A bride decided to have her wedding anyway when the groom-to-be backed out at the last minute. Kayley Stead said she discovered she wasn’t going to marry her partner of almost four years the morning of her big day. Despite the heartbreak, Kayley decided to go ahead with the wedding, surrounded with her loved ones around her in a hotel in Swansea.
The 27-year-old went ahead with her wedding entrance, meal, speeches, dances and even posed for professional photos without her groom. She entered the party singing along to Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” with her bridesmaids.
Kayley punched off the top tier of her wedding cake, and spent her first dance with the groomsmen, her brothers, and dad Brian, 71. Now living alone, with her honeymoon cancelled, Kayley is pleased she still had the party – so money and effort didn’t go to waste.
Kayley, who works as an insurance clerk, said: “I saw the groom at around 4pm the day before the wedding and I haven’t heard from him since. I’d spent all this money, I’d been looking forward to the food, a dance with my dad, spending time with my family, so why not?”
Kayley said she and her ex started dating in December 2018 and got engaged when he proposed in August 2020. The night before the wedding, Kayley stayed in an AirBnB celebrating with her bridesmaids while the groom and his groomsmen stayed in a caravan near the venue.
The groomsmen contacted the bridal party to tell them he’d left, she claims.
Kayley said: “We woke up at quarter past six when the make-up artist arrived, had breakfast together and then started getting ready. One of the groomsmen contacted my best friend to say the groom was gone, and the bridal party hid my phone so they could decide what was the best way to tell me and I wouldn’t find out from someone else.
“They wanted to make sure he was definitely gone before panicking me. For a couple of hours, I was saying he was going to be there, and I asked the girls, his family and the groomsmen to continue getting ready, because I honestly believed he was going to be there.”
At around 11am, Kayley had just sat to have her hair done with her make-up all finished when she spoke to the groom’s dad on the phone. She claims he told her that her partner would not be attending the wedding.
Kayley said: “At that point, I was gone. I was sobbing. Once I told my parents, the hairdresser and the videographer, that’s when I had to tell myself that it wasn’t going to happen.
“As a joke, the videographer said: ‘Why don’t you carry on, girls? You’ve spent all this money, you’re not getting it back, all your guests are there, why don’t you just go?’ My sister was redoing my make-up, because at that point it was all just gone, and she said: ‘Why don’t you do it, Kayley?’
“That’s when I was like, I’m going to do it. I’d spent all this money, I’d been looking forward to the food, a dance with my dad, spending time with my family, so why not?”
Kayley continued: “I asked for ten minutes to myself before I saw my guests, and then rather than walking down the aisle, I walked round the corner in my dress and had everybody just looking at me.
“Nobody knew what to do, I think they were a bit scared to say something, and then everybody just started cheering and hugging me.” All of the groomsmen stayed, as well as all of her friends, family and loved ones.
With their support, Kayley carried on with the day she had planned without her groom and made changes throughout to turn a devastating day into a beautiful one. She said: “We were just doing things off the cuff, really. It was all based on instinct, and we just went with it.
“The photographer took photos of me in my dress in the garden, and then we did family photos and bridesmaid photos instead of the bride and groom. You can probably see a few tear streaks down my face, but I love the photos.
“Everybody kept saying sorry to me, but I wanted that to stop – they hadn’t chosen that path, they’d chosen to stay, so let’s celebrate that.”
Rather than sharing her first dance with the groom, Kayley instead danced with her dad, brothers and the groomsmen to Love You To The Moon and Back by Dolly Parton.
Instead of walking through the sparkler tunnel with her groom, Kayley walked through alone and partied the night away with her guests before spending the night in the bridal suite with her maid of honour and one of her best friends. Kayley is now adjusting to a newly-single life without her groom and isn’t going on the honeymoon to Turkey.
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