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

Shannon Quinn - August 24, 2021
This girl ran away from her proposal in an Uber. Credit: Shutterstock

22. Quick, Call an Uber

This reddit account has been deleted, but the story of a rejected proposal remains. “Not a bride, but I ran away from a proposal. I was dating this guy who I knew was bipolar, but I tried being his rock. He started talking about marriage about one year into the relationship. We had already split up and gotten back together twice due to him throwing tantrums. I just sort of nodded along because I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. But I wasn’t ready to get married yet. I figured he was talking about someday far in the future. A month later, he proposed. Not even in a very eventful way. He was playing video games while I was watching TV on my laptop. We ordered pizza, and sat down to eat. He then produced a ring and proposed.

“Then I saw it all flash before my eyes. Getting married and being stuck to this person for the rest of my life. I froze, of course he took my silence as a rejection and started screaming at me about how I was an ungrateful bit**. So I started crying, got my purse and ran out of the house. I didn’t have my car so I walked a block and called an Uber. I got home I was shaking. Of course he tried to call me but I refused to speak to him for about three weeks. We eventually talked and I told him I didn’t want to be with a person who was so unstable, and that he needed to get professional help and get better before he and I could work. He of course never did and I haven’t heard from him since.”

The groom became a terrible person. Credit: Shutterstock

21. One Accident Can Change Everything (Part 1)

This next story was shared by a Reddit user called girlsxgonexmild. “Years ago, I was a single mom, working hard but not getting ahead. Met a ‘good guy’ type. Architect, good sense of humor. We dated for about a year, then got engaged. Then the unthinkable happened. He was in a horrible car accident. Broke both of his femurs and his back, about 10 months before our wedding. Since he was a diabetic as well, his healing was significantly delayed. He ended up confined to an electric wheelchair. Since his legs were in casts from hip to ankle, his legs had to be extended straight out in front of him at all times. I really tried to stick by him, but he made it impossible. He did nothing but moan about every single thing that the doctors told him.” 

“He refused physical therapy, would not take his medication, did not cooperate with wound care, and wouldn’t take his insulin correctly. All the things that make for a horrible patient and even worse person to be around. He managed to get addicted to the narcotics, sleeping pills and xanax. Through all this, our wedding planning was still happening, mostly by his family. He was moved from the hospital to a live-in group home where his health only declined. Wearing pants was difficult so he wore nothing on his bottom half for months, just happy with a bed sheet over his lap. No matter what. His moods were totally uncontrollable, he became aggressive and so verbally abusive. One evening he missed a Final Jeopardy question and threw his open urinal at me. Even after the doctors had insisted that he HAD to start bending his legs, he absolutely refused.”

This man was rejected. Credit: Shutterstock

20. One Accident Can Change Everything (Part 2)

“Fast forward to my wedding day. The staff at the group home decorated the backyard and made this day so special for everyone. It really was lovely. Our families were gathered and seated and the pianist was playing and my dad was by my side. They opened the door for us to start down the aisle and there he sat… With his legs straight out and hospital socks sticking out from under a blanket. I froze. Told my dad I needed to go back in the house. Once we were out of earshot of everyone, I told my dad I couldn’t do this, I’m so sorry. My dad simply smiled and said ‘Thank God.’

“He signaled for my kids to come to the side, loaded them and me up in his car and we drove off. We ended up moving a state away, closer to my family and thriving. The groom did end up in and out of several facilities and has never left the wheelchair. I realize fully that he was probably suffering from the type of physical, emotional and mental pain that I will never comprehend, but I knew that I could not raise my kids in that type of environment. My first commitment was to them. I went on to finish my own degree, and my kids are now adults. No one has thrown urine at me since.”

This young woman got out of her engagement before it was too late. Credit: Shutterstock

19. So Many Red Flags

This next story is from a Reddit user called just_play_one_on_tv. “I was 17 at the time, and still in high school. Met an alleged Army guy (pre-full swing Internet, so no way to really check), and we hit it off. I was young and fell in ‘love’ with guys really fast, so when he proposed, I was ecstatic. The red flags were there. He asked my parents for permission and proposed loudly at a pizza shop… Which, socially, would have been too awkward to say no anyway. He didn’t have his own place. I never met his family. I never saw any evidence of being in the military. Cue a few weeks later. We had a fight because he called out his sister’s name during sex.”

“He then told me that everything would be fine, because he was going to take me to Kentucky to live on an Army base. Then he also told me he wanted me to be ‘barefoot and pregnant’ most of the time, ha ha ha. We were going to get married and leave the day after I graduated high school. I did some real soul searching, and became withdrawn and quiet. One day, I was visiting my nana and she asked me, ‘Are you in love with him or in love with the idea of a wedding?’ And just like that, the bubble burst. I cried and broke it off with him. Apparently, he had already booked the Justice of the Peace. But he got married anyway three weeks later… With the same ring he gave me. Poor girl. I wish I knew her so I could warn her.”

The bride called off her wedding just two days before the ceremony. Credit: Shutterstock

18. She Found a New Groom Just Two Days Before Her Wedding

This next story as posted by a Reddit user called madisonpreggers. “My cousin was supposed to marry a girl who fell head over heels in love with a guy she met two days before the wedding. She left him not literally at the altar, but about as close as you can get. I was 5 or 6 and supposed to be a flower girl and my 16-year-old brothers were the ushers. We lived about 6 hours away and I remember being so confused the whole ride home as to why I hadn’t been a flower girl while everyone else was dead silent.”

“In a crazy, small world twist, the guy that she fell in love with is a professor at the same university as my brother and has an office down the hall. He and the bride have been married for I guess going on 20 years now. Meanwhile my cousin has been married three times, busted for DUI so many times I don’t think he can even get a license, and ballooned up to like 300 lbs. I think she made the right choice.”

Canceling a wedding in the 1970’s wasn’t as easy as it would be today. Credit: Shutterstock

17. He Almost Made A Huge Mistake

This next story came from a Reddit user called StoolToad9. “My dad was a runaway groom. Broke it off THREE DAYS before the wedding. Mid 1970s, so he was in his early 20s. His fiance and her mother pressured him into proposing, which he did with my grandmother’s ring. He also felt society sort of demanded it since it was more common to marry at that age than it is today. Deep down he knew she simply wasn’t the one, but figured maybe all men felt that way before a wedding so he ignored that and hoped his feelings would change. Months passed and the wedding was all planned out. Relatives and friends from out of town began flying in for the wedding and gifts were arriving. Reality hit him hard and he realized he made a huge mistake.

“He sat my grandma and grandpa down and said, ‘Guys… I don’t want to do this.’ They were proud of him for being honest and actually sort of thrilled. It turns out they hated her guts. But they told him he needed to immediately tell her face-to-face. And so my dad did. Like a scarred war veteran, he refuses to tell me details, but said it was the most gut-wrenching conversation he had ever experienced. But he ended it. Of course this was the 1970s. You can’t just mass announce the wedding is canceled via a text or Facebook message. My dad took the responsibility of calling every single invited guest to tell them the wedding was off. Even more, he personally returned gifts to the people who sent them. His fiance sold my grandmother’s ring.”

With a strange twist of fate, the women in the hot tub came circling back into this woman’s life. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Awkward Run-In With Future Sister-in-Laws

This next story comes from MoVodka. It’s so crazy, it’s almost hard to believe. “Not me but my mother. My mom called off a wedding just weeks before the ceremony date because she found out her fiancé had lied to her about his whereabouts and was partying at a hotel with friends and other women. She caught him in a hot tub at 1am with twin sisters. Fast forward about three years later. She starts dating and later marries the man who is my biological father. Then she said meeting the family was especially awkward when she discovered my father had three sisters… Two of which were the twins she caught her ex fiancé with in the hot tub.”

“Some things to clarify: My mom and dad stayed together and later got married AFTER my mom had learned who his sisters were. So she did get over the fact that they were essentially what ruined her first wedding. My mom and dad are divorced now and have been for years, which is unrelated to my dad’s sisters or his family in general. They just weren’t compatible together and argued a lot. Not a big surprise that my dad wasn’t the most faithful man either (I get my faithfulness in relationships from my mom, thank God).”

This runaway bride left her wedding to get ice cream at Dairy Queen. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Dad Saves the Day With Ice Cream

This next story comes from a Reddit user called faleboat“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. She was a smart kid who 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 was having a conversation with her in the ready room. He got concerned when she started repeating a lot of the things her fiance was saying to her. She said that she was mid sentence when her dad 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 creams. She took a second, agreed, and they left. But he drove three towns over and they sat and talked over ice cream for hours while her phone rang and the battery died 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.”

When the groom tried to run, the bride’s family pulled out firearms. Credit: Shutterstock

14. A Literal Shotgun Wedding

This story was posted on Reddit by Lady_Otaku. “Not me, but a friend’s wedding. He was getting married to this gorgeous girl. We were all excited for him because he didn’t have the best looks, but was a talented guy. He could garden, craft, design, and build. The day of the wedding went on as normal. We all met up, talked it out, talked to the girl’s family all of whom were… Weird. Cue the wedding starts. Flower girls, bride walks down, etc. Right before the vows, our dude bails and just bolts out of the nearby door leaving the bride standing there. Then the bride, her father, and mother, I kid you not, pulled out firearms and ran out the door firing, but he’s already so far away none of their shots hit him.

“Now the bride’s father is in jail. The mother suffered a heart attack a year or so later, and the bride has become a very minor ‘influencer’. She has some other guy trapped in her life now. The reason he left was because she was extremely emotionally abusive. She forced him to keep a chart of where he was going, who he was talking to, how much money he had in his bank account. In their three years of a relationship. They only had sex twice and he said she was terrible. She also never had any kind of responsibility in her life. Her parents bought her a house, a car, and other things. On top of that, she crashed a car when she got sick of it, attempted to hurt his cat multiple times, and her puppy got ‘lost’ one day. She was crazy.”

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.”