People break up with their fiancés. That’s life; it happens. But it doesn’t usually happen while you’re mere days before the wedding or standing at the altar, waiting to hear those precious two words, “I do,” unless you’re living in a mediocre, two-star rom-com, right? Not quite. In a recent Reddit thread, people shared why they or someone they knew decided to be runaway brides or grooms.
1. Because She Was Only In It for the Visa
“Not at the altar, but I bailed just two days before the wedding. 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 fiancés 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.” —Scrappy_Larue
2. When His Side Piece Is Pregnant
“Not quite at the altar, but I was left several weeks before my wedding. And by left, I mean my fiancé 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. SO. The initial aftermath was indescribable, frankly — about 85 percent of our wedding was set up — calling and explaining this to vendors was a total blast. I lived in and was getting married in the South, so if I never hear ‘oh, bless your heart’ again, it’ll be too soon. 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 afterwards. 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 (?). To say it was a fucking disaster is a huge understatement. I’m still recovering (mostly financially), but therapy has done wonders. My ex has a lot of mental issues and hid them well, and I’ve gotten to a place where I know I’m better off and dodged a huge bullet. I also recently started seeing a man who makes my heart race when he walks into a room. It’s a beautiful thing.” —falto1
3. This Guy Didn’t Even Really Propose!
“I left my ex-fiancé a month before the wedding. Backstory: I never actually proposed to her, she more or less did it to me. We were in a mall and she wanted to go to a jewelry store to look at engagement rings. I wasn’t expecting to walk out of there with one but we did. The salesperson even took a ‘just engaged’ polaroid.
“She became more and more controlling and I couldn’t take it anymore. After I left her, her friend texted me on the day of the supposed ceremony telling me the cake was delicious. My ex-somehow managed to break into my email and asked me who a girl was in an email I received AFTER I left her. I could understand her reasoning if it was before, but it wasn’t. She also texted me a while after I left and told me she missed her period. An hour later, I got another text that said, ‘Never mind.’
“I’m pretty sure I dodged a bullet by leaving.” —xavier_grayson
4. She Was Doing It for the Wrong Reasons
“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.” —Fluffledoodle
5. Hallmark Is Calling, They Want Their Plot Back
“A buddy of mine did this and we were his accomplices. 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.
“Day of the wedding and everything is happening. 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 everything 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. Me and my buddies 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 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 two weeks after all of that happened. He stayed with us couch surfing for two 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.” —DarkOmen597
6. Okay, So This One’s an Accident, But Still…
“Well, I typed 46th street into the GPS but it was actually on 64th street.” —MacDerfus
“Wasn’t me personally but…
“‘If anyone here has any objection, speak now or forever hold your peace.’
“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 tried to get divorced, but the divorce was never completed. So technically the groom was still married and the wedding did not proceed.” —linux1970
(Answers have been lightly edited for spelling and grammar.)
This article originally appeared on Redbookmag.com.