- Getting left at the altar can be devastating.
- These people had different reasons for doing so.
- Some say they finally realised they weren’t in love anymore, others just didn’t feel it was the right time.
Cold feet, scribbled notes, and mad dashes to the parking lot – these are the shocking stories of individuals who were left at the altar.
As a note, INSIDER cannot independently authenticate each story.
The bride realised she couldn’t do it.
“I left a man at the altar. I was in my dress and getting ready to go to the chapel when I realised 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 [happiness] with each other.” – Redditor Fluffledoodle
The bride said she had changed her mind.
“I was the one who was left at the altar – she didn’t show up. Everything was normal in the months, weeks, and days before the wedding … Then, she just didn’t show up on the wedding day. Her explanation was that she changed her mind. I’ve only spoken to her a few times since then and that’s the best I got out of her.” – Redditor ask_me_if_Im_lying
The groom said he went to use the bathroom and he didn’t come back.
“My sister was left at the altar by my best friend.
“We were at the front of the church waiting for the bride with about 15 minutes to go. The groom said he needed to use the toilet and he walked to the back of the church. A minute or so later it hit me that the toilets aren’t at the back of the church and I started to worry, so I went looking for him. He was not in the toilets or around the church. He was nowhere to be found.
“My best friend had [left]. We didn’t see or hear from him for three days … he was in Europe somewhere ‘staying with a friend,’ where he’s been ever since for the past three years. He’s never made any effort to explain [why he left], not even to my sister.” – Redditor Thrownitawayday
The groom realised that he didn’t really like his would-be wife.
“[Before he was with my mum,] my dad left a girl he was with at the altar. Apparently, he was only dating her because they were in the same friend group and everyone thought it was cool that they were together. When it got real on the wedding day, he realised he didn’t really like her at all. So he just moved right out of there.” – Redditor PoofyThePuppy
The groom got cold feet and drove to Las Vegas.
“… On the night before the wedding, [the groom] broke down crying. He 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.
“The wedding starts and he is at the altar … sweating like a madman. The groom starts rocking back and forth. He looks like he is about to faint and he slowly starts side shuffling. 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 … 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 takes off! We end up in Las Vegas for the next few days.” – Redditor DarkOmen597
A guest watched their teacher get stood up at the altar.
“My teacher was the bride and she was about three-quarters 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 they kept walking, smiling radiantly. There was about a minute of really solid confusion before everyone realised 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.” – Redditor jurassic_snark
The groom admitted he was too chicken to call off the wedding earlier.
“My pastor once officiated a wedding [where the groom left]. When the couple got to the altar, my pastor did his opening prayer and welcome. He gets to the part when he says, ‘Do you take this woman to be your wife?’ and the guy looked at her, then back and him, and said ‘No.’
“My pastor laughed a little and repeated the question, thinking he must have misunderstood. The guy stopped him and said, ‘No, I don’t.’ He brought the groom aside, 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.
” … My pastor had to go back out and explain to the very uncomfortable congregation that there would be no wedding today, and that the guests could help themselves to some refreshments, but that the rest of the evening’s events were canceled.” – Redditor iRedditWhilePooping
The groom’s friends held an intervention on the morning of the wedding.
“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 got this kind of far away look and said, ‘Yeah, that’s not happening anymore.'” – Redditor trjones1
The groom watched TV at home during his would-be wedding.
“After an hour of waiting, it was obvious [that the groom wasn’t showing up]. He called me and said he just couldn’t do it. I stood before everyone and explained that he got cold feet but we could still have the wedding reception. And we did. I walked around in my wedding dress joking about his cold feet. After all, [we’d been together for] six years, I knew him well.
“The weirdest thing? We never brought it up. Like ever. He was watching TV like nothing was unusual when I got back from our wedding. He moved out a week later … ” – Redditor YakCat
The bride got stood up and went to the reception anyway.
” … Everyone in the audience is sitting there waiting at least 30 to 60 minutes after the ceremony was supposed to begin – all with no official word from the wedding party about why there was such a long delay.
“Finally, the bride’s father gets up on stage with tears in his eyes to announce that the groom has had a change of heart. Needless to say it was pretty shocking. But, he told everyone to go to the reception and eat because the food had already been paid for so someone might as well enjoy it. I couldn’t believe it, but the bride actually showed up at the reception and greeted everyone – with a smile, no less. The groom did not make an appearance …
“Apparently, he was never ready to get married, but he couldn’t bring himself to say anything until the pressure finally got to him on the big day.” – Redditor oo00Linus00oo
The groom bailed and the wedding coordinator had to tell the bride what happened.
“I was a [wedding] DJ … and on [this couple’s] wedding day, I found myself playing pre-ceremony music for half an hour after the ceremony was scheduled to start as 150 guests sat and awkwardly waited.
“As it happens, the groom had admitted to one of his groomsmen the night before the wedding that he had been cheating on the bride for months. This groomsman rightly thought that was a particularly crappy thing to do, so he told the groom that he should tell the bride the truth, or he would [tell her] himself.
“The groom’s response was to wait until the morning of the wedding and just leave … Meanwhile, the bride is in her dress with her bridesmaids and has no idea where her fiancé is or why he left.
“… They eventually had the coordinator break the news to the bride, since the groom did not wish to speak to her, and they didn’t want to do it themselves. Naturally, the bride was devastated, but she didn’t want to simply tell all her guests to leave. The reception was at the same venue as the ceremony, so she decided to go ahead and have the party without the groom. She changed out of her wedding dress and still attended.” – Redditor Cho473634
The groom told his friends and family to bail, too.
“The guy I was supposed to marry 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 until 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.” – Redditor theonlyjadegreen
The bride missed her own wedding.
“I was at the wedding where one of my sister’s friends 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. It turns 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 realised she missed her own wedding.” – Redditor Anon
A groom left in the middle of the wedding and the couple still got married months later.
“A buddy of mine was engaged to this girl who no one liked … They were getting married and we all were too polite to tell him what we really thought about her. We were about halfway through the wedding ceremony when he just booked it. He didn’t say anything, he just walked off the altar and left, mid-wedding. He did end up marrying her, but it was months later.” – Redditor cpxh
This guest thought the groom seemed relieved when the bride left.
“The bride was halfway down the aisle. She stopped dead in her tracks, burst into tears, looked at her father, and said ‘I can’t marry him.’
“She bolted out of the door she came in. Mass confusion and chaos ensue. The curious thing [was that the groom] looked positively relieved … To this day, I still do not know the real reason why she couldn’t follow through and why he looked so relieved that she didn’t.” – Redditor GNPunk
The bride’s father seemed relieved when she decided not to marry the groom.
“I was a bridesmaid. All of her friends (including myself), her parents, and anyone else with half a brain had been telling her [not to] marry him. He had no job and he was physically and verbally abusive. We’d given up by the time of her wedding, and I was trying to be happy for her.
“Instead of saying ‘I do,’ she just looked around the room and then ran back down the aisle. We were all dumbfounded, except for her father who yelled a variation of what we were all thinking: ‘Thank you, Jesus Christ.'” – Redditor SFbaimei
The bride left a note and disappeared for a few days.
“Friends of my parents were supposed to get married, but the bride panicked an hour before the ceremony, left a note, and disappeared for a few days. They did get married a year or so later.” – Redditor zendak
The groom never showed up to the wedding.
“My dad stood my mum up at the altar. The wedding was in mid-swing at my godparents’ home, guests in their seats and all. My dad just never showed up. My parents stayed together for another six years [after that].” – Redditor tothebatcave