There are few days in a person's life as important as their wedding day. But what if you’re just not ready? Well, then you’ll have to find a way out — and that’s not easy. In this feature, we’ll tell ten hilariously bizarre stories of people who did crazy things to get out of their weddings.
Never let a groom plan a wedding. When British man Neil McArdle realized that he’d forgotten to book the Liverpool St. George’s Hall for his October wedding and showed up to find another couple getting married there, he panicked. And then he called in a bomb threat to have the building shut down so his fiancée wouldn’t discover his cock-up. His lady love was left standing in the street as the other wedding vacated the building, and it wasn’t long before cops traced the call to McArdle and gave him a year in jail.
The stress of a wedding can make brides crazy, but Jennifer Wilbanks took it up a notch in what came to be known as the "runaway bride case." In 2005, four days before her wedding to John Mason, Wilbanks disappeared. When she turned up on April 29th, she was in New Mexico saying that she’d been kidnapped by a Hispanic man and a white woman who had also sexually assaulted her. Of course, the whole story was a hoax, and the police quickly picked it apart. She claimed she just “needed some space,” and she got it — Mason married another woman a few years later.
What happens at the bachelor party stays at the bachelor party — or at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. But for Zimbabwean businessman Chinedu Okpeh, that wasn’t going to fly. The night before his 2013 wedding to Cynthia Muchinezuro, Okpeh went out to the club with his boys and ended up banging a stripper. Unfortunately for him, not only did he show up at the church with stank on his hang-low, but somebody had sent a video of him doing the deed to his fiancée, who promptly dumped him at the altar.
Let’s head over to Japan for this next dumb wedding-canceling move. Tatsuhiko Kawata promised to marry his girlfriend in 2008, despite already having a wife, and the mild-mannered man couldn’t see any way out of his situation. So he went to the mountain resort hotel in Hokuto where the ceremony was supposed to take place and set it on fire. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but police brought him in on arson charges and he was humiliated in front of both his current wife and his prospective future one.
Na Cola Franklin
When you’re getting ready for your big day, tensions can run high. High enough to murder the person you’re supposed to be spending the rest of your life with, though? Na Cola Franklin was getting ready to marry her long-time fiancé Billy Brewster in 2012 when the pair started arguing after Brewster came home from his bachelor party. Things rapidly got out of control, and Franklin grabbed a kitchen knife and swung wildly at her man, stabbing him twice in the chest and puncturing his heart. She was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
It’s not certain whether Chinese groom Zhao Lei meant to ruin his own wedding in Beijing in July 2013, but his ill-fated two words did as much to cancel his marriage as any of the other idiots on this list. During the ceremony, which was held in the Western style, as is popular in Asia right now, Lei turned to his fiancée and asked her “Xiao Ling, will you marry me.” Only one problem: the woman he was marrying was named Zhao Ting. Xiao Ling was the name of his first love, who broke his heart when she moved away from China. Zhao Ting slapped him in the face and fled the scene, throwing her wedding ring on the ground as she left.
Turkish groom İlkay Özsarı was actually married to his wife Cemre in a secret ceremony, but that didn’t stop him from royally screwing up their public reception. En route to the party, Özsarı got into an argument with his fiancée over two bracelets that his aunt had given the couple. Enraged, he started beating her in the back seat of their car, and when they got to the café where the reception was to be held he pulled a gun on her relatives, kicking off a massive street-clearing brawl. Police came and arrested him, but he later asked his new bride to take him back. We don’t know if she did, unfortunately.
Here’s another one from Japan, perhaps the most emotionally passive-aggressive country in the world. A young man named Tatsuzo Takazawa was set to be married in Tokyo in 1971, with one problem: he didn’t have the money to pay for either the ceremony or the reception. He staked the last of his cash on a horse race, only to lose it all. Unwilling to face the public humiliation, he threw himself from the window of an office building while his bride was waiting for him at the altar. I guess they don’t do elopements in Japan?
We don’t think that John Azabache really wanted to cancel his July 2013 wedding to Amanda Rae DeLuccia, but his actions left his future bride no choice. The day of the ceremony, police took the Westchester high school teacher into custody on charges of raping a 16-year-old student. The announcement took friends and family by surprise, but the bride’s grandmother had some stern words for her no-longer-future son-in-law: “He always seemed like a nice guy. I don’t know what happened. You men are all alike. You stink. I hope they send him to jail forever.”
Next: Disturbing Wedding Photos
The tradition of getting blotto before you get married is a storied one, but British girl Siobhan Watson took it a step too far. After her parents shelled out over $10,000 for a fancy ceremony where she was to marry bricklayer Aaron Todd, Watson spent the night before getting totally drunk — so drunk, in fact, that she overslept and woke up in a strange hotel room. Vomiting profusely, she managed to pull herself together and get to the church five hours after the ceremony was scheduled to happen, only to find her groom royally pissed off and her wedding canceled.