A bride in Great Britain continued celebrating her wedding day even after her soon-to-be-husband ghosted her at the altar.
For 27-year-old Kayley Stead, Sept. 16 was supposed to be her big day as she was set to be married to her partner of four years. However, in a shocking twist, she was left at the altar after the groom didn’t show up, according to a report from South West News Service (SWNS) carried by the New York Post.
Instead of letting the incident get her down, Stead continued on with the celebration at the Oxwich Bay Hotel in Swansea, Wales. Not wanting to waste the special occasion, she mustered up the courage to do her wedding entrance, speeches, cutting of the cake, first dances, and countless other activities.
One of Stead's closest friends, Jordie Cullen, detailed what had transpired during the day as she organized a fundraiser to help Stead, who is now facing the reality that her would-be husband had left her.
According to Cullen, she and the other bridesmaids and maids of honor woke up early to get ready for Stead's wedding, which they were all excited for. However, at 7:10 am, they received an unexpected phone call from one of the groomsmen saying that the groom was "gone".
"We were told he had left the Caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 am to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone," Cullen wrote in the GoFundMe page.
When Cullen had to break it to Stead that her soulmate had vanished, she was surprised that she took it well.
"Kayley handled it incredibly well and said he’ll be there with all the hope in her heart. 'I know he’ll be there. I’m not worried'. So, we all continued getting ready as normal," Cullen wrote.
They continued getting ready all while trying to contact the groom. But at 10:30 am, two and a half hours before the start of the wedding ceremony, the groom's father called them again and said that his son spoke to him from a blocked number and confirmed that he was not going to attend his own wedding.
Cullen was shocked at hearing this, "We were completely heartbroken and questioned why he was not going to be there. We questioned why he was not doing the decent thing by telling her this himself and why he was doing this to her when there had been no indication that he was leaving her prior to the day of their wedding."
The groom's father could not answer them. Once again, Cullen and Stead's friends and family had to tell her the heartbreaking news.
"Kayley, with all her strength composed herself with a shred of hope he was going to be there. She had decided she was going to face the day with or without him. Her heart breaking, she carried on with her wedding day not wanting to waste everyone’s time, money and effort," Cullen shared.
The jilted bride received an overwhelming amount of support from the guests, who Cullen said "did everything they could to put a smile on her broken-hearted face as she went through the day".
"She faced everything with her maids of honour/bridesmaids by her side, going through all of what would have been her firsts with her husband, like the strongest most courageous woman we’ve ever known," Cullen wrote, sharing that Stead carried on with the other wedding activities with a smile on her face.
However, after the wedding, the bliss from the moment disappeared and heartbreak had finally caught up to Stead.
"She’s now home to reality with no husband and her future plans and dreams all ripped away from her. She had to face an empty room filled with all his belongings. We are picking up the pieces of her broken heart and life as we now navigate this process, but we could never give her back what he has taken from her," Cullen wrote.
Describing her friend as someone with a heart of gold, Cullen wanted to help her get a fresh start from the devastating incident. Thus, she started a fundraiser so her friend never has to suffer financially from the aftermath of the ordeal.
Cullen ended her post with a heartwarming message for Stead: "Kayley, we all love you with all our hearts. You are the strongest person we know and we will carry you through this until the day you get to walk on your own two feet again. You deserve the world and so much more."
There are more than 500 donations for "Kayley's Fresh Start" as of this writing. If you also want to help her recover from the incident, you may send your donations through this link.