Now here is a rom-com movie plot.
A Welsh bride was left at the altar on her wedding day after her groom-want failed to show up.
Kayley Stead didn’t want to let her expensive party go to waste, however, so she went ahead with her plans and enjoyed her wedding day — minus her ex-fiancé, who had mysteriously disappeared — surrounded by her beloved friends and family.
Stead, 27, realized on September 15, the morning of her wedding, that she felt she wasn’t walking down the aisle to marry her partner, who she was dating for four years when she was spooky.
“I saw the groom around 4pm the day before the wedding and haven’t heard from him since,” Stead, an insurance clerk, told SWNS.
“We tried to reach him but I got no reply from him, no reason for that. I didn’t have an explanation – not that I want one now because it’s too far fetched.”
While the groom’s disappearance remains a mystery, Stead was determined to have a special day. So she continued her event at the Oxwich Bay Hotel in Swansea, Wales, even doing her wedding entrance, speeches, first dances and posing for her professional photos.
She started her evening by walking in to her reception alongside her baby blue-clad bridesmaids as they sang along to the Lizzo hit “Good as Hell.”
Stead danced her first dance with her groomsmen, her brothers and her father Brian, 71. At the reception, she also enjoyed cutting, taking a bite out of her wedding cake and bravely smashing the top tier of the towering sugary cake.
The abandoned bride also walked down a sparkler-filled path with friends and celebrated the day with her guests before spending the night in the bridal suite with her maid of honor.
She also went into more detail about the incident, explaining what happened in the hours leading up to the wedding.
Born in Welsh, she began dating her ex-fiancé in December 2018 and they got engaged in August 2020.
She noted how she and her girls stayed in an Airbnb the night before the party, while the groom and his groomsmen stayed in a trailer near the venue.
Stead and the groom had decided not to speak to each other the night before the wedding, so she “didn’t know what was happening on his side and had no idea.”
The next morning, Stead and her bridesmaids woke up at dawn to get their hair and makeup done. It wasn’t until one of the groomsmen called her best friend to let her know the groom was gone.
“They wanted to make sure he was definitely gone before they panicked me,” she said. His mother had also called Stead in hysterics, sobbing that the groom had gone for an early morning walk and he was gone now.
Stead pointed out that her ex would often walk alone or drive the car to clear his head when he was anxious, so she wasn’t nervous at first.
She advised her friends and family to keep getting ready and she hoped the groom would return.
“I honestly believed, hand on heart, that he would be there,” Stead recalled.
At 11 a.m., however, the groom’s father announced he would not be showing up after all.
“At that point I was gone. I was sobbing,” Stead said, adding that she had to break the news to the rest of the bridal party, her hairstylists, parents and the videographer.
Her videographer then came up with an idea as a joke – just have fun, keep calm and get on with the wedding.
The filmmaker suggested, “You’ve spent all that money, you’re not getting it back, all your guests are there, why don’t you just go?”
Her friends goaded her and encouraged her to keep going. “That’s when I thought I’m going to do it. I had spent all that money, I was looking forward to the meal, to a dance with my dad, to spending time with my family, so why not?” Stead recalled.
The groomsmen and their wedding party then went down to the venue to explain to the guests what had just happened. All of the groomsmen stayed, as did their friends, family and loved ones.
Her partygoers were saddened by the devastation but still supported Stead and stayed for the reception.
Though Stead wanted to keep partying, she couldn’t bear to look into the ceremonial room, feeling it was too painful for her.
However, after 10 minutes to pull herself together, she was ready to dance the night away. While her guests were afraid to talk about the elephant in the room, they just started cheering and hugging Stead to show their support.
Her photographer continued with photos, taking snaps of the bride and bridal shower in the venue’s garden and around the party. “You can probably see a few tear streaks on my face, but I love the photos,” she said.
She added: “I wanted to make sure everyone knows this isn’t about the sad and we’re going to get through this. It was a very uncomfortable situation for [my friends] be there, but they all stayed.”
“I didn’t want to remember the day as completely sad,” Stead continued. “There were so many special moments … so the day was still happy.”
“I was in complete bliss — unknown bliss,” she said. “I had no idea, no signal. He showed me no reason why he would leave me that day.”
She is also very thankful for her best friends, who have stayed by her side since the ordeal. They even set up a GoFundMe page for Stead to pay for part of the event.
As a result, she canceled her honeymoon trip to Turkey and packed up her ex-partner’s things at home and left them with his family. She still hasn’t heard from him since his unexpected departure.
Stead’s best friend and maid of honor Jordie Cullen, 27, was the one who originally created the fundraising page and also spoke to SWNS about the traumatizing experience.
“Kayley has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone,” Cullen said. “She didn’t deserve to be left on the morning of her wedding day with no explanation and no contact with the groom.”
The groom declined to comment.
As for Stead, she takes it one day at a time.
“I don’t believe in fighting fire with fire,” she said. “I prefer to deal with the situation as best I can and keep my head up.”