You’re stood there, just about to take that first step of the long walk down the isle when, as you look out towards all your friends and family the first stirring notes of Felix Mendelssohn’s wedding march start up, conjuring up a whirlwind of butterflies in your stomach.

Whatever nervous thoughts you have running through your head, the last thing you need is to have in the back of your mind are worries about a lack of insurance cover. Given that the happiest day of your life may also be the most expensive, with the average wedding now costing a staggering £20,000, it is perhaps surprising that only 13% of couples take out wedding insurance.

Anyone who has ever attempted to plan a wedding will be quick to assure you that it’s an absolutely monumental task, when you consider the myriad, overlapping arrangements that have to be made in order for the operation to come off smoothly. There are a huge number of different arrangements that need to be made and so, naturally, there is a huge potential for minor mishaps, or, if your unlucky, a problem which really takes the sheen off of the proceedings.

Insurance companies have found that the most common problems occurring to couples on their big day include; damage to ceremonial clothing such as the all important dress, non appearances or cancellations by hired parties such as catering staff and musicians, and postponements due to illness, accident or bereavement.

Wedding insurance can often be paid for in a one off, relatively small lump sum, making it much less of a commitment, or ‘gamble’ if you will, than insurance for a car or your home’s contents. Cover can be very wide reaching and some top firms will even offer counselling for couples traumatised by particularly upsetting mishaps occurring during their nuptials.

The cover you get for your money is also very far reaching compared with other types of insurance. For example a one of payment of about £40 will cover for up to £10,000 in cancellation costs. In addition the excess required for pay outs in normally small compared to the size of the compensation, about £25 or so.

The higher the sum you pay the greater the limit of the payout you could potentially receive, however, the amount of cover rises disproportionately to the amount you spend, meaning the more you shell out the better the deal.

What Is Covered?

There are three main areas of cover that people normally use to protect themselves. These are cancellation cover, failure of suppliers cover and insurance to cover any damage that might occur to your wedding garments.

Insurance for your attire stretches further than just the dress, central to the occasion as it may be. It will often also cover the outfits of the bridegroom, bridesmaid, best man and in some cases even the parents of the couple.

Attire insurance can also be included in a single package which also covers cancellation costs or failure of suppliers. These policies will make sure you are compensated in certain situations where you are let down by those who have made a commitment to you.

For example the florist you have chosen to deck out the venue with carnations might go bankrupt between the time you make the arrangement and the agreed date of delivery. Such a scenario is normally covered, under failure to supply.

Plans are normally designed to make sure all areas are considered including, catering, music, venues, transport, photographers, clothes, gifts, rings, marquee covers and even legal fees. If you are adding extra touches to your weeding that require cover, there are often options available to add to your plan, for instance, for ceremonial swords and other such items.

If any costs associated with these areas are lost, such as the deposit paid to the florist in the example above, for instance, the insurance company will make up for them.

Remember that your rings will only be covered by wedding insurance packages for a set time, normally a week or so before hand and on the big day itself. Afterwards you might want to take out a separate insurance policy on them.

In some cases wedding insurance will allow you to sort problems out before hand, in others you’ll be reimbursed after the ceremony. For example, if the band you hire out split up the week before your wedding, your insurers can help you get immediate replacements. If your photos don’t come out they can be retaken. With some mishaps, however, such as a dropped cake, you can only really recover the cost later on.

You can even go so far as to add personal and public liability to your insurance, meaning that should any bizarre acts occur, you’ll be protected, a wise move when emotions are high.

What Isn’t Covered

There are, however, situations in which you almost certainly won’t be covered. For example ‘cold feet’ are not usually part of a wedding insurance and if you or your partner pulls out you’ll have to bear the costs.

Theft is not usually covered, so keep an eye on your rogue uncle if he gets too near the wedding gifts! Damage to clothes due to mis-handling is another area where payouts won’t be received and the same applies to marquees.

You also will be unable to claim for circumstances that you had knowledge of prior to taking out the policy or, in the event that you decide you cannot afford to go ahead with the event, you won’t be able to get a refund on your policy.