Can't. Stop. Cringing

By Maria Yagoda
April 16, 2018 10:53 AM

Planning to get married doesn’t always mean getting married.

Sometimes, the wedding ends before “I do” – and sometimes it ends immediately after. As we attempt to come to terms with John Cena and Nikki Bella’s broken engagement, we’re looking back at 17 of the most dramatic stories of called-off weddings, as shared by Reddit users who attended (or participated in) ceremonies that were abruptly halted.

1. “Last wedding I went to the groom was doing drugs with his friend in the back room right before the ceremony. He could barely walk down the aisle, and he passed out before they could get through their vows. The bride and her mom left crying. They actually got married for real like two weeks later and now have a 2 year old.”

2. “The groom ran away the morning of his wedding day. He contacted his family after two days and told them he was in another country and didn’t want to get married yet. His family pressured him into marrying a woman who he’d only known for two weeks. The bride was very upset but she and her family understood the situation and moved on.”

3. “I had a friend who called off the wedding that morning but still held the reception that evening. Apparently, the bride’s family did not approve, so they didn’t go through with it. Only the people who were invited to the small ceremony knew, so many people at the reception didn’t. Guests were congratulating them, and the bride and groom just pretended that they were married. They ended up getting married four months later in secret. Needless to say the reception was awkward for those that knew.”

4. “My friend was getting married, and the man she was marrying had a heart attack literally right before the ceremony, after everyone had arrived. Of course everyone was shocked, but they got married shortly after at the registry office, so it was still a happy ending, I guess.”

5. “My boyfriend was friends with a guy who was due to get married in another country. So about fifty people had booked flights and accommodation. The night before the flight, they called off the wedding but insisted everyone go anyway as most people had used their vacation time for it. The bride and groom got really drunk on the flight, which apparently was incredibly weird for everyone. They’ve been on and off ever since but never tied the knot. Apparently everyone had a good vacation anyway!”

6. “My dad was the best man for his best friend of many years. The couple got married, they had the reception, and then after the reception she left and never came back. Not one whole day of married life. He returned to the marital home alone.”

7. “This happened around twenty years ago. I am Indian and was supposed to get married to a guy who was a close family friend. That guy was nice and all, but on the wedding day, he ran away with my younger sister. So my entire family was very upset and claimed his younger brother as ‘compensation.’ I got married to his younger brother. (Our marriage has turned out superb, like one of those dream marriages you see on TV. But yes the marriage was an accident.)”

8. “My friend, who’s a DJ, told me this story. The wedding got all the way into the reception, and it was time to cut the cake. The groom mashed the cake into the bride’s face, and she was livid. She turned red, screamed at him, and slapped him across the face so hard it sounded like a gunshot and it echoed across the reception hall. Everyone gasped. She stormed off. A little while later, the father of the bride went up to the DJ and handed him $500. He said, ‘Listen, this marriage… is over. She’s actually left the building. But I’ve paid for this party and all my family and friends are here. I want you to finish out the night, keep the music playing and don’t mention the two of them again for the rest of the night.’ He agreed and everyone had a great time.”

9. “This happened in Calcutta. The couple had been introduced to each other and after like six months of hanging out and getting to know each other, they got engaged. They had known each other for almost a year up to this point. The evening of the wedding, a group of people showed up and literally blocked the street so the groom couldn’t come to the wedding venue. Turns out, the groom had been sleeping with a female of said blockade, with the promise of getting married. Even going so far as to introduce himself to her parents and family, plan a future date for his parents to meet hers. For about an hour there was a stand off. When the information got back to the bride and her family, they called off the wedding. The guests were half in shock, half trying to eat and drink as much as they could before the inevitable cancellation happened.”

10. “I used to work with a girl named Ashley. She was engaged to some guy I never met. He used to travel a lot for work, or so I was told. We became pretty close friends and a couple of us were invited to the wedding. A couple days before the wedding, I heard some coworkers talking loudly about something terrible that happened. I went over to hear what was going on and I found out Ashley had called off the wedding. Family and friends from Utah had already flown in. Turns out, the fiancé was actually an awful low-life. He had no job and was stealing from her. She decided not to go through with it. Silver lining: three months after the canceled wedding, Ashley and I started dating. She told me later she had doubts about the marriage and had feelings for me. Which I didn’t know I had them as well until after the ordeal. We have been married for five years now and have a son together. When people ask how we met, we leave that story out.”

11. “I was taken to a wedding by a then-girlfriend. I knew no one there. I was sort of just dumped with the groom and his wedding party, as my girlfriend was a bridesmaid. The groom and his buddies proceeded to get drunk and just bail. Not telling anyone, just leaving. So here I am, not knowing anyone. I had to go to the room the bride was getting ready in, knock, ask for my girlfriend and explain to her. She and I pretty much just had to break the news. We broke up since. I had no reason to keep in contact with bride or groom, so no idea on any follow up.”

12. “My friend and his girlfriend had been dating for like five years, and they were going to get married. Everyone approved of this woman too, educated, smart and good-looking. The day of his wedding, he left his cell phone in his jacket in some room where the wedding was going to happen. Normally for an event like this, he’d be the first to turn it off and leave it somewhere, but I guess he needed to call his cousin who was late and in the wedding. When he got to the room, he found the bride hooking up with a friend of the bridesmaid.”

13. “I worked a wedding where the couple broke up during the reception. The party was on the roof of the building, and there was a small pool. The groom got drunk and thought it would be funny to push the bride, in her full wedding gown, into the water. It was still pretty early in the reception. She stormed out and was taken home by a friend.”

14. “We’re Canadian, and we went to the U.S. for our wedding. All went well, and the day after the ceremony, we went downtown to the government office to get all the official paperwork. We filled everything out, signed on all the lines, gave them our address and flew home a couple days later. We waited for a month or so to receive our paperwork in the mail, but it never came. I called the government office and was told they had no record of my nor my husband’s name, our identification or our paperwork. When I asked what I could do from a different country, they had no idea. We are going to get married again I suppose, but I really didn’t want to get married in this city. It’s weird – I never saw myself getting married, and now that I am, I’m not.”

15. “The groom’s mother spilled something on the bride’s dress. The bride flipped out and cussed out the mother-in-law. The groom was in a state of shock and demanded an apology, but his wife-to-be refused. He walked out. The guests tried to talk to the bride and groom, but they weren’t having any of it.”

16. “It was my own wedding. I was there waiting, and my bride to be texted me letting me know that she wasn’t feeling well and that she needed to go to the hospital. I got suspicious when I noticed that no one from her side of the family had shown up. Turns out, they had never sent out their half of the invitations and never bothered to tell me that there was no wedding. So there I was with my friends and family at a wedding that didn’t actually exist.”

17. “The groom left the bride at the altar. He just didn’t show up! He said he had cold feet. The couple stayed together, and then planned another wedding. He stood her up AGAIN! Somehow, they stayed together, and she agreed to attempt to marry him a third time. He showed up, they wed, and have now been together for over forty five years.”

All posts have been edited from Reddit for length and clarity