From asking your very best friends to be your bridesmaids to finding the perfect lakefront location for your sunset ceremony, how much of yourself have you already invested in planning your wedding? Every bride we’ve ever met has put her heart and soul into coordinating the details of the perfect day she’s been dreaming about since the day she got engaged—or maybe even longer.
And that’s not the only investment you’ve made. On average, couples who were married in 2019 spent around $34,000 on a wedding. Hosting a wedding may be the biggest expense you’ve ever taken on.
We’re wedding professionals who love what we do. Beyond capturing your long-awaited day in stunning photos, we want you to benefit from our wedding wisdom. In the 30-plus years that we’ve been photographing weddings, we’ve seen thousands of perfect weddings. But we’ve also seen a few unexpected calamities. That’s why we recommend adding one more line item to your wedding budget: wedding insurance.
You may have had nightmares about something going wrong at your wedding. You spill coffee on your wedding dress. The preacher doesn’t show up. Your parents, who live out of town, miss their flight due to bad weather. Hosting a successful wedding involves dozens of details coming together and a whole bunch of professionals working in lockstep. You may have paid some of your wedding vendors in advance. For example, it’s likely you’ve put down a hefty deposit to reserve your reception site. You’ve planned for the best but it makes sense to prepare for the worst. The best wedding insurance policies anticipate many wedding pitfalls and provide protection should something go wrong on your special day.
There are two primary categories of wedding insurance you should consider. The first is liability insurance. If you own a car or a home, you’re probably familiar with how liability coverage works. If someone is hurt or if some property is damaged during your wedding, liability insurance kicks in and pays for the damages. Let’s say that beautiful ice sculpture you commissioned for your buffet leaves a puddle of water on the floor. A dear friend slips and breaks a leg. Your wedding liability policy would cover the medical cost of getting her back on her feet. If the tent you rent for your backyard wedding is ripped during your reception, wedding insurance will pay to repair or replace it.
Weddings are celebratory events and celebrating often involves having a drink or two. But some people can’t resist the lure of the open bar and drink more than is wise. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents and some can be quite tragic. That’s why one of the most important wedding insurance options you can choose is host liquor liability insurance. Juries routinely award six-figure and higher verdicts in drunk driving lawsuits. That’s the last financial burden you’d want to take on at any time in your life, but especially when you’re a newlywed.
Before you purchase wedding liability insurance, it makes sense to see whether your wedding vendors carry coverage of their own. Many reception halls do have their own policies in place, while some insist you purchase your own. If you are a homeowner, you might also want to consult with your insurance agent. Some homeowners’ policies do cover events you hold outside your home. No one needs the extra expense of duplicate coverage. Just be sure you are protected one way or another.
The second kind of wedding insurance you may want to carry is cancellation coverage. Remember all those intertwined details and expenses we talked about earlier? If something unexpected happens and you’re forced you to postpone or cancel your wedding, cancellation coverage can at least help soften the financial blow. Many states envy Florida’s beautiful weather, but it can also be unpredictable. Natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding are among the events that cancellation policies cover. If your maid-of-honor falls ill and you just can’t see getting married without her by your side, you can postpone your wedding and your policy will reimburse you for any non-refundable costs you’ve incurred.
Many wedding insurance companies allow you to customize your policy. You can elect coverage for your rehearsal dinner, your honeymoon, your wedding dress, and that table full of gifts you’re bound to receive. Specialized coverage for destination weddings, which can be even more complicated than local weddings, is also available.
It probably seems like all we’ve been sharing with you is bad wedding news. But we have some good news for you, too. Wedding insurance, particularly when seen as a percentage of your entire wedding investment, is very affordable. First of all, it’s a one-time premium. You pay it, and with any luck, you can just forget it. Depending on the coverage limits you select (and they typically range from $500,000 to $5,000,000), you can purchase liability insurance for as little as $100. Cancellation coverage runs higher and you can expect to pay $400 and up, depending on how comprehensive a plan you select.
One thing we know about wedding insurance: it will certainly help you rest easy during the hectic weeks leading up to your wedding day. And need we mention that all brides need their beauty sleep?