Group 28

2022-09-24 06:47:17 By : Ms. Rita Lee

Kayley Stead went ahead with a party that cost her entire life savings

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A jilted bride went ahead with a party that cost her entire life savings after the groom stood her up. Kayley Stead, 27, ploughed on without the groom on her wedding day - with pictures, cutting the cake and expensive meal.

Her partner of almost four years failed to arrive but she carried on without him. The news was delivered by her partner's crying mum after being due to get married on September 15.

She managed to go ahead with her wedding entrance, meal, speeches, dances and even posed for professional photos - all without her groom. She spent her first dance with the groomsmen, her brothers, Craig, 47, Matthew, 46, Gary, 46, another Craig, 43, and her dad, Brian, 71.

She said: "I saw the groom at around 4pm the day before the wedding and I haven't heard from him since. 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.

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"It was an absolute shock. I had no indication he was going to do this but seeing my girls distraught, made me want to turn the day around. I didn't want to remember the day with complete sadness. The whole day, we were saying it felt like an episode of Hollyoaks or EastEnders. It didn't feel like a real life situation.

"There were so many special moments, like my wedding entrance, the sparkler walk, the first dance and punching the wedding cake, so there was still happiness in the day. I'd spent all this money. I'd been looking forward to the food, a dance with my dad, spending time with my family, so why not?"

Kayley said: "The groom and I had already agreed not to speak the night before the wedding anyway, so I didn't know what was happening on his end. I didn't have a clue, I was in complete, unknown bliss." Kayley said: "We woke up at quarter past six in the morning when the make-up artist arrived.

"We had breakfast together and then started getting ready. One of the groomsmen contacted my best friend to say the groom was gone. The bridal party hid my phone so they could decide what was the best way to tell me and I wouldn't find out from someone else. They wanted to make sure he was definitely gone before panicking me.

"I found my phone and saw I had a missed call from his mum. I called her back and she was crying. She told me he had gone for a drive in the early hours of the morning and that he was gone. At that point, I wasn't nervous. I was still quite hopeful, as throughout our relationship, he had sometimes gone for a walk or a drive to clear his head when he was nervous. For a couple of hours, I was saying he was going to be there, and I was reassuring the girls.

"I honestly believed, hand on heart, that he was going to be there. I asked the girls, his family and the groomsmen to continue getting ready, because I honestly believed he was going to be there." At around 11am, Kayley had just sat to have her hair done with her make-up all finished when she spoke to the groom's dad on the phone.

He said her partner had been in touch and would not be attending the wedding. Kayley said: "At that point, I was gone. I was sobbing. Once I told my parents, the hairdresser and the videographer, that's when I had to tell myself that it wasn't going to happen. As a joke, the videographer said 'Why don't you carry on, you've spent all this money, you're not getting it back, all your guests are there, why not?'"

Kayley added: "My sister was redoing my make-up, because at that point it was all just gone. When she said 'Why don't you do it, Kayley?' that's when I decided. Kayley said: "I didn't want to see the ceremony room. I've never seen how that looked. When my sister and my best friend were explaining what had gone on to the guests, everybody was crying because they had been looking forward to that day. I asked for 10 minutes to myself before I saw my guests.

"Rather than walking down the aisle, I walked round the corner in my dress and had everybody just looking at me. Nobody knew what to do. I think they were a bit scared to say something. Suddenly everybody started cheering and hugging me."

She said: "We were just doing things off the cuff, really. It was all based on instinct, and we just went with it. I still wanted photos because all of the groomsmen and bridesmaids looked absolutely incredible and I wanted them to have their pictures as they normally would.

"The photographer also took a photo of me in my dress in the garden. Then we did family photos and bridesmaid photos instead of the bride and groom. You can probably see a few tear streaks down my face, but I love the photos. I was never going to make a speech, but I wanted to thank everyone for staying because they didn't have to.

"It was a very awkward situation for them to be in, but they all stayed. I wanted to make sure everyone knew that it wasn't about being sad, we were going to power through this. Everybody kept saying sorry to me, but I wanted that to stop. They hadn't chosen that path, they'd chosen to stay, so let's celebrate that."

Kayley said: "I'd always dreamed of dancing with my dad at my wedding. He's 71 and I always had a fear that he and my mum, Dee, 63, wouldn't be at my wedding, so I always wanted to have my dance with him. My four brothers and the groomsmen joined in because I wanted to thank them for staying. They didn't run away, and I would have totally understood if they did, but they stood by me the whole day."

Kayley said: "My best friends haven't left my side since. They slept with me in the room, so I wasn't on my own, as it was a weird space to be in without seeing all his stuff. 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. I don't want anybody to think I gave him a reason to leave me because I had no inclination before, that he was going to do this.

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