What to Do if You’re Left at the Altar

After spending such a long time and putting so much effort into planning for her wedding day, being left at the altar just isn’t something a bride wants to consider. Yet sadly, it does happen and many of us have either seen or heard of it happening.

Whether he’s decided he doesn’t love you anymore, he’s found someone else, or you caught some infidelity; the reasons don’t matter.

The fact is if you’re left at the altar or your spouse to be has called off the wedding shortly before hand, what can you do to help yourself?

What to do when left at the altar

This isn’t the type of advice we want to be sharing with you. In fact, we suggest than unless it’s happened to you or someone you know, you read one of our other wedding planning articles instead.

However, if you are in need of guidance, here are five things you can do:

  • Delegate an organiser. – Have your wedding planner or other trusted person liaise with the venue, caterers and other service providers. They can try to recoup some of your costs and minimise your expenses.
  • Use your bridal party members. – Have them announce what’s happening to your guests and inform them of the change in plans for the day.
  • Take a holiday. – We’re not suggesting you go alone to your dream honeymoon location, but rather somewhere you can get some space. You may be able to use credit from your honeymoon to pay for your break too.
  • Sell what you can. – From your engagement and wedding rings through to your dress and accessories, sell them to recoup some costs. As sentimental as you may have been about your dress, it’s doubtful you’ll want it around to remind you of a cancelled wedding.
  • Talk – find a counsellor, best friend or family member to talk with. You’ve gone through a period of shock and deep loss. It’s going to be one of the worst moments in your life, but you will get through it. Try not to shut yourself away but be around those who care for you.

Be kind to yourself

Your brain is likely to take you on a journey full of ‘why me?’ ‘what have I done to deserve this?’ thoughts. Anger, humiliation, blame, worry, self-doubt will swarm your mind. Be kind and gentle to yourself and don’t let those thoughts take you over. Meditate and focus on the present moment while you heal. This can help you ground yourself and not get caught up in unhelpful thoughts about the future and past.

Let those around you help you while you process this shock.

People are going to give you plenty of well-meaning advice. From the fact you got a lucky escape to he didn’t deserve you anyway, just accept it with thanks. No one but those that have been through it too can understand what you are going through. Have faith that this too will pass in time.

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One Comment

  1. It was so devastating when my dream wedding did not go as planned and I ended up spending 3 weeks in a psych ward! Now he begs for another chance. How about HE spends 3 weeks in a psych ward. How about 3 months. Is he committed yet?

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