Welcome back to the blog! Things around here ramped up after finishing the Event Planning 101 series (which I hope you enjoyed)! We went over a lot in the series but one consideration I didn’t address is what to do when an event has to be cancelled.

I’m not talking “delayed” or “rescheduled”- I’m talking CANCELLED. As in there will be no make-up date. Fortunately it happens very rarely so most of you won’t have to worry about it. But just in case you do find yourself in the position, I want to share some ways that all your hard work and effort won’t be wasted. But first, a news story on this topic that will warm your heart.

 

Last month, the story of Atlanta bride caught my attention. For reasons left unexplained in the article, Ms. Fowler cancelled her nuptials a mere 40 days before the big day. Because of this, she was unable to get out of the contracts with vendors she’d hired. This included the Villa Christina, an elegant event venue in Atlanta, and the 200 four-course meals her guests were to enjoy. Read more about this story here.

 

Let’s pause for a moment and consider how difficult this must have been for Ms. Fowler and her family. Every event is special…but a wedding? All the anticipation…the painstaking details of each component… I’m sure this was one of the most difficult choices she’s ever made. I point this out only because it makes what she decided to do instead all the more special. Rather than allow the day to come and go, she donated her venue and all of the food to Hosea Feed the Hungry, a large non-profit organization that serves Atlanta’s homeless population.

 

I finished reading this story with goosebumps! What an amazing opportunity for the clients of Hosea Feed the Hungry. A chance to escape from hardships they face on a daily basis and the opportunity to experience something not many have the chance to experience. What a wonderful way to channel the energy of what could have been a very sad day into one of pure happiness. Who knows the total effect that day had on everyone involved? I am both moved and inspired by their generosity and I know others have been as well. Kudos to the Fowler family for thinking beyond themselves and giving back to others in their community!

 

The truth of it is, this isn’t the first event, nor will it be the last event, to be expectantly cancelled. Though it can be extremely disappointing, good things can still come from all your hard work and planning. Here’s a short list of groups that you can donate to in case your event is cancelled:

 

  • Donate the food to a homeless shelter, the nursing staff at your local hospital, the teachers at your child’s school or daycare, or homebound senior citizens (coordinate through your local Meals on Wheels program).
  • Donate the venue, band, DJ, or photography services to your local high school or university for a school dance or fundraiser.
  • Donate the flowers to your place of worship, at a local nursing home, or to an adopt-a-cemetery program.

 

There are a million ways to “make lemonade” out having to cancel an event. While the initial blow of having to call it off will sting, what happens in the aftermath can be truly inspiring.
Let me know here, on Facebook, and on Twitter if you have any other inspiring stories like the one I shared or if you can think of any other ways to donate services.