Being left at the altar is the ultimate heartbreak. Even after the invitations are sent, the guests have arrived and the cake is paid for, some people still get cold feet and decide to call off their lifetime vows. And unfortunately, sometimes their spouse-to-be has no idea what they were planning before they walk out of their lives forever.
These real-life stories were shared by the people they happened to after they were left by their significant others. Whether they just couldn’t see eye to eye or their plans were derailed by other love affairs, they just couldn’t make it work in the end. And sometimes it took them years to get over the hurt, and months to pay for the wedding that never happened.
I Refused to Sign the Marriage Certificate
I refused to sign the marriage certificate and complete the process. My ex, I’ll call her Karen, was on multiple psych meds for her issues and was really cool at first, but stopped taking them cold turkey a few months after we officially started dating. The main issue that caused our issues was her crippling body dysmorphia and her psychopathy.
It started as her asking me to avoid movies with intimate scenes because it upset her. I agreed…then it was anything racy…then it was anything with women at all…then it was animated women. She came into a room when I was playing Fallout 3 and knocked my TV to the ground because she found out I was playing a female character.
Another time, I was driving and she saw a girl in a bikini top and covered my eyes as I was passing through an intersection. She clawed me in the neck (I still have scars there) because I told her I wasn’t going to break my DVDs in half to prove I loved her, since they had women in them and I should want to break them.
I wasn’t allowed to leave the house alone because I might see a girl and cheat on her. I went to Wal-Mart alone once and ended up having to apologize loudly and beg her to unlock the front door so I could get inside. Incident after incident. Why did I stay? I had horrible parents growing up, so I think that I was already programmed to just deal with it.
So, she decided we should get married and I reluctantly agreed. The day came, and we did the ceremony.After that, I had my first moment of clarity. I refused to sign the marriage certificate to make it official until she started getting counseling. She refused. She said that all a counselor would do was tell her she needed to work on herself, but she wasn’t the problem, everyone else was.
She continued grinding at me and my sanity. I lost my job and for eight months I sat at home, playing World of Warcraft all day, eating delivery, and getting unemployment because she didn’t want me at a job because I might meet a girl and cheat on her, but of course, she wouldn’t work. I ended up at a new job and it was horrible when she “discovered” that other girls worked there with me.
I stood strong for keeping the job, at least. But then I made a chilling discovery. I found out she was cheating on me. She would hide her phone from me, never let me see it, panic if I was near it. She left it at home by accident and I read her texts. I blamed myself, I talked to her, everything was going to get better because she was the one who did something so bad. I was so naive.
Then I caught her again…with the same guy. I logged into her Facebook, only to see her bashing me with the guy. She was incredibly hateful with me all the time, accusing me of looking at other girls, accusing me of trying to cheat. Telling me over and over how she was never going to cheat, and then making fun of me with the dude she was sleeping with.
That’s when I suddenly grew a spine. Everything clicked for me. I opened a new bank account that she could never find. I left a couple hundred in our joint account to keep it open. After a month and a half, I had a lot saved up. I waited until she went out with her “friend” for the day and I went and got an apartment and just quietly moved on her.
She got home and totally flipped out. She screamed and threatened and cried and tried to guilt me, but I was done. I was free. And then it took one final, dark turn. Fast forward two years and counseling for myself. I met a wonderful woman, and I wanted to marry her. The day I was going to propose, guess who sends me an e-mail? Karen.
She, in her weirdly childish way of communicating, lets me know that she wants a divorce so she can marry the next sucker she roped in. I was like “Yeah, we weren’t married, remember? I didn’t sign anything.” She said that I may not have, but we were married all the same. What? That’s when the whole story came out. See, Karen had a friend. I’ll call him Brian.
Brian and I looked very similar, like we could be related. Brian was in love with Karen and would do anything she asked. A week after I said I wasn’t signing anything, my wallet disappeared for a couple of days. I was somewhat absent-minded, so I assumed I misplaced it. It turned up and I forgot about losing it. What Karen did was take it and have Brian pose as me at the courthouse.
Yep, he forged my signature using my information. We were married this whole time. I called a lawyer and asked what I could do, but there was nothing that could be done because there was no proof that it had happened. Yeah, she admitted it, but she could also just say she was messing with me and deny the whole thing later on.
I had no recourse. I was already ready to marry my new fiancee, but Karen, after three years, wanted to try and reconcile as friends. I said no. During this time, her new dude found out about it and bailed on her. So I was stuck with her dragging her feet for almost a year, making threats and demands. I finally invited her out to lunch to catch up….
Instead, I dragged her butt into a legal assistance place. She was a coward at heart and didn’t know how to deal with my being forceful, so she was cowed into signing all the documents and agreeing to having them submitted on her behalf by the assistant. Two weeks later, we were divorced. And she still has the gall to blame me for everything.
Oh, and right after the divorce was final, she demanded a baby from me to keep as a memory, saying I could sign over all parental rights and never have to be part of its life. I passed. From what I’ve heard, she is still unemployed, still lives with her mother, and goes through boyfriends like crazy because they are all smarter than I was and drop her once the shiny of her wears off.
I’m happily married to the same woman I wanted to propose to. We’ve got a loving relationship and are going on 8 years without any strife. We have two beautiful daughters and I get to be a stay-at-home dad for them.
Story credit: Reddit / thematgreen
He Was an Intimacy Addict
10 days before the wedding, I found out my husband-to-be was sleeping with someone else. It took me two days to decide not to get married. Then over the next three weeks, I discovered the even darker truth. He was an intimacy addict and had been seeing other people for the entire nine years we were together. Got reeeeeaaal close to being stuck in that nightmare. Thankful every day that I didn’t go through with it.
Story credit: Reddit / eileen8667
They Only Communicated Via Text
My buddy was engaged to be married, and everything was going great up until about two months before the wedding. The bride freaked out about something very minor during a family vacation and stopped speaking to him. They would text once a day so the other knew they were okay, they would say “I love you,” and she would assure him she still wanted to get married.
One month before the wedding, she called it off. They still hadn’t talked except for the texts. So he called all his people and told them the wedding was off. Only, he forgot about one of his friends who had been on his fiancee’s list, as he was a mutual friend. So the mutual friend still went to the wedding—and witnessed a jaw-dropping sight.
He found…a wedding. The woman had been seeing someone on the side, and still went through with the wedding but to a different guy, all on my friend’s dime. He had left her in charge of cancelling everything.
Story credit: Reddit / Ask_A_Sadist
I Got a Dear John Letter
Not quite the same thing, but I got a Dear John letter from my fiancee when I was in the Navy in the middle of the Mediterranean.
Story credit: Reddit / CWVet
Blame the GPS
Well, I typed 46th street into the GPS, but it was actually on 64th street.
Story credit: Reddit / MacDerfus
The Best Revenge is Living Well
This happened to my cousin. Her guy called it off the day before and ended up going back to an ex-girlfriend. It was really hard because they lived in a small Texas town so EVERYBODY knew. But honestly, it ended up being completely that guy’s loss. You see, about a decade later, she became a millionaire. The best revenge is living well, I guess.
Story credit: Reddit / Business-Socks
We Didn't Know How to End the Ceremony
During rehearsal, my now-husband and I didn’t actually rehearse our ceremony, but kind of just talked logistics with our bridal party. As a result, when our real ceremony was over, we didn’t really know how to officially end it. So we just kind of stood there awkwardly for a few seconds until he whispered to me, “So, are you just going to leave now?” meaning that I was supposed to lead our exit.
I, however, took it literally and just started walking (he claims that I ran) away. I got about 10-15 feet away before he called out after me, “Wait, I think you’re supposed to take me with you.” It was very embarrassing, but apparently everyone found it hilarious and started laughing. I will never live that down as long as I live.
Story credit: Reddit / puppychow214
They Couldn't Agree on the Wedding
My brother left his fiancee a week before the wedding. Basically, as soon as he proposed, all she cared about was the wedding. He wanted a very small wedding, and she wanted a huge one. She was also VERY religious (her father is a preacher) and he wasn’t at all. She told him she wanted him to become a deacon in her father’s church, and he told her no, he didn’t want to do that.
Pretty much they were disagreeing on everything up to that point. Finally, he called it off. He said it was the hardest thing he’s ever had to do, but he knew he made the right decision.
Story credit: Reddit / biscuitfool
We Had an Arranged Wedding
I haven’t seen one from an arranged marriage set up, so here goes. I backed out a week before the wedding. We were engaged in February and the wedding was to be four months later. He had to leave the South Asian country where I lived, so our interactions were strictly over the phone. I am pretty sure I was a bit of a jerk in this situation.
I talked to him very irregularly until the end of February, and then I just couldn’t. This should have been a huge red flag to him that his fiancée hadn’t talked in three months. I didn’t have the courage to tell my folks, so I just waited to see if he would back out. He didn’t. And well, that’s when I told him that I wouldn’t be marrying him.
This was after the invites had gone out. And preparations were in full swing. Ugh. I can’t tell what exactly turned me off about him. I do know the fake American accent absolutely ruined it for me. But the people I talked to about this tell me it isn’t reason enough. Maybe arranged weddings are just not meant for some people. I am glad I didn’t go through with it, though I could have handled it better.
Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
The Families Paid Everyone Back
My wife was set to be a bridesmaid in this wedding of her college friend. It was an out-of-state wedding, and they had people coming in from all over the USA and Europe for this. Expensive sort of deal, just my wife’s dress was over $1,000 easy. Five days before the wedding, the groom called the whole entire thing off. The reason still makes me shake my head.
He was Church of Christ and she was a Baptist, and according to him, she was in the wrong church. Since she wouldn’t join his church, he had to break it off. To the weeping bride’s credit, her parents did pay back everyone, including my wife for the money for her bridesmaid dress.
Story credit: Reddit / Americasycho
A Late Guest Made Everyone Think the Worst
My wife has an aunt who is habitually late. At our wedding, we were texting and decided to wait for the aunt. We ended up waiting for about 15 extra minutes. To us, it was no big deal. Of course, I’d seen the guests looking around and whispering, but I thought that they were thinking the same thing that I was: “No big deal, but I can’t wait to see this beautiful bride marry this man on stage.”
About three months after the wedding, my wife’s friend asked her in private if we were doing OK. She asked my wife if she was going to run away at the altar that day, but changed her mind at the last minute. My wife laughed out loud. It was hilarious looking back, but I can see how the whole thing looked from an outsider’s view.
Story credit: Reddit / Hybriyx
She Just Wanted a Green Card
It was a green card marriage. On our second date, she mentioned that her visa was expiring in six months, and I jokingly proposed to her. We continued dating, were falling for each other, and that proposal became much more real as the deadline approached. I backed out at the last minute. You see, we just didn’t agree on one really important thing.
Living arrangements and finances were easy. What couldn’t be negotiated was how seriously either of us wanted to take those vows. I wanted to at least attempt to be a married, monogamous couple. She didn’t really want to commit to that. If she falls deeper in love, great. If not, we’re just roommates. I miss her, but I think I dodged a bullet. I believe she would have vanished on me at some point.
Story credit: Reddit / Scrappy_Larue
He Went on the Honeymoon Anyway
My friend’s groom-to-be left her at the altar. He took the tickets to Hawaii for their honeymoon and instead went with his brother. She spent a year dating around before he begged her to take him back, saying that he was wrong. He—a very well-off young lawyer—bought her a huge rock and paid for a lavish wedding, and she agreed. They were married soon after and now have a baby daughter.
Story credit: Reddit / Anitsisqua
She Danced With Her New Husband at Her First Wedding
I have a friend who went through with the wedding, but left about six weeks later. She danced with her now-current husband at this wedding more than her first husband. She implied once that I should have talked her out of the wedding, but she was already legally married to the guy and would have probably lost a lot of money backing out of the big wedding last minute, so why not give it a shot? I wasn’t aware of the extent of the issues they were having either.
Story credit: Reddit / karateater
They Didn't Realize That the Ceremony Had Started
Here’s the most Scottish story you’ll ever hear. My mom thought she had been left at the altar by not only my dad, but the minister as well. She hated being the center of attention and didn’t look up from the ground until she was almost down the aisle. When she did, there was nobody waiting for her at all. It was totally empty.
Just then, the door behind the altar flew open and my dad ran out with his kilt flapping around him, followed by the minister. Apparently, they had been drinking whiskey in the minister’s office and hadn’t realized the ceremony had started.
Story credit: Reddit / Chel93xx
He Abandoned Me When I Needed Him
It happened to me. I was left at the altar. We still stayed together, though, only to have him abandon me at the hospital a little over a year and a half later. We were together for six years at that point and engaged for four. There were no signs that it was going to happen. The whole wedding was both of us and our friends making it.
We’d get together on Sundays for BBQ and planning. He was so excited. He’d talk about how awesome it was going to be to have a small ceremony then a picnic and a big bonfire. How we didn’t need any of that other stuff since our love was real. After an hour of waiting for him to show up on the day, it was obvious. He called me and said he just couldn’t do it.
I stood before everyone and explained that he got cold feet but we can still have the picnic! Which we did. I walked around in my wedding dress joking about his cold feet. After all, after six years I knew him well. The weirdest thing? We never brought it up. Like ever. He was watching TV when I got back from our wedding like nothing was unusual.
He moved out a week later, but two months later asked to come back. I let him. Life continued. A year and a half later, I got in a bad car wreck. I was in a coma for a bit. He came to visit, but as soon as I was up and starting the first rounds of surgery (spinal issues), he hit me with the most brutal remark. He told me he just didn’t love me enough to go through with being there for me.
Sad thing is, I acted the same way I did when he left me at the altar. He left me in the hospital just like at the altar. It was almost eight years I was with him at that point. Our families were close. I honestly thought we’d come together again. Never did. I healed and grew emotionally. It’s so hard when half of you is missing and we had grown so much into one another.
I took classes. Learned to kayak. Cried. Got new friends. Went dancing. Dated. I found my husband two years after the other abandoned me. I learned that having history with someone and feeling familiar and safe isn’t always enough. I have never had more fun with anyone like I do with my current husband. We live an adventurous and happy life.
Story credit: Reddit / YakCat
The Pastor Thought He Was Kidding
My pastor once officiated a wedding. He had done all the premarital counseling for the couple, and they seemed good to go and fine. When they got to the altar, he did his opening prayer and welcome. Then he gets to the part when he says, “Do you take this woman to be your wife” and the guy looked at her, back to him, and said “No.”
The pastor laughed a little and repeated the question, thinking he misunderstood, but the guy stopped him and said, “No, I don’t.” So the pastor took the groom aside to a back room, where the guy essentially said that he couldn’t do it, that the bride and her mother had manipulated the whole wedding, and he had been too chicken to stand up to her before, but that he couldn’t throw his life away.
They brought in both families and had a very real conversation, and then the pastor had to go back out and explain to the very uncomfortable congregation that there would indeed be no wedding today, that the guests could help themselves to some refreshments, but that the rest of the evening’s events were canceled. Big ouch on that one.
Story credit: Reddit / iRedditWhilePooping
We Already Hired a Baker
I was dumped two weeks before my wedding. We’d been dating for five years, and I’d popped the question in the same place we’d had our first kiss. She looked so happy, I thought she’d burst. We spent the next few months excitedly inviting friends, hiring a cake baker, and choosing a venue. Our relationship was pretty low maintenance, and I trusted her completely. Soon enough, it all fell apart.
In fact, I trusted her so completely that I didn’t even bat an eye when, after I had to leave a trip we were on a day early for work, she decided to hang behind with a friend of mine from college. I’m not sure if their cheating was premeditated, I think it just happened, because she ended up panicking and telling me he forced himself on her.
I was shocked. I took nearly a week off from work to console her and try to get her help. I only began to grow suspicious when she started to change her story, saying he “may not have” done it. Then it changed to she “enjoyed it” even if it wasn’t consensual. Then the story changed to it being totally consensual, and finally, she’d decided she’d imagined the entire thing.
Unfortunately for her, as bad of a liar as she was, my former friend was even worse. He came clean about the entire thing when I told him that she had. Before I even had time to process this, she dumped me after I came home from my first day back at work and told me that I “made her too happy” and that she “did not want to be happy.”
Having my entire world disappear in a single week devastated me. My brother and friends looked after me for the next few days. It took quite some time to find myself again. I like to believe I’m over it, but even retelling this story fills me with the same feelings of betrayal and rage. There really are few things worse than being left at the altar.
Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
The Bride Has Abandonment Issues
My aunt was left at the altar. Her future husband just basically never showed up for the wedding. They had been dating for almost two years and lived together for one of them. He was the one who suggested getting married, too. She described the experience almost like having a heart attack. One of the happiest days of her life turned into her worst nightmare.
She has dealt with abandonment issues for years and has seen many therapists. Her biggest problem now is she doesn’t believe anyone actually loves her. She doesn’t think she’s pretty or nice, and she rarely speaks. He just did a total number on her. She used to be one of the most outgoing people I know. I still love her, and this was just three years ago, so she’s got more healing to do.
Story credit: Reddit / Coderbuddy
We Ended Up in Vegas
A buddy of mine left the bride at the altar, and we were his accomplices. He was going to marry this girl he had known for a few years. He was expressing doubts, but chalked it up to being nervous about marriage. The night before, he broke down crying and thought he was making a huge mistake. We offered support and told him it would be ok.
We said that if he didn’t want to do it, he didn’t have to, but we encouraged him to go through with it. Then it’s the day of the wedding and everything is happening. The wedding has started and he is at the altar waiting for her to come down the aisle. My buddy is sweating like a madman. My other friends and I notice and think he is about to pass out.
Then it happens. The groom starts rocking back and forth. He looks like he is about to faint and he slowly starts side shuffling. My buddies look at each other and just know what is about to happen. The groom turns to his right and starts heading to the side door. Some people in the church notice and there is a gasp. He beelines to the door and goes outside.
Me and my buddies follow him. At this point, I just thought he needed air. Nope. He heads straight toward the sports car he rented. We yell at him and he yells at us to get in, so we do. He turns the car on and starts making his way out of the parking lot as the people in the church start to come out and yell. Then he just takes off!!
We are yelling and screaming in the car, and he has this completely serious look on his face. We end up in Vegas for the next few days. His phone is blowing up, but he never answers it. The dude ends up joining the Forces and leaves to boot camp just 2 weeks after all of that happened. He stayed with us, couch surfing for 2 weeks and disappeared from his bride, her family, and even his family too.
Last I heard of him, he had served multiple tours overseas and was part of a recon unit. Haven’t heard anything else from him for a few years now. None of us have, actually. The bride was devastated of course…but last I heard, she got married for real this time and is very happy in her new relationship, which I’m happy about.
Story credit: Reddit / DarkOmen597
The Cancelled Wedding Turned Into a Great Party
A wealthy cousin’s fiance disappeared the day before the wedding. No explanation, just left with a friend. His entire family and her entire family were all in town for the wedding already—so they skipped the ceremony and still had the reception. It was a huge party and the most fun (non)wedding I’ve ever been to. There was a screw-it attitude under the circumstances, so all the kids were allowed to drink and the band played whatever they wanted. It was a blast, and as far as I could tell, the ditched bride had a great time.
Story credit: Reddit / bmorenursey
He Sold the Ring to Buy a Car
Before he met my mom, my dad was engaged to a woman who left him four months before the wedding because she wanted to get back together with her ex-boyfriend. My dad said, “Fine, but once you go, you’re gone for good.” She said she understood and she left. My dad sold her ring and used the money to buy a brand new Firebird.
His buddy told him to drive by his now ex’s house, honk the horn and say, “Hey, your ring has wheels!” Unfortunately, he decided against that. As anyone could have predicted, my dad’s ex calls him a few months later, begging him to meet up with her and “talk.” My dad flat-out said no, but she kept begging and just wouldn’t stop.
Finally he said, “Fine, but keep in mind, I’ve had a few months to think about all the things I want to say to you, and I will say every one of them.” She said that was fine, she just wanted to see him. They meet for lunch, and she immediately tells him how sorry she is and that she wants him back. He said, “I told you. Once you left, that was it.”
She apologized profusely and begged him to reconsider, and he basically unloaded months of feelings and anger on her and said he wanted nothing to do with her. A few months later, my dad met my mom. He picked her up for their first date in the Firebird.
Story credit: Reddit / VisionInPlaid
She Has Never Not Been in a Relationship
This happened to two friends I used to know. He was totally smitten with her. She was highly insecure, and they used to fight a lot because she would accuse him of looking at other women and other crazy stuff. She’s never not been in a relationship, and she always has the next dude lined up before she leaves the current one. Guess this time it was no different.
Days before the wedding, she called it off. We find out she’s shacked up with the next one within weeks. She’s on her third marriage currently.
Story credit: Reddit / armington
The Bride's Father Knew All Along
My friend, we will call her Klarah, invited me as her plus-one because her girlfriend couldn’t make it and she didn’t want people to try to hit on her. Since I was free, I volunteered to go. The moment we show up, everything seemed normal, so Klarah breaks away to go talk to the groom. Meanwhile, I wandered around and found a tense older man in the back.
I thought maybe he was nervous, so I decided to chat it up with him. After getting to know him a bit, he apologized to me for “Going so far out of my way for a wedding that’ll get canceled.” Outside I was like “Oh no, whatever do you mean?” but on the inside, I was screaming for joy and going “Talk about a plot twist!” It ended up being the juiciest story I’ve ever heard.
Turns out, the old man was the groom’s dad, and he had proof that the bride-to-be was only using his son as a meal ticket, and she planned on leaving him after he paid off all her college debt and bought a house so she could try and take it in the divorce. He got all this from one of the bridesmaids who secretly had a crush on the groom and didn’t want to see his life get ruined.
I’m talking, this guy had screenshots of admitting what she was planning to do, recordings, pictures of the bride cheating on the groom, the whole package. Of course, I asked the dad why he hadn’t put a stop to the wedding sooner. Turns out, he only found out a few minutes before I showed up, and he was downing a few drinks to make it easier to deliver the news.
He asked me not to tell anyone, which I obliged, so after buying him a round, I went off to find Klarah and quietly waited for everything to hit the fan. I see the dad skulk off towards where the groom was, and an hour or so later the proceedings begin to start. The groom is standing silently on the altar, and you could tell that he was tense and trying to not show how livid he really was.
Not long after, the music starts to float through the air and the bride was grinning widely as she proudly made her way down the aisle. You could really tell the groom was trying his best not to explode, especially during the vows. Then when it was his turn to say “I Do,” he quickly capped it off with a loud “NOT!” and just exploded on her.
Like, you could see his veins popping out of his forehead and he was shaking with rage. Everybody was confused, the bride’s family started screaming at the groom’s family, it was a gong show. The groom announced to everyone that he’s calling off the wedding because, and I quote, “Because she’s an unfaithful you-know-what who’s not even fit enough to work at Hooters.”
The bride stormed off, fights broke out, and I was sitting in the back giggling in the background watching this all unfold while Klarah was cringing from embarrassment because the whole time she was talking about how rock-solid the relationship was. Last I heard, the bridesmaid and groom ended up getting together a few months after the wedding.
Story credit: Reddit / LuLuCheng
She Was Too Controlling
I left my ex-fiancé a month before the wedding. I never actually proposed to her, she more or less did it to me. We were in a mall and she wanted to go to a jewelry store to look at engagement rings. I wasn’t expecting to walk out of there with one, but we did. The salesperson even took a “just engaged” Polaroid. She became more and more controlling, and I couldn’t take it anymore. Then came the harassment.
After I left her, her friend texted me on the day of the supposed ceremony telling me the cake was delicious. My ex also somehow managed to break into my email and asked me who a girl was in an email I received AFTER I left her. She also texted me a while after and told me she missed her period. An hour later, I got another text that said, “Never mind.”
Story credit: Reddit / xaviergrayson
He Didn't Help With the Wedding
I got left at the altar. He had spent the previous day spending a lot of time with his ex instead of helping me set up. I yelled at him about it because he was late and hadn’t helped at all. He said he didn’t want to get married because spending time with his ex made him realize I wasn’t as fun as she was. Kicked him out and still had the party. I told him to use that time to go home and pack up all his stuff. He did.
Story credit: Reddit / katrilli
I'm Still Recovering Financially
I was left several weeks before my wedding. And by left, I mean my fiance insisted he was stressed out with work and needed some time…when in reality, he wanted to move his new, pregnant girlfriend into our house while I was out of town. SO. The initial aftermath was indescribable, frankly. Calling and explaining this to vendors was a total blast.
I lived in and was getting married in the South, so if I never hear “Oh bless your heart” again, it’ll be too soon. Not to mention the crippling depression I fell into and loss of a whole life I had built with someone I had trusted. I didn’t leave my parents’ house for over a month afterward. I also had to deal with my family AND his, and our friends.
He felt no reason to explain this to his side or anyone else, and just assumed I’d do it or they’d figure it out (?). To say it was a disaster is a huge understatement. I’m still recovering (mostly financially), but therapy has done wonders. My ex has a lot of mental issues and hid them well, and I’ve gotten to a place where I know I’m better off. I also recently started seeing a man who makes my heart race when he walks into a room. It’s a beautiful thing.
Story credit: Reddit / Falto1
"That's Not Happening Anymore"
A guy I knew did this. He was a nice, laid-back guy marrying a toxic person. Apparently, all his friends had been telling him to break it off from the beginning. They had a final intervention for him the morning of the wedding, and they finally convinced him to just leave. He showed up at this festival I was at during what was supposed to be his wedding.
I saw him and said “Hey man, aren’t you getting married today?” and he had this kind of far away look and said, “Yeah, that’s not happening anymore.”
Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
She Never Sent the Invitations
I called off an engagement months before the wedding because the bride-to-be was too scared of intimacy to want it. I couldn’t live my life like that. My whole extended family got cancellation notices, and that’s when I learned the dark reality. They had never even gotten the invitation in the first place. She just didn’t even send them out.
Six months later, she tried to get back together and I turned her down. She immediately came back with an “Ohh. Well, I’ve met someone new and we have expressed deep feelings for each other, so goodbye.” I felt sorry for the new guy. She was looking to offload him in favor of me, so how “deep” did these feelings actually go? I’ve often wondered if I should have given him a heads up about it.
Story credit: Reddit / frans42000
They Met at a Bar
I knew a lady who got married to a man she met at a bar, and she’d known him for less than an hour when he proposed and she accepted. They had a party/wedding at a park…and got the marriage annulled within about 48 hours. She said she didn’t like the way the guy bought produce. He was too choosy. He should have been more choosy with women, if you ask me.
Story credit: Reddit / HarleyWeaver
He Didn't Make Her Happy
A few weeks before the wedding, I left my fiance. We had been together for years and the proposal was really half-baked, like he was asking because we had been together so long and it seemed like the next thing to do, not because he actually was excited about marrying me. Deep down, I knew it was wrong to go along. But I didn’t know how wrong it would become.
I had been unhappy with him for a long time, but his emotional manipulation had convinced me that this was the best relationship I was ever going to find, so I stayed. My mom came to visit a month before the wedding and saw how miserable I was. She had never liked him in the first place, and she said, “You don’t have to marry him if it won’t make you happy.”
It was such a simple thing to say, but it was like someone finally gave me permission to consider my own feelings for the first time in years, and it changed my whole perspective. I called it off, moved out, got some agency over my own life, and am now living happily ever after. There were horrific things about it, though.
I lost money on deposits, managed to sell the dress for only half of what I paid, left all the high-ticket items I had purchased during the relationship behind to avoid staying any longer to fight with him. But I’d pay it all 10 times over to again feel the immediate relief I felt when I left our house for the last time, and I’d pay it 1,000 times over to keep the life I have now without him.
Story credit: Reddit / the-magnificent
Her Dad Almost Passed Away
We almost called off our wedding the day before. Her dad had a massive heart attack and had almost passed just two days before that. He had surgery, and coded two or three times during it. We got like seven hours of sleep over those two nights. He was in the ICU up until the actual ceremony. He then showed up and walked her down the aisle…with an automatic defibrillator vest. Then he sat in a wheelchair, thank God. My emotions were all over the place, and I don’t know how she even kept it together.
Story credit: Reddit / summonsays
The Groom Had a Secret
I was a guest on the bride’s side. An acquaintance from a previous job was kind enough to invite me, and everything was going well. She started walking down the aisle, then stopped halfway. Then her father and mother came over. She whispered to them, then they all just turned around and walked away. The groom immediately followed.
Music kept playing, then slowly drifted away. We all just sat there in total silence. A couple of minutes later, the father of the bride came back down the aisle and apologized, but there was going to be no wedding today. Stunned, we all just got up and slowly left. There were a couple of angry family members on the groom’s side, but once they talked to the father of the bride, they immediately just left.
At the door, the mother of the bride shook my hand and thanked us for coming and told us that they would explain everything later. They seemed sort of sad. Then they revealed the whole story. That the night before the ceremony, the groom confessed to the bride that he was gay. He loved her. He still wanted to marry her, provide for her, and raise children with her. But he needed her to know. She couldn’t let him live like that, and it wasn’t fair to either of them.
Story credit: Reddit / RoboticEnterprise
My dad went to a society wedding in the UK. The ceremony went ahead without incident and they had gotten to the speeches. The groom stood up, said, “I’d like to thank my beautiful wife and my brilliant best man, as they’ve been sleeping with each other for the past six months, cheers!” He downed his drink and walked out the back to stunned silence.
Apparently, the father of the bride went round putting the corks back in the bottles, shouting, “Party’s over, everyone out!” He seemed to think he could get money back on the booze.
Story credit: Reddit / purplepatch
He Committed to Religion Instead
Two of my fiancé’s friends were getting married. The groom had been struggling for a few years about what he wanted to commit to in his life. He was deciding whether to get married and have a family or join a priory and eventually become a priest. Well, he made his decision the morning of the wedding…and just didn’t show up.
Story credit: Reddit / Kristine6475
He Fled to Europe and Never Came Back
My best friend left my sister at the altar, and I was the best man. He met my sister through me, and they went out with each other for two years. They were engaged for a year before the big day. We’re in the church, at the front, waiting for the bride with about 15 minutes to go. He says he needs the toilet, and walks to the back of the church.
A minute or so later, it hits me that the toilets aren’t at the back of the church. I start to worry, so I go looking for him. He’s not in the toilets, not around the church, nowhere to be found. My best friend had legged it. We didn’t see or hear from him for three days. His own family didn’t get a hold of him for two days, and by then he was in Europe somewhere “staying with a friend.” He’s been there ever since, for three years. He’s never made any effort to explain, even to my sister.
Story credit: Reddit / Thrownitawayday
She Was Cheating with Her Boss
I left her the day before the wedding. At my bachelor party, one of her friends who came along confessed that he knew my fiancée was cheating on me with some jerk for the last two months, all because she wanted one last fling. I also found out that some of my friends knew about it but did not tell me. She denied it, but eventually confessed and tried to justify.
We broke up of course, but I ended up having to sue her for all the wedding payments I had to pay for, since her family was paying for almost nothing. I also found out the jerk she was cheating with is actually one of her bosses, and he’s married. The last I heard of her, said jerk knocked her up. He got custody of their child, and she is living with her parents, no job, wasting her life away.
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The Groom Was Already Married
Wasn’t me personally but…”If anyone here has any objection, speak now or forever hold your peace—” Woman in the back stands up and says, “The groom can’t get married, as he is my husband.” Turns out, the woman who objected and the groom were in fact married and tried to get divorced, but the divorce was never completed. The wedding did not proceed.
Story credit: Reddit / Linux1970
She Found Out on Facebook
I know a girl whose fiance moved to Texas to get away from her and break off their three-year engagement. She found out via Facebook after he’d already been gone for two weeks. She’s convinced prayer will bring him back.
Story credit: Reddit / -VeridisQuo
She Hugged Someone Else for Too Long
One of my best friends broke off her engagement only a month before her wedding after her husband-to-be “joked” about hurting her because he thought she hugged her step-brother for too long at her mom’s anniversary party. She dodged a huge bullet: He was apprehended for doing just that to another woman only a year later.
Story credit: Reddit / Prannke
Thanks to the Cows
My mom called off a wedding to a man she was engaged to before she met my dad. It was only one week before—and the reason stunned me. They passed by a pasture and my mom commented on how lovely the sound of cow bells are, and he basically told her she was dumb for caring. It was enough of a wakeup call for her…but it wasn’t the end of the story.
It was such short notice that there were people who didn’t get word the wedding was canceled and showed up at the church. Oops.
Story credit: Reddit / rumchhataa
He Was Emotionally Abusive
A woman I briefly dated had been a runaway bride. While her ex-fiancé never hit her, he constantly belittled her and was basically emotionally abusive. Your standard kit. He would tell her that she was lucky he wanted her, that she could never find anyone better to be with, that she was ugly, but he dealt with it, etc. etc. etc.
She was a smart kid—was a medic in the military, saving dozens of lives in Pakistan—but emotionally manipulative people can get anyone, if given enough time, and he got her. On her wedding day, her dad, who wasn’t usually in the picture, having divorced her mother when she was a teen, was having a conversation with her in the ready room and got concerned when she started repeating a lot of the things her fiancé was saying to her.
She said that she was mid-sentence when he stood up and said, “Let’s go to Dairy Queen,” out of the blue. When she was little, they often went to DQ and talked over ice creams. She took a second, agreed, and they left to go to DQ. But he drove three towns over, and they sat and talked over ice cream for hours while her phone rang the battery dead in the car.
She said she felt like a huge weight was lifted and felt bad that her friends and family were waiting for her, but they would all understand later. He eventually went back to the church and told the bridal party it wasn’t happening and got his buddies to come and move all her stuff out the next day. She said that while her dad wasn’t the best father in her teens, he was the best dad anyone could ask for that day.
We dated for a couple of weeks before we figured out that we weren’t a good match. We parted amicably, but I haven’t talked to her since.
Story credit: Reddit / faleboat
Their Baby Was Black—and They Weren't
My brother dumped his fiancée a month before the wedding because when she gave birth, the baby that was born was black, and neither he nor his fiancée is. Unsurprisingly, a paternity test proved it wasn’t his, and thus child support was denied.
Story credit: Reddit / imtheprimary
Even the Minister Stood Her Up
My mum thought she had been left at the alter by not only my dad but the minister as well. She hated being the center of attention and didn’t look up from the ground until she was almost down the aisle. When she did, there was nobody waiting for her. Just then the door behind the alter flew open and my dad ran out with his kilt flapping around him followed by the minister.
Apparently, they had been drinking whiskey in the minister’s office and hadn’t realized the ceremony had started.
Story credit: Reddit / Chel93xx
The Groom Left for Mexico
Someone I know got stood up at the altar. She was pregnant with her first child. The guy left for Mexico the night before. Must have been sad and embarrassing, but I think there was cake.
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I Got My Dream Job and He Left
I was on the “wrong” side of this. My fiancé left me at the altar and never spoke to me again. I can only assume that this is because I had just received my dream job offer, and it interfered with his dreams of me being a stay at home wife. I picked my life up, moved across the country, took my dream job, and am now engaged to a fantastic man who I love very much.
I couldn’t be happier. There’s a happy ending to being left at the altar.
Story credit: Reddit / cutejesusfreak1
He Panicked and Fled
My uncle panicked and fled his wedding before the ceremony. He made it a couple of states away, hid from her and eventually patched things up with his bride-to-be. They scheduled a new wedding, at which point basically the whole cycle repeated itself. On the third wedding, they actually got married, and over the next year had a kid and then split up for good.
He still hangs around his former in-laws and hates her second husband (her husband of like 20+ years now).
Story credit: Reddit / RougeOne
The Reception is at the Park
My brother left his bride at the altar after he found out she was cheating on him and pregnant with the lover’s baby. She told him about an hour before. He grabbed me, his best man, and another groomsman—the rest were her brothers. We drank at the park across town.
Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
The Bride Couldn't Leave the Bathroom
I was at a past coworker’s wedding some years ago, and we sat waiting for a good 45 minutes for the bride and a bridesmaid to show up. No one really knew why, but we all sat there aimlessly until she turned up. But later at the reception, after quite a few drinks it was revealed to me by said bridesmaid, that the bride was struck by a case of anxiety-induced diarrhea before beginning the ceremony.
Story credit: Reddit / Jeff_Winston