relationship with a Wedding Supplier

how to break up with your wedding suppliers

Hello folks! I’m back with the latest feature in my how to plan a wedding series, though I have to be honest – this is actually one I hope you’ll never need. Seriously.

That said, I do know that however tricky, awkward and emotionally draining breaking up with a wedding supplier during the planning process can be, I also know that sometimes, it’s absolutely, undoubtedly, what you 100% need to do. Today, we’re going to look at some of the reasons why you might need to end a relationship with a supplier, how to go about breaking up and what to expect when you do. Go grab a cuppa…

There’s so much information about choosing the right wedding suppliers online and in print. We all know about researching, checking the paperwork and communicating clearly but we also know that on occasion, things don’t go exactly as we’d like, and things can change. If this is the situation that you’re in, for whatever reason, then I urge you to read on.

So, there are a few reasons why you might need to break up with a supplier. It could be that you’ve realised they’re not the right fit, you booked too quickly without thinking whether they were the right supplier for you, you no longer need them, or you just can’t afford them anymore. It could be that your wedding plans have changed or that your professional relationship has broken down and you don’t feel that you can have them involved in your day any more. All of these can and do happen and it’s so important that you deal with them if they do.

When your supplier isn’t the right fit

Let’s start with how to break up with a supplier if you realise they’re not the right fit. Now this might happen because you’ve rushed to book before you’ve fully considered your wedding style or that your tastes and ideas have changed. It might be that you’ve booked a string quartet and now you’re having a tipi wedding with street food and hay bales. Or, you might have booked a supplier who has a very specific style and that doesn’t match the vibe that your wedding has developed into.

If you’ve found yourself nodding your head as you’ve read the above, then you need to act. Things aren’t going to change hugely and in the worst case, you’ll find yourself with a wedding that doesn’t reflect who you are and what you now want. So, communicate clearly and remember that honesty is the best policy here. If you’re up to it then I’d suggest a phone call with the supplier in question, but you know how you communicate best.

In this case, your supplier should absolutely respect your decision and, if they don’t, then you know that you made the right decision and did the right thing. You shouldn’t expect to get any deposits back (especially if you’ve signed a contract and even more so if the supplier in question has already done some work on your wedding, time has passed since you booked them and they’ve potentially turned away other work etc.) and be aware that if this is the route you want to go down, you’re potentially opening yourself up for some really fraught conversations. Break up with grace and move on.

When you no longer need, or can’t afford, a supplier

It might be that you no longer need a supplier that you’ve booked. It could be that your plans have changed or that a wonderful friend has offered to do something for you. In this case, you need to break up as quickly as possible so that the supplier in question has as much time as possible to hopefully get another booking. My advice here would be to treat the supplier with respect – you’ve got no reason to do anything but. In this case, you potentially might get your deposit back if the supplier in question manages to get another booking for your date so the more notice you can give, the better. Once again, don’t expect the return of a deposit if you’ve signed a contract.

If things have changed with your budget and you can no longer afford a supplier you’ve booked, be honest. This happens more frequently than you might imagine so please don’t worry. Lots of people over-commit themselves early on in the planning process because everything’s so exciting and there’s so much choice.

You might have paid a deposit without being completely sure what the final quote was going to be and, when you see it, it’s just too much or it might be that what you’ve asked for is beyond your budget. If this happens, be honest and tell your supplier that you can’t afford to go forward. It might be that they can come back to you with an alternative that you can afford and there might be something they can do to help if you’re honest. Again, have this conversation as soon as you can, however uncomfortable you might feel, and give your suppliers an opportunity to help because the alternative is that you have to cancel and then you’ll lose your deposit and have nothing at all.

When there’s been a breakdown in your relationship

This is by far the hardest thing to deal with but, let’s be honest, things can and do go wrong. There are so many personalities and so many different ways of working that sometimes, we just don’t match up. Your relationship could just be a clash of personalities and you could lose faith in them to be working in your best interest.

Quite frequently, this issue simply stems from two very different types of people trying to work together and frequently, you’ll find that both parties have reached the end of their tether – these relationships are utterly draining and also completely unsustainable. It’s also important to remember that these relationships can also have a huge knock-on effect for you, how you feel about your wedding and even how you work with other suppliers so it’s just not a good place to be in.

The other thing to keep in mind is that even by the time you’ve got to the stage of thinking ‘I can’t do this anymore’, you’re usually past the point of being able to fix things. Even if you manage to paper over the cracks in your relationship in the short term, your thoughts about that supplier will always be in the back of your mind and it’s likely that they’ll come back to bite you at the worst possible moment.

So, what do you do? Well, if you’re really fraught, don’t pick up the phone. Emotions will be running high and there’s every possibility that you could both end up saying things that you could regret, or the conversation could become unnecessarily personal. So, write an email, save it as a draft, sleep on it and then come back to it in the morning. Check what you’ve written again, tone things down and then send it. Keep you mail short and factual and don’t spill into the realms of making accusations or getting personal.

When you’ve sent this email, don’t expect a lovely response. There might be some comeback and there might be repercussions for you but if you’ve been civil, honest and factual without being spiteful or writing pages worth of “feedback”, you’ve done everything you can, and you’ll have done your best to get out of the relationship with your head held high. Asking for your deposit back at this stage is only likely to inflame the situation so just draw a line under things, rise above the situation and move on.

As you might have noticed, there’s a real pattern in my advice – be honest and deal with the situation as soon as you can. It might be hard, and it might be uncomfortable in the moment, but you’ll feel better, lighter and more positive about your wedding once you’ve dealt with whatever it is you’re facing. Then, you can look forward to your big day knowing that everything and everyone is just how you want.

Love Katrina

Credits & Thanks


Katrina View all Katrina's articles

I’m a planner, strategist, designer, thinker, doer, perfectionist, artist, creative, partner, friend, and I’m passionate about supporting the incredible community of Love My Dress readers by sharing my knowledge of weddings and wedding planning via regular, HONEST and practical planning features. As part of the Love My Dress team, I love having the opportunity to explore different aspects of wedding planning and since 2015 have covered everything from learning how to embrace imperfection to pressures, worries and wobbles. You can find out more about who I am, what I do, my style, my approach, and the wedding planning support services I offer at Katrina Otter Weddings.

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