It happens sometimes. The bride and groom go all the way from preparing a wedding and inviting relatives to making honeymoon arrangements, and in the most responsible moment, before saying “I do”, the bride runs away, leaving the embarrassed and astounded groom standing alone in front of the altar. It is not such an uncommon occurrence: 40% of brides never make it to say “Yes” and put that ring on, breaking it off at some point throughout their engagement, with 5% running away on the wedding day. Why does it happen?
Reasons Behind Fleeing Weddings
Of course, there is no single way to explain the complex behavior since human motivation has many underlying factors which can rarely be singled out. However, the most common reason for brides to flee is, of course, their lack of conviction that their groom is the right person for them; or simply put, lack of love. Women make a decision to get married for many reasons, some dictated by mere social pressure.
Just a few examples of how society can influence our decision to get married:
- “I am 25 and most of my friends are already married and have kids”
- “My mother asks me about grandchildren every time I visit”
- “Marriage will give me the status of a doctor’s (lawyer’s, engineer’s etc.) wife”
Making a decision to get married based on pressure or social factors is a viable one; however, it is not always convincing for the woman. If the primary reason for a woman to get married is not love, but something else, it is very likely that she may change her mind when the stakes are high and she suddenly realizes those reasons are not convincing enough for her.
On the other hand, sometimes women just accept a marriage proposal without thinking properly, because the pressure of the moment is high. When a boyfriend takes out a ring and everybody’s watching, it is hard to say no. And then it turns into a lengthy process of wedding preparation, lots of relatives involved, and everybody around is so happy that a woman simply does not have the guts to turn everything around until she reaches that point of no return when she just can’t stand it anymore. Being unable to do the right thing and renounce the wedding results in pain and disappointment for everybody.
Another reason may be related to plain panic. Panicking is actually one of the basic instinctive human reactions to stress or danger. It is normal if the bride (or groom, for that matter) has to approach the altar being unprepared psychologically, or having made a quick decision.
And yes, men are also susceptible to such brisk decisions: around 3% of grooms changing their mind right before the ceremony.
So, avoiding such unpleasant moments is possible if the relationship between the bride and groom is open and trusting, enough to be able to share what is on their mind. It is important to give each other space and protect each other from the unnecessary pressure of dealing with relatives or organizing too many wedding details. Also, keep asking each other if everything is ok and if there is anything that you need to talk about. This would help you to avoid unnecessary pain of a decision made a little too late.