Calling Off Your Wedding & Staying Together


Since Sara first bravely brought up the subject of calling off her wedding on APW more than a year ago, we’ve talked a lot about what calling off your wedding might look like and when you might need to make this decision. We’ve also, thanks to Sara, talked about how making the right decision for you can allow great joy to grow out of pain. So today I’m beyond honored to share a post from a couple, Tyler and Kathryn, about jointly calling off their wedding, but not choosing to end their relationship. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what a marriage, or a relationship, looks like when navigating the truly hard stuff. I’ve been thinking about how we grow and fight and change, often together, often in really unexpected ways. Today Tyler and Kathryn walk us through how that worked for them and how they’re still navigating, bravely.

Calling Off Your Wedding & Staying Together | A Practical Wedding

Calling off a wedding can often mean the bitter end of an entire relationship. At least, that’s how we’ve always seen it played out with others. Because if you don’t have things figured out by that point, then you probably don’t need to get married anyway, right?

…and then there’s us.

We are Tyler and Kathryn. And we called off our wedding.

But maybe we should back up just a little. We met in college and went from friends to best friends to two people falling head over heels for each other. After graduation we both applied to grad schools all over the country. We knew we would rather be together, but seeing each other achieve dreams and goals was important. So we cast our fates to the wind (or, rather, selection committees) and were accepted by great grad programs. Four hours apart. We were just so darn happy to be attending grad schools in the same state that we took it!

{Tyler} When thinking about proposing to Kathryn in August 2009, I was terrified, only because I’m a major planner, and I don’t like taking risks. But as I researched rings and started to make plans I became more and more confident in my decision to marry her. But our relationship was under strain because of distance, and Kathryn’s health began to decline.

Calling Off Your Wedding & Staying Together | A Practical Wedding

But again, we went for it. We got engaged the day after Christmas in beautiful downtown Pittsburgh! We celebrated and made plans and looked forward to the life we would share together.  As far as our wedding went, we planned something small on the deck of a favorite restaurant. Over the span of a year-long engagement we had some incredible times. But we also had fights about guest lists and who would pay for which invitations for what reception and how we would even work out the postage. Maybe you have had those kinds of conversations, too?

But the conversations we weren’t having were far more important.

Kathryn’s depression was getting worse and worse, and she wasn’t seeking help. At this time I was balancing wedding planning, keeping a depressed girl as stable as humanly possible, my job, grad school, job searching, traveling, and family issues. It all felt like too much.

{Kathryn} On my end I knew there were serious issues concerning my health that I wasn’t addressing. And if I couldn’t even address my own issues, how could I even begin to work on the ones concerning us both? It seemed like my engagement (and our friendship) was crumbling. I felt like everything was falling apart and that if we kept going like this straight through the wedding, our marriage would eventually fall apart, too.

These were the things we weren’t talking about. Yet we argued over whether “cake-smashing-in-the-face” was appropriate. Avoiding our major issues caused them to get bigger and uglier. We were months away from our wedding and our relationship had never been worse. We had always been best friends and now we didn’t even like each other. There didn’t seem to be a way out of this pit.

Calling Off Your Wedding & Staying Together | A Practical Wedding

One night over the phone (yes, over the phone because distance sucks), we had a terrible, difficult conversation. He told me about all of his fears and concerns and that it all felt like too much. I told him how horrible I felt about the state of our relationship and how scared I was for our marriage. There are a million what-ifs when it comes to marriage, and that’s okay. What is not okay is keeping those fears silenced, and that’s what we were doing. Ultimately, I told him we couldn’t get married. Not like this.

{Tyler} I agreed. And I was actually relieved once it was out there.

Admittedly, there was crying, and screaming, and terrible words our mothers told us not to say thrown around. We couldn’t believe that everything had come to this. We were both devastated. This decision felt so huge. So final. But here we were.

In the months that followed, we went from being engaged to unengaged to not even talking to talking only when necessary. We still loved each other but so many difficult-to-hear-but-completely-necessary things were said that it took some time for us to both process and heal a bit.

{Kathryn} I didn’t think it would be possible to go backwards, to call off a wedding and still be together or even have some semblance of a relationship. Calling off a wedding seemed like the absolute end. But remember that friendship thing that we had in the first place? When we forgot about all the crazy logistics of calling off a wedding (it blows), worked through how much the situation hurt (tough but good), and focused on being the kind of best friends that was the foundation of our relationship, the pressure I felt to have all the solutions and to have everything figured out just kind of… disappeared. I was able to work through some things both personally and in our relationship.

{Tyler} We now have the kind of friendship like we had in the beginning, way back in undergrad. We spend more time together and we actually enjoy it. We are able to talk through all the important stuff now.

{Kathryn} I never would have thought that calling off a wedding could possibly have been a good thing for us, or for me. But making such a tough call forced us to figure out what was important and to focus on those things. It was also the swift kick in the pants I needed to start taking better care of myself. I’ve learned what I think is important: to value honesty, even when it hurts; to fiercely protect friendship, even when it is hard to do; and to be patient with our relationship and myself.

Calling Off Your Wedding & Staying Together | A Practical Wedding

{Tyler} I’ve learned that if you are going through difficult engagement situations you have to seriously consider the entirety of your specific relationship. Do not let the politics or process of wedding planning affect your decision, but rather the health of your relationship. Kathryn and I would have called the wedding off or fixed major issues much earlier if we had actually sat down and logically thought about the health of our relationship.

Our previously-set wedding day is coming up in a few days (editors note: the date is past now), but we won’t be getting married like we planned. Let’s not even sugarcoat it: calling off your wedding is hard. And it hurts. And the inevitable weird questions and awkward situations don’t help. But be proud of the decisions you made and for the courage you had to make it. For us, it turned out to be a positive and transformative experience. We still care about each other immensely. We just don’t need a marriage right now, and giving ourselves that time and space will make our future, whatever it holds (marriage or no marriage), a whole lot better.

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  • http://www.myojchair.blogspot.com Anna

    Thank you both for sharing your story. It seems like you’ve made the right decision even though it was the super hard one! I wish you all the best.

  • http://generally-fabulous.blogspot.com Shae

    Thank you for sharing this, and for each of you sharing your own words. I also called off a wedding and stayed together, in the same apartment; he proposed after a very, very hard year, I accepted even though I wasn’t ready to get married because of said hard year, and we entered wedding-planning hell because he wasn’t ready to actually get married either, he had just wanted to ask me to marry him, eventually. So, every decision was like pulling teeth, and caused huge fights, and meanwhile we weren’t addressing all of the issues that had caused our very, very hard year in the first place.

    Calling off the wedding was hard, and felt very public and dramatic. But it allowed us to focus on our relationship and not caterers and rentals, and that was exactly what we needed to do. Obviously, during wedding planning you should focus on the marriage and let the wedding just be an event to that marks that transition, but for us, even though we weren’t super into the idea of a wedding ANYWAY, it was too big and too much and allowed us to ignore the real problems.

    We got married last week, in a day that was full of more joy than I ever expected. In the year since we called off our first wedding, we worked on us and we each worked on ourselves and that is work that will continue far into the future. But I no longer felt like getting married was just hurtling towards the inevitable. I felt like it was the right choice for us, and I was ecstatic.

    I wish you guys all the best, whatever the future holds for you! I’m sure it will be good things, no matter the specifics.

    • http://jolynn.wordpress.com Jo

      This makes me GRIN.

      And I agree: the co-written post was SUPER powerful.

      • http://intrepidbrytani.wordpress.com Brytani

        Congratulations, Shae! I’m so happy things were resolved and you found joy together.

        I also count myself among the crowd who called off an engagement but stayed with my partner. Hubs was terribly depressed during and after a deployment to Iraq and for a rocky six months, we decided that though we weren’t going to announce anything, we just weren’t even going to think about getting married until our relationship was happy again. It was ugly and terrifying because no amount of illness could make me love him less and yet we were miserable together. It was confusing to be so unmoved but deeply disturbed at the same time. He went through counseling and still goes periodically so things are much better now.

        We got married almost a year ago and in these first hard months together, the experience we had has guided us through a lot of tragedy. We’re truly, deeply happy in each other because with love and endurance comes joy that’s untouchable. I hope others can be encouraged that you will eventually be stronger in the broken places.

        • http://generally-fabulous.blogspot.com Shae

          We also decided not to make an announcement or anything, aside from telling our close friends and family. We just quietly canceled our existing arrangements, stowed away the books and files, hid our relationship statuses on Facebook, and went about our lives. I think that’s part of what lessened the blow just a bit — not having everyone and their mother providing commentary to our faces.

          I’m glad you also found your way through the woods!

        • Abby

          I also just postponed a wedding last week actually. My fiancé had returned from Afghanistan in Feb and while all was well for a while, it has not felt right since we got engaged. While we have been through deployments before, this one was particularly hard for him and he has remained quite isolated and distant since returning. We were both having serious doubts and fears about moving forward with our wedding in the state that our relationship was in. So I just canceled everything. It’ difficult because we really do not know how to act around one another and there is this feeling of fear between us when we talk. I cry regularly and this frustrates him and confuses him. We are still moving together to California in two months, although even now that feels like it will be awkward and will be a true leap of faith. I think the worse thing so far I’ve realized is that in the past year I lost myself with focusing on him and his well being and I completely gave up my own life and well being. This frightened me, placed enormous pressure on him to fix things, and made me feel helpless. Now I’m beginning to put the pieces of this puzzle together for myself and making myself the priority. I can not depend on him for my happiness, and to be honest he is not responsible for my happiness. At first I postponed everything because he wasn’t making me happy, but now I am learning it wasn’t his responsibility to take care of my happiness, it was and is mine.

    • Shauna

      Big THANK YOU to the author and to Shae for sharing your stories. It’s so reassuring because just a couple of days ago my fiance told me that the engagement is off… but we are still together and in love. He didn’t want to lose me, but he didn’t want the pressure of wedding planning and marriage (right now) until we’ve worked on ourselves and our relationship. We’ve put so much energy and thought into each other that we forgot to take care of ourselves. He said that he hopes this will wake me up and force me to make myself the optimistic, confident, passionate woman I used to be. Not the pessimistic, insecure, unmotivated little girl I’ve turned into. He says he doesn’t ever want to be with anyone else, but he doesn’t want us to enter a marriage with me like this. He wants to see a positive change, he wants me to do better for myself, he wants me to be happy. Because “when you’re happy, it makes me happy but you haven’t been happy with yourself for more than a year and it makes me feel like you’re not happy with me”. I love him so much and I do want a future with him, but I also know that I haven’t been the real me for a long while and I need to pull myself out of this hole I’ve dug if I want a future with my dream guy. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in experiencing this situation and it’s great to know that there is hope — that couples do cancel an engagement, stay together, and end up happier and married to each other.

      • struggling

        3 weeks ago I also made the tough decision to postpone a wedding. My fiance needs to cope with some things before we get beyond the alter. Now I am facing honest concerns from family as to whether I should stay in this relationship or call it off until the problems that existed have been “fixed” (for lack of a better term) to a reasonable extent. Staying is tough as my fiance needs space and time to cope with the enormous pressures that are on him, so our conversations can bring frustration, anger and hurt to the surface very easily. But I love him and find it very hard to be apart from him, let alone not be talking. It is a struggle, but good to know that others have managed before us.

        Both of us truly want to get to the other side of these struggles having our relationship not only survive, but heal and grow. the questions looming over us are how and if…

      • Jennifer

        I am in the same exact situation! So glad I can relate! My fiance called off our engagement due to my insecurities and jealousy. He said he missed the confident happy women I use to be.. I am still having a hard time accepting this, but happy to know I am not alone….

    • alyssa

      Thank you all for being brave and sharing. My fiance & I just called off our wedding that is less than a month away. Invitations have been ordered and many plans have been made. One of the hardest things to do was to pick up my wedding dress. I still don’t know what to do with it. We are still together and are making positive steps to work on issues. One of our biggest ones was the stress of wedding planning. No matter the outcome, it helps to know that there are others who have walked this road. In

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com Jo

    This is one of my favorite posts ever. I had assumed that if you call off a wedding, there’s no way you could stay together, but you guys are my heroes. Not just for hauling through a very hard time, but for opening my eyes to a “given” that’s not really one.

    Engagement is HARD. And it’s so easy to not talk about the everyday things because there are so many time-limited things going on, but your message that it’s important to talk about the everyday is very, very welcome. Everyone should read this for a whole lot of reasons.

  • Cass

    My now husband and I were close to calling off our wedding. (Something about the stress of grad school, and being long distance, perhaps?)
    But we committed to talking about the hard stuff, and we both committed to being healthy, not just for eachother, but for ourselves, physically and mentally. And we ended up sticking it out, getting married, and coming out the other side better for it.
    So, I feel your pain, even though my outcome was different.
    Just have hope that everything will work out eventually!

  • AussieAndy

    Epically awesome stuff. Epically epically awesome.

    Planning a wedding is tough. Dealing with depression is tough. Having the courage and commitment to each other to do what’s best for each of you, is awe inspiring.

    Wishing you both all the best in your relationship where ever it takes you.

    God bless xxx

  • http://livingindaydreams.wordpress.com/ Edelweiss

    “But be proud of the decisions you made and for the courage you had to make it. For us, it turned out to be a positive and transformative experience.”

    That’s true about just about every hard choice you can make in life, as long as you making the choices that are true to yourself. So important to remember. Well said!

  • http://www.thefamiliarwilderness.com Erin

    Wow. Calling off your wedding for the right reasons must have been intense, but staying in the relationship for the right reasons — that’s powerful. Hoping the best for you both. Thanks for writing!

  • http://www.lovelyatyourside.com Lovelyolivia

    I’m pretty sure my sister will reference it, but I want to get to it first (sorry Jay!), but this reminds me of the movie Ira&Abby. Life is all about doing what is BEST FOR YOU. In this case, it was doing what is best for the health of your relationship. You two obviously have a strong relationship (duh), and love each other tons, so who cares what label is put on it for the time being? You two made the most adult decision you could have ever done…and you should be proud! Great post. Really. Great.

  • http://onegirloneguytwocats.wordpress.com/ Heather

    This was an incredibly honest post, and it was nice to see that you both stayed together to work through things. As mentioned before, so often couples end it when a wedding is called off, or just get married and try to work it out later. I think you both made a difficult, but really responsible (for lack of a better word) decision, and you’re clearly better off because of it. Best wishes!

  • http://www.actsofbeauty.co.uk/wordpress ActsofBeauty

    Inspiring.
    Wonderful to hear the two voices speaking.

  • memery

    Whoa — APW uncanny timing in full effect.
    My fiance and I called off/postponed our wedding last week. We were about 7 weeks from our scheduled date, and the stamped and addressed invitations sitting on our mantelpiece were staring at us… we decided not to send them. As soon as we made the decision, I felt really relieved, and hopeful for the future. We have issues we need to work through before we can feel 100% awesome about getting married.
    I can’t say it’s a good time, trying to dismantle our plans, and telling people has also been really awkward. All of our friends and our family have been pretty amazing — I’ve gotten more “you’re so courageous — not many people would have the strength to make that decision” comments from them than I can count. But the wider world… that’s tougher. I think people don’t understand the concept of calling off a wedding but not breaking up. My line is: “right person, wrong time.” And I hope that’s true. But it’s definitely uncharted territory, which is terrifying and exhausting (at least from one week in.) Anyway, I should’ve known this was the only place on the internet that would have any sane guidance!

    • http://kbegnaud.tumblr.com Kathryn

      I think we are going to steal your line… “right person, wrong time.” Having answers at the ready really helped me not get stressed about so many questions. “Plans change” was a good one for me. It was honest and succinct. I was scared to tell people at first, but I found that more often than not people responded in such encouraging and supportive ways. My thoughts are with you guys!

  • carrie

    This is one of my favorite posts, I’m smiling like an idiot. You guys are awesome. For being so brave and for doing what’s best for your relationship. I wish you much joy for the future, no matter how it manifests.

  • http://www.koruwedding.blogspot.com/ Koru Kate

    Powerful & inspiring. A huge thank you for sharing your story & best wishes for what lies ahead~

  • http://www.3upadventures.com Beth

    You two are brave, strong souls. I’m so happy you made a healthy choice for your relationship and are moving forward together. Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us–this is the epitome of the APW ethos of putting your relationship, married or otherwise, first in the face of all the details that really don’t matter. (Although yesterday after I cried on his shoulder about my father’s death we did have the cake smashing discussion. The verdict: Smash but don’t you dare get it in my eyes.)

  • http://www.kellilu.wordpress.com kellilu

    I was reading your email and thinking, well, gee, I didn’t call off my engagement, so I don’t have much to say – but then I remembered that my parents called off their wedding mid-stream (my mom still has a picture of the dress she loved that she had to return). After the wedding was off, they thought they broke up. When they got together to exchange each others’ things, they started talking and, having had time and space to think, ended up falling in love all over again. They were married in the span of a few months after that, and in three days they will celebrate 33 years and 9 months (they make a habit of celebrating every month, even after three decades and two kids!). Whether or not calling off a wedding leads to an eventual reunion, it does seem to open up time and energy to breathe and consider and reflect, leaving space for wisdom to be sought and found. Because my parents took that time, their marriage has been strong (not perfect, but strong), and my brother and I have had a solid example after which to model our own baby families. Bravo to you both for making the hard but wise choice!!

    • http://www.asfoodtolife.com Meredyth

      Wow. GET THEM TO WRITE A VINTAGE POST!!! I’d love to hear their story.

  • A loving sister

    My brother decided to call off his wedding due to depression. In their case, they remained engaged – they just removed the end-date from their engagement. I remain hopeful that at some point they will get married, because I know she wants to, but as long as they are happy, then that’s the most important thing to me.

  • Harriet

    What a wise, brave post. Thanks for sharing–this kind of strength and honesty can be really instructive and inspirational for everyone, whether he/she has been in this situation or not.

  • Marina

    Wow, starting the APW week off with a bang. This is such a fantastic post–I’m so glad both of you were able to focus on the relationship, not the wedding, and do what you needed to make the relationship stronger.

  • http://bettencourtchase.blogspot.com Helen

    This is a really good post, guys. Really, really good. I love that you wrote it together, so we got both of your perspectives. I can’t imagine how hard this must have been (for the two of you, and also to the others who commented about their own hard choices). Thanks for being brave, and sharing that braveness with the rest of us.

  • kristen

    once you talk about something that’s been “shameful” or “silenced”, it’s empowering and all these women come out of the woodwork to share their stories! i, too, called off my engagement. it was the best thing we ever did. and now we are getting married in five weeks. the hardest part? enduring people’s well-meaing, but rude, comments and questions. it’s nice to know there are others out there. :) best wishes on your relationship!

  • LillyTop

    Wow,like everyone else here, I just love this post! I have been thinking about why we get married and what it means for different couples a lot lately, as I celebrated my 7th anniversary, attended my best friends wedding, and had another good friend get engaged all within the same month. I was reminded of something that I realized sometime right after we got married:

    Being Married is not better or worse than Not Being Married, but it’s very different. And maybe it’s not the right answer for every couple.

    Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t the right answer for you two, who knows? Kudos for taking the time to be thoughtful and deliberate about it!

  • RubberDuckie

    Both of you are so, SO brave. I really think that in the 360 degree spectrum of marriage, issues like this are so important, and I value and appreciate you sharing this with us. Thank you.

  • Raqui

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful and honest post. I have dealt with my own mental health issues in our relationship and it is a process and really helps to have time and space to work on these issues both individually and in the relationship without a huge plan/public committment looming. Slowing down and going through the nitty gritty can be really uncomfortable and really tough in this society. It takes strong people to do what you are both doing. I believe there will be healing and a much deeper understanding of yourselves and one another in this process. Be gentle with yourselves and each other and take the time you need!

    Blessings!

  • http://onwardfulltilt.blogspot.com/ Caitlin

    This is an amazing post, thank you so much for sharing and I love that it features both of your perspectives.

  • http://breannajai.tumblr.com breannajai

    Thank you for this post. What the two of you did is so brave and good.

    D. and I have had a very intense relationship. There have been some serious struggles, my mental health being one of them. We got engaged three months ago, and I couldn’t be happier knowing that I will marry him eventually.

    However, I know some serious, hard talks are necessary before a wedding happens.

  • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.blogspot.com Lauren

    This is one of the sweetest post I have ever read. Not every relationship is a freaking fairytale (I speak from experience), and it is often hard to share these less than perfect stories. I admire you both for doing that, and I admire even more how you have come through this together. When love someone enough to stay together through the hard times and the painful times and the I’m not 100% sure about this times, well- that IS something. You two look very sweet together, and I”m wishing you the best.

  • http://www.threlkelded.net Emily

    This is amazing! And brave! So brave.

    One of the hardest things to do is to listen to your inner voice in a situation where so many other people feel they have a say.

    Hooray for realizing that marriage isn’t a race to the finish line and you’ll get there when/if you need/want/decide to. I have so many single/dating friends that are talking about marriage when they should probably be getting their ducks in a row first.

    And congrats on your wedding! :)

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    One of my recurrent nightmares back in my single days was that it was my wedding day and I was marrying the cockroach alien in the Edgar suit from Men in Black and just really felt like it was the WRONG decision. But everyone told me it would be fine and I figured it was too late to do anything about it at that point and so I’d go through with it.

    I admire anyone who decides its never too late to not make the wrong decision. And I love that this was written together. I think that fact alone says a lot about the relationship.

    • meg

      So poetic, your dreams…

      • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

        Poetic in a Poe type of fashion maybe.

  • maura

    thank you for the reminder that we must continually talk about hard things. and nurture and take care of our marriage.

    also- two voices! yes!

  • Moz

    This is an incredibly brave and generous post – thank you. I wish you guys all the very best. And Kathryn – stay well xx

  • http://Www.armyamy.wordpress.com Amy*

    My mom tells the story that right before she walked down the aisle, my grandfather told her, “It’s not too late to change your mind.” He wasn’t joking or dogging my dad, but he wanted her to know it was ok to say no even if it was at the last minute. It’s got to be exponentially harder to actually call off a wedding, even if it’s the right thing to do, than just talk about it. Kudos to you for making the hard decision, preserving your friendship, and sharing your story.*

    • http://kbegnaud.tumblr.com Kathryn

      My mother said the same thing to me shortly after we were engaged. She let me know she loved Tyler but that if I ever didn’t want to go through with it, she would understand. I really think it was one of the greatest gifts she could have given me.

  • ceebee

    I really wish I could share this with someone dear. Who is waiting for something bad to happen so he could push out the wedding. He was going to call it off because his doubts are getting more resounding or rather he’s never felt like it’s what he wanted but what his parents wanted, but he loved them too much to call it off. He loved them who loved her too much to acknowledge that this is not the girl. So he told himself love and the One doesn’t exist.

  • rosierobot

    Thanks for writing this. This is the first time I’ve written on APW after reading for over a year. It is refreshing and encouraging to hear you both write so frankly about ways in which communication breaks down and it’s not until much later, after dramatic measures have been taken, that you can Really see where the way out/forward might be. So brave to take those first steps in the dark toward uncertain things. Good luck with everything going into the future, it seems you have definitely found/fostered strength in one another.

  • Not Sarah

    Kathryn and Tyler, thank you so much for sharing your story, together. You have relayed some of my biggest fears about a relationship and sharing my life with someone – sometimes, I’m simply not together enough to tackle life by myself, let alone with letting another person in.

    You guys are so brave to be able to call off the wedding and even braver to still recognize that you love each other and want to work through life together. I wish you the best going forward, for both of you, and for Kathryn and both of you in living with her depression.

  • http://www.lovingwithchronicillness.blogspot.com Maya

    Thank you for having the courage to write this beautiful post. I can relate to so much of what you’re saying and it helped me tremendously. I recently got engaged to someone who has also been my best friend for years. He is preparing to begin his medical school residency and I’m heading into my final year of graduate school. On top of that, I cope with 2 chronic (and painful) illnesses on a daily basis . We also both cope with various health problem within our families. Obviously we have a lot on our plates, and some might say we have a lot working against us. It’s scary to make any marriage work, but under these circumstances we soon realized we had special needs as a couple.

    Although I originally thought a wedding would be a fun and wonderful adventure for us, it turns out that adding it into the mix was the final straw. The wedding planning ALL fell on me, as he was far too busy with med school responsibilities. He was emotionally drained by the time he came home from a long day at the hospital, and it seemed we were more distant than ever before. We were no longer “us.” I was becoming resentful of his schedule and the way things were just…changing.We had a tremendous blowout and took a break for 2 weeks. It was devastating, but we’ve decided to postpone our wedding for another few years. This way we can adjust to the demands of becoming a doctor, potentially relocating, etc. It wasn’t a fun or easy decision (in fact, it was pretty gut-wrenching), but we both know that we have a lot of work to do on ourselves and our relationship before we’re ready to walk down that aisle. Otherwise – like you said – the marriage itself would likely be doomed.

    Again, thank you so much for reminding me that every couple travels their own path; that sometimes waiting can be the best thing you can do.

  • Caro

    It’s so nice to read about someone else calling off their wedding. I had to call mine of earlier this year just a week before it was I was due to walk down the aisle! Everything bought and booked and I still have to pay for it! I found out my fiancé was cheating on me but, honestly, that was the least of our problems! Things had been rocky ever since he proposed and then lost his job a week later. I jumped on a high speed train to weddingsville and he stayed at home and freaked out! We stopped really talking about anything other than the wedding and even that was a nightmare as he never really wanted to discuss things due to the freaking out! As horrible as it was I am glad that we didn’t go through with the wedding. We are now trying to re-build our relationship and get past all the bad stuff. It’s not going to be easy but I am really sure that it will be worth it. We still love each other a great deal and I think we have something that is worth fighting for. My only advice for anyone thinking about doing the same thing is make sure that whoever it is that has to call and tell people the wedding is off is well versed in what to say. Having your Dad call up everyone you invited and tell them that you decided you didn’t want to be part of a harem makes things harder if you eventually decide to stay together! Good luck for the future to everyone that has been brave enough to jump off the speeding wedding train before it is too late.

  • LeeAnn

    I’m so glad I came across this article! My fiance and I were to be married in six weeks… However I called off the wedding, due to some personal hurdles I felt needed to be jumped before we could have a successful marriage. There are a lot of emotional issues that my fiance needs to face before he can be a 100% contributing partner to our union.

    My fiance and I got stuck in the same rut as everyone else… We were consumed with making wedding decisions, but weren’t talking about the things in life that really mattered. When we got engaged, my fiance pushed me to set a date. I didn’t really know when I would be ready to get married, but knew I loved him. So, to appease him, we set it in stone. Unfortunately, the emotional issues have caused some strain with my family. It’s hard to make a decision and stick with it when you’re being pulled from all directions. I know my family only wants what is best for me. He is truly sorry for the emotional outbursts that caused the strain in the first place, and is seeking help by seeing a counselor, and here I am… Stuck in the middle… I know I love him, but I need to see a change, which may not happen for a long time.

    The best advise I can give anyone who might end up in this situation is to take things a day at a time. I don’t know what the future holds, whether things will or will not work out in the end, but I owe it to the person I almost pledged eternity to. I won’t lie, I have my moments where I wonder, “Is this really worth all the stress?” And then a minute later, “This just might work.” It’s a tough situation to be in, but probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

  • Cassie

    This is so moving, I thank you so much for this! I love my fiancee more than anything in the world and cant imagine not being his wife. However the depression that I am just starting to accept eats at me and that he struggles to pull me out of is just too much. I can’t enjoy let alone bare the wedding planning process. When I came across this trying to hype myself up for wedding planning, I just know now what I have to do, hopefully we wont call off the engagement entirely just call off the wedding and all until I am better. Thank you so much, really thank you!

  • brandy

    “I can only say that agbalaxy@gmail.com spell was the best help that I could have had during the most traumatic time I’ve ever had in my life. My boyfriend of 2 ½ years decided to call off our relationship. Everything that he said would happen did, his behaviour was like reading from your lips. In terms of insight into my own personality and the way that I behave it was invaluable and I really won’t make those mistakes again, ever. So thank you , I would certainly recommend this to anyone going through difficult times, it was fantastic, it gave me a plan, which in turn gave me hope and got my life back on track at the same time. This got me through the first few weeks and is still helping me now.He now does all of the things that he never used to do and I’m so less needy, I feel like all of the negative stuff that made me what I’d become have fallen away and I’m back to my real self again. brandy

  • Danielle

    Hey you guys! I’m very late to post on your blog, but I was relieved to read this! We called off our wedding earlier this spring, two months before the actual wedding. After calling it off, we encountered a lot of backlash from friends and family, this caused a rift between us and we eventually broke up completely… and it was a BAD break up.

    Fast forward a couple of months: we have just recently started talking regularly again, and realize how much we really, really love each other. We have agreed to start dating each other again, and we have both expressed that we DO want to get married at some point. We have agreed to counseling and committing 100% to re-building our lives together. My question for both of you, and to everyone that has commented… HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY who are against this reconciliation? When we called off the wedding, EVERYONE started speculating, and after we broke up, they all took sides. I know personally that I am scared of the judgement, the unacceptance of me back into his life. I am worried about my friends and family, and their overprotective judgement. How long will it take for people to accept us together? And how do we handle those who make vocal their disapproval? Can anyone offer examples, and advice for me so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed… do I really need to apologize for calling off the wedding and do I owe everyone an explaination?

    You story is an inspiration! Thank you for sharing with the world! =)

  • Melissa

    I too went throught a very similar experience and have had a difficult time with family and friends,judgements and taking sides. Brief background- Postponed wedding first time (engaged too soon, planned wedding too fast and fiance was going through a really bad time with depression-so I said lets wait thankfully invitations were not sent out yet) Part two: I was so bummed there was no wedding and my fiance felt bad because I would mope at everyone wedding dress commercial, magazine ad, wedding invitation etc.. So we rushed into planning a wedding for a second time, I guess I was desperate to have a wedding and be married rather than focus on my relationship (turning 30 may had something to with it). 4 weeks before the wedding (invitations, bridal shower, bachelorette party already happened, everything planned and ready to go) we got into a huge fight, fiance said we cant get married, I was so mad I just moved out. Such a bad way to end things, very abrupt both of us were stubborn and had been through alot individually that I think we just put our hands in the air and walked away. About 300 people now had to be notfied about the cancelled wedding- talk about embarressing, both families took sides and everyone was so upset it was AWFUL. It has been the most painful and confusing time of my life! I think I was in shock for a few months. Make a long story short-My ex-fiance kept and I started talking about what went wrong, how did we get to the point we got to, come to realize we never communicated enough during the relationship, it was causing alot of misunderstandings. We both needed to grow up and understand how to be in a healthy relationship we worked on our issues and took things really slow, we started out by talking then dating and now are in a relationship (a healthy and happy one) Also a strong one because even after all that we are more comitted and in love with each other than ever. We both want to be married one day but that is not the focus. We have been together for 8 months now, some people are still are not thrilled about it, some of my friends told me I was crazy etc. My mom supported me all along because she saw how sad I was without him. She understood people make mistakes, it and that everything is not black and white. Forgiveness and working things out is something to be appluaded not ashamed of. Unfortunately you cannot control other peoples opinions or some unwanted advice you may hear. It requires you to be really strong and to remember it is up to you and your partner (only the two of you know EXACTLY what happened in the relationship, what makes you both happy and what you both want) Listen to your gut, and dont make decisions based on other peoples opinions. Family and friends want the best for their loved ones, so they may be overprotective. Thats okay! Sometimes you need to consider what they are saying but ulitmately its you decision. If they truly love you and want the best they will respect your decision no matter what it is. Tell them to trust your judgement, you know hat makes you happy and ask for their understanding.
    I lost a friend because of it, and althoug it is very sad, i came to terms with understanding we really didnt have much of a friendship at all. I guess my point is friends and family will come around eventually once they see you are happy and your relationship is going well they will be supportative (I should say true friends will anyways).
    PS: One lesson I learned is not to share details of your relationship with the world, keep it in the relationship.. people will judge!

    • Erin

      The part about keeping it in the relationship is a good move. No one wants to rehash dirty laundry should you get married some day.

  • Gina

    Thank you for sharing your story. I read this post about 2 weeks before we cancelled our wedding because I wanted to get an idea of what to expect. I could no longer hide from the fact that something wasn’t right. Its now 1 month after we cancelled, and the wedding would have been 2 months from now. The original post and subsequent comments had a lot of meaning the first time I read them, but now they are incredibly powerful and I really appreciate the honesty with which everyone shared. My ex-fiance and I are still together and working things out. Thank you everyone for preparing me for this. This is the most difficult situation I’ve ever dealt with, and it’s turning out to be quite rewarding.

  • anderson

    Anderson
    This was even faster than I could dream of. Thank you for taking time to listen to me and answering all my emails. I feel emotional strong again. My confidence is back and I see my future clearly. I am forever grateful for your help in re-uniting me with my old lover. Am talking about priestandrew91@yahoo.com, for he has brought smile to my face again.

  • Kelsey

    Wow..thank you for posting this. I am freshly in a situation similar and reading that this happens more than I think is really helpful.
    I had been engaged since August but just called it off. My fiance, now just boyfriend, had been lying to me for a few months. He was afraid of being truthful because he was afraid of disappointment so I told him we can’t get married in 6 months until issues are worked out. I still love him and want him to focus on himself for a bit and find motivation to be successful with his life. We both have schedule counseling appointments soon and I’m sure we’ll be attending some of them together as well. The ring is no longer on my finger which is the hardest part but..he now has it and will re-propose once he is back on track with life and living it fully.

  • alyssa

    We have chosen to remain engaged but we have called off or postponed the wedding. This is such uncharted territory. I just don’t feel engaged since we no longer have a date and are “working on things” suggestions?

    • Melissa

      My best advice to you is focus on each other and getting your relationship back on track. Love each other enjoy the time you spend with each other because the alternative is not having that person in your life. I found I needed a little space right after it was called off to deal with the adjustment. I was devasted and did not like to go “backwards” in the realtionship but having that attititude was preventing our relationship from moving forward and getting us to the place where it needed to be! When i had space i realized how much i wanted my fiance in my life and that it did not matter if we were engaged or married, it mattered we were still together and BOTH still wanted to make the relationship right and BOTH would do whatever it takes to get to that point. It made our relationship so much stronger, and once i was able to get past thinking negative thoughts and focusing on not being engaged or having a wedding things moved forward and dramaticaly improved.
      Stay positive, open minded and remember the end goal is a healthy relationship with the right person – the wedding is the celebration when it gets to that point!

  • Liza

    Hi, I am in a similar situation as I got engaged last 27 April 2013 after just being 2 months together! (Talk about whirlwind!)

    We already booked a reception venue, my favorite photographer, received my save the dates, wedding dress and got my parish permission letter to be married at a different parish. But before we had all those, I had my doubts on how we were moving so fast!

    You see, there is also a 12-year age gap in our relationship and while Im 36 and so ready to settle down and have a family, but is ironic since I’m the one standing to reason about how this could turn out bad. My fiance is 24 and freshly graduated and is being groomed for the Major League Baseball and has been playing the Independent League and MInor Leagues…however since sports is very unpredictable he gets in and out with rejections and I feel that he needs to focus on developing his career and get self-fulfilled first before we proceed on the wedding preparations. However, he feels the opposite. he thinks his feelings about our wedding won’t change and sees it as a positive supportive factor—me as his wife beside him as he goes thru this “rollercoaster”…Aunt told me the turn around after the recent rejection was very quick as oppose to his self destructive ways (World of War Craft addiction, skipping meals, depression but nothing worrisome like alcohol or drugs since he never did both) previously before having met me (to the point that he did see a therapist). oh and parents refuse to acknowledge my existence being protective of their only son. anyway, still waiting to see what happens but that is how i feel, give it a few months and even a year until we both could say we are ready including his parents acceptance. (SIGH)

  • wayupnorth

    This was good to read. We were supposed to be married last month but called it off a couple weeks before. Nothing was planned as he was out of the country for the 8 weeks prior and was “too busy” and “too tired” to help me out, not to mention lacking communications. It just seemed like it wasn’t meant to be. Not to mention it was pretty much the easiest wedding to cancel since such little was done and hardly anyone was coming anyway. again – meant to be…

    Now the aftermath is really tiring and confusing. We are still together (6 years now), however I’m 32 and he is 43 and I don’t want to wait longer and longer for him to be ready and for us to start a family. He doesn’t seem to want to create a life together and we lead separate lives though love each other very much. It is all just so sad.

    Anyway, still working out what will happen. It is day-by-day and a huge effort since our communication is really poor. I am glad the wedding was cancelled. Took some time avoiding people basically and figuring out things. He’s away overseas again and I’m relieved to have a break and some time alone to continue the figuring. Never felt so “in limbo” as now, which is annoying.

    Don’t know why I’m writing this more just to tell another story that this happened to me too.

  • wayupnorth

    The strangest thing is me deciding how and when to wear my engagement ring! I love it so much so keep on moving it from left to right to not wearing it at all. Just seeing how it all feels…

  • carley

    Hi, my boyfriend called our wedding off without me knowing. He had the conversation on his phone to his sister and that’s how I found out. We are still together but only by a thread. I’m hurt angry and feel betrayed by all of them. He is happy planning weekends away for next year and a holiday etc, all around the time we were ment to get hitched. I don’t know if we can survive this, or if I will ever trust him again. How on earth do I get through this. The wedding, the cake, the venue are all still booked as he has left me every thing to cancel.

  • tori amri

    I just wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation to prophet salifu on bringing my fiancee back to me,I was in a relationship for 9 years with my fiancee and all of a sudden, he started seeing another.he started hailing at me and he was abusive.. and he stop careing for me, but I still loved him with all my heart .the situation made me unsettle and not to focus at work .so someone told me about trying spiritual means to get my fiancee back and introduced me to a spell caster? i did not listen to her . i kept on hoping that my fiancee will come back home and beg as he use to . after a month it got out of hand and my fiancee came back home to break the news to me that he is getting married to the other lady .Hmmm i was so shocking to me ,i felt sad and depressed ,so i contacted my friend again and decieded to try to use spiritual means reluctantly..although I didn’t believe in all those things? I never thought in a million years that i will get my fiancee back to me a again. but I was proved wrong.after 2days, my fiancee came back to me and was pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn’t believe it that we are back together. Prophet salifu remained consistent and kind throughout and made the process unbelievable I am deeply satisfied and thankful .if in doubt you should email him at prophetsalifu@yahoo.com or prophetsalifu@gmail.com

  • Kim

    I’m so beyond relieved to read your story. I just cancelled my wedding three days before the date. I was standing outside in the pouring rain with the tent set up crew, freezing and frantic about every last detail. A text came through from my fiancé expressing that he had decided to postpone our honeymoon (planned two days after our wedding day)… for a 3-4 week time frame. He said it was important to ensure we worked on our relationship first before we could confidently go on a honeymoon. This confused me beyond words, infuriated me as well. How could he make this decision without my input? He stated it was a “condition” of his if we were to get married. I attempted to express my feelings of how important this honey moon was to us BOTH — to decompress… unwind… distress and enjoy each other after a very stressful 9 months of planning. My attempt wasn’t successful. He never budged. This comes with months of fights… delays in living together (him moving in with me). He still hadn’t moved in yet, but was renting next door — I own my condo. I had been waiting for him to finally move in for months. The longer he waited, the more resentful I became. Yet, I was also the one handling every last wedding detail, every vendor, every chore and appointment… so I became quite distracted from the relationship itself. He’s the type to shut down and block things out. So, we never really worked anything out. As the day came closer, I saw no enthusiasm in his eyes or his spirit. It hurt me. Honestly, I could feel I wasn’t as estatic as I had expected to be either. I think I carried resentment. The problem now is although we’ve cancelled this day, well… technically “I” did… I feel an overwhelming sense of humiliation, guilt, and just as if I’ve wasted and ruined everything. Yet, now that it’s been done… he seems more loving than ever towards me. It’s beyond confusing. It’s as if the pressure’s off… and now he’s happy again. He is begging for us to try to pick things up and build from here. that we could still have a wedding one day. That he’d like to move in and finally get settled living together. But a part of me, the stubborn part and the protective part, is feeling manipulated. I love him… and could see us at the alter. I could see us married and taking that leap. But now, I’m not sure love and a life is possible again. The pain feels too deep. Could it ever be the same? He’s confusing me with endless love and affection now… all things I felt were lacking before this wedding. All things I had wanted and had been needing. Just confused beyond words. Feeling like a shell of who I really am. But, this post did help me ponder the possibility of a “take 2″ of our relationship if that’s what we decide. Thank you for posting.

  • nm

    Thanks so much for sharing this story. Two days ago, I made an extremely difficult decision and spoke to my fiancee about postponing our wedding, which was scheduled to happen in five months. I’ve been having personal issues with depression, and about a month ago I started medication and I’m scheduled to start therapy in a week. I love my fiancee so much, he’s a wonderful man, I just don’t want to start our marriage in an unhealthy place mentally. We’ve had some communication issues and our work schedules are opposite, so I don’t see him very much at all (maybe 6 hours a week or so, and most of that time is spent watching television because we’re both exhausted). It’s been so difficult for us to even make time to be in the same room, that it took us 5 days to find time to even have the discussion about postponing the wedding, because it was obviously something I needed to talk to him about face to face not via text or email, which is the primary way that we communicate. I find this way of living to be a huge obstacle in our relationship (our schedules were not this way for the first year and a half or so of our relationship), but although he realizes it’s not ideal, he doesn’t seem to think there’s a problem with it, and feels that it will change over time, which I don’t agree with. In some ways, I feel like such a coward for asking to postpone the wedding. I feel like if I were braver, I would take the risk, knowing that he loves me, and would jump in and say ok, whatever it takes to make it we’re going to make it happen. But I don’t feel comfortable getting married to someone feeling like this. I feel we need time to work on our relationship to get it to a healthy place so that we can both feel good about being married.