The wedding expenses
With regard to the expenses incurred for the wedding, such as the deposit on the hail or the catering costs, the money may well be lost. Recovery of the money would depend on the terms of the contract on making the arrangements. It would always be prudent to ask, specifically, in dealing with caterers and others, what would happen in the event of a cancellation.
Can you obtain insurance cover against calling off the party?
In the scenario above, the wedding was entirely called off. Insurers are unlikely to cover a change of heart. However, in other circumstances, a bride or groom may fall ill, have to cancel arrangements, and not be able to fix another date for their planned wedding for many months. Inquiries should be made from certain specialist insurers who have policies which carry cover against cancellation of wedding arrangements in these circumstances.
With regard to the cancelled honeymoon, most people take out insurance to cover the sudden curtailment of holiday plans. Such policies usually deal with illness or bereavement.
Note: certain insurers will also cover cancellations of weddings that have been planned to take place abroad.
With regard to the question of the flat, rights to it are governed by the law of property, as well as by statute. The Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1970 states that the same rules apply to interests in property between formally engaged couples as between husband and wife. On the face of it, each partner should be entitled to a share in the property equivalent to the sum of money which has been expended on it. But other factors will come into account, such as the name or names in which the down-payment was made, any arrangements for a mortgage, and whether contracts on the flat have been exchanged with the seller.
Note: in spite of the provisions of the Act, the courts do not have the same extensive powers to make arrangements for the sharing out of the property of an engaged couple who then break up, as they have for that of a married couple who decide on a divorce. In any transaction where there is an intention to purchase property jointly, both parties must seek legal advice.
another question arises. What about the expenses of other people? For example, guests might have spent money on gifts which they have already dispatched only to learn that the wedding is cancelled. The couples are obliged to return to their senders those wedding gifts already received. The law implies a condition that the presents were sent in the event of a marriage taking place; that condition having failed, the guests are entitled to the return of their gifts.