Kayley Stead from Welsh was left at the altar when the groom went for a drive and never returned.
Stead, 27, realized on Sept. 15, the morning of her nuptials, that she would not be marrying her fiance as she had planned. She and her partner had been together for four years, and now he was gone. Stead began dating her ex-fiancé in December 2018, and they got engaged in August 2020.
Stead and the groom had decided to not to speak to each other the evening before the marriage. Stead said she “didn’t know what was happening on his end and didn’t have a clue.”
On the morning of the wedding, one of the groomsmen called the best friend of the bride and let her know that the groom had disappeared.
Once Stead found out, she tried to remain calm and pointed out that her ex often went for walks or drives by himself to clear his head when he was anxious.
Stead held out hope and advised her friends and family to keep on getting ready. Stead said, “I honestly believed, hand on heart, that he was going to be there.”
Unfortunately, it was after 11 am when the groom’s father called to say the groom would not be returning.
“At that point, I was gone. I was sobbing,” Stead said.
It was in that moment of sadness that her videographer suggested she go on with the party anyway, saying, “You’ve spent all this money, you’re not getting it back, all your guests are there, why don’t you just go?”
So, though she was devasted, she agreed that she didn’t want all her hard work and beautifully laid plans to go to waste. She decided to move forward and enjoy her day with all her friends and family anyway.
In a show of support and understanding, all her family and friends, even the groomsmen stayed for the reception.
While the groom’s disappearance remains a mystery, Stead carried on with her event at the Oxwich Bay Hotel in Swansea, Wales. She even completed her first dances, posed for her pictures, and cut the wedding cake!
As Stead carried on and posed for photos, she said, “You can probably see a few tear streaks down my face, but I love the photos.”
Stead still has not heard from the groom and said, “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.”
Stead danced the night away alongside her bridesmaids dressed in baby blue as well as her groomsmen, brothers, and her dad Brian.
The sadly single bride bravely smiled and carried on as she walked through a path of sparklers lit by friends and family and then spent the night with her maid of honor in the bridal suite.
“I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness,” Stead said. “There were so many special moments… so there was still happiness in the day.”
Stead said she also feels very grateful for her best friends, who haven’t left her side since the ordeal. They even set up a GoFundMe page for her to help pay for some of the wedding.
Once she found out her honeymoon was a bust, she canceled her honeymoon trip to Turkey, packed up her ex’s belongings, and left them with his family.
Stead’s bestie and maid of honor Jordie Cullen, 27, said, “Kayley has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone. She did not deserve to be left on the morning of her wedding day with no explanation and zero contact from the groom.”
The groom remains absent and has declined to comment.
As for Stead, she’s taking the high road and stated, “I don’t believe in fighting fire with fire. I’d rather just deal with the situation as best as I can and hold my head high.”