A bride who was stood up by her groom just hours before their wedding day opted to carry on with the ceremony surrounded only by her bridal party and loved ones.
Kayley Stead, 27, was supposed to have a wedding with her fiancé of four years on September 15, 2022 at Oxwich Bay Hotel in Gower, Swansea, Wales but that did not come to fruition as she was dumped on the evening preceding the said day.
Despite the heartbreak and the fact that she didn’t have a groom, Kayley went ahead with the wedding going as far as making her wedding entrance while dancing to the tune of American singer Lizzo’s ‘Good as Hell’, making a speech and even posing for a professional photography shoot.
She also spent her first dance with the groomsmen, her brothers, and dad Brian, 71.
Kayley, who now lives alone, says she has no regrets about holding the party noting that if she hadn’t, all the time and capital that went into planning the wedding would have gone down the drain.
“I saw the groom at around 4pm the day before the wedding and I haven’t heard from him since. We’ve tried to reach out to him, but I’ve had no response from him, no reason why. I’ve had no explanation – not that I want one now, because it’s too far along the line,” said Kayley according to the Manchester Evening News
“It was an absolute shock, I had no indication he was going to do this but seeing my girls distraught as well made me want to turn the day around. I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.”
Despite the events leading up to her unique situation, Kayley says that she made special memories with her close friends and family which she will carry with her for years to come.
“There were so many special moments, like my wedding entrance, the sparkler walk, the first dance and punching the wedding cake – so there was still happiness in the day,” she said.
“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 met her ex-boyfriend in December 2018 before getting engaged in August 2020. On the eve of their wedding day, her former boyfriend spent the night with his groomsmen while she enjoyed her last hours as an unmarried woman with her bridesmaids.
“The groom and I had already agreed not to speak the night before the wedding anyway, so I didn’t know what was happening on his end, I didn’t have a clue. I was in complete bliss – unknown bliss,” she says.
The groomsmen contacted the bridal party on the morning of the wedding notifying them that the groom had pulled a Houdini Act.
“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,” she said.
“They wanted to make sure he was definitely gone before panicking me. I found my phone and saw I had a missed call from his mum. I called her back and she was crying and told me he had gone for a drive in the early hours of the morning, and he was gone.”
At the time, she says, the news did not shock her as much. She reckoned that the groom might have had last-minute jitters and that he had gone on a ride to clear his head as such she was optimistic that he would make it back in time for the wedding.
“At that point, I wasn’t nervous, I was still quite hopeful, as throughout our relationship, he had sometimes gone for a walk or a drive to clear his head when he was nervous. For a couple of hours, I was saying he was going to be there, and I was reassuring the girls. I honestly believed, hand on heart, that he was going to be there,” she said.
When the clock struck 11 am and the groom was still nowhere to be found, reality finally set in.
“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?” she said.
“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?”