What it's like to leave someone at the altar, as told by those who've done it.

It’s your worst nightmare – planning your wedding day with the love of your life, only to have them leave you at the altar.

The humiliation. The pain. The wasted cake. It’s a tragedy no one should ever have to experience.

But when one Reddit user asked, “Redditors who have left your fiance at the altar, why did you do it and what happened?” almost 2,000 people joined the conversation.

That’s 2,000 too many. Here are some of the standout stories:

It just wasn’t meant to be.

“I left a man at the altar. I was in my dress and getting ready to go to the chapel, when I realised I couldn’t. I froze. I didn’t love him as much as I craved the safety and security that being married would bring. I was fairly recently divorced and very young and scared. 

“He eventually found a lovely woman and they are very happy together. I don’t think either of us would have had that with each other.”

It wasn’t for the right reasons.

“Not at the altar, but 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.

"The proposal became much more real as the deadline approached." Image via iStock.

"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 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 falls 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 immigration crime."

He was a sex addict.

"Didn't technically leave him at the altar but 10 days before the wedding I found out he was sleeping with someone else. Took me two days to decide not to get married.

"Then over the next three weeks I discovered he was a sex addict and had been seeing other people for the entire nine years we were together. Got reeeeeaaal close to being stuck in that nightmare. Thankful every day that I didn't go through with it." (Post continues after gallery.)

Dodged a bullet.

"One of my best friends broke her engagement only a month before her wedding after he 'joked' about kicking her face in because he thought she hugged her step brother for too long at her mom's anniversary party.

"She dodged a huge bullet since he was arrested for assault a year later."

He didn't want to get married.

"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. He said he didn't want to get married because spending time with his ex made him realise I wasn't as fun as she was because I was uncomfortable with him doing drugs."

Image via iStock.

He wanted to be with someone else.

"Not quite at the altar, but I was left several weeks before my wedding. And by left, I mean my fiance insisted he was stressed out with work and needed some time... when in reality he wanted to move his new, pregnant girlfriend into our house while I was out of town.

"The initial aftermath was indescribable, frankly - about 85% of our wedding was set up - calling and explaining this to vendors was a total blast.

"Not to mention the crippling depression I fell into and loss of a whole life I had built with someone I had trusted. I didn't leave my parent's house for over a month afterward. I also had to deal with my family AND his, and our friends - since he felt no reason to explain this to his side or anyone else, and just assumed I'd do it or they'd figure it out (?)."

I wish I had.

"I didn't leave and I should have. I realised 10 days before the wedding it was a mistake, but talked myself into believing it was 'cold feet', and got caught up thinking about the deposits and guests travelling."

While being left at the altar sounds like an emotional and logistical nightmare, it probably is easier than finding out the marriage isn't going to work years down the track.

Tags: facebook-rogue , heartbreak , weddings
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