True Stories of Runaway Brides Who Were Not Ready to Get Married

Shannon Quinn - August 24, 2021
This girl turned a guy down, and he went crazy. Credit: Shutterstock

13. She Says No, He Ruins Her Reputation

This story was posted by a Redditor called PsychedelicSnowflake“We had been together for 6 months when he proposed. We were both young at the time and weren’t even living together. My gut told me right away that it was too soon, but I said yes anyway because I thought we loved each other. I really thought that we could build a nice life together. So I made it clear that I wanted to wait a while before we actually got married. But he was keen to speed things along as fast as possible. I didn’t even want to tell our families about it yet because I knew they would give us grief over getting engaged so young. As things moved along, I made it clear that I wasn’t ready to get married. He threw a fit and accused me of cheating on him.

“Things started to get really toxic and I eventually left him for good. I gave him the ring back, but he wasn’t about to let it go so easily. He was calling and texting me constantly for weeks. Accused me of being obsessed with him and following him. I started to realize that he was not in a normal state of mind. So I was scared, but it calmed down after a while. Unfortunately, he started spreading all kinds of nasty rumors about me. He ruined my reputation and my self esteem but it made me realize that I dodged one hell of a bullet by refusing to marry him. Every so often he messages me on social media asking to get back together.”

This woman developed depression and needed to cancel her wedding date. Credit: Shutterstock

12. The Bride Escaped an Awful Family Situation

This story was posted by a Redditor called Qyro. “Not me, and I’m not sure it counts as a runaway, but my sister broke up with her fiancé 4 months before their wedding, which was already planned and paid for. I never really liked the guy. He could never have a little drink, and had to drink the whole bar every time, then would come home and puke up over the entire house. Then he had the audacity to complain whenever my sister would go out with her friends, to the point where he eventually just stopped letting her go out altogether. His family was an absolute mess as well. His mum and stepdad were pretty cool, but they moved to Canada to pursue their dreams, leaving my sister in the hands of aunts and uncles who did not approve of her. 

“Eventually, she just felt trapped by the guy. She was prohibited from hanging out with her friends, and was forced to go to family events with people who despised her. He made her distance herself from us, which I think was painful for her as she essentially missed quality time with her new nephews. He basically controlled every aspect of her life. Anyway she unceremoniously dumped him on New Years Eve, and canceled the wedding then and there. I don’t think she even saw him again after that. She was always out when he came to collect his stuff. Obviously his family weren’t too happy about it and harassed her for months. She became depressed and needed medication. But it was my family that had to foot the wedding bill anyway. They were just glad to have their daughter back.”

This woman almost ran away, but she chose to get married instead. Credit: Shutterstock

11. This Woman Should Have Been a Runaway Bride

The next story comes from a Redditor called EpicFaux. “I was almost the runaway bride, and I regret not making that decision. Dated my high school sweetheart for almost two years before the jealousy became overwhelming. I broke up with him a month after we’d graduated. But we were going to the same college and met up again that fall. I found myself pregnant by that October, and was kicked out of my Catholic home. His parents let me stay with them, but we could no longer ‘live in sin’ and had to be married. I didn’t want to go back to living in my car so I agreed. Parents wiggle back into my life before the wedding. Fast forward to day of the ceremony and the music begins playing. 

“I stand to start walking down the aisle, my dad takes my hand and says, ‘You know, you don’t have to do this, you could come home with us.’ WTF. Could he have mentioned this a week before? I have always hated drama, so I just said that I couldn’t, and I got married. My ex was controlling, manipulative, and how abusive he was had become much less subtle. It turned overt when we moved out of his parents house a year later. Finally, I ran when he nearly hit our baby’s skull with his shoe, which he threw because he’d found something in the carpet I didn’t vacuum properly. Yeah, I totally should have picked the ‘runaway bride’ option. We’re doing great now. Married my best friend from high school ten years ago & the ex died of leukemia. FREEDOM IS SWEET.”

Family and friends helped this woman move the moment they found out she was being abused. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Family and Friends to the Rescue

In this story by Turtoils, family and friends got together to make sure an abused bride didn’t go through with her marriage. “My boyfriend at the time had a female friend who, the night before her wedding, finally spilled to several friends that her fiance had been emotionally and physically abusing her. And she wasn’t sure she should get married. We all noticed her being distanced from us, but she’d deny every time that something was wrong. 

“The next day, her family mobilized to get the word out to all her guests, and a bunch of her friends essentially forced themselves into the guy’s house to get all her things back. My boyfriend was a cop, so had a duty to press charges or something on the guy – I was never clear on this part. The woman was pissed off at him for a while, but now a few years later is seeing someone great whom I’ve actually known forever and is quite a bit happier now. Plus, she knows her friends and family have her back and can get sh** done.”

There were plenty of red flags with this relationship. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Boy, Bye

This next story comes from a Redditor called loves_me_tacos125 who turned down an engagement before she needed to be a runaway bride. ”I was ENGAGED, so almost a bride. And there were several ‘final straws’. He lived in his car (no judgment on that but this is relevant) at the time, so was not financially stable and this was just a couple weeks into dating. Another was him wanting me to send selfies of myself ‘proving’ where I was at all times and what I was wearing, which was 99.9% my work clothes (black long sleeve shirts and pants, because I am server) and at work. So if I wasn’t texting back fast enough, apparently I was ‘with another man’. About a month into the relationship he demanded a key to my condo, so he could see me whenever HE wanted. 

“The ‘final straw’ was when he proposed, down on one knee and said ‘I knew we were meant to be the moment we matched on Tinder. I love you so much. Now I can show everyone I OWN you. Will you marry me?’ Boy bye. That was 3 months into the relationship, I had never met his family but heard a lot about them, he had only ever met my mother but that wasn’t planned. I said no immediately and walked away. He tried getting into my condo countless times and calling me. Unfortunately, I had to change my number and get a restraining order against him. He was and probably still is crazy AF.”

A week before her wedding, the bride made a drunken confession. Credit: Shutterstock

8. The Bride Called Herself Out on Cheating

This next story came from a Redditor called WoodErector. “Not me, but a friend. He was dating a girl he met in university, they had been dating for 3 or 4 years, seemed like a solid relationship. A lot in common, religion, family values, education goals. A week before their wedding she goes out on a date with another guy. 

“How did my friend know? She came home and told him she was going out on a date with a guy from her work. Came home late, somewhat drunk and tried to climb into bed. My friend interrupts her, asking what she’s doing, she replies she’s tired and wants to go to sleep. He kicks her out of the bed and tells her they’re done. Long story short it was messy. Cancelled wedding plans, awkward explanations to everyone, poor guy had PTSD for a year from the situation.”

This man had cold feet on his wedding day, and his friends encouraged him to run. Credit: Shutterstock

7. He Could Have Prevented a Future Divorce

This next story came from a Reddit user called Plow_King, who encouraged his friend to be a runaway groom. “I was almost a willing accomplice to a runaway groom. My brother was getting ready to marry a gal he had dated and broken up with several times. So anyway, they get engaged and the wedding day comes around. I’m in the wedding party. He and I are standing in the ante-room of the church wearing tuxedos. He’s getting cold feet, saying he doesn’t know if he can go through with it. I tell him to call it off then. 

“He says he can’t, everyone is here, the reception and honeymoon are planned. I tell him I’ll walk out there and announce the wedding is off, you can slip out the back. It’ll cost you a lot less money and pain now instead of an hour from now. No, he has to go through with. I thought it would be kind of interesting and cool to call off someone’s wedding. But he went through with it. Fast forward 10 or so years to a bitter, expensive divorce. But he does have two good kids and seems happier.

This woman was too young to get married. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Escaping a Predator

This story comes from a Redditor called 1birdofprey1. “I was 16 years old and working at Chess King in the mall when a man who was 26 came in and was extremely enamored with me. Loved the attention, and soon thought I was in love. He asked me to marry him 2 weeks later and even asked my parents permission. They said yes (I still am upset with them for that). Summer was coming shortly after and he wanted me to move in with him. I was living in New York at the time and he was living in Maryland. So I got in his white pick up truck and drove with him to Maryland for the summer. When I got there it was a tiny little apartment in a bad neighborhood. He had leased the apartment by phone.

“After 5 days I was in the apartment while he was at work and I opened the silverware drawer. A big cockroach crawled across the utensils. I just said out loud ‘F- THIS’ and packed my suitcase, sitting on the couch till he got home from work. The second I saw him I said ‘Take me home’. Somehow he agreed to drive me back to New York and we left that night. The whole way home he talked about how we’ll still be together. I stayed silent. When we pulled in the driveway I took off the ring and set it on the console. Booked it into the house and locked the door. Never saw him again. For years I was embarrassed to tell that story but now I realize I was a child and it’s him and my parents that should be embarrassed.”

This bride ran away twice during the same wedding. Credit: Shutterstock

5. The Bride Ran Away From Her Groom in a Tropical Paradise

“Not me, but someone I know had to twice waste money on flights to some exotic location because the bride ran out on the groom. The first time she ran away right before the rehearsal period started. The second time was at the altar. You would think the guy would’ve gotten the message the first time around, but apparently it was a situation where a rich but not good looking guy had managed to snag a super model and in his fear of losing her, he tried to force her into a commitment.

“He did this by being emotionally manipulative, not through coercion. And he made her feel guilty, so she was convinced twice to almost go through with it. From the pictures my friend showed me of the couple, I can honestly say that the groom was reaching like no other man had reached before. And I can sorta understand why he didn’t want to lose her, but I can’t condone manipulating someone into pretending to love you, nor him deluding himself into thinking it could work out after the failed wedding the first time around. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment by that point.”

This mom rolled out of her wedding a day before the ceremony. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Mom Bails at the Last Minute

A Redditor called ActStunt tells the story of how his mother way the runaway bride. “Not me but my mom. My father left us when I was a one year old, so she was single most of her life. Until 10 years later, she found a great guy that we all loved and wished him in the family. He and my mom dated for 6 years and then he proposed to her. She said yes. I remember them planning their wedding. She even got a nice wedding dress. But ONE DAY before the wedding she called him and told him that she couldn’t marry him.

“He is a great guy, still in contact with him. But he is one of those guys that doesn’t have a passion nor has a goal in life. And to be honest he is in a very bad position right now. So for as much love my mom had for him I think she saw a bleak future at his side and decided to remain friends. A little bi**hy on my mom’s part to say it till the last day but we’re humans after all I guess.”

A lesbian couple called off their wedding due to cheating. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Cheaters Never Win

This story from Reddit was shared by tsim12345. “Not me but my best friend was a runaway bride because she backed out of the wedding 2 days before. Her fiancé, who is a girl- wasn’t home. She (my friend) had logged onto her girlfriend’s computer for something and she found her social media opened up or maybe the login information was saved. But you know that when you are logged in on a laptop to FB messenger and a person is also using Facebook messenger at that same time you can just sit there and watch a conversation take place live. She was watching her girlfriend sexting some other girl who worked at the vet that they had been taking their sickly dog to for his skin conditions.

“After the wedding had been called off her ex-fiancé and that girl from the vet got married. And then divorced super fast because they got in a fight and the vet girl bit a chunk of her girlfriend’s SCALP out. Like biting the skin right off her head. And then for no reason whatsoever according to witnesses the sliding glass door the vet girl was standing in front of (never actually touched it) just fell down on top of her head and knocked her unconscious. My friend is in an amazing relationship with a man now and she gets a real kick out of how karma really took care of that situation.”

This man refused to sign his marriage certificate after the wedding ceremony. Credit: Shutterstock

2. The Attempted Escape (Part 1)

This next story is a wild ride from TheMatGreen. “I’m the groom. I left after the last second. My ex was mentally unstable. When I started dating her she was on multiple psych meds. We moved in together and she stopped taking them cold turkey and basically made my life hell. Constantly physically and mentally abusive. She would go out without telling me, refuse to answer her phone, and then come back and scream at me for watching a movie because it had a pretty actress in it and that actress was a slut. My ex refused to let me leave the house except to go to work, but she would show up randomly and demand to see me to make sure I wasn’t cheating. She was unemployed and I had a pretty good office job. Luckily my manager took pity on me.

“Why did I stay? I was not mentally in a great place. Anyway, I finally agreed to marry her. We planned the wedding and the reception. We had the ceremony and everything and everyone believed we were married. However I had a moment of clarity. I refused to sign the marriage certificate to make it official until she went to counseling and got back on her meds. She refused so I put the certificate away. As far as I knew that was it.”

This poor guy needed to get a divorce from a women he thought he didn’t marry. Credit: Shutterstock

1. The Attempted Escape (Part 2)

“Eventually I started going to counseling behind her back. I got my act together and started moving my money into my own account that she didn’t know about. She kept cheating, I kept up counseling and moving my assets and then just up and disappeared on her. And finally the finale… 4 years later, I had a new girl, I was getting ready to propose. I had the ring and got an email from the ex. She told me we were actually married and she wanted a divorce because she met a new guy and wanted to get married. What. The. Fu**. What had happened, I found out, was that she took my wallet, got her buddy who looked a lot like me, and took him down to the courthouse to file the certificate a week after I said no. 

“So, legally we were married and I had no idea. I was enraged, but at the same time glad she had the timing to tell me before I tried to marry my girlfriend. My girlfriend was a saint, was understanding, and stayed with me while I got the last of my ex squared away. I spoke with a couple lawyers about what I could do and they said there was no proof. The good news is that she just wanted the divorce and nothing else. Luckily it was all taken care of. She randomly still tries to contact me but I just ignore her. These days I am still married to the same woman who stayed with me. We are super happy together, and have two kids.”