November 20, 2023 | Christine Tran

Runaway Brides Confess Why (And How) They Left Their “Beloved” At The Altar

In a perfect world, a couple would settle their differences before the wedding. In this rather imperfect world, there’s instead runaway brides and cold-footed grooms to jolt from the aisle, leaving nothing behind except for broken hearts and juicy stories. Reddit asked regretful fiancées (and their guests) why the nuptials failed to be. Raise an objection to these outrageous stories about runaway brides.

1. Just Powdering My Nose…

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.

sad and worried bride at the parkwavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

2. Not the Daddy, nor the Groom

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.

Runaway Brides FactsPixabay

3. It’s the Circle of Strife

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).

Anne Lister FactsShutterstock

4. Working Girl Need Not Say “I Do”

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.

Wedding Objections factsShutterstock

5. Let Her Eat Cake

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.

Wedding ExperienceGetty Images

6. Better Late Than Never

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 indulging in spirits in the minister’s office and hadn't realized the ceremony began.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

7. A Change of Plans Doesn’t Meant the End of the Party

A guy I knew did this. He was a nice, laid-back guy marrying a harmful individual. 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 faraway look and said, "Yeah, that's not happening anymore."


Ruined Wedding factsShutterstock

8. Something Doesn’t Match in this Match…

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.

Charles II FactsWikimedia Commons, Pete unseth

9. The Father of the Bride You Shouldn’t Mess With

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 awful. 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 an intelligent child—served as a medic in the armed forces, rescuing dozens of individuals in Pakistan—but emotionally manipulative individuals can ensnare anyone, given enough time, and he ensnared 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 continuously rang, draining the car's battery.

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.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

10. Did She Lose Her Faith in Mankind?

My best friend was engaged, and they sent out invites for the wedding. Two weeks before the wedding, her dad left her mom (his wife of 28 years) to be with the man he loved. She called off the wedding because she didn't know what she believed in anymore. Didn't know what marriage was or if her husband would do the same.

It screwed her up pretty bad.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

11. The Unwelcome Additions

My stepfather jilted his fiancée the day before the wedding. He had a long-time sweetheart in his home country, and they planned to marry once he had built a life in the US and had obtained citizenship. Four years later, he sent a letter to his family letting him know that he was coming to visit for a week and to let the fiancée know that he wanted to see her.

She and their families assumed that he finally wanted to marry that week, as planned, so they set up the wedding. Imagine their surprise when he showed up with a wife and two-year-old child. I don't know what he said to his fiancée, but she hung herself after he formally called their wedding off. It was incredibly heartbreaking.

He found himself needing to gather my mom and the baby to urgently leave the area the following morning due to the fiancee's family accusing him of being responsible for her demise.

Worst Ways They’ve Been Dumped FactsShutterstock

12. Catch and Release

One of the people I know is what I call a serial fiancée. She dates guys and gets into serious relationships. When they propose to her, she says yes, starts looking for venues, dresses, caterers, etc. Then, she suddenly calls off the wedding and breaks up with the guy, saying "I didn't want to marry him anyway, he's (insert reason here).”

The last time this happened she had an AMA about her wedding on Instagram, but two months before the supposed date of the wedding all her photos, AMA answers and mentions of engagement were gone. Maybe she's getting a kick out of it, I don't know.

Worst Ways They’ve Been Dumped FactsShutterstock

13. Old Enough to Know She Deserves Better

I was 16 years old and working at Chess King in the mall when a man—who originally lied about his age saying he was 20, but I found out afterward was 26—came in and was extremely enamored with me. I had some daddy issues, loved the attention he gave me, and soon thought I was in love. He asked me to marry him two weeks later.

He had even asked my parents’ permission and they said yes—I still am upset with them for that. Summer was coming shortly after and he wanted me to move in with him for the summer. I was living in NY at the time, and he was living in Maryland—he had been in NY visiting his parents and staying with them till his new job started as a used car salesman.

So, I got in his white pickup truck and drove with him to Maryland for the summer. When I got there, it was a tiny little apartment in a sketchy neighborhood. He had leased the apartment by phone and had no idea what neighborhood it was in (pre-internet). He took his truck to work every day and I had no transportation so I would just walk around during the day.

Everyone in the neighborhood would stare at me and no one actually talked to me, I felt extremely out of place despite trying my best to be ok with the situation. He wanted to have intimacy every day the second he got home from work and would want me to be waiting in the bedroom for him. I hated it and would close my eyes till it was over.

After five days, I was in the apartment while he was at work and I opened the silverware drawer and a big cockroach crawled across the utensils. I don’t know exactly why that was the turning point for me, but I just said out loud SCREW THIS. I packed my suitcase and sat on the couch with the suitcase on my lap till he got home from work.

The second I saw him I said “Take me home,” he said a lot of BS, and was angry. I said nothing besides that I wanted to go home. Somehow, he agreed to drive me back to NY, and we left that night. The whole way home he talked about how this doesn’t change anything and that we’ll still be together. I stayed silent. When we pulled in the driveway, I took off the ring and set it on the console.

I didn’t say anything and booked it into the house and locked the door. He didn’t come after me but proceeded to call constantly for weeks, I refused to answer. I never saw him again. I’m 41 now and have four children. My oldest is 18. Only as an adult have I been able to see how disgusting and terrifying what I went through was.

For years I was embarrassed to tell that story, but now I realize I was a child, and it’s him and my parents that should be embarrassed.

Outrageous Reasons for Divorce factsShutterstock

14. Tomorrow Will Come Sooner Than You Think

On my 18th birthday, my boyfriend proposed to me at my party, in front of all of my family and friends. I said yes mostly because I was too embarrassed to say no. We had been dating for two years, but I was just about to start university; I wasn't ready at all. I asked later—when we were alone—if we could have a long engagement, at least a year or two and he agreed.

We told our families and friends we would be waiting to get married. Less than three months later, his mum and my mum took me out for lunch and decided to take me to look at wedding dresses, because "it's never too early to start planning." When I saw a really lovely dress that was on sale, my fiancé’s mother insisted on buying it for me.

Their family was quite wealthy and had set money aside for all of my fiancé’s milestones: education, first car, wedding, etc. She told me they were happy to cover the major costs as they were the ones who wanted a big wedding and joked that I could pay her back in grandchildren. A few weeks later, his mum introduced me to a "friend" who was a florist.

Next thing I know I'm looking at bouquets and discussing table arrangements. Then my fiancé starts talking about venues for our wedding, saying we need to start planning so we can find the perfect place. By this point, I'm truly panicking...I'm just a few months into university, I haven't even fully decided what I want to do with my education, and now I'm choosing venues for a wedding that's supposed to be years away? A wedding that's suddenly looking like the nuptials of a minor royal?

I tried talking to my fiancé, but he just wouldn't listen. We saw a venue we liked, but they had no availability for almost two years. So, we booked it and I could finally breathe again...I had two years to get ready for my big fat crazy wedding. Then the venue had a cancellation, for less than six months away and my fiancé accepted it WITHOUT telling me.

Just canceled our future date and took the one that was now available. Then he arranged the entire wedding with the help of his mum—and mine, despite her overbearing ways!—before telling me. When he told me everything was booked, I went mental. His reaction was that he'd gone with all of my choices re: catering, venue, flowers, etc., and so I should be grateful that he'd dealt with all the stressful stuff.

All I had to do was turn up on the right day. When I explained that I didn't want to get married in six months’ time and that this was the third or fourth time I'd told him I wasn't ready for marriage yet, he told me I was being childish and that the invitations were at the printer, so it was too late to "change my mind.”

I finally realized that he was manipulating me, so I gave him the engagement ring back and told him I didn't want to see him anymore. I told my family and friends, cried a lot, changed my number because he wouldn't stop calling, etc. Two months later, my mum got a call from his mother because she hadn't been able to get in touch with me to arrange dress fittings and finalize bridesmaids.

He hadn't told them we split up. My mother explained everything to his mother and figured that was that. The following week she had the audacity to present my family with a bill for half of what they had paid out for the wedding. It came to thousands of pounds. They'd booked everything, right down to the cake and the favors, without telling me and wanted me to pay!

Outrageous Reasons for Divorce factsShutterstock

15. The Unexpected (and Unwanted) Engagement

Had a friend that didn’t know she was the bride until she was halfway down the aisle. Her parents had arranged a marriage for her—common in her culture—and had told her that the family had all been invited to a cousin’s wedding. My friend was told everyone was going to be wearing white for whatever reason, I don’t remember.

They arrived at the church just before the bride was scheduled to walk down the aisle. My friend, thinking they’re late, wanted to slip in and stay in the back. Her father, however, takes her arm and they start walking up the aisle. It isn’t until they’re halfway up that she stops and realizes everyone is looking at her and smiling and crying tears of joy.

She turned to one of her aunts in the pew next to her and asked them who was getting married. The whole church went silent, and then the aunt looked at my friend’s father and said “You can’t be serious! You planed a wedding for your daughter and just expected her to go along with it?! Have the two of them even met? Did you seriously think this would work?!”

The whole room was them chattering about them and the father just clear his throat and told his daughter to keep walking. Luckily, the aunt grabbed my friend first and pulled her into the pew, pushed her past the row of people, and they both ran out of the church. Her parents disowned her after that, and she moved in with that aunt.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock


16. When the Dress Doesn’t Say “Yes”

Got engaged after three months and started planning pretty much straight away. I was very young, and his mother wanted to decorate the entire wedding redneck-style. I had a fallout with her over it as I felt she wasn’t letting anyone have a say, and we were paying for it. Red flags started popping up his temper. He got a huge neck tattoo with my name, started becoming possessive.

Then, while dress shopping, I broke down and said, “No this isn’t right.” It was like a store of thousands of dresses telling me there wasn’t a single one that was in there for this occasion, so it couldn’t happen. I sat in my car went home, placed the ring on the counter packed my stuff and left.

Runaway Brides FactsFlickr,Office of Public Affairs

17. They Lost a Bride but Regained A Daughter

Not me, and I’m not sure it counts as a runaway bride, but my sister broke up with her fiancé four months before their wedding, which was already totally planned and paid for. I’ll be honest I don’t know the full story. Even now, 18 months later, she still hasn’t fully opened up to us about it, but I never really liked the guy.

He was nice enough, but he absolutely could not handle his drink. He could never have a little drink, no, he had to drink the whole bar every time, then would come home and puke up over the entire house. He then had the audacity to complain whenever my sister would go out with her friends just for a couple of drinks, to the point where he eventually just stopped letting her go out altogether.

His family was an absolute mess as well. His mum and stepdad were pretty cool, but they moved to Canada to pursue their dreams, leaving my sister and her fiancé in the hands of aunts and uncles who did not approve of her at all. His little brother was on-off with his teenage girlfriend he eventually knocked up, and who was always trying to one-up my sister too.

Eventually, as far as she’s told us, she just felt trapped by the guy. She was prohibited from hanging out with her friends and was forced to go to family events with people who despised her. He made her distance herself from us, which I think was painful for her as she essentially missed quality time with her new nephews at the time.

He basically controlled every aspect of her life. Anyway, she unceremoniously dumped him on New Year’s Eve and canceled the wedding then and there. I don’t think she even saw him again after that. She was always out when he came to collect his stuff. Obviously, his family weren’t too happy about it and harassed her for months.

She became depressed and needed medication, but it was my family that had to foot the wedding bill anyway. They were just glad to have their daughter back.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

18. Not Reporting for Duty

I was 17 years old at the time, and still in high school. Met an alleged Army guy—pre-full swing Internet, so no way to really check—and we hit it off. I was young and fell in "love" with guys really fast, so when he proposed, I was ecstatic. The red flags were there, even though he had asked my parents for permission.

He proposed publically and very loudly at a local pizza shop—which, socially, would have been too awkward to say no anyway. He didn't have his own place. I never even met his family. I never saw any proof of him serving in the armed forces. Cut to a few weeks later. We had a fight because he called out his SISTER'S name during intimacy.

He then told me that everything would be fine because he was going to take me to Kentucky to live on an Army base. He also told me he wanted me to be "barefoot and pregnant" most of the time, haha. We were going to get married and leave the day after I graduated high school. I felt weird, and I did some real soul searching.

I became extremely withdrawn and quiet. I was visiting my grandmother one day, and she asked me, “Are you in love with him or in love with the idea of a wedding?" And just like that, the bubble burst. I cried and broke it off with him...two weeks before I graduated. Apparently, he had already booked the Justice of the Peace.

But he got married anyway three weeks later...with the same ring he gave me. Poor girl. I wish I knew her so I could warn her.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

19. He Should Not Have Put a Ring on It

My dad was a runaway groom. Broke it off THREE DAYS before the wedding. The mid-1970s, so he was in his early 20s. His fiancé (not my mom, obviously) and her mother pressured him into proposing, which he did with my grandmother's ring. He also felt society sort of demanded it; it was more common to marry at that age than it is today.

Deep down, he knew she simply wasn't the one but figured maybe all men felt that way before a wedding, so he ignored that and hoped his feelings would change. Months passed and the wedding was all planned out. When relatives and friends from out of town began flying in for the wedding and gifts were arriving, reality hit him hard and he—to quote Gob Bluth—realized he made a huge mistake.

He sat my grandma and grandpa down and simply said, "Guys...I don't want to do this." They were proud of him for being honest and actually sort of thrilled: it turns out they hated her guts but they’d never shared that with him. But then they told him he needed to immediately tell her face-to-face. And so my dad did.

Like a deeply affected veteran, he declines to share specifics but stated it was the most intense, heart-wrenching dispute he had ever encountered. But he ended it. Of course, this was the 1970s. You can't just mass announce the wedding is canceled via a text or Facebook message—which a friend of mine did.

My dad took the responsibility of calling every single invited guest to tell them the wedding was off. Even more, he personally returned gifts to the people who sent them. His fiancé sold my grandmother's ring.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

20. Wish I Could Stay, But Not With You

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, we 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 believe I avoided a tricky situation. I anticipate she might have disappeared eventually, and I could have found myself in deep trouble over immigration matters.

J.D. Salinger FactsShutterstock

21. I Didn’t Know We Would Have Company

I guess I didn't technically leave him at the altar, but 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 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.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

22. The Bride Who Refused to Be Brutalized

One of my best friends called off her engagement just a month before her wedding when her fiancé "joked" about causing harm to her face, suggesting it was due to an extended hug with her stepbrother at her mother's anniversary celebration. She narrowly escaped a serious situation as he was detained for assault a year later.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

23. Not Addicted to You

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 expressed his reluctance towards marriage, as his experiences with his ex made him perceive me as less fun. He attributed this to my discomfort towards his substance use habits.

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.

Runaway Brides FactsPexels

24. A Decision Was Finally Made

I left my ex-fiancé 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. Then, 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 narrowly escaped trouble by leaving.

Tipping Point in Relationship factsShutterstock

25. Love is a Battle

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 that 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 don’t about other religions, but at Mexican Catholic weddings we 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 collective gasp. He beelines to the door and goes straight outside. Me and my buddies follow him. At this point, I just thought he needed some air. Nope. He heads straight toward the sports car he had rented. We yell at him, and he yells at us to get in the car, and 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. He takes off! We are yelling and screaming in the car, and he maintains an intensely stern 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 guy ultimately enrolls in the armed forces and departs for Bootcamp merely two weeks following all those events. He stayed with us couch surfing for two weeks and disappeared 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.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

26. Did You Forget Something? Or Someone?

Wasn't me personally but when the priest said, "If anyone here has any objection, speak now or forever hold your peace.” A woman in the back stood up and said, "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.

So technically the groom was still married, and the wedding did not proceed.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

27. The Paths Thankfully Not Taken

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.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

28. His Relations Don’t Smell Like Roses

Not a runaway bride, but I was hired to work the wedding as a florist, many years ago. Bride and groom had signed off on every contract and was fully prepared to tie the knot. The bride was on tour until two weeks before the wedding date (she’s in theater), so we mostly communicated via email and groom would come by to make payments and drop off items for the wedding.

He was always pretty chill and laid back—not usually common with grooms. It turns out he was cheating on the bride with the bride’s sister...and the best man’s girlfriend, also in their friend group. Bride finds out right before the bachelorette party and calls off the whole thing. Felt awful about not being able to refund any payments since we had placed bulk orders for her flowers but offered her credit towards another event. We became FB friends.

She’s marrying someone else now, and seems much, much happier.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

29. He Just Didn’t Have Faith

My brother left his fiancé 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 was not 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.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

30. The One That Almost Got Away

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.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

31. Some Arrangements Just Aren’t Mean to Be

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 fairly certain I was somewhat unpleasant in this situation. Talked to him very irregularly until the end of February, and then I just couldn't.

Should have been a huge red flag to him that his fiancé 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. 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 that the fake American accent completely 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, I suppose.

Still Mad About FactsShutterstock

32. The Ultimate Staycation

My sister was left at the altar by my best mate, and I was the best man. He met my sister through me, and they went out with each for two years and 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 and 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 mate had legged it. We didn't see or hear from him three days, his own family for two days and by then he was in Europe somewhere "staying with a friend,” where he's been ever since for three years now.

He's never made any effort to explain, even to my sister.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

33. Three Strikes and She’s Out Again

I have a cousin who basically did this...sort of like three times even. The first time, guy one: everything ready and had bridal showers, etc. but she was talking to aunts and family members. Realized her guy was kinda into dirty videos and other stuff she didn’t approve of. And broke it off before the wedding. She kept all the presents.

The second time, guy two: got engaged, broke it off, don't really remember why at ALL. The third time, same as guy one: 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.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

34. Catfished Before the Internet?

My dad actually jilted his fiancée. My dad was fairly young and was arranged to marry someone that was supposed to be the most beautiful girl in the area. He worked on off-shore rigs, so he did not have any contact with the girl, with the exception of a few photos and a couple of long-distance phone calls—which were really expensive.

When he got home, she came to visit, and he realized that she was far heavier than what they showed in the pictures. When he pointed this out, no one seemed to think it was a big deal, but my dad was pretty unhappy. He went as far as talking to the girl and the girl's parents, asking them to respectfully call it off, but they were adamant about going through with the wedding.

It was during that conversation that the family admitted that the girl was illiterate; she wasn't interested in school, so they took her out early and sent her to study tailoring instead. She had not even learnt how to handle money or read and write. My dad didn't want to embarrass the girl or her family, so he didn't tell anyone about what he learned.

Everyone had assumed that she had college-level education, but she actually went to a vocational school that was housed in the college building. A few nights before the wedding, my father's cousin, a friend, and his younger brother helped him escape. Another person volunteered to marry the girl, so she still got married on the day... so it all went well?

Runaway Brides FactsPixabay

35. Great Minds Should Spend Time Apart

We were going to elope, and I realized it was stupid a few days before. I was 18, he was 21. He was also very selfish due to his chronic depression, and I was very vulnerable due to my anxiety. I wasn't equipped to help him deal with his mental illness, and he wasn't ready to deal with mine.

Men's Secrets factsShutterstock

36. When Opposites Don’t Attract

This happened to a previous work colleague. I had been working with him as a cleaner for four years, and he had been with his then-partner for a while. Everything seemed hunky-dory and soon enough he proposed to her and she accepted.Everything seemed to be progressing smoothly, and I even went to his stag, which to this day, remains the most intoxicated I've ever been in my life.

We had it at this farmhouse where the only rule was "don't break anything, the house isn't mine." I ended up being the only person who did break something, and it was the entire stair banister. But I digress. As the wedding day approaches, I arrive at work to find out from my boss that the wedding has been called off. Apparently, his fiancée was a lesbian and had been cheating on him for a while.

What I never understood is how she could accept the proposal. Surely when he was down on one knee, that would have been the ideal time to express how you really feel.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

37. Bachelor #2 Was the Right Call

Not me, but my cousin was supposed to marry a girl who then fell head over heels in love with a guy she met two days before the wedding. She left him not literally at the altar, but about as close as you can get. I was five or six and supposed to be a flower girl. My 16-year-old brothers were the ushers. We were so excited.

We resided around a six-hour drive away, and I recall being utterly bewildered the entire journey back as to why I hadn't been chosen as a flower girl, while the rest of the party remained completely quiet. In a crazy small world twist, the guy that she fell in love with is a professor at the same university as my brother and has an office down the hall.

He and the bride have been married for I guess going on 20 years now. Meanwhile, my cousin has been married three times, encountered multiple charges for impaired driving to the degree where I doubt he can even secure a license, and his weight has escalated to nearly 300lbs. I think she made the right choice.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

38. You Look Familiar…

My friend met a guy, and within a week they were engaged. He was in the armed forces and ceased contact with her about a month after proposing. Six months later, he turns up and starts working at the same place as her and acted like he didn’t even know her. Does that count?

Eating Sins FactsShutterstock

39. It Takes a Village to Help a Runaway Bride

My boyfriend at the time had a female friend who, the night before her wedding, finally spilled to several friends—including him—that her fiancé had been emotionally and physically mistreating her, and she wasn't sure she should get married. We'd all noticed her being distanced from us, but she'd deny every time that something was wrong.

The next day, her family mobilized to get the word out to all her guests, and a bunch of her friends essentially forced themselves into the guy's house to get all her things back. My boyfriend was a cop, so had a duty to press charges or something on the guy. I was never clear on this part. The woman was mad at him for a while, but now a few years later she is seeing someone great whom I've actually known forever and is quite a bit happier now.

Plus, she knows her friends and family have her back and can get stuff done.

Mid adult woman consoling friend.Getty Images

40. Double Blast From the Past

Not me, but my mother. My mom called off a wedding just weeks before the ceremony date because she found out her fiancé had lied to her about his whereabouts and was partying at a hotel with friends and other women. She caught him in a hot tub at 1 am with twin sisters. Fast forward about three years later.

She starts dating and later marries the man who is my biological father. She said meeting the family was especially awkward when she discovered my father had three sisters… two of whom were the twins she caught her ex-fiancé with in the hot tub.

Twins experienceShutterstock

41. When Prince Charming Becomes Prince Harming

Back in high school, I had this friend called Cheyenne. We were very close and loooved planning our dream weddings together. Every month when the new bridal magazines came in, we spent free period at a bench with a pen, circling and gushing over the dresses. Flash forward to junior year, and she meets this guy called Nick.

Nick was fairly popular at our school, mainly known for his older sisters who were triplets and just known for being "the triplets.” She and him started dating after a couple of weeks and it was not good. They were on and off and on and off all the time, and it was known that he cheated on her every other weekend when she was away at her mom's house.

After they graduated, they broke up for a little bit and got back together after three or four months. Halfway through sophomore year of college, Cheyenne starts acting very out of character. She started drinking pretty heavily and due to that we got in a fight and didn't speak for a year. When we did it was because she found out she was pregnant with Nick's baby and they were planning to get married.

I was ecstatic and soon we regained our original closeness. I was going to be her maid-of-honor and they were going to have a beautiful wedding in the mountains. Day of, Cheyenne seemed shaky and odd. She insisted she was fine, but I kept an eye on her. 15 minutes before we're scheduled to walk down the aisle, I run outside really quick to see where Cheyenne was.

She had stepped out and no one knew where she was. I get to the road close by and see a little pair of heels by. I leave the shoes in case she was planning on coming back and go tell the DOC. TThe ceremony gets put on hold and we're all looking around for Cheyenne, and I see Nick get really angry and hear him mutter, "that infuriating witch, when I get my hands on her..."

Now I don't know what to do. I'm getting concerned for Cheyenne, worried she fell down the hill or something, so we have people looking all around. I smell something fishy and think that maybe she ran off, considering their past and what I just heard Nick say. I drive into town which was just a 10-minute drive (more like a 45 minute-one hour-long walk) and see Cheyenne in her big white fluffy dress (easy to spot) walking into a bar.

I proceed to converse with her, question her about what actually happened, and she admitted that Nick had been mistreating her SINCE HIGH SCHOOL. Apparently that morning, he warned her that if she didn't behave, he'd harm both her and her baby. I immediately contacted law enforcement, advised the DOC to simply call off everything as I had found her, and escorted her to the hospital.

Long, messy trial later plus a restraining order, he was behind bars, and she moved to Portland, so she'd be close enough to her family but far enough away from him. Now she's getting remarried in September 2020 and her baby is now 4 years old and beautiful. Her name is Harmony.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

42. She Was Reviewing Other Candidates

It happened to two friends I use to know. He was totally smitten with this woman. She was highly insecure, and they use 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. I believe he certainly avoided a high-risk situation. She's on her third marriage currently.

Runaway Brides FactsShutterstock

Sources:  Reddit, ,



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