20 Weddings That Ended Shockingly When The Bride Or Groom Didn’t Show Up At The Altar

Published 1 year ago

Weddings generally require a lot of planning, money and of course the two people that will be saying I do. When the big day finally comes, we hope everything goes well and that it’s a happy day of celebrating the union of love. But what happens when the wedding involves a runaway bride or groom. 

While we think that people get jilted at the altar only in the movies, it does tend to happen in real life too. User BSstoryTeller wondered online, what do the people left behind go through and Netizens flocked to share their stories under the mantle of anonymity. From arranged marriages to scandalous affairs, the tales cover a variety of people’s experiences witnessing when, a bride or groom were left hanging at the altar. 

More info: Reddit

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Image source: anon, duallogic

Around 1999 my uncle got engaged to this woman named Erin who was beautiful, we loved her and she had a son and a big country house. She was blonde, had short hair, and was just gorgeous. She gets pregnant, my uncle speedwalks through the wedding planning, and at the altar she reveals that she was f*****g their gardener and it’s his baby and leaves to the other room. He ended up trashing her beloved Jeep in the parking lot with a chair (he’s prone to rages) and leaving.


Image source: QuintinTheKitten, Sonyachny

[I] 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 planned 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 then chattering about them, and the father just cleared 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.


Image source: agentkatsumoto, Sonyachny

This was sometime in the 80s. My uncle in India was attending the wedding of some not-so-close friends (totally common to have 1,000 people at a wedding with many people that barely know the couple in attendance). The bride was left at the altar and literally standing on the stage and waiting while everyone was watching. My uncle stepped up and said he’d marry her. He must have felt some sudden rush of Bollywood go through him. Anyway, she said yes and they are happily married to this day.

It was an arranged marriage he was attending, and I think the bride’s family knew my mom’s family just well enough to say yes. My uncle was about old enough to get his marriage arranged soon too. He must have seen the bride, thought she was cute, and made the move for a sure thing instead of gambling on his own potential arranged wife. I’m going to ask him about it next time i see him. Plus I’m sure the bride’s family was feeling the pressure of possible cancellation with a full house in attendance.


Image source: anon, dabobabo

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, smiling radiantly. There was about a minute of really solid confusion (last minute cold feet? bathroom emergency?) 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.


Image source: Gromby, pawopa3336

The sad thing is I have seen this happen twice…once to a bride and once to a Groom…..

Bride: My brothers best friend. She was marrying her “dream boat” but before she was ready to walk down the isle she couldnt find one of her brides maids….and the groom was missing. Long story short the Groom was cheating on her for the last 5 years of their relationship with this girl…..and just up and left. She was crushed and I have never seen anyone cry like that and my brother found the Groom and beat him so bad that the guy was in the hospital for a month.

The bride’s parents made the groom pay all the bills…and the grooms parents made him pay all of theirs as well….close to 100,000 doillars from my understanding.

Groom:This one is a long story but ill give you the short version. A highschool friend was marrying his highschool sweet heart (I went to school with them, she was DEF a whore and he knew) yet for some reason they were going to get married. They caught her the night before ina 3 way with 2 guys that she met ON THE NIGHT OF HER BACHLORETTE party….

Needless to say the guy wasnt upset…when she didnt show up he took all of us off to the side and said “im sorry i didnt listen to anyone, lets get hammered”

He took it well but i think he expected it to happen.


Image source: Cho473634, Axville

I was a DJ for several years, during which time I did many, many weddings. Only once did I ever see someone left at the altar.

Prior to the day of the wedding itself, I had met with the bride and groom to go over the wedding details. My initial impression was that the two of them were a lovely couple with a bright future. The groom to be, however, had been cheating on his fiancee for months before the wedding with an ex-girlfriend.

On the actual day, I found myself playing pre-ceremony music for a half hour after the ceremony was scheduled to start as ~150 guests sat and waited awkwardly. As it happens, the groom had admitted to one of his groomsmen the night before the wedding that he had been cheating on his fiancee. This groomsmen rightly thought that was a particularly s****y thing to do, so he told the groom that he should tell the bride the truth, or he would himself. The groom’s response was to wait until the morning and just leave. He eventually called his parents an hour before the ceremony and told them he wouldn’t be coming. They spent the next hour and a half trying to convince him to change his mind. Meanwhile the bride is in her dress with her bridesmaids and has no idea where her fiancee is or why he left.

I learn all this, by the way, well after the fact. I often acted as an MC during weddings, so I kept in constant communication with coordinators, caterers, venue staff, photogs, etc. All of us were aware that the groom was MIA, and it became clear that something was up when the groom’s parents had arrived at the venue and he had not. 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. The next day I call my boss to tell him what happened and he and I both decided that I would forgo my pay and we wouldn’t charge the bride’s family. The photographers were good friends of ours and after they talked to us they decided to do the same. The bride and the bride’s father were so grateful that they both called me personally a few days later.

It turns out that about a year later one of the bride’s sisters was getting married. They booked our company for their wedding and requested that I DJ. This wedding went off without a hitch and everyone had a great time. After the reception was over, I’m packing my equipment when the bride (who was left, not her sister) came up and struck up a conversation. We ended up talking for a while. I worked up the nerve to ask her out, and we were together for about two years.


Image source: dtvhr, Sonyachny

Went to a lovely wedding of a friend of mine, it was a classic fairytale style wedding.

Big white dress for the bride, tux for the groom, horrible dresses for the bridesmaids, family friend as the Priest, you know the drill. The ceremony goes well, no crying babies, no interupting ex lovers, and the vows have nearly everyone crying.

And then we come to the big question, do you take this man or woman to be your husband and wife? A simple question right?

Well the Groom decided to be a little romantic, he was going to respond:
‘No…I take her as much more than that, as my lover, my wife, and my very best friend’. Unfortunately, he didnt get that far….

He says ‘No I do not’ and before he cant finish, his fiancee, begins to scream at him, and in about the space of 2 minutes, we find out that she stole money from him and made a little next egg, had been cheating on him for the last year with 3 different guys and made about a dozen insults to the guys physical appearance.

She then storms off out of the church with her bridesmaids in tow.

The groom is just left stunned at the altar for about 30 seconds, no one moves….no one says a word….barely anyone breathes, we can just about hear the bride screaming outside and then…..silence.

And what does the groom do? He BURSTS out laughing, and I mean properly laughs until hes holding his sides, he then walks to the middle of the altar and says this unbelievable speech

*Ok everyone, well since the wedding isnt going ahead, I hope you dont mind if I say a few words. To the Brides parents, you both owe me a drink, and I prefer a nice Pint of Guinness. To the friends I have made thanks to my now ex fiancee, there is no ill will to any of you….*

*Now my best man, Sean is single, so ladies if you’re interested, he loves music and basketball and hates that blonde b***h in the soaps*

*And lastly, to the reception, by my count we have a well stocked bar, a hotel full of waiters and a great meal ahead, so what say we go to the hotel, get everyone suitably drunk and celebrate a new start to life? Any objections?*

No one says a word so the groom grabs his best man and we all go to the hotel and have an absolute ball, people get drunk, eat great food and when it came to the dance of the bride and groom, the groom got his parents and the brides parents to dance.

And after the reception, he left with 5 of his friends and went on his honeymoon. It was a great party :)


Image source: throwawaycauseregret, BlackWhaleMedia

I was stupid, and thought I wanted something different, so I left her standing at the altar. I never heard from her after that, I did hear from her 4 older brothers though. I payed her father back everything he spent on the wedding. A few months later I saw her again, and all the memories and feelings I had for her came rushing back. Now I’m left with the guilt and regret and there’s nothing I can do to win her back. Quite a simple story, much simpler than most on this thread, but its the story of the moment I ruined my life and the life I could have been living right now.


Image source: ruinerofthingsss, Sonyachny

I am the homewrecker. I stood up during ‘if anyone should give reason’ and blurted out “DONT.” to the guy I’ve loved since junior year of HS ( I was 25 when this happened, we are now in our 30s) while his and her entireeeee party of wedding guests stared daggers into me. He walked off the altar and we met halfway in the aisle and I told him “I love you. Please dont”. He stared at me for what seemed like an eternity, walked back over to his would be bride, told her he didn’t love her, it wasn’t right that they got married, he said he was sorry, she slapped him. I tried to apologize but was cutoff. She screamed at me and called me a s**t (no, we were not friends or acquaintances) and I deserved the humiliation and berating. I walked out and across the parking lot of the venue.. he followed shortly after. We walked for several blocks in silence and sat in the park. Just, stunned. He moved his things out the next day and stayed in a hotel for a few weeks, got his own place. We moved in together 3 months after. I married him in a small, private, location ceremony with a handful of people present. We’ve been married for 10 years.

We moved out of state about a year afterwards, I heard that she had moved on and married a really nice guy, had a baby a couple of years ago. I feel terrible for ruining her day, and putting her through the heartache.. but Im glad it worked out.


Image source: Anitsisqua, Phil Mosley

Yes! 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.


Image source: Tom_Robinson, sommai

I’m a bit hazy on the details since I was 8 when this happened, but in 2006 I was attending my first major wedding in the forests of San Francisco(Just north of it). It was my cousin’s wedding and she was getting married to this guy she met about 6 months prior. It was definitely an expensive wedding, prior to the ceremony there was practically a circus waiting outside waiting to entertain. Anyway, once the ceremony started they said all the general, common things for a wedding, but once it was the groom’s turn to say his vows he just froze all of a sudden. He stood still, staring in his fiance’s eyes for 5 minutes and then promptly sprinted down the aisle and into the road. He took a golf cart that happened to be on the grounds and drove off. Apparently he was divorced, but he didn’t get over his ex-wife, so he tried to get her back.


Image source: theonlyjadegreen, anelehbakota

This actually happened to me. 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 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 was asking me why his daddy didn’t want to marry mommy. Very hard to explain that to a 2 year old.


Image source: WannabeWeatherLady, Omelnickiy

Yes, it was honestly sad. While sitting in the crowd (outside wedding) we hear the bride wailing behind us. Everyone starts turning around to look. People were whispering. After sitting there for 20 minutes, someone comes out and tells us to go inside for some cool air and food. The bride’s father comes out and basically says while starting to cry, “We know a lot of you came a long way and we paid a lot of money for this food and venue. Help yourselves.”

Come to find out the Groom got wasted and left. The Bride now has a new man, 2 beautiful children, and designs, decorates cakes (wedding cakes also) for a living. She’s still not married though. =/


Image source: Brandy_Alexander, https://unsplash.com/photos/T7RlFC8dH60

I was about 7 and was a flower girl with my sister for a wedding. It was being held in the garden of a country club in Los Angeles. Well, being as it’s Southern California, no one expected bad weather. It began to pour, and the bride requested the wedding be moved indoors. The groom FLIPPED. Went on and on about how he was going to have an outdoor wedding, etc. The argument was so bad that the wedding was called off. I just remember it being really awkward and someone announcing it on the PA system as we all sat in the banquet hall waiting for the rain to let up.

The couple then married a month later in Vegas, but I have no idea how they’re doing now. My guess is the groom was really drunk, but who knows?


Image source: oo00Linus00oo, mona2013liska

I attended a wedding where the Bride was “left at the altar.” Man, it was sad, and odd.

There was a pretty large audience. Soon enough the time to start comes and goes. Everyone in the audience is sitting there waiting at least 30-60 minutes after the ceremony was supposed to begin – all with no official word from the wedding party or why there was such a long delay.

Rumors started going around. People were saying that one of the groomsmen stained his shirt, and a bunch of other stuff that indicated nothing serious. Finally, the Bride’s father, tears in his eyes, gets up on stage to announce that the Groom has had a change of heart.

Needless to say it was pretty shocking. But he told everyone to go on ahead to the reception and eat (full dinner) because the food had alrady 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.

The Bride got married a few years later (to a guy with the same first name, oddly), but the groom is still single to this day. Apparently, he was never trully ready to get married, but he couldn’t bring himself to say anything until the pressure finally got to him on the Big Day. He got a LOT of flack from friends (and strangers who didn’t even know them), naturally, but the two of them ended up agreeing that since he wasn’t ready, then it was a good thing that he did not commit. Though he definitely regrets the way he led her on.

The strangest part of the whole day? The wedding was on April 1st.


Image source: faleboat, wikimedia.commons

A woman I briefly dated was a runaway bride. Her ex never hit her, but constantly belittled her and was basically emotionally abusive. … Telling her she was lucky he wanted her, that she could never find anyone better, 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 mom] 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 midsentence when he stood up and said, ‘Lets go to Dairy Queen’ out of the blue. When she was little, they often went to DQ and talked over ice cream. 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.


Image source: Theycalledmeishmael, omosman950

My wife’s friend ran during Mass. We sat there shocked, not knowing what to do or say. Do we just leave? What is the etiquette? Is there even etiquette to follow? She came back after about 10 minutes, after she and her mom got her wedding gown off and on again. Turns out, after drinking, greasy food, and nerves she was experiencing severe GI distress and didn’t want to chance it. Years later, we still laugh. At the time, it was one of the most awkward things to sit through.


Image source: bong_sau_bob, Chalabala

It happened to my sister. He lost his bottle and didn’t show. He was a turd anyway. I as one of her three brothers joined the other two on a bit of a manhunt but we didnt find him, he was apparently already out of town. My sister didn’t really react at first but my father, several thousand out of pocket, wasn’t so quiet.

The grooms family, friends and relatives all apologetically and sheepishly melted away as our lot went on for the meal and a drink.

Our father ended up being arrested for basically threatening to wipe out his family over the whole thing a few weeks later and my sister held her head up throughout, came out with her dignity and carried on.

If you’re out there Tim, we still haven’t forgotten what a cowardly s**t you are.


Image source: anon, salajean

I was at the wedding for one of my sisters 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 sleapt 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. She was out with a friend that did nothing to stop her from getting wasted and screwing around (I think her freind let her get carried away because she thought the bride wouldn’t have been a good wife and figured it was the easiest way to get the couple to split up).

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. He hasn’t gotten married but I hear he’s dating someone and it looks serious enough they may get married soon. The Bride has been having problems trying to get the respect of her family back after that stunt. She once tried to talk to me when I was single to see if we could go out. I told her flat out I had no interest in dating a woman who cheats like she does. We’ve not spoken since, much to my relief.


Image source: weddingthrowawayway, Mint_Images

ok, my time to shine! Using a throwaway because I don’t want the bride in this story from finding out that I shared her private story.

I am Indian and live in a city called Bangalore. My cousin who is 5 years older than me was engaged as part of an arranged marriage. To my family’s credit, it was not a “forced” marriage. My cousin and this guy were set up by family friends and after dating for a few months, she said yes. There was no great romantic/sexual spark, but everything was pretty good on paper. He was a nice guy, doctor, great job, good family, very progressive, owned a fancy home/car and this was good enough for my cousin.

The wedding date was fixed 2 years from the engagement. Usually Indian weddings happen merely a few months after the engagement, but there was a death in our family and as per Hindu tradition, no celebrations were to be held for 13 months after the death in order to mourn the deceased.

Well, my cousin was bored as hell since she had quit her job after the engagement. She hated it (it was legitimately awful) and she wanted to stay busy until she married and started her own fashion design business. My cousin’s fiance tells her that she might as well enroll in a fashion design degree since she had nothing to do for 2 years. He even suggested that she go to Bombay because that was the fashion/film capital of India.

My cousin agreed and went to Bombay for a year where she met and fell in love with another guy. This time it was all about feelings, emotions, romance and love. She came home after the program ended and confessed to my uncle who flipped out. He refused to call off the wedding since it would destroy his reputation in society and he also felt that her fiance was a better guy for her.

My cousin sucked it up and decided to go through with the wedding. Hindu weddings are a week long and after day 1, the two of us were hanging out in her room, watching a bollywood movie. The story line was about a girl who runs away the night before her wedding because she is in love with another guy. She cries a lot during the movie and I console her the best I could.

Anyhoo, Day 2 happens and we all go to bed early since it was a pretty exhausting ritual that involved not eating all day. I go in to wake my cousin on Day 3 and she is gone. Just a note on the bed saying that she wants to be with the man she loves. The aftermath was horrific. Everyone was pissed, my aunt cried for months, my uncle lost a lot of friends and business (yes, indian society can be very judgmental).

Unfortunately, sort of weird ending for my cousin. She moved to Bombay and married the guy who turned out to be a total douche. He beat her and kicked her out when she got pregnant. My uncle took her back and helped her get her life back. She had the baby and went to the US for school (paid for by my uncle who wanted her to get out of depression). She studied engineering, met and married a white guy and has been living in California since. Her daughter was adopted by my uncle and aunt and lives in India with them. She refused to go to the US since she never really developed a close relationship with my cousin, her mom.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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ask reddit, jilted, jilted at the altar, left at the altar, runaway bride, runaway groom, weddings
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