Recently, we asked the good people of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their "left at the altar" stories, and yeah.......turns out this happens more often than you'd expect.
Here are some of the most devastating, can't-help-but-keep-reading stories they told us:
Please note that some of these answers are from this Reddit thread and this Reddit thread because they were simply too juicy to not include!
1. "My BFF was 'left at the altar.' She met him while visiting her parents in Japan. It was a whirlwind romance — the time they met to the time they were supposed to get married was less than a year. They were supposed to get married at Disney World, and he was going to fly in two days before the wedding. Well, he was stopped by customs, searched, and then arrested for having drugs and multiple fake IDs on him. Turned out Prince Charming was a total fraud — even his name was a lie. We ended up all having a nice 'wedding vacation' (compliments of her parents) as it was too late to cancel anything. She, of course, was shocked and embarrassed, but also relieved that she found out when she did. That was in her early 20s, and now, she's happily married with three kids!"
2. "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 three-fourths 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 wasn't going to be a wedding. This happened the second or third week of June, and she didn't come back for the last week of school."
3. "My pastor once officiated a wedding. He had done all the premarital counseling for the couple, everything seemed fine. At the altar, the pastor did his opening prayer and welcome. He got to the part when he says, 'Do you take this woman to be your wife?' and the groom looked at her, back at the pastor, and said 'No.' The pastor laughed a little and repeated the question, thinking the groom misunderstood, but the guy stopped him and said, 'No, I don't.'"
"He took the groom aside to a back room where the groom essentially said that he couldn't do it and 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. They brought in both families and had a very real conversation. Then, the 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."
4. "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 before he finally texted me saying he wasn't coming. So, I got to look like a jerk 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."
5. "My partner's brother (who's also my buddy) was planning on marrying this woman — this wedding would have been his first, and her fourth. She had two daughters from previous marriages who both adored my buddy because he treated them better than both of their fathers. Well, four days before the wedding, the kids went missing. Everyone was in a panic. The cops were called, the FBI was involved, and my buddy's fiancée was saying that the girls were abducted by some religious cult. It was a HUGE deal, and the authorities started trying to find out why this woman thought her daughters were abducted by said cult."
"Two days before the wedding, my buddy got a call from the girls because the sheriff had finally tracked them down. They told him they'd been crashing with friends out in the country because they were tired of the shit their mom was putting them through. The older girl confessed that she and her sister heard their mom making arrangements to move them all up to somewhere in Idaho to shack up with some guy she'd been sleeping with behind by buddy's back. They new about the cheating, but didn't want to mess up the wedding because they genuinely liked him as a stepdad and thought this time would be different. She told him her mom was planning on going through with the wedding, but was also making arrangements to move up to Idaho. Her plan was to sell the ridiculously expensive engagement ring he bought her and if she could, get her hands on all of his dead mother's jewelry to finance the move."
6. "Sometime in the '70s, 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."
7. "After a while of waiting for a wedding ceremony to start, someone finally ran in with a letter addressed to both sets of parents of the bride and groom. I couldn't see much, but I heard the opening of the envelopes followed by one of the dads yelling out 'God DAMN it!" He then proceeded to tell everyone the wedding was 'off' and to 'go home.'"
"We found out later that the bride and groom were being forced to get married after the parents caught them having sex. Apparently, the letter said something to the effect of 'Dear Mom and Dad, screw you. From, the children you'll never see ever again.' They ran off to a different state together to start over. Last I heard, they were actually married with kids and still haven't spoken to their parents since that day."
8. "So, I have a friend who was engaged to a woman who he had been with for seven years, and engaged for about a year. Anyway, this friend ended up breaking off the engagement about a month before the wedding to start seeing one of his coworkers. He ended up being cheated on by this coworker, who I found out later on had broken up a different engagement earlier in her career at the same place."
9. "My friend's groom-to-be left her at the altar. He took the tickets to Hawaii for their honeymoon and went with his brother instead. 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, so she agreed. They were married soon after and now have a baby daughter."
10. "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."
11. "I was a flower girl with my sister for a wedding when I was 7. 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. He went on and on about how he was going to have an outdoor wedding no matter what. 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."
12. "My dad is a pastor and performed a wedding for a couple. Sometime during the reception, the groom couldn't be found to have the first dance. Upon further searching, he was discovered to be having sex with one of the bridesmaids. The bride freaked out and stormed off, and the party continued. However, they did NOT get the marriage annulled."
13. "My ex's sister was getting married to this guy who no one in the family liked. He hid his pregnant ex-girlfriend from her for the first six months of their relationship and even said the baby wasn't his when it was. So, two years into the relationship, he proposed. The day of the wedding, he would not answer his phone. Her whole family was on standby wondering if they should continue to get ready. Finally, he answered and said he couldn't get married because his daughter's mother found out and was going to take the baby away."
"Then, a week later, I got a call from the almost-bride where she started off by saying 'Don't hate me!' Apparently, the groom who jilted her came back and professed his love and said he wanted to go to to a casino in Nevada to get married. She agreed, so a secret trip was taken so just immediate family could go. At that point, everyone was wondering if the wedding was actually going to happen. We were sworn to secrecy and told not to answer our phones all weekend because she wanted to make sure if he called it off again, no one would know. The wedding did take place that weekend. However, six months later, they filed for divorce."
14. "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."
15. "This happened to my cousin. Her guy called it off the day before and ended up going back to an ex-girlfriend. It was really hard because they lived in a small Texas town, so EVERYBODY knew."
16. "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."
17. "A buddy of mine left someone at the altar, and we were his accomplice. 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 said that if he didn't want to do it, he didn't have to, but we encouraged him to go through with it. On the day of the wedding, he is at the altar waiting for her to walk down the aisle. 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. He 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 they gasp. He beelines to the door and goes outside. Me and my buddies followed him. At this point, I just thought he needed air. Nope. He headed straight toward the car he had rented. We yelled at him, and he yelled at us to get in, and we did. He took off! We ended up in Vegas for the next few days. His phone was blowing up, but he never answered it. The dude ended up joining the military and left for boot camp just two weeks after all of that happened. He stayed with us and couch surfed 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."
18. "I was ghosted three months before our wedding. It was an arranged marriage, but I went in with a clear heart and an open mind. His leaving was the best thing that could happen in my life. I found someone a million times better, and I’m thankful he was removed from me, even though he was a coward and spineless person."
Answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.