So many people spend so much time imagining their wedding day before it actually comes, but very few imagine being the runaway bride or groom.
Here are some of those brides and grooms, and their friends, sharing what happened when they left someone at the altar or didn't go through with the wedding.
Many thanks to the Redditor who posed this question and to those who responded. You can check out more responses from the source at the end of this article!
1/20. I was sentenced to three years in prison for fraud, and we were gonna get married the day before I went in. I decided that I couldn't do that to her and force her to wait for me when I got out. In the end we got married and now work at the same law firm again.
2/20. Ten days before the wedding I found out he was sleeping with someone else. Took me two days to decide not to get married. Then over the next three weeks I discovered he was a sex 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.
3/20. A buddy of mine did this and we were his accomplice.
I can't believe this happened 12 years ago.
Anyway, a buddy of ours was going to marry this girl he had known for a few years. He was expressing doubt but racked it up to being nervous about marriage.
The night before he broke down crying and thought he was making a 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.
Day of the wedding and everything is happening.
The wedding has started and he is at the Altar waiting. I dunno about other religions, but Mexican Catholic weddings have this moment before the bride comes out where it's quiet with anticipation and everything is just waiting.
My buddy is sweating like a mad man. 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 towards the sports car he had rented. We yell at him and he yells at us to get in and 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.
He takes off!!
We are yelling and screaming in the car and he has this dead 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 military and leaves to bootcamp just 2 weeks after all of that happened. He stayed with us couch surfing for 2 weeks and disapeeared from his bride, her family, and even his.
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 reals this time and is very happy in her new relationship.
4/20. I left my ex-fianc a month before the wedding.
Backstory: 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. After I left her, her friend texted me on the day of the supposed ceremony telling me the cake was delicious. My ex-somehow managed to break into my email and asked me who a girl was in an email I received AFTER I left her. I could understand her reasoning if it was before, but it wasn't. She also texted me a while after I left and told me she missed her period. An hour later, I got another text that said, "Never mind."
I'm pretty sure I dodged a bullet by leaving.
5/20. I left a man at the altar. I was in my dress and getting ready to go to the chapel, when I realized I couldn't. I froze. I didn't love him as much as I craved the safety and security that being married would bring.
I was fairly recently divorced and very young and scared. He eventually found a lovely woman and they are very happy together. I don't think either of us would have had that with each other.
6/20. A guy I knew did this. He was a nice, laid back guy marrying a toxic person.
I can't get into the details because I didn't know him too well, but apparently 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."
7/20. My mum thought she had been left at the alter by not only my dad but the minister as well.
She hated being the centre of attention and didn't look up from the ground until she was almost down the isle, 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 whisky in the minister's office and hadn't realised the ceremony had started.
8/20. 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 because I was uncomfortable with him doing drugs.
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.
Then he got into crack and other stuff so yay.
9/20. One of my best friends broke her engagement only a month before her wedding after he "joked" about kicking her face in because he thought she hugged her step brother for too long at her mom's anniversary party. She dodged a huge bullet since he was arrested for assault a year later.
10/20. 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..."
"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. So technically the groom was still married and the wedding did not proceed.
11/20. I was the one who was left at the alter, while she didn't show up.
I could tell the story but "I'm a self centred jerk" isn't much of a story.
12/20. 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 ceremony was over, we didn't really know how to officially end it. So we just kinda 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.
13/20. I very much doubt this is a common occurrence. If I wasn't sure I would back out way before getting the dress and all the expensive stuff.
However I have a cousin who basically did this....sort of like 3 times even.
First time, guy 1: everything ready and had bridal showers etc. but she was talking to aunts and family members. Realized her guy was kinda into adult films and stuff. And broke it off before the wedding. She kept all the presents.
Second time, guy 2: got engaged, broke it off, don't really remember why at ALL.
Third time, same as guy 1: absolutely no idea cause really I was fed up at this point with even caring
At this point though I realize I should have a lot more sympathy for her cause that seems to indicate actual problems that must be rather distressing for her.
14/20. It 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 - about 85% of our wedding was set up - 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 parent's house for over a month afterward. I also had to deal with my family AND his, and our friends - since 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 and dodged a huge bullet. I also recently started seeing a man who makes my heart race when he walks into a room. It's a beautiful thing.
15/20. It may end up being me unless I can deal with some issues before that.
Just don't love my fianc anymore, but he has told me on numerous occasions, including after cheating on me, that if I left him he'd probably kill himself. I can't deal with that kind of pressure and guilt and just don't know what to do about it. I don't have anywhere else to go or the means to support myself right now so I just feel trapped.
16/20. I didn't leave and I should have. I realized 10 days before the wedding it was a mistake, but talked myself into believing it was 'cold feet', and got caught up thinking about the deposits and guests traveling. Stupid stupid stupid. Almost divorced now! Worst years of my life.
17/20. This woman who used to come and visit my parents when I was younger was left at the alter. She is one of those cases where you will say Karma got to her, this woman was a reason or so many divorces (She and her family members meddle in everyone's business). For example if you have a finance, her and her cousins will make sure your fianc dumps you by telling him about (made up lies).
When she was left at the alter it was an Aha moment for everyone. But she got married to another guy a year after that. Her cousin also tried to be a bride at another woman's wedding.
18/20. Happened to two friends I used to know. He was totally smitten with her. She was highly insecure and they use to fight a lot because she would accuse him of looking at other women and other 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. I think he totally dodged a bullet. She's on her third marriage currently.
This article concludes on the next page!
19/20. My brother's friend got run over by a car at the church parking lot...
20/20. I didn't leave my Fiance at the altar, but I did sabotage the relationship.
Simply put, I was unhappy that I never get to be alone with her, her best friend would never leave, I tried to talk to her about it and lo and behold the best friend kept walking over even after I said it was extremely important and would like to speak to my fiance privately.
Pissed off and unable to talk about it, I didn't talk to the fiance for 3 days and instead I turned to an old friend from school, there was a very minor thing between me and said friend but nothing major as I was in love with my fiance, so after 3 days, I calm down and I wish my fiance a happy valentine's day.
She starts saying stuff like I am greedy, selfish, self absorbed and the like, mentions that her best friend was saying I cheated on her with the friend from school.
Fed up and just not wanting to go back to what was now an unhappy relationship, I go with it, tell her that I was with the friend, didn't have sex but I was pretty out of it so who knows. (I spent the time away just working through personal issues, I am asexual so sex never happens.)
At the time I was so pissed off I didn't care what I said, it broke my heart and messed me up but honestly I don't regret it at all, 5 month's after the breakup I met my now best friend, we are now common law husband and wife and I have never been this happy.
Not at the altar, but I bailed just two days before we were headed to city hall.
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 because we just didn't agree on a few details.
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, and I could be in a real jam over immigration crime