Here's an unpopular opinion: Weddings are a total racket. Not only are they all exactly the same (no, having donuts instead of a cake and mismatched bridesmaid dresses does not make yours unique), but they're also insanely expensive. Once you factor in the dress, the tux, the venue, the entertainment, food, and, most importantly, the open bar, you're so far in debt that no amount of rich gifts from relatives can make it worth it. (Okay, so there are some ways to save money and still make everyone happy...) These stories of people being left at the altar will make you glad you're single.

From unfaithful brides and grooms to religious differences to secretly hating your significant other, these cautionary tales prove that weddings aren't all they're cracked up to be. Oh, and by the way, the average wedding costs over $33,000 bucks.

...you do know you could buy like two cars with that money, right?

"I was a guest on the bride's side."

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An acquaintance from a previous job that was kind enough to invite me. Everything was going well. She started walking down the aisle then stopped halfway. Her father and mother came over. She whispered to them then they all turned around and walked away. The groom immediately followed. Music kept playing then slowly drifted away. We all just sat there in dead silence. A couple of minutes later the father of the bride came back down the aisle and apologized but said there was going to be no wedding today. We all just got up and slowly left. There were a couple of angry family members on the groom's side but once they talked to the father of the bride they immediately just left. At the door, the mother of the bride shook my hand and thanked us for coming, told us that they would explain everything later but for now we should just head home. The story is that the groom the night before ceremony confessed to the bride that he was gay. He loved her. He still wanted to marry her, provide and raise children. But he needed her to know. She couldn't let him live like that and it wasn't fair to either of them. -RoboticEnterprise

"My wife was set to be a bridesmaid in this wedding of her college friend."

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It was an out of state wedding, and they had people coming in from all over the USA and Europe for this. Expensive sorta deal, just my wife's dress was over $1,000 easy. Five days before the wedding, the groom called the whole entire thing off. The reason? He was Church of Christ and she was a Baptist and according to him, she was in the wrong church and since she wouldn't join his church then he had to break it off. To the weeping bride's credit, her parents did pay back everyone, including my wife the money for her bridesmaid dress. -Americasycho

"My mom called off a wedding to a man she was engaged to before she met my dad. It was only one week before."

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She said they got into an argument over something very trivial (something having to do with cows?) but it was enough of a wakeup call for her that they were not right for each other. I know this man and she was right not to marry him. There were people that did not get word the wedding was canceled and showed up at the church. So I had to ask my mom what the deal with the cows was. I guess they passed by a pasture and my mom commented on how lovely the sound of cowbells is and he basically told her she was dumb for caring. -rumchhataa

"I was dating this girl for 5 years. I popped the question and she happily agreed."

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Ten months in and the day came, everything was fine until that question from the Father... I didn't notice at first but someone walked in as a guest to watch, and she literally changed her tone. Her demeanor instantly changed. So when the Father asked the question she said a loud NO. And she walked away with someone. As it turns out, she was cheating on me with some dude for one year. Apparently, that dude knew about our wedding and walked in to scoop her out. I was left with severe anger; not even a shred of sadness, just extremely pissed. But I got over her surprisingly quick, which was good because I found out the dude was using her hard-earned savings for his meth addiction. Last thing I heard from heard is that she's living in a homeless shelter.-miloca1983

"My buddy was engaged to be married, and everything was going great up until about 2 months before the wedding when the bride freaked out about something very minor during a family vacation and stopped speaking to him."

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They would text once a day so the other knew they were okay, and would say 'I love you'. She would assure him that she still wanted to get married. One month before the wedding she called it off. They still hadn't talked except for the texts. So he called all his people and told them the wedding was off. Only he forgot about one of his friends who had been on his fiance's list as he was a mutual friend. The mutual friend still went to the wedding where he found....a wedding. The woman had been seeing someone on the side, still went through with the wedding but to a different guy, all on my friend's dime. He had left her in charge on canceling everything.-Ask_A_Sadist

"I'm a DJ. 'Please take your gifts home with you when you leave' was one of the weirdest announcements I've ever made."

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The ceremony walking-down-the-aisle music just kept looping and looping until the parents walked up and announced the couple was 'postponing things' which was code for 'I really hope they work this out because if they don't, that's a lot of money down the drain.' (They never worked it out) The bride and groom never showed their faces for the entirety of the day, both sets of parents were crying on and off, bridesmaids and groomsmen had changed out of their wedding attire... I was forced to make announcements like 'the buffet has now opened, yes they are serving the food' and 'there will be no ceremonial cutting of the cake, so feel free to grab some.' I was furiously texting my friends like 'What the hell do I play at a canceled wedding?' I got replies like 'We Are Never Getting Back Together' and frankly most of T-Swift's catalog. Instead, I just played jazz and Daft Punk, which seemed to fit somehow...- rossmoney

"I just found out my mom called off her wedding pretty late in the process. This was in the 1960s and the formal wedding announcement with photos had already been posted in the newspaper."

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She and her fiancé had met in college, gotten pregnant, and gave the baby up for adoption. They then continued to date for another 3 years, got engaged when my mom was 21 and called off the wedding a month before the ceremony. Turns out that giving a baby up in college is a really bonding experience and all your friends will be like 'Omg I can’t believe you guys survived that together, you’re such a great couple, you’re such role models, etc, etc' when in actuality you’re in friggin’ COLLEGE and are just figuring out who you are as people, and maybe that means that you’re not meant to be together. She says that everyone just assumed they would get married, so they were going to 'because what else would we do?' Luckily they realized they were just going along with the motions in time. My mom says it was no hard feelings between her and Steve, that they meet up every 3-5 years just to see what’s up with the other, and she has no regrets. Meanwhile, I just found out/met my 54-year-old sibling for the first time that I hadn’t known about. Turns out my secret sister is a fucking cross-fit trainer with arms like cannons so I have no genetic excuse for not being able to do a pull-up. -murr_mcmurr

"I didn't leave her at the altar, I was the one that was left."

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It happened not the day of the wedding but just a couple days before it, when literally guests from all over the country had already arrived and the last of the $40k had been spent on everything wedding related. It was the worst day of my life. She didn't even tell me in person, she called me and told me while I was at work that we were not getting married. I was a complete mess, called my brother to ask him if he would notify everyone. I drove straight to my parents' house and locked myself in the guest room for a week. It's been a journey but I'm better off for it today. It definitely still hurts but at least there is some light in my life now. There is a bit of a back story but basically she deeply betrayed my trust about a year before the wedding and from that day forward my confidence fell and it was apparent I didn't feel like an equal in the relationship. So, she essentially didn't feel as doted upon or loved as she once was, which is true.-TheCollectorOne

"My ex was once engaged to this really beautiful and independent woman."

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I don't know the woman's side of the story but from context from my ex, he pretty much played mama's boy and never really defended his fiancee from his mom who treated her indifferently. He also had to redo his proposal because he wasn't satisfied with how she reacted to the first one. On top of that, during a wedding expo where his girlfriend won some wedding package and was asked to come on stage, like any excited bride to be, she happily jumped on stage to accept the prize. This irritated my ex who said her actions were selfish because she didn't take him with her to the stage and used this to Justify his next actions. He cheated on her 2 months before the wedding when all the venues and invitations were booked and sent out. And it gets better.

Hell hath no fury like a bride scorned, and when he and the new fling bumped into the now ex-fiancee at the mall a few weeks before the supposed wedding she beat up the new girl in public. Where was my ex in all of this? He abandoned his new girlfriend and ran away.-Sweetragnarok

"This month I was supposed to get married. Got a suit, rings, papers..."

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I was dating this woman for two years in a long-distance relationship. I went there several times. All was going well. She even picked this month because of some astrology BS. So I went to her country for 3 months, the longest I've been. The whole time she was acting like a stranger. I felt like I was a burden to her. She was increasingly careless about me, with ever-increasing demands. We didn't even get close to the altar. I was spending most of my time by myself, in a foreign country with no friends. Yet I tried to make things work. But effort needs effort from both sides, not just effort from one side and increasing demands from the other.-arvigeus

"I went to a wedding where the priest and the groom came out from the sanctuary, then the bride (dressed in regular dress clothes) and her father came out."

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There was mumbling, then the priest made the announcement. 'There would be no wedding that day, but there would be a prayer said for the couple and their family and friends.'
A short reception was held with the parents of the couple welcoming the guests. Each had been too scared to cancel. The bride and groom each married others and are still with those spouses. Most civilized and best ending to a rough day.-ladyvivace

"I was a plus one in a super fancy wedding, high profile family on the bride's side (e.g. she arrived by helicopter with her dad)."

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As the bride was preparing to enter the venue, we heard screaming outside. A sex worker was at the door demanding to see the groom. Apparently, he had sex with her at his bachelor party the week before and failed to pay the agreed amount. She had been threatening to show up at his wedding if he didn't pay and he didn't take her seriously.

He denied at first, then argued that she was paid but demanded more money after they were done. The bride was not moved by his defense and a screaming match ensued. The bride left crying with her parents, and we all stood there for a while and slowly started to go home. They broke up (of course).

From what I know, the whole wedding had been paid by the bride's family, but they were not short on money at all, so I think it was the last of their concerns. -krncrds

"My ex-wife’s uncle was getting married in San Diego to a very superficial golddigger, plastic, California blonde."

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Her uncle had some incredibly wealthy friends and they flew us down on a private jet and put us up in one of their beachfront homes in La Jolla. Well, nobody approved of the marriage and the night before the wedding the entire family (minus the golddigger) went out to dinner at a nice restaurant. Her uncle’s closest male friends took him out into the balcony and had a very frank discussion about the marriage with him. Somehow he had butt-dialed her and she heard the entire conversation which was not at all flattering to her. Long story short, she heard it and the entire wedding was called off. Her uncle had all of his family in town so he took us all to dinner instead. The golddigger showed up drunk on the street with a bottle in her hand and railed at everyone like a manic street preacher. It was glorious to revel in the entire scene knowing the drama had nothing to do with me. -turdferguson2000

"A family friend (much much older) had a similar situation. The groom told her a few days before the wedding that he was gay."

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She wanted to call it off. But her parents wouldn’t let her. The wedding went on. Not surprisingly, the marriage wasn’t consummated and didn’t last long. But at least her parents were spared the embarrassment.-usually_just_lurking

"This happened to one of my friend's sisters."

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It was an arranged Indian wedding and the lady was initially very accepting and happy with the groom. They talked and fell in love with each other leading to the marriage. She was really looking forward to the wedding because she was very much involved in her wedding planning and preparation.

So about one month before her wedding the lady met her high school crush and started to bond with him. Then she fell in love with that guy,

She eloped with the guy just hours before the wedding. Her parents disowned her. She hurt a lot of people doing that.-yakshan

"I knew a lady who got married to a man she met at a bar and had known for less than an hour when he proposed and she accepted."

They had a party/wedding at a park and got the marriage annulled within about 48 hours. She said she didn't like the way the guy bought produce. He was too choosy.-HarleyWeaver

"In 2017, 4 days out from the event, I called our wedding off."

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Everyone was shocked, except her (we had been going to counseling for a while). I was not ready for marriage and was having severe anxiety about this looming deadline approaching and doubts about my spirituality, life purpose, and a bunch of other melodramatic stuff. I thought I could 'fix' this internal conflict it by being honest with my feelings and attending counseling, and at times things got better, but they would occasionally slip back into dark thoughts.

After the decision was made, our respective best man/maid of honor helped us call friends and family. I sent an email out that afternoon to all the guests.

Hardly anything was reimbursable, but some people showed some grace. It was a surreal few days, since no one’s flights were set to leave for another 4 days and it was an extremely remote part of the country. It was also a very small town, so I ran into 'guests' several times over the next few days. Looking back, we had no idea how to handle the fallout in the immediate aftermath, emotionally, logistically, etc. We spent most of the time separate, but occasionally we would meet up and either talk, cry, carry out logistics. It was very weird.

Three years have gone by and I can’t honestly tell you if I made the right decision. As for her, she moved to a different city a year after all this happened and met someone. They got engaged last week. I’m very happy for her.-YouDownWithTPP

"We haven’t fallen out yet, but we’re engaged and mutually talking about the possibility of splitting up recently due to the fact my fiancé has realized they may be trans."

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Still love them to death, but we’re likely calling things off last minute to give us more time to settle on this.-AvemAptera

"I wish I had left my first husband at the altar."

I wanted to right before going down the aisle, but the pressure was too hard. It was an expensive wedding and lots of family there.

The marriage broke apart fast and we were way too young. The fallout after the divorce was horrible as well and just way more expensive than if we hadn't gotten married at all.-5sizes2small

"Not really at the altar, but my fiancee dumped me a few months before the wedding date over something I thought was really trivial."

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She hated my family for no good reason and had a very arms-length relationship with her own, which she wanted to emulate with my family. She couldn't handle them coming over twice a year so she started treating them like crap the few times they came by. It ended up with both sides hating each other and me trying to play the middle man.

The fallout at the time was awful. Outside of being generally embarrassed to everyone we told about the wedding, we didn't get any of our deposits back and I had moved cities and got a new job for her. I also bought a really expensive ring that fetched me less than half of what I paid for it if I wanted to sell it to someone else.

I was inconsolable for months, but little by little realized that we weren't right for each other and the breakup was the absolute best thing that ever happened to me. However, I absolutely do not recommend the experience. It's awful. I had so much doubt going into it and ignored a million red flags. Don't do that, people.-muhwahahahah

"Before he met my mom, my dad was engaged to a woman who left him 4 months before the wedding because she wanted to get back together with her ex."

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My dad said 'Fine, but once you go, you're gone for good.' She said she understood and she left.

As anyone could have predicted, my dad's ex calls him a few months later begging him to meet up with her and talk. My dad flat out said no, but she kept begging and finally, he said 'Fine, but keep in mind, I've had a few months to think about all the things I want to say to you, and I will say every one of them.' She said that was fine, she just wanted to see him.

They meet for lunch, and she immediately tells him how sorry she is and that she wants him back. He said 'I told you, once you left, that was it.' She apologized profusely and begged him to reconsider and he basically unloaded months of feelings and anger on her and said he wanted nothing to do with her.

A few months later, my dad met my mom. He picked her up for their first date in the Firebird.-VisionInPlaid

"Not quite at the altar, but a few weeks before the wedding I left my fiance."

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We had been together for years and the proposal was really half-assed, like he was asking because we had been together so long and it seemed the next thing to do, not because he actually was excited about marrying me. I had been unhappy with him for a long time but his emotional abuse had convinced me that this was the best relationship I was ever going to find so I stayed.

My mom came to visit a month before the wedding and saw how miserable I was. She said, 'You don't have to marry him if it won't make you happy.' It was such a simple thing to say, but it was like someone finally gave me permission to consider my own feelings for the first time in years and it changed my whole perspective. I called it off, moved out, got some agency over my own life, and am now living happily ever after.

Lost money on deposits, managed to sell the dress for half of what I paid, left all the high-ticket items I had purchased during the relationship behind to avoid staying any longer to fight with him. I'd pay it all 10 times over to again feel the immediate relief I felt when I left our house for the last time, and I'd pay it 1000 times over to keep the life I have now without him.-the-magnificunt

"My friend, we will call her Klarah, invited me as her plus 1 because her girlfriend couldn't make it."

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The moment we show up everything seemed normal so Klarah breaks away to go talk to the Groom, so I wandered around and found a tense older man in the back. I thought maybe he was nervous so I decided to chat it up with him and after getting to know him a bit he apologized to me for 'going so far out of my way for a wedding that'll get canceled'.
Turns out, the old man was the groom's Dad and he had proof that the bride-to-be was only using his son as a meal ticket and she planned on leaving him after he paid off all her college debt and bought a house so she could try and take it in the divorce.

He got all this from one of the bridesmaids who secretly had a crush on the groom and didn't want to see his life get ruined by the bride. I'm talking screenshots of admitting what she was planning to do, recordings, pictures of the bride cheating on the groom, the whole package.

Of course, I asked the dad why he hadn't put a stop to the wedding sooner. Turns out he only found out a few minutes before I showed up and he was downing a few drinks to make it easier to deliver the news. He asked me not to tell anyone, which I obliged, so after buying him a round I went off to find Klarah and quietly waited for the sh** to hit the fan.

I see the dad skulk off towards where the groom was and an hour or so later the proceedings begin to start. The groom is standing silently on the alter and you could tell that he was tense and trying to not show how livid he really was. Not long after the music starts to float through the air and the bride was grinning widely as she proudly made her way down the aisle.

You could really tell the groom was trying his best not to explode, especially during the vows. Then when it was his turn to say 'I do' he quickly capped it off with a loud 'NOT!' and just exploded on her. Like you could see his veins popping out of forehead and was shaking with rage. Everybody was confused, the brides family started screaming at the groom's family, etc. The groom announced to everyone that he's calling off the wedding. The bride stormed off, fights broke out, and I was sitting in the back giggling in the background watching this all unfold while Klarah was dying from embarrassment because the whole time she was talking about how rock solid the relationship was.

Last I heard the bridesmaid and groom ended up getting together a few months after the wedding and the bride ended up getting hooked on some seriously nasty stuff after her boyfriend dumped her.-LuLuCheng

"I took pictures. I'm a Photographer."

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Once I finished the stage pictures at the front of the church, the groom handed me a check and I left. No fallout. I think they left me a decent review on Yelp.-PrettyHateSmooshing Enjoy these stories? Stay tuned for the craziest things people didn't learn about their partners until after the wedding...