10+ People Share Their Heartbreaking “Left At The Altar” Stories

Imagine being surrounded by all of your family members, friends, co workers, and everyone that cares about you and just waiting, knowing deep inside that your worst night mare is coming to life.

My mum thought she had been left at the alter by not only my dad but the minister as well.

She hated being the centre of attention and didn't look up from the ground until she was almost down the isle, when she did there was nobody waiting for her! I can only imagine the horror.

Just then the door behind the alter flew open and my dad ran out with his kilt flapping around him followed by the minister. 

Apparently they had been drinking whisky in the ministers office and hadn't realized the ceremony had started.


I know of a wedding where the groom asked everyone in the room to stand up and started asking people with certain characteristics to sit down, a giant game or guess who really!

He was left with 8 men standing and asked them to turn over their plates and the men without orange dots on their plates were asked to sit down.

He then proceeded to tell everyone in the room how his wife-to-be had cheated on him with the 4 men left standing.

He dropped the mic and left.


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 literally ran out of the church in tears, 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.


My aunt was left at the altar. Her husband just never showed up for the wedding. They had been dating for almost 2 years, lived together for 1 of them and he was the one who suggested getting married.

She came back to her house and his stuff was gone all her stuff left intact. No note and no reason why. It sucks.

She described the experience almost like having a heart attack. One of the happiest days of her life turned into her worst nightmare. She has dealt with abandonment issues for years and has seen many therapists.

Her biggest problem now is she doesn't believe anyone actually loves her. She doesn't think she's pretty, nice, and rarely speaks. She used to be one of the most outgoing people I know. I still love her.


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 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.

Forward to the day of the wedding.

The wedding has started and he is at the altar waiting. I dunno about other religions, but Mexican Catholic weddings have this moment before the bride comes out where it's quiet with anticipation and everyone is just waiting.

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.

The groom 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 there is a gasp.

He beelines to the door and goes outside. My buddies and I follow him. At this point, I just thought he needed air. Nope.

He heads straight towards the sports car he had rented. We yell at him and he yells at us to get in the car, and we do.

He turns the car on and starts making his way out of the parking lot as the people in the church start to come out and yell.

He takes off!!

We are yelling and screaming in the car and he has this dead serious look on his face.

We end up in Vegas for the next few days. His phone is blowing up but he never answers it.

The dude ends up joining the military and leaves to Bootcamp just 2 weeks after all of that happened. He stayed with us couch surfing for 2 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. None of us have actually.

The bride was devastated of course, but last I heard she got married for reals this time and is very happy in her new relationship.


I had a cousin who was left at the altar.

Her husband to be got fed up with all of the demands she'd been texting him about expensive wedding details. When he got up to the alter he told her "I don't think you'll be less of a pain for me ever. More so because it'll get harder for me to leave you with each passing day. So I'll have my stuff out by the end of the week. And never see you again." Then he left. 

It's probably good that he left. She was a big time b_tch her entire life, had been using her boyfriend, whosoever it was at the moment, to pay for her travel and everything since school time. She went on a year long self discovery bender and is a much better person now, I don't know what happened to him.


My mom has been in an on/off (mostly on) relationship for almost 6 years now with a great guy. They had set three weddings dates and she eventually backed out of all of them. I ask her about it and she gives me these dumb reasons like he's too friendly with strangers, and she feels neglected, doesn't clean the kitchen correctly, and he's too clingy, but whenever he does try to back off and give her space she's sad and misses him.

The first wedding date we bought dresses and booked the church, the second and third, not so much. They are still in contact and are friends, though no longer technically in a relationship, I don't think. I think he's had enough of being jerked around and I don't blame him. He is the greatest guy, in my opinion, that my mother would ever find, and he's been more of a father for this fraction of my life than my real dad has been (we live in the same zip code but he never contacts me).

It's sad, but I'm totally on my almost stepdad's side. My mom can be so flighty and do things in the name of 'protecting herself,' and not really care about who she's hurting when she's guarding against these fears that mainly only live in her head.


One of my wealthy cousin's husband disappeared the day before the wedding. 

No explanation, just left with a friend. His entire family and her entire family were all already in town for the wedding. 

Well, I don't know how they made this out the situation but they skipped the ceremony and still had the reception. Now it was just a huge party, the most fun (non)wedding I've ever been too. There was a 'who cares' attitude under the circumstances, so all the kids (I was 14 at the time) were allowed to drink. The band played whatever they wanted. It was a blast, and I could tell the ditched bride had a great time.


My brother left his wife a few days before his wedding.

My brother's wife has a higher standard of living than my family does; her wedding was going to cost roughly $70,000 when my sister's wedding cost was only $5,000 and we thought that was a lot. I guess she wanted her wedding in a magazine, and my brother and her fought over it endlessly because she doesn't have a job and he's in the construction industry and could not afford to pay for all of the things she wanted to buy.

My brother went to his bachelor party and she called him non-stop. He ended up shutting his phone off because he didn't want to talk to her anymore because she was being crazy about him having a bachelor party when she had a just-as-crazy bachelorette party.

He came back from the bachelor party really angry with her because she wouldn't let him have fun, so there was a lot of fighting in the week before the wedding. In the meantime the whole family flew in

from other states and spent a lot of money that we don't really have, to be there for his big day.

Three days before the wedding he decided to leave her because all she did was spend his money when she didn't contribute to making the money, and get into fights with him when he couldn't give her money so she could go shopping. Not only that, but her mother was involved in planning the wedding, and most of the ideas were the mother's, pressuring her into having this extravagant lifestyle and air of superiority.

Flash forward a year and a half: they're married, they have a child, they're about to be kicked out of his house because it's being foreclosed on and they don't have the money for the upside down mortgage, she still doesn't have a job, and he's threatening to leave her if she doesn't get a job or go to school by January.

The whole family thinks he's crazy because we know she's not going to change. We think the only reason she got pregnant was so she wouldn't have to get a job.


Two of my fianc'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. 

Guess what? He made his decision the morning of his wedding and just didn't show up.

I feel bad for the bride. But then I think maybe what he did was better than him living a life of regret.


I went to a cousin's wedding a few years ago, and his fiancee changed her mind the night before and said she didn't want to go through with it.

But on the day of the wedding she said she was sorry and did want to get married - but my cousin said 'No' at the alter because of her prior backing out. 

He got married to someone else about a year later.


Not at the altar, but I bailed just two days before we were headed to City Hill.

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, were falling 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 being fiancs 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 falls deeper in love, great. If not, we're just roommates. I was like, "What?"

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 immigration crime.


A guy I knew did this. 

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 since the very beginning. They had a final intervention for him the morning of the wedding and were finally convince him to not go forward with this. 

He showed up at this function 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 gave me this kind of far away look, passed a smirk and said "Yeah, that's not happening anymore."


I know someone who went through with the wedding but just didn't sign the papers at all. They explained to the person officiating the wedding, and asked him to cut out their personal vows, and just didn't sign the papers. 

So the wedding happened, everyone celebrated, enjoyed the dance and the cake, but no one even knew that the wedding was a fake until the couple sent out a notice on their wedding website sometime later. They still sent thank you cards and returned all the gifts. It was surprisingly undramatic.


I got left at the altar. He had spent the previous day spending a lot of time with his ex instead of helping me set up. I yelled at him about it because he was late and hadn't helped at all. 

Day of the marriage he said he didn't want to get married because spending time with his ex made him realize I wasn't as fun as she was because I was uncomfortable with him doing drugs.

I kicked him out, still had the wedding party and told him to use that time to go home and pack up all his crap. He did. 


This was the strangest thing I've seen on a wedding day.

The priest says something like "If anyone here has any objection, speak now or forever hold your peace" And a woman in the back stands up and says "the groom can't get married as he is my husband!".

Turns out the woman who objected and the groom were in fact married and had filed to get a divorce, but the divorce was never completed. So technically the groom was still married. The wedding did not proceed.


I left a man at the altar. 

I was in my dress and getting ready to go to the chapel, when I realized I couldn't. I froze there and never went.

I realized I didn't love him as much as I craved the safety and security that being married would bring. I was fairly recently divorced, very young and scared. 


During rehearsal my now husband and I didn't actually rehearse our ceremony, but kind of just talked logistics with our bridal party. As a result, when our ceremony was over, I didn't really know how to officially end it. 

So we were just kinda standing there awkwardly for a few seconds until he whispered to me, "You can leave now", meaning that I was supposed to lead our exit. I, however, took it literally and just crashed inside. I started walking away with tears on the brink of my eyes. 

I got about 10-15 feet away before he called out after me, "Wait, you're going to fast."

It was very embarrassing, but apparently everyone found it hilarious and started laughing. I will never forget that one.


Everything was normal in the months, weeks and days before the wedding. 

She was excited, busy planning and organizing. Then she just didn't show up on the 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.


I backed out a week before the wedding, but for an arrange marriage I think it is as bad as leaving someone at the alter.

We were engaged in February and the wedding was to be 4 months later. He had to leave the South Asian country where I lived so our interactions were strictly over phone. I am pretty sure I was a bit of a b__ch in this situation.

I talked to him regularly until the end of February and then I just couldn't. 

It should have been a huge red flag to him that his fianc hadn't talked in 3 months. I didn't have the courage to tell my folks so I just waited to see if he would back out. He didn't and the invites had gone out and the preparations were in full swing.

After fighting myself for enough time, I finally cancelled a week before and the world shattered for a lot of people.

I can't tell what exactly turned me off about him. Was it his fake American accent or some thing else, but something about him absolutely killed it for me when I saw him again. 

I am glad I didn't go through with it. But I could have handled it better I suppose.


My sister was left at the altar by my best mate and I was best man. He met my sister through me and they went out with each for two years and were engaged for a year before the big day.

We're in the church, at the front, waiting for the bride with about 15 minutes to go. He says he need the toilet and walks to the back of the church. A minute or so later it hits me that the toilets aren't at the back of the church and I start to worry, and go looking for him. He's not in the toilets, not around the church, nowhere to be found.

My best mate had legged it. We didn't see or hear from him for three days, his own family for two days and by then - he was in Europe somewhere "staying with a friend", where he's been ever since, three years now. He's never made any effort to explain, even to my sister.


I wasn't sure that I wanted to marry Sophie, I was confused. We went on vacation and I was initially planning on proposing to her. I had bought a ring and everything. After much thought I decided not to go through with the proposal but while I was out of the hotel room she found the ring and I didn't have the heart to explain that I'd changed my mind. 

After that I just kind of went with the flow. On our wedding day however, I ended up hiding in the upper gallery of the church with my best man and roommate Jeremy. We just kind of hid up there while everyone looked for us until eventually he had to pee and we got discovered. Sophie was devastated and I think I'm just going to end up living with Jeremy forever now. 


She did not come.

Just imagine surrounded by all of you family and friends, co workers, everyone that cares about you and just being made into a loser and a fool.

Like, its time now for him/her to come out. Oh wow its taking a while, I wonder whats up. Its been like 5 minutes maybe she had to change dresses or something. At like 10 minutes everyone in the crowd is whispering and then you know deep inside what is happening. Your worst nightmare is coming to life. You wait 5 more minutes and then the priest just tells you to go in a backroom or something so you can cry.


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