Leading up to your wedding day, your biggest concerns might be getting your bridesmaids to agree on the same dress, keeping the best man on top of his duties, and managing the size of your guest list.

While these are stressful issues, fortunately, one dissatisfied relative or missing cummerbund is not going to derail your entire wedding. However, there are a few nightmare scenarios that could, and that’s why wedding insurance may be something you should add to your event checklist.

By purchasing wedding insurance coverage, you can secure valuable financial protection against almost anything unexpected that might impact the wedding rehearsal or rehearsal dinner, the ceremony or reception, and even the post-wedding brunch. There are two event insurance solutions, specifically tailored to weddings, that should safeguard you from some mishaps.

1. What is wedding cancellation and postponement coverage?

If you have to cancel or postpone your upcoming nuptials due to sudden illness, extreme weather, or another similar unexpected reason, you might end up paying double your original wedding budget to revise invitations, rebook all vendors, find new wedding event sites, and more. With wedding cancellation/postponement coverage in place, you may be reimbursed for these types of extra expenditures (minus your deductible and up to a specific limit).

Wedding cancellation/postponement coverage is also typically designed to provide you with protection for the following valuable wedding-related items.

  • Wedding video and photos. If your photographer or videographer doesn’t show up for the event, doesn’t deliver your photos or videos on time, or loses or damages your wedding video or digital photos before you’ve received copies, then you could be compensated for any amount you were contracted to pay this professional. However, it’s important to note this coverage will not pay out if you simply don’t like the way you look in your pictures!
  • Wedding gifts. Before, during, or after your wedding, all those wonderful gifts could suffer damages or get lost or stolen. If you have cancellation/postponement coverage, you typically get paid for the cost of repairing or replacing these items, regardless of whether the incident occurs in your home, at a wedding event, or when the gifts are in transit between any of these locations. There is generally a window of time before and after your wedding in which this coverage is applicable.
  • Special attire and jewelry. A lot of thought and wedding budget have gone into making sure you look great on your special day. If your dress, shoes, accessories, or other wedding attire is lost, stolen, or damaged prior to your big day, it will clearly be heartbreaking. With cancellation/postponement coverage in place, at least you will likely get some financial help paying for the cost to repair or replace these items. Please be aware that your insurer is only going to reimburse you for something of equal value to your original item.
  • Wedding deposits. You did your due diligence on all your wedding vendors, contacting references and reading reviews. Unfortunately, that doesn’t ensure they will still be in business by the time your big day arrives. Whether the shutdown is temporary or for good, as happened to many wedding-related businesses due to the pandemic, these closures could mean you lose the deposit you put down to secure the vendor’s services. However, with cancellation/postponement coverage, if your limo company, caterer, florist, entertainment, or even your honeymoon hotel cancel on you or fail to provide the items, services, or locations they are contracted to, you may be reimbursed for the deposits you’ve paid but were not refunded.

There are numerous other additional expenses and unexpected events that could arise as you attempt to make your way down the aisle. A smashed wedding cake, military deployment of the bride or groom, spoiled food at the reception, and other similar hiccups are risks that could ruin your perfect wedding day plans. Thankfully, wedding cancellation/postponement coverage typically helps you cover the extra costs related to resolving situations like these, as well.

2. What is Wedding Liability Coverage?

If something happens to a wedding guest, another third-party person at your wedding like your photographer, or property that you’ve rented for your event, you could be found solely or partially at fault and possibly sued for any resulting injuries or damages. The cost of defending yourself against a bodily injury or property damage claim, as well as paying a settlement fee or judgment against you, could end up being a far more significant financial burden than the wedding. Wedding liability coverage is designed to reimburse you for all or some of these expenses.

The following potential wedding day liability risks are some of the reasons why it is so critical to have this coverage in place on your special day.

  • Guest injuries. If an individual ends up with a serious injury as a result of a slip, trip, or fall or gets ill from eating or drinking something, they could decide to sue not only the venue but you as well, for any necessary medical care and other accident-related expenses. Your liability in these situations could end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, having wedding liability insurance means you could get financial assistance for paying the injured or ill guest’s medical expenses, as well as the fees associated with defending yourself should they decide to pursue legal action.
  • Venue damages. When you rent out a venue and other wedding-related items like chairs, glasses, tents, etc., you accept responsibility for returning all these things back to the vendor in the same condition they were before you and your guests used them. When you’re having the time of your life with your closest family and friends, unintended accidents are bound to happen, like damages to reception hall furnishings, landscaping, the photographer’s equipment, and even portable toilets. And you’re the one who’s likely to end up with the bill to repair or replace the ruined items. With wedding liability insurance in place, though, you may have help covering these costs.
  • Liquor-related accidents. While not all injuries and damages that occur at a wedding are alcohol-related, quite a few can be attributed to a guest getting too tipsy. For this reason, many venues will require you to include a host liquor liability provision with your wedding liability coverage. Having this provision added to your policy may provide you with financial protection in the event you are sued for property damages or bodily injuries caused by an over-served wedding guest. This coverage typically extends to a situation in which an intoxicated guest gets into a car accident after leaving your party and damages another car or injures the other driver. The host liquor liability component of your wedding liability insurance could help you pay for the injured driver’s medical bills, repairs to the damaged car, and court costs if the driver sues you. It’s important to know that some wedding insurers automatically include liquor liability coverage as part of the overall wedding liability insurance policy, while others will require that you add it for a cost.

Wedding liability coverage is typically offered as an optional add-on to your wedding insurance policy. However, that doesn’t mean it’s less important to have than cancellation/postponement coverage. Many wedding venues you’ll be looking at may require that you have this coverage and will ask you to demonstrate proof of liability insurance before your event takes place.

Is it time to get wedding insurance?

While the pandemic has compelled many couples to downsize their wedding plans to a “minimony,” the average wedding ceremony and reception are still costing roughly $23,000—and this number doesn’t even include rings, the honeymoon, and more.

Whether you’ve just started planning your wedding day or you’re knee-deep in details and only weeks from the special event, there’s no time like the present to consider purchasing wedding insurance to protect the significant financial investment you’re about to make.

The team at Fred C. Church is more than happy to work with you to find a wedding insurance company that meets your specific event requirements and fits within your budget. Unlike most other wedding details, the cost of this coverage is extremely reasonable, with policies starting at around $200. Plus, by purchasing both wedding cancellation/postponement and liability coverage from the same insurance company, you will generally receive discounted pricing.

At Fred C. Church, we admit that our expertise is not wedding planning. What we do know a lot about is how to identify our clients’ risks and assist them with addressing these exposures with the proper insurance solutions. For more information about wedding insurance coverage, please contact a Fred C. Church personal insurance professional today.

Please note: At this time, the coronavirus is considered a “known” event, rather than an “unexpected” one. As such, most wedding insurance policies now exempt this event from coverage. If you have questions about coverage for a COVID-19-related wedding postponement or cancellation, please contact your wedding insurance company, which will evaluate the merits of your claim.