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Wedding insurance can cover the cost of hiring a new vendor, like a limousine service, should one fail to show up for the wedding day. (Metro Creative Services)

What is wedding insurance?

Every bride and groom hopes their wedding will be a success. That includes the flowers and dresses being delivered on time and the reception site being ready to accommodate a night of fun. However, all too often weddings are plagued by unforseen events. Wedding insurance can help couples recuperate some or all of the money lost if replacement wedding arrangements need to be made.

Imagine a catering facility having to cancel use of the room because of a flood or other situation? What if a custom-made wedding gown is lost or damaged? Sometimes, wedding vendors, such as limousine services, fail to show up on the wedding day. Should any of these disasters occur, a couple getting married will not only have to scramble to book or buy replacements, but they will probably have to pay a large premium for short-term notice. Having a wedding insurance policy in place can reduce out-of-pocket costs for emergency situations.

Not every couple needs to purchase wedding insurance. Some facilities or vendors offer their own built-in protection. Couples should ask to see individual insurance policies to confirm what will be covered in the event of an emergency. However, wedding insurance policies are relatively inexpensive ($150 to $500) when compared to the costs of some wedding elements. Therefore, many couples understand the benefit of purchasing insurance.

Wedding insurance will cover most aspects of the wedding. Considering the average wedding costs roughly $20,000, wedding insurance can offer peace of mind. After all, a person who purchases a $20,000 vehicle wouldn't leave it uninsured.

There are a number of things that the insurance will cover, but each policy is different. It's important to review the fine print before purchasing a policy. In general, here is what may be included.

* No-show vendors: If a florist or photographer fails to show up for the wedding, couples can recover some of the costs of the deposit and hiring a new vendor.

* Weather: Some weddings need to be rescheduled due to extreme weather. The insurance will cover the cost of doing so.

* Missing officiant: If the pastor, rabbi or another celebrant doesn't arrive, couples can recuperate their costs.

* Illness: Injuries or illnesses of key people in the wedding that may be grounds for rescheduling. Such rescheduling can be covered.

There are other items that can be included in a policy, such as damaged or missing gowns, tuxedos, and gifts; call to military service; honeymoon protection; and liability insurance for weddings at home. Individuals cannot use wedding insurance to cover a cancellation of the wedding if the couple decides not to get married or something that was known about before the policy was purchased, such as a reception site facing foreclosure.

Wedding insurance can be a smart financial decision for large weddings with a high price tag. Couples can investigate policies by doing their homework online or by contacting an insurance company where they live.

- Metro Creative Services