Whether you’re having the time of your life choosing between satin and burlap tablecloths or you’re finding the whole thing excruciating, the drama of wedding planning often overshadows the most important question: Are you ready to marry this person? For these three women, realizing they were engaged to the wrong human wound up outweighing everything else, including a hefty DJ deposit. Here are their stories.

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real women on why the canceled their weddings
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The One Who Knew It Was Wrong from the Moment He Proposed

“When my ex-boyfriend proposed to me, the first thought that crossed my mind was like, Huh? We’ve been fighting non-stop and are in couples’ therapy. Say no!

Instead, I said yes. I think he asked me to marry him—and that I said yes—to try to salvage a dying, toxic relationship. In retrospect, we probably both thought taking things to the next level would fix everything. Well, that was dead wrong.

We started planning a wedding and fought every step of the way. I think, deep down, I knew I shouldn’t go forward with marrying him, but at the same time, I was committed to making the relationship work and throwing an amazing, storybook wedding.

After five months of being engaged, it was him who called it off. Though at the time it was the worst thing to happen to me, and sent me into a pretty dark place, today, I am incredibly happy and grateful he ended it. I dodged a major bullet.

Now I’m getting married to the real-deal guy, who I’m excited and happy and certain I want to spend my life with. There was no hesitation in my mind when he popped the question. And the best part? I’m using the D.J. deposit I never got back from my first wedding. So it all worked out in the end.” - Julia, New York

reasons for calling off a wedding

The One Who Still Feels Bad About It

“I called off my wedding after my groom-to-be and I had already purchased a home together. He was a wonderful guy, and we’d been dating for a few years, but I started to get cold feet about marrying him when I moved my blue couch from my single-girl apartment to our shared place. The couch was the only big thing I’d ever bought, and I loved it, but when I thought about it going into our shared apartment, I was unsettled, but I wasn’t sure why.

Then there was the fact that I wasn’t sure he would work hard enough to support any family we’d start, since he hadn’t ever really shown a lot of ambition. Plus all these other doubts started coming up in my head. And then I happened to meet someone else who had just moved to town, and he seemed so decisive and was closer to my age (my fiancé was ten years younger).

Anyway, my former fiancé seems to have done really well career-wise since we broke up, and I ended up marrying the second guy, so it all worked out. I feel bad about the whole thing, though, because it wasn’t like he had done anything wrong. I tried to be responsible—I reimbursed him for the cost of the engagement ring, since, I don’t know, what was he going to do with a used ring? Also he bought my half of the home we had purchased together, which he later sold at the top of the market. Still, it’s not my favorite thing to think about because I hurt him really badly and I wish I hadn’t.” - Vera, Oregon

redl women on why they called off their weddings
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The One with Uncompromising In-Laws

“My former fiancé and I had been dating long distance. So our entire relationship was going on vacations together instead of spending a lot of time doing day-to-day, real-life things in each other’s home cities. This turned out to be a fatal mistake.

Once we were engaged and living together, I learned that his family practices a very restrictive brand of Christianity that believes all your needs should be met within your church. If you needed a doctor or a babysitter or a real estate agent, look no further than the church directory. As a Catholic, I was way outside their church, and my friends and doctors and, most importantly, hairstylist, were outside their church.

To make matters worse, his parents, grandparents and members of his church were against us living together before marriage, and kept up a fairly robust phone campaign to let us know they did not approve.

In fact, ten months before the wedding, his parents and grandparents managed to turn a weekend visit into an intervention, and by the time he left they had convinced him to give up living with me and move back to his hometown. And…he waited until the night before the movers showed up to tell me. I gave him the ring to take back with him. He’d wanted me to move out there, get a job and allow his family to supervise our dating. TLDR: The wedding was called off.” - Pamela, Virginia

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