24 Stories About People Who Decided To Either Cancel Their Own Wedding, Not Show Up To It, Or Say "I Don't" At The Altar

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell their stories about being left at the altar or leaving someone at the altar. As you can imagine, their stories were kinda wild. Here are the best ones:

Note: Some of these submissions are sourced from Reddit.


“My best friend called off her wedding a week before because he had cheated on her in a really embarrassing way. Her dad took the groom to court to get him to pay for half the cost of canceling.”


character saying, excuse me?


“I had a puppy love engagement when I was almost 18. We were planning to elope and move away somewhere together, classic teen dramedy nonsense, but I had this nagging feeling that it wasn’t right for me. I was also planning a trip abroad with friends that summer and I just couldn’t tell him about it. I still feel shitty about how I did it, but I know it was the right choice. I flew to Europe without mentioning it to him and sent an email from an internet cafe that I wasn’t coming back for six weeks and I didn’t want to be tied down. Twenty years later, I still don’t want to get married and I’ve lived and traveled lots of places. Definitely what was right for me.”


kris jenner in shock


“My brother’s former fiancée called it off three weeks before the wedding. She had some issues she was ignoring and kept convincing herself that marrying my brother would help everything in her life. He is everything she wanted, but she really didn’t accept that she deserved him. She said she could wake up the morning of the wedding and say yes, let’s do this and then when she was walking down the aisle, she didn’t want to do it. She ended up married to her ex a few years later. She already had one son with him before she met my brother. She and the ex had another kid and a year after the second was born, she took off and left the state.”

“Everything was paid for. I still have pins in the bridesmaid dress for alterations. I had to go to our family and return all the shower gifts and early wedding gifts, because no one else was able to, emotionally. That was rough! My aunts, cousins, and grandma were all asking questions and I had to relive it over and over and over.”


someone in shock


“I called my wedding off about six weeks before. He hated me for it, but we both married the people we really needed to be with. I called it off because I would have walked all over him and I needed a more alpha male husband. I’ve been married for 10 years and I think he’s been married for eight and doing well from everything I’ve heard.”


person looking confused and worried


“I left four months before our wedding, but at least we had a conversation about it and actually ended up being friends and he married one of my friends. We were 21 and had been together seven years. I thought getting married was the natural next step, but he wanted kids and that’s just not me. Even now, 10 years later, I still feel the same. I couldn’t have strung him along just in case I did change my mind about kids.”


character saying, i totally get that


“My ex-fiancé called it off a month before our wedding. I felt left at the altar with everything paid for, no refunds, and even a deposit on an apartment. He told me over the phone in an argument, ‘I’m not ready for a serious relationship.’ I never pressured him to propose. I should also add that we met in church. And when he proposed to me, he explained, ‘God told him to in a vision….’ So I didn’t see the breakup coming at all.”

“Only a few months after he called it off he started dating a just-turned-18-year-old from the youth group at my church. They both swore up and down that they waited until she was 18 before dating thinking that somehow gave them a pass, even though that’s just blatantly admitting that he groomed her. I dodged multiple bullets. I’m so happy we never married and honestly only regret ever even being in a relationship with him.”


person looking to the side in question


“A friend from college was getting married. She was the nicest person you could meet (still is). Several days before the wedding, her significant other left her and called the wedding off. By the end of that day, she had a total breakdown and lost a week of her memories. She literally thought it was a week until her wedding, and continued to make preparations for it, though the wedding was over. She spoke wistfully of her future husband and their future together. It was very disconcerting to all of her friends, and eventually, we had to commit her to a psychiatric hospital to help her deal with it. She did find healing and a better partner down the road…but it wasn’t easy getting there.”


person in shock


“Four weeks before our wedding, he ghosted me and wouldn’t answer his phone. I had just paid for airline tickets for my uncle and my mother and several other things related to the wedding. He moved to another state and took a job there and we both moved on, so I thought. Fast-forward to five years later, he came back, told me he made a terrible mistake, and wanted to get back together. We’ve been married for four years now.”


person looking over in confusion


“I met a girl and we hit it off right away. We dated for about six months and it was magical. Three weeks before the wedding, I called her at work during lunch just to say hello. She came home with her wedding dress in a box that she had just picked up. She set the box down and said that we should cancel the wedding. I asked why. She said, ‘I thought I was in love, but I was just in love with the idea.’ She then asked me to move out. To this day, 27 years later, I have no idea what really went down. We went from a perfect relationship, no warning signs at all, to broken up in a heartbeat.”


person giving side eye


“I had a cousin who was told by multiple family members (on both sides) that he had to marry his pregnant girlfriend before the baby was born. The cousin seemed to go along with everything right up until the day of the wedding. Our grandparents had given him a good deal of money as an early wedding gift to be used on their honeymoon. Instead, he used that money to take off the morning of the ceremony with some friends of his and flee the state to go party instead. He left a note saying he just couldn’t go through with the wedding. Our grandparents managed to hunt him down, draged him back a few weeks later, and forced him to marry his girlfriend in a hasty courthouse ceremony. Needless to say, that marriage didn’t last very long! Just a few months.”


person with their hands on their head in disbelief


“This was long ago, like in the 1930s. The story was told by my grandmother. The bride was coming out of her car and the veil, which was an heirloom from the groom’s family, got caught with the door and got slightly torn. The groom said ‘My God, you are so stupid!’ The bride said nothing, but when the moment of ‘I dos’ came, she said NO. The priest, believing she was confused due to nerves, asked again, and the answer was the same, and the woman turned around and walked with her head very high out of the church. When her friends and family asked, her reply was ‘If in such a sublime moment as receiving me for our wedding he cared more about a stupid veil, what awaits me the rest of our marriage?”



“I left with less than 24 hours before I was to be married to a cheating conniving jerk who I had been dating for three years. The night before the wedding, he was supposed to be out with his friends and I went out with a few of mine well. On the walk home, two of my friends decided to stop in the middle of my block and tell me that my fiancé had been sleeping with one of their girlfriends who was also a female friend of mine. It turned out that they had been going behind my back for months and she got him back into drugs after I had him sober for years.”

“I asked my dear friends when they planned on telling me and one stated that he wanted to wait until the priest asked if anyone had any objections. The other friend said they didn’t want to see me hurt that way so they decided that with less than a day left they would inform me.”


person confused


“It was at the wedding of one of my sister’s friends who was the bride. The bride never showed up at the wedding, and no one could find her. After several hours, the groom and his family all went home. Turned out the bride went for a wild night of partying and slept with some guy she met at a club. She was passed out drunk at his place all day long before she came around and realized she missed her own wedding.”

“The father of the bride was mad as hell about the expense of the wedding that came out of his pocket. The groom has since moved on with his own life; discovering the woman he was going to marry had cheated on him the night before their wedding made him break it off.”


person looking up from their phone


“My entire fourth-grade class was in attendance at our teacher’s wedding where she was left at the altar. The whole situation was ugly. My teacher was the bride and was about 3/4 down the aisle when the groom decided he couldn’t do it. He walked off to the side, and at first, my teacher and her father didn’t notice and kept walking, and she was smiling radiantly. There was about a minute of really solid confusion before everyone realized what was going on. My teacher was whisked out of the church, and an announcement was made that there was not going to be a wedding. This happened the second or third week of June. She didn’t come back for the last week of school.”


person covering their mouth


“Two of my fiancé’s friends were getting married. The groom had been struggling for a few years deciding whether to get married and have a family or join a priory and eventually become a priest. He made his decision the morning of the wedding and just didn’t show up.”



“I was at a wedding, and when the officiant 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.’ Turned 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.”


kim kardashian in shock


“We had plans of marrying and settling down. We were together for one year and eight months. Everything in the relationship was going smoothly until one day I noticed he blocked me on EVERYTHING. I was kind of freaking out because this was not part of his normal behavior. Anyway, one of my friends had him on Snapchat, and she saw he went to Punjab, India a month after he blocked me, and he got married to a girl from a village in Jalandhar. It hurt horribly because I fell head over heels for this man. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough.”


character with their arms up in confusion


“I was the one who did the leaving. I was only 20 years old. I had grown up in an abusive household and ended up with an abuser. I felt I couldn’t say no when he proposed to me in front of my entire family at 19 on Christmas Eve. We planned to get married the following Christmas Eve. I wasn’t excited or eager to do anything. Fast forward three months before Christmas Eve, my mom was putting pressure on me to buy a wedding dress, and I couldn’t find a dress that I liked. I would literally burst into tears every time I saw myself in any wedding dress. I spent weeks in agony, and finally on December 23, the day before the wedding, I called my fiancé and told him I needed to see him.”

“I called off the wedding, moved out of my parent’s house, and haven’t looked back. About a year later, he died in a car accident while drinking and driving, and I’m just so glad that he didn’t hurt or kill anyone else and that he can’t hurt anyone else.”


character saying good for you


“I know a girl whose fiancé moved to Texas to get away from her and broke off their three-year engagement. She found out via FB after he’d been gone for two weeks. She was convinced prayer would bring him back.”



“The guy I was supposed to marry (who was the father of my child) just didn’t show up at all. He called all of his friends and family on his side and told them not to bother showing up because he wouldn’t be there. We waited around ’til about an hour after the wedding started, and finally got a text message saying he wasn’t coming. So I got to look like a jerk by telling my family, ‘Oh, sorry, there won’t be a wedding today.’ It was mortifying. And to top things off, my son kept asking me why his dad didn’t want to marry mommy. It was hard to explain that to a two-year-old.”



“Ten days before the wedding, I found out he was sleeping with someone else. It 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. I’m thankful every day that I didn’t go through with it.”



“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, fell 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 fell 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 committing a crime.”


person sitting in shock


“A guy I knew left someone at the altar. 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 faraway look and said, ‘Yeah, that’s not happening anymore.'”



“I was at a beautiful garden full of my favorite people in the world. My father walked me down the aisle in my flowing wedding dress. When I got to the altar, everything was perfect and normal, just as planned. The pastor started reading and I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. I glanced over at my partner to see he wasn’t happy. His face was all pouty like he didn’t want to be there. I asked him what was wrong and he replied with a grunt and said ‘Nothing.’ I just assumed he wasn’t feeling well from the nerves. As the pastor read the vows, my partner hesitated before quietly whispering ‘Get this over with already.’ Nobody heard it but me. I stared at him dead in the eyes and scoffed and walked away. It turned out he was cheating and was engaged to another girl.”


Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

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