[[quoteright:300:[[Series/SexAndTheCity http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sarah_jessica2.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[-Obviously a difficult choice for the bride. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Do you know how hard it is to run in Manolos?]]-] ]]

->''"She walked away from a happy man\\
I thought I was so cool,\\
I just stood there whistling\\
'There goes the bride' as she walked out the door."''
-->-- '''Music/TheyMightBeGiants''', "Lucky Ball and Chain"

A WeddingDay trope, focusing on the bride who abandons her groom at the altar, either to be with her new flame, celebrate her independence, or she has cold feet for some story-related reason. This often occurs at the climax of the movie, and is frequently (though not always) treated as being a [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop heartwarming and positive affirmation]] of the power of True Love/Independent Women for the would-be bride. The fact that it's also a humiliating, heartbreaking, psychologically-scarring betrayal for the would-be groom tends to be glossed over. Often occurs after the priest has said, "SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace."

Alternately, we get stories focusing on the heartbroken bride who is left at the altar, and the [[DoubleStandard absolute cad]] who ran away and left her there.

This trope could be the result of societal expectations. Men are stereotypically expected to have a dose of dread before a wedding. It's supposed to be more shocking when it's the woman who backs out to be free and single, or run away with another man. Since this offers zero comfort to the poor schlub who just got dumped in front of his family and friends on ''his'' big day, writers are careful [[DisposableFiance not to develop the would-be groom too much]]--or they flat-out make him the villain--to keep audiences from sympathizing with him and calling her out on her recklessness. This trope is particularly common if the character (or her social/cultural background) cares more about getting married than whether or not the relationship is marriage material in the first place. She runs away when she realizes this is absolutely not what she wants.

While it is ''more common'' in modern works for it to be the woman who is viewed sympathetically, whether she is the runaway partner or the jilted-at-the-altar partner, there are plenty of cases of it being played the other way. Generally, it depends on the [[SympatheticPOV gender of the protagonist.]]

If these characters think a bit more and made their escape before the ceremony, they become [[RunawayFiance Runaway Fiancé(e)s]] instead. Less humiliating for the other parts implied, but not that much.

If you were looking for the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode, see Recap/DoctorWho2006CSTheRunawayBride. The Julia Roberts movie can be found [[Film/RunawayBride here]].


!!Runaway Brides

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'''s Melissa Mao tells a story about her dealing with an unwanted ArrangedMarriage by dumping the groom at the altar and joining the Marines. In her wedding dress. For added fun it's mentioned that the guys at the recruiting station were a little leery of inducting a girl in a wedding dress, until she mentioned that her father (who'd arranged the marriage) was a colonel in the Air Force. After they heard that, [[InterserviceRivalry they signed her right up just to spite him]].
* At first, Clarisse in ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro'' is a RunawayFiance when she runs away from her ArrangedMarriage (presumably during dress rehearsal). Her husband-to-be, the evil Count Cagliostro, manages to capture her and [[AndNowYouMustMarryMe force her to comply to the marriage]]. However, during the wedding ceremony Lupin comes to free Clarisse and both flee which turns Clarisse into a proper RunawayBride.
* In the ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'' anime, Pai Chan is being chased by a CorruptCorporateExecutive who wants to marry her. Then, after she runs away, she bumps into IdiotHero Akira Yuki and asks him to help her keep her unwanted suitor at bay...
* In ''Anime/YesPrettyCure5'', Komachi ''wants'' to almost marry someone she doesn't really love, then become a RunawayBride via a SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace type situation, because it'd be really dramatic if that happened. Seriously.
* ''Anime/{{Gankutsuou}}'' has Eugenie, who was being forced to marry Andrea (who was forcing the issue out of revenge, and also because he's a sick man who [[spoiler: has a thing for incest]]). Luckily for her, Albert and Peppo [[{{Crossdresser}} disguise themselves as maids]], and manage to stop the wedding by helping Eugenie run away from Andrea at the altar.
* One episode of Anime/TheIdolmaster involved a girl running away from an ArrangedMarriage, and [[HilarityEnsues hilarity ensuing]] when she runs into Azusa, who is doing a wedding-themed photo shoot.
* Gudrid from ''Manga/VinlandSaga'' runs away from her [[ArrangedMarriage intended groom]] on their wedding night... After stabbing him (nonfatally) in the leg.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Mariko Yashida left ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} during the ceremony, in ComicBook/FrankMillersWolverine, because he was not worthy. But then again, [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt did you really expect Wolverine to get married]]?

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* This was part of Raven Sherman's back story in ''ComicStrip/TerryAndThePirates''. She ran away from a society wedding; fleeing to China and setting up a medical mission.
* In one long ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' arc, Snoopy fell in love and with a female beagle and they became engaged; sadly, on the day of the wedding, she ran off with his brother, Spike, his best man. But there was an interesting twist later; Spike wrote to apologize, saying that when they got back to Needles, she ran off with a coyote.
* In ''ComicStrip/OnTheFastrack'' the always dour Fi nearly ran away from her wedding because her always lingering trust issues got to her. Dethany talked her back into marrying Carl.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Empath assumes that this is what happened to Smurfette at his wedding day in the ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' story "Empath's Wedding" when he enters her house and sees that his hat (which is what she's supposed to wear to signify who she's marrying) is lying on the floor, until Smurfette's companion and wedding guest Blue Eyes points out that she's been magically transported by someone...and Empath correctly assumes that it's Chlorhydris, who's getting even for her ruined wedding night (which in the cartoon series was thought to be the case of a Runaway Groom) by ruining Empath's wedding.
* The entire premise of the ''VideoGame/{{Aveyond}}'' fanfic, ''Fanfic/UncertaintyPrinciple - A Runaway Bride'', in which Rhen was pressured to claim the throne of Thais and marry Dameon, but had second thoughts at the last minute and left the country just before her wedding.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' fic ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/6248479/chapters/14316103 I Do?]]'' has Marinette running out on her wedding to Adrien due to realising she loves her crimefighting partner Chat Noir, a detail she can't exactly explain to Adrien later without revealing her identity as Ladybug. [[spoiler:But, since Adrien ''is'' Chat Noir, he's able to put the whole thing together when he meets Ladybug on patrol that night. As a result, the two are able to reconcile and are making plans to elope by the end of the story.]]
* ''FanFic/ThePiecesLieWhereTheyFell'': [[spoiler:Xvital, thanks to her disapproving would-be mother-in-law discovering her past as a thief and thinking her intended would hate her for it, fled just hours before the wedding.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The trope takes its name from ''Film/RunawayBride'', a Julia Roberts movie about a woman who repeatedly does this.
* In ''Film/CoverGirl,'' Rita Hayworth plays [[IdenticalGrandson two generations]] of runaway brides.
* The protagonist of ''Film/CrouchingTigerHiddenDragon'', already a RebelliousPrincess type, flees from her new marriage the day after. Of course, anyone who has seen this long cinematic piece probably forgot this [[BittersweetEnding by the end of the movie]]...
* There's ''Film/TheGraduate'', which is not ignorant of the implications of the act. Not only is the ceremony already over by the time they do it, after the thrill of the act wears off they're left sitting apart from each other on a bus, both with looks on their faces that say [[ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime "Did we really just do the right thing?"]]
* In typical French comedic style, the film ''Heartbreaker'' [[spoiler:has the bride walking down to the aisle to her utter saint of a groom with her father whispering in her ear he knows he's not what will make her happy, and turning and running off just as she reaches the altar, on her way to be with the hero. A clip shown during the credits shows the groom still being an utter saint about it, even while hearing comments about how horrible a thing it was to do and how he can do better anyway from the bride's GoldDigger best friend.]]
* Tala in ''Film/ICantThinkStraight'' is a serial runaway bride, having a history of dating whatever young successful man that her parents would approve of only to break it up once the wedding was up. At the start of the movie she is on fiance number four, and her relatives are placing bets whether she break it up before or after the engagement dinner. Turns out she has a really good reason for her behavior (It's all there in the title).
-->'''Tala:''' (''on her sister needing to call her boyfriend and tell him what she is doing'') That is exactly the kind of relationship I want to avoid. At all cost.\\
'''Leyla:''' So your fiancé isn't like that?\\
'''Tala:''' Hani? No. He is an Arab. Is born and brought up in Jordan. But he is different from the rest. Kind. Open minded. And he makes a great martini.\\
'''Leyla:''' He sounds wonderful.\\
'''Tala:''' Yeah. He is.... He is. At least I can't find anything wrong with him.\\
'''Leyla:''' [[ArmorPiercingQuestion Why are you trying?]]\\
''[Pregnant pause while Tala stares into Leylas eyes, before changing the subject.)''
* The Creator/FrankCapra classic 1934 ScrewballComedy ''Film/ItHappenedOneNight'': Claudette Colbert runs away from her wedding to a rich playboy in favor of Creator/ClarkGable's smart-mouthed freelance journalist--with her father's subtle encouragement (he had the getaway car ready). The movie does note that the scene is extremely embarrassing to said playboy when this is foreshadowed earlier in the film, at least acknowledging the effect on the groom (though also implying he deserved it in the same scene).
* In ''Film/MadeOfHonor'', after the would-be bride kisses the hero, the bride's mother smiles at her neighbour, overjoyed the heartwarming sight... only to have her smile falter as her neighbor, the understandably irked mother of the groom glares at her. The jilted groom, while accepting the wedding is off ends up punching the hero in the face, and is not exactly portrayed as being wrong in doing so.
-->'''Groom's Mother:''' [unintelligibly mangled due to accent]\\
'''Hero:''' What'd she say?\\
'''Groom:''' She said I should deck you.\\
'''Hero:''' Oh.\\
'''Groom:''' She's right. ('''''PUNCH!''''')
* ''Film/{{Monte Carlo|1930}}'' starts with Countess Helene running out on her wedding to Duke Otto for the third time.
* A passive version in ''Film/{{Monsters|2010}}'' with Samantha clearly reluctant to return to her fiancé and get married, but unwilling to take action to call the whole thing off.
* The title character in ''Film/{{Penelope}}'' becomes this, after a suitor proposes to her only to save his reputation, and she accepts only to break the curse. He is greatly relieved when she runs.
* Played with in ''Film/TheProposal''. After spending a weekend with the groom's family, the bride confessed at the altar to the whole family that she had blackmailed the man (her subordinate at the New York publishing firm where they both worked) into marrying her to [[CitizenshipMarriage avoid being deported]]. Of course after the tearful departure and as she was packing up her office the guy managed to catch up to her and propose for real.
* In ''Film/SavingFace'', in something of a ShoutOut to ''The Graduate'' (staged in a similar manner), the heroine gets her pregnant mother to abandon the guy her grandfather had bullied her into marrying at the altar. The mother then ends up with the guy who fathered the baby, though he was pretty passive through the entire movie.
* Frog, Sally Field's character in the ''SmokeyAndTheBandit'' trilogy, does this twice to Sheriff Justice's painfully incompetent son Junior. At the beginning of the first movie, she simply wants to get away from Junior; in the second movie, she runs away because Bandit is about to make a lucrative cargo run and Frog was offered a piece of the action by Snowman, the Bandit's partner.
* In ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', Princess Vespa does this to the uninspiring Prince Valium ''twice'', once at the beginning of the movie (resulting in her having to wear the gown through the entire film, being unable to change), and once at the end when her true love Lone Starr crashes the wedding ceremony. Valium doesn't really seem to mind, though. Partially because he's a narcoleptic that has no dialog anyway, and partly because the only reason the two of them were getting married at all was because Valium and Vespa were the only Princess and Prince in the universe, respectively. Until Lone Starr finds out he's a prince too, thus fixing the problem.
* ''Film/SpiderMan2'' plays it straight: Mary Jane abandons her groom (handsome, upstanding astronaut and all-around good guy John Jameson) at the altar for Peter. It comes across as particularly crass as she didn't even tell the groom in person but left a short note behind. [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality Of course, since she's leaving him for the title character we never see any negative repercussions of this selfish act]]. To his credit, Peter at least gives some token objection about Mary Jane doing this.
* Subverted by ''Film/TheWeddingSinger'', in which the bride who does this to her groom is in no way treated sympathetically, and her motives are revealed to be both shallow and, as her husband-to-be quite reasonably points out, nothing which couldn't have been raised ''the day before the wedding,'' thus sparing him ''some'' humiliation at least.
-->'''Linda''': I don't need more time, Robbie. I don't ever want to marry you.\\
'''Robbie''': ''[deep breath]'' Gee. You know that information...''really'' would've been more useful to me yesterday.\\
'''Linda:''' The point is, I woke up this morning and realized I'm about to get married to a wedding singer? I am never gonna leave Richfield!\\
'''Robbie:''' Why do you need to leave Richfield? We grew up here. All our friends are here; it's the perfect place to raise a family.\\
'''Linda:''' Oh, yeah - sure! Living in your sister's basement with five kids while you're off every weekends doing wedding gigs at a whoppin' sixty bucks a pop?\\
'''Robbie:''' Once again; things that ''could've been brought to my attention '''[[SuddenlyShouting YESTERDAY]]!'''''
* Also played with in ''Film/WhileYouWereSleeping'' - the bride waited until the wedding ceremony to confess that she had just pretended to be the fiancee so that she could [[strike:be a creepy voyeur]] check in on the guy she had a crush on when a serious accident landed him in a coma. (Incidentally, Sandra Bullock played the bride in question for both this and ''Film/TheProposal''.) To be fair to her, this one at least tried to tell the family the real situation a few times before this [[CannotSpititOut but something always seemed to interrupt her]].
* In ''Film/{{Mustang}}'', Nur escapes from an arranged marriage with her sister Lale.
* ''Film/AlreadyTomorrowInHongKong'' has [[spoiler: Ruby revealing that she is now engaged, but the film ends ambiguously over whether she'll go through with it or break things off to start a relationship with Josh]].
* Given a partial deconstruction at the climax of ''Film/BubbleBoy'', as [[spoiler: the groom is understandably bewildered that he's the only one taking exception to Jimmy interrupting the ceremony.]]

* In some ''Myth/RobinHood'' stories, Robin and his Merry Men stop a young maiden marrying some rich, old Norman scoundrel so she can be with her true love (often Alan-a-Dale). Of course, this was more justifiable when the ArrangedMarriage was common.
* In ''Marmion'' by Sir Creator/WalterScott, Ellen rides off with Lochinvar during the pre-wedding celebration. (Not quite "at the altar," but the days-long event had officially begun.)
* Literature/JaneEyre ran away, though not without reason - technically, the wedding had already been canceled. All Rochester could offer her was [[spoiler: the chance to be his mistress and Jane could not compromise her morals.]]
* In Creator/FedericoGarciaLorca's ''Blood Wedding'', the Bride runs away with her cousin's husband, AFTER she gets married to another man.
* At the very end of ''Emily's Quest'', [[spoiler: Ilse abandons her marriage to Teddy Kent when she hears that Perry Kent, her ''true'' love, has been killed in a car crash. Fortunately, he wasn't killed, just rather injured, so she ends up marrying him instead.]]
* In the ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' story "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor", the bride vanishes directly after the wedding. Everyone assumes she's met with foul play, but in fact she's run off with her previous husband, whom she had believed to be dead until he tracked her down the day of the ceremony.
* In the first ''Literature/SweetValleyHigh Saga'' book, Alice Robertson (the future mother of the twins) runs out on her fiance Hank Patman (the future father of Bruce), partly when she realizes at the last minute that she doesn't really love him and that they're not right for each other, but mostly because of her falling in LoveAtFirstSight with Ned Wakefield (and according to the book, their ancestors have been trying to hook up for nearly 200 years).
* In the last "Sisters Grimm" Book, 'The Council of Mirrors', Sabrina's wedding is crashed by Puck. Wouldn't apply, except that the epilogue shows that she and Puck now have two kids together. Ouch for her would-be husband, Bradley, whom we never hear of again.
* ''Literature/TheMarkOfTheHorseLord'': The King of the Dalriadain's wedding ceremony includes a bit where the groom and his mates chase down the bride who's pretending to flee on horseback. The hero's queen-to-be Murna, who considers the whole situation an AndNowYouMustMarryMe, actually goes for the breakaway.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/RobinOfSherwood'', the groom is the [[BigBad Sheriff of Nottingham]]. Who makes it quite clear he can't stand the girl, and is just interested in the dowry. When the Merry Men rescue her, but fail to steal the money, he's delighted.
* This is how ''Series/HappyEndings'' begins, with Alex running away from Dave (with a guy on rollerblades). However, since both Dave and Alex are main characters, neither are really demonized-Alex has legitimate reasons for not wanting to be with Dave, and Dave comes to forgive Alex after she apologizes, and the two eventually become friends.
* Played straight at the end of the seventh series of ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', in which Daphne abandons her groom at the altar to be with Niles; subverted in the next season in that, rather than running away, both Niles and Daphne elect to confess to their respective partners and face the music. The show also treats the occurrence in a somewhat realistic fashion, in which both Niles and Daphne have to contend with the bitter and spiteful (if pretty justified) reactions of their partners and insecurity in their relationship in the episodes that follow, rather than it being an automatic HappilyEverAfter for the two.
* This happened to Frasier in ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', as Diane left him at the altar for Sam. You'd think, then, that he might have been a bit more disapproving of the above.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', Amy Pond joins the Eleventh Doctor in the TARDIS the night before her wedding. In this case, she rationalizes that she can use the time machine to come back whenever she wants and not actually miss the date - and theoretically, her groom would never know. Naturally, it's not that simple [[spoiler: since Rory does find out due to the Doctor's meddling and he ''isn't'' happy. Then at one point Rory gets removed from time altogether.]] In the end, [[spoiler: they ''do'' get married and the show moves on to depict what a married couple on the TARDIS would go experience.]]
%% The episode of the same name is not an example. Do not add.
* Shane in ''Series/TheLWord''. After a reunion with her [[DisappearedDad estranged father]], who shares her womanizing tendencies, spooked her into thinking that if she went ahead with her wedding to Carmen and started a family, she'd eventually abandon them just like her father did to her, Shane decided that leaving her bride at the altar would be the lesser evil.
* The very first episode of ''Series/WillAndGrace'' has Grace leave her groom because Will disapproved of him. We don't see the guy at the time, but we're told he treated her like dirt and [[ChristmasCake Grace was only marrying him to avoid spinsterhood]], so it seems [[JustifiedTrope justified]], except for the question of why she waited so late to dump him.
* Parodied in an episode of ''Series/TheKingOfQueens''. Spence discovers his old girlfriend is getting married, realizes he still has feelings for her, so he and his friends have to drive over to the place the wedding is being held to tell her. After plenty of wacky events that delay them getting there, they get there ''just'' when the priest is giving the "if anyone objects to this union, let them speak now or forever hold their silence" line. Spence is about to step forward and object, when ''another'' guy in the audience stands up, declares his love for the bride, and she runs off with him instead.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** Rachel ran away from her wedding in the pilot. This was the first event in the series and the cause of many problems for her, so it's basically the 'setup' for Rachel's character. It was later revealed that her groom was already cheating on her and an alternate universe episode showed that had she actually married him, the marriage would have been miserable and eventually collapsed due to his infidelity.
** DoubleSubverted later on in the series, when Ross says the wrong name at the altar and his fiance feels like turning her back on him but finishes the ceremony before fleeing the reception. She later comes back to fly with Ross on their honeymoon, but he's with Rachel. She runs away again and mails him the divorce papers. Rachel lampshades this later on, when Emily locks herself in the bathroom: "When I was in the bathroom at my own wedding, I was trying to escape through the window."
* Done ''twice'' in an episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'': An man is found innocent of a murder Monk worked on, and Monk (feeling very guilty about putting an innocent man in jail) helps him get back together with his ex-girlfriend on her wedding day. [[spoiler: It's later discovered that the man ''was'' guilty, and Monk helps the girlfriend reunite with her fiance, again at the altar.]]
* Despite obviously still having feelings for Hank, as even [[RomanticFalseLead Bill's]] daughter [[SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace points out]], ''Series/{{Californication}}'''s Karen goes through with the exchange of vows, only to run away with Hank at the after-wedding party.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'':
** [[spoiler:Stella abandons Ted at the alter for her ex.]] He's mad at first, but then accepts her decision shortly after. The trope may count as a Deconstruction by showing how hard it was for Ted to go through that and how he carried it around afterwards.
** It was then parodied when a in-verse movie called "The Wedding Bride" was made about it that Flanderized Ted into a pantomime villain fiancée and [[spoiler: Tony]] into a muscle bound PuritySue.
** The season 7 finale has Ted escorting a runaway [[spoiler: Victoria]] away from her wedding because of her doubts. There is no heartbreak, though, as the groom was also running away.
* ''Series/SuddenlySusan'' starts when Susan (Brooke Shields) escapes from her wedding ceremony and even gets to rip her gown when she gets out of the church. Much like the ''Series/WillAndGrace'' example above, it's revealed the guy was a jerk who would no doubt have eventually made her miserable, but she's still blasted by pretty much everyone (who all quite reasonably ask why she waited until literally the last minute to dump him) except for his brother, who hates him and relishes the humiliation he'll suffer.
* In ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow,'' Drew marries Lily Crawford, but she jumps in the limo and drives off alone, with the explanation of "I can't do this."
* In ''Series/ADifferentWorld'', Dwayne proposes to Whitley--as she's marrying another man. He's being dragged off by security guards, but still pleading with her to accept when she yells out "I DO!", then offers a lame apology to her groom before dashing down the aisle into Dwayne's arms.
* Happens in the final episode of ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' when examines her and her fiancé's "Soulstones," which don't fit together, meaning they're not actually soul mates. She tells her would-be groom that she's unsure about the wedding and the two agree to call it off. Once outside the church, though, she happens to see her original love interest Harvey...and it turns out ''their'' soulstones fit. Not ''quite'' an altar abandonment in that both the guy and the girl mutually agree to end the ceremony, but they still gloss it over for the guy. Uniquely enough the initial wedding was a FourthDateMarriage, and Sabrina didn't think the proposal was serious at first.
* {{Jessie}} says "I don't" and runs back upstairs refusing to marry Brooks knowing she would have to move to Africa with him and give up her life in New York with the Ross kids and her dream of being an actress.
* Carol did it to Jodie on ''Series/{{Soap}}''. Justified because they were only getting married because she was pregnant, and she'd been expressing reservations from the beginning.
* Done on an episode of ''Series/FamilyMatters'' when a friend of Steve's is getting married. As the bride walks down the aisle, she encounters an ex, who happens to be the ceremony's piano player. He invites her to grab some coffee, and she happily accepts. Despite her being female, for once, it's portrayed as an incredibly cruel and selfish thing for her to do--her ditched would-be groom tries to throw himself off the roof of the church afterwards. Fortunately, the cop sent to talk him down happens to be an ex of his.
* At the very beginning of the first episode of ''Series/HappyEndings'', Alex ditches her long-time boyfriend Dave at the altar and briefly runs off with another guy before going on their honeymoon alone. Subsequent episodes have dealt with them coming to terms with being JustFriends after having been a couple for so long.
* In ''Series/TheWanderer'', the reincarnated Lady Claire literally leaves her present day fiancee at the altar for her similarly reincarnated Knight.
* In ''Series/PanAm'' this is Laura's back story.
* An unusual variant on ''Series/McLeodsDaughters'', where Jodi goes through with the ceremony but runs when it comes time to sign the marriage certificate.
* In a few episodes of ''Series/KathAndKim'' Kel is described as having been jilted at the altar four times, always as a result of his supposed friend Sandy Freckle. Oddly, when we actually see flashbacks to his past fiances, in three cases there's little to indicate they actually got as far as the altar before Sandy moved in.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Series/{{Blackadder}} II''. Edmund gets Lord Flashheart to be his best man, only for Flash and Kate to fall in LoveAtFirstSight, and run off together.
* ''Series/{{Neighbours}}'':
** Isabelle left Karl at the altar out of guilt for lying to him about him being the father of her (since miscarried) baby.
** An 1989 episode had Bronwyn call off her wedding to Henry, purely because she believed they were rushing into it. He took it well, and this caused little stress for the street as there was already a [[WeddingsForEveryone double wedding planned]].
* Aurora from ''Series/SolamenteVos''. She loves Juan, Juan loves her, but Juan has a large family, and so she refuses him. She continued her relation with Félix, who constantly lied to her and manipulated her, but at least he's single and has no sons. But, as the car was going to the chapel, she could not go on with it anymore, and run away. When the car arrived, the ceremony started. One of the front doors was opened, revealing Aurora's father... and then the other door, showing that Aurora is not there.
* Creator/BillMaher praised Jennifer Wilbanks in his [[Series/RealTimeWithBillMaher show]]'s "New Rules" segment and applauded her "rugged individualism".
--> Americans reacted to the so-called runaway bride by branding her as crazy for skipping town rather than marrying a Sunday school teacher in Duluth, Georgia. Ah yes, the good life - the bake sales, the prayer meetings, the abortion protests - who could just walk away from all that? How come when the girl from ''Film/{{Titanic|1997}}'' ditches her fiancé, it's the greatest romance of all time, but when Jennifer Wilbanks does it, she's a criminal loon with a case of temporary insanity? Temporary sanity is more like it. She was staring down the barrel of 14 bridesmaids and 600 guests in the Georgia heat watching a Baptist in a blue suit sanctify her sex life with Welch's Grape Juice and a reading from ''Literature/ThePurposeDrivenLife'' - suddenly Greyhound to Vegas looked pretty good.
* Subverted in Series/RoadToAvonlea. Felicity ran off on her wedding day, but only[[spoiler:to find her Aunt Hetty and tell her to put her anger at the family (for supporting Olivia's decision to leave Avonlea and move to England) aside and come to her wedding because all that mattered is that they're family.]]
* ''{{Series/Amen}}'' Thelma almost does this to her would-be groom before finally sitting him down and gently telling him that she doesn't love him the way he deserves to be loved. Similarly, Reuben hem-haws on proposing to Thelma, then faints during their (first) wedding, basically a physical manifestation of his fears about marriage. She then basically pulls this trope again by storming out on him and refusing to accept his apologies.
** Reuben's backstory includes his fiancee doing this to ''him'', thus explaining his reluctance to propose to Thelma.
* ''Series/FullerHouse'' : [[spoiler: When Kimmy agrees to re-marry Fernando, she gets cold feet]]. This happens [[RuleOfThree three times]] in the episode.

* Played with in Billy Bragg's "Mother of the Bride", in which the bride does ''not'' run away from her wedding, but the narrator of the song very much wishes she had... with him. Her mother concurs with him, for what it's worth.
* Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again Naturally," the first three verses of which are an oddly-upbeat diddy about getting dumped at the altar. In spite of the fairly pleasant tone, it hardly takes a cheery approach to the trope as the singer (and would-be husband) is pretty clearly suicidal over the event.
* Gram Parsons' "$1000 Wedding" is told from the POV of someone seeing the groom get the news that the bride isn't coming.
* Subverted in Music/TheRollingStones' "Dear Doctor", as the narrator spends most of the song clearly dreading what's implied to be a ShotgunWedding. When he finds a note from the would-be bride saying she can't go through with it, he responds with "tears of relief".
* The video of Music/MariahCarey's song "We Belong Together" has the singer leaving an older man at the altar to run with another man.

[[folder:Urban Legends]]
* Like with the male example below, there is a legend of a bride at the altar who reveals her groom's infidelity with her [[http://www.snopes.com/weddings/embarrass/bothered.asp maid of honor the night before]]. The bride version may be older.

* In ''One Slight Hitch'', Courtney cancels her marriage to Harper at the last minute, despite her ex Ryan getting out of the way, but her parents take the opportunity to renew their own vows.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'', [[spoiler: Princess Medea flees her ArrangedMarriage to [[PrinceCharmless Prince Charmles]], accompanied by her True Love [[HelloInsertNameHere Eight]]. A variation on the ending, however, implies that the marriage goes forward with Eight acting as a replacement groom.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', Yuna makes a daring escape by jumping off the skyscraper where the wedding is being held and summoning a flying aeon to catch her. In this case, the wedding wasn't for love in the slightest and both bride and groom had ulterior motives to the ceremony. Said tower dive happened when Yuna's intentions were revealed and the groom announced he was going to kill her friends.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Grandia}}'', Feena dumps Pakon at the altar and runs off to go adventuring after [[WeddingSmashers Justin and Sue crash the wedding]]. Of course, given that 1) The engagement was only in Pakon's mind, 2) He had quite literally kidnapped her just before the wedding, and 3) She had spent the entire ceremony up to that point ''bound and gagged'', her ditching the guy was entirely justified.

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* Wonderella herself [[http://nonadventures.com/2009/08/29/tying-the-not/ does this]] in ''WebComic/TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella''. Queen Beetle and Patrianna saw it coming a mile away.
-->'''Patrianna:''' I put like a ''dime'' in the meter.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Series/{{Noob}}'', [[spoiler:A game-wide event is announced in the middle of Arthéon and Kary's in-game wedding. Arthéon is known to view the ceremony as the prelude to a real wedding, while Kary is little more than a SatelliteLoveInterest who happens to like the same stuff as him. Kary probably didn't even realize she was being this, but her last line before leaving can be summed up as "Hey, this is just a silly way to celebrate the end of that extra-difficult secret questline we spent weeks doing together. No big deal if the ceremony wasn't completed, right? Let's ditch it all and go check out that event." This makes her come off as a mild jerk due to Arthéon genuinely loving her and her never making her actual feelings clear to him.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'' had the princess Beezy was [[ArrangedMarriage arranged to marry]] run off at the last moment. Since the whole thing was a ShotgunWedding anyway, no one minded.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'':
** In an episode, Elaine is supposed to marry Ben, but she is nervous and hides out in the gardens. He reassures her (and reveals that he is nervous, too), and they [[TheyDo actually get married.]]
** Stu also casually mentions that Didi disappeared for three days before their wedding, prompting a slap from his embarrassed wife.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** ''The Graduate'' was parodied to hell and back when Grandpa Simpson interrupts Grandma Bouvier's wedding to Mr. Burns in a similar way for similar reasons. Far from running off with Grandpa, Grandma takes this opportunity to say that she doesn't really want to marry ''either'' of them; Grandpa decides that this is good enough for him, grabs her and runs off with her anyway.
** In "Lisa's Wedding", Lisa is told of her future relationship with Hugh Parkfield. Before the ceremony he expresses frustration with the rest of the Simpson family and slips that he really doesn't expect Lisa to ever see them after the wedding; Lisa, stunned, chooses to call everything off.
** Episode "My Big Fat Geek Wedding", Skinner admits he does not want to marry Edna and the Simpsons have to work to keep him from leaving her at the altar. However, Edna finds out and chooses to dump him instead.
** In the same episode she leaves Comic Book Guy at the altar. This was also justified, since this was a quickie ([[Franchise/StarTrek Klingon]]!) wedding after a short rebound relationship and she realized it wouldn't really work out.
* In the cartoon special ''[[ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}} Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown]]'', Snoopy is all set to get married to a dog named Genevieve when Lucy soon arrives with news that the bride-to-be has just run off with a golden retriever. Snoopy is heartbroken at first, but soon lightens up at the prospect of remaining a bachelor, and [[WhyWasteAWedding enjoys the wedding cake with Woodstock]].
* ''WesternAnimation/StrangeMagic:'' Marianne leaves Roland at the altar because she catches him [[YourCheatingHeart cheating on her]] the day of the wedding.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Wilbanks Jennifer Wilbanks]], who had a complete nervous breakdown and ran out on her future husband before the wedding and then went missing, [[MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome which caused the whole state to initiate a massive search for her]] that wound up costing in the tens of thousands of dollars. When she finally was found and she explained how she ran because of the pressure, people weren't too happy with her and she was forced to do many hours of community service (though this also had to do with her claiming she was kidnapped by a Hispanic man after she resurfaced).
* [[http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110614/en_nm/us_hefner Playboy head honcho Hugh Hefner]] had his third wedding fall apart less than a week before the ceremony as the bride cancelled the arrangements, saying simply that she "changed her mind".

!!Runaway grooms

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/HellTeacherNube'', [[spoiler:Nube is ''so late'' to his grand, beautiful wedding with Yukime that people start wondering if this is the case. Turns out he had almost been killed by the minions of Yukime's "father," the Mountain God, but he still managed to drag his bloodied and pulped self to the church in the end]].
* In ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', James of Team Rocket is engaged to a rich girl called Jessiebelle (who looks a lot like Jessie). She carries a whip and wants to turn James into a real gentleman by 'training' him.
* In ''Manga/RappiRangai'', every time Raizou has finished impressing a girl he wants to marry, he continues chickening out and running away while his bodyguards beg him to pop the question already. To be fair, the story would probably just end if he did.
* In ''Manga/TheSecretAgreement'', Iori actually does get through the ceremony and is officially married, but on the same day decides to [[IWillFindYou chase]] Yuuichi across the world, leaving his bride rather surprised and disappointed.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'', the title hero doesn't go through with his marriage to a fish-queen-lady-thing. Instead of running, he pretends to be too scared to fight the monster to complete the ceremony.
* In ''ComicBook/ScareTactics'', hillbilly werewolf Jake Ketchum ran away from a ShotgunWedding to a ghoul, intended to unite their feuding clans.
* In ''Comicbook/XMen'', Alex Summers/Havok breaks off his marriage to Lorna Dane/Polaris while she's walking down the aisle in order to be with another woman, Annie; since the writer, Chuck Austen, viewed Alex and Annie as stand-ins for himself and his wife, and had [[DieForOurShip characterized Polaris as a violent psychopath]], when she was in fact suffering from post-traumatic stress at the altar. He, meanwhile, ran off to visit Paris with the woman who he dated while he was in a coma[[note]]That wasn't a typo; there was telepathy involved[[/note]]. We were meant to root for him and not Polaris when she, naturally, went crazy and tried to kill the both of them, and yet despite this Lorna did raise the very valid point that he could have called things off ''before'' the ceremony instead of humiliating her.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In FanFic/TheMansionverse's version of Ride/PhantomManor's backstory, the Phantom made Melanie believe this was the case of her lover Jonathan Jake. In truth, the Phantom had actually murdered him. This is a popular interpretation of Phantom Manor's story, which cropped up in media unrelated to the Mansionverse as well.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/FourWeddingsAndAFuneral:'' The ending. [[spoiler:Charles]] confesses that, while standing at the altar, he realised that for the first time in his life he totally and utterly loved one person, "and it wasn't the person standing next to me in the veil."
* The protagonist of ''Film/InAndOut'' leaves his fiancée at the altar after finally [[ComingOutStory coming out]] of his TransparentCloset.
* Harold Fine (Creator/PeterSellers) in 1968's ''I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!'' does this ''twice''. The first time he's become enamored with another woman (Nancy, a hippie) during the wedding preparations. Amusingly, a minor subplot reveals the jilted bride, Joyce, basically gets over this. When Harold becomes disillusioned with Nancy and the hippie lifestyle at the end, he reconciles with Joyce and they attempt to wed again, but he gets cold feet at the altar once more (having realized he doesn't know what he really wants out of life). Joyce just says, "I knew it..."
* The Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen film ''It Takes Two'': he was marrying the RichBitch, so it's okay! They also make her suffer through a HumiliationConga as she leaves the chapel. Subverted: the RichBitch had badgered the guy into considerably moving up the wedding because she realized she had genuine competition.
* ''Film/LibeledLady'' starts with editor Warren Haggerty (Creator/SpencerTracy) dealing with an emergency at his newspaper instead of going to his wedding. His fiancee, Gladys Benton (Creator/JeanHarlow) storms into his office in her wedding dress to complain.
* Dennis, in ''Film/RunFatBoyRun'' ran out on Libby the day of their wedding due to cold feet. He spends the film trying to prove to her that he deserves another chance.
* ''Film/SexAndTheCity'': [[spoiler:Mr. Big. Fortunately, he changed his mind while she was leaving the church in tears. Unfortunately, she wasn't in the mood to forgive him. Though they did get married at the very end.]] It wasn't her he was running away from, but rather the [[{{Bridezilla}} large, public, publicized, display]] he'd never been comfortable with in the first place.
* Jake Blues in ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'', somewhat played for laughs or suspense. He leaves his bride (played by Creator/CarrieFisher) at the altar, she chases after Jake and Elwood throughout the picture with a machine gun, and finally [[spoiler:after trapping them in a tunnel as they plan their getaway, with the money, after their charity show, Jake pleads on one knee and gives multiple (and increasingly ridiculous) reasons and alibis for jilting her. He later takes of his [[CoolShades sunglasses]] for the first and only time in the movie, gives her PuppyDogEyes and kisses her unconscious. Elwood mock-apologizes and they both make a run for the Bluesmobile.]]
* Danny in ''Film/JustGoWithIt''. The actual jilting happens off-screen, presumably because the would be bride was so likable and sweet natured Danny would come across as too much of a {{Jerkass}} to audience.
* Apparently happened in the backstory between Captain Smollet and Benjamina Gunn (Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy) in ''Film/MuppetTreasureIsland''.
* In ''Film/{{Flubber}},'' the protagonist doesn't ''run out'' on his fiancée, he just...[[AbsentMindedProfessor kind of forgets to show up]]. [[RuleOfThree Three times]].
** The final time, they do get married... via teleconference, as he's still stuck in his basement inventing something.
* The Creator/BusterKeaton film ''Seven Chances'' features what must be the ultimate runaway groom scene: rich heir Buster rushing out of the church chased by a horde of hundreds of money-crazy would-be brides (a newspaper ad got them there). The frantic chase scene across the city and countryside is a classic of silent era slapstick comedy.
* Film/SgtBilko has done this so many times that his girlfriend's wedding dress is getting worn out.
** It's not that he runs away, but always seems to show up late, giving lame excuses. She forgives him, but finally gives him an ultimatum that she'll only give him one more attempt. At the attempt, ''she'''s the one who shows up late with a lame excuse.
* In the ''Series/CrazyExGirlfriend'' finale "Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith?", [[spoiler:Josh runs away from the wedding to become a priest. It's enough so that Rebecca declare that "Josh Chan must be destroyed."]]

* Landen Parke-Laine in ''[[Literature/ThursdayNext The Eyre Affair]]'' - although this is more a case of SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace. And it's not even ''him'' who is the party in the wrong.
* Easily the most ''famous'' case of this is Miss Havisham's runaway groom [[spoiler: Compeyson]] in ''Literature/GreatExpectations''. He only got close to her to defraud her of her money and once he completed this, he sent her a letter informing her of the truth just short of the wedding and then beat town. Miss Havisham goes crazy and [[DoesNotLikeMen hates men for the rest of her life]].
* In ''Literature/TheYiddishPolicemensUnion'', [[spoiler: Mendel Shpilman]] bails on an ArrangedMarriage and the entire [[HideYourGays ultra-Orthodox community he was born into and repressed by]].
* In Robert Asprin's fantasy novel ''[[Literature/MythAdventures Hit or Myth]]'', King Roderick attempts to escape his arranged marriage to Queen Hemlock by foisting his job off on court magician Skeeve.
* A Star Wars [[StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] novel (''Jedi Search'' of the ''Jedi Academy Trilogy'') has a minor plot in the form of a potential Jedi candidate investigated by Lando Calrissian, Artoo and Threepio, who turned out to be a wanted runaway from Dargul, having hacked into the palace's computer to modify his profile to be the perfect match for a particularly beautiful heiress. [[GoneHorriblyRight Unfortunately,]] this has led said heiress to become convinced that he is her soul mate and became so absurdly clingy he eventually fled. After being caught cheating at the blob races on Dargul's sister planet of Umgul, normally punishable by death, he VERY reluctantly agreed to be returned to her.
* ''Literature/HeavenSwordAndDragonSabre'' Zhang Wuji and Zhou Zhirou are about to get married until Zhao Min arrived and showed something very important to Zhang Wuji, causing him to leave the altar which [[{{Yandere}} Zhou Zhirou]] didn't take very well.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Xander dumps Anya at the altar, although that's just cold feet; there's no Other Woman involved. There were exceptional circumstances, too: an old man claiming to be Xander himself from the future showed up, showing young Xander horrible visions implying he would kill Anya if the two of them got together (which merely augmented his fear from his parents' own unhappy marriage). It turns out [[spoiler:this old man is lying; he's actually an old enemy of Anya's ''trying'' to ruin her wedding out of revenge]], but by the time this comes out Xander is too freaked out to go through with it. Both Anya and Xander are depicted sympathetically.
* Played a bit in an episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Here, Lwaxana Troi decides she doesn't want to get married to an old prude after all and to call the wedding off, she decides to attend the ceremony in the traditional Betazoid bridal costume -- nothing. While the ceremony's witnesses, well aware of Troi's true intentions, watch this with amusement, the Groom is incoherently repelled and flees the ceremony.
* In ''Series/GreysAnatomy'', due to a RoleEndingMisdemeanor, Preston Burke's last regular appearance was when he left Cristina at the altar. He shows up for one episode many seasons later to offer Cristina his cutting edge medical lab in Europe in order to move with his wife and their children back to her native Italy.
* Played with for extremely dark comedy on ''Series/PeepShow''; marrying someone he didn't love (but was too embarrassed to break up with), Mark ends up hiding in the vestry of the church until he's discovered, whereupon he (very very very) reluctantly goes through with the wedding (to the extent that he looks around hopefully at the SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace moment and -- along with Sophie, his bride -- bursts into tears when the vows are read. The wedding car doesn't even make it out of the church grounds before Sophie abandons Mark, screaming about how "horrible" he is. The next season sees much discussion (and passionate defense on Mark's part) about whether what he did technically constitutes a "jilting" or not, since he ended up marrying her anyway.
* Dennis dumps Carol at the altar in ''Series/{{Ed}}'', because he knows she would rather be with Ed.
* Eric in ''Series/That70sShow'', realizing that he and Donna are not ready to be married. Later, Donna agrees with him.
* ''Series/{{ER}}'': Carol's fiance dumps her on their wedding day after gently, but firmly getting her to admit she doesn't love him the way he loves her.
* Played with when Chandler in ''Series/{{Friends}}'' runs away on his wedding day, because of his commitment issues. He actually loves Monica, having been blissfully happy with her, but is terrified they'll end up like his parents who had a horrible marriage and he'll make Monica unhappy. His friends eventually persuade him to come back, before Monica notices his absence. He goes through with the wedding and their marriage is a very happy one. Monica later finds out he ran away (while they're at the altar no less) but doesn't show any anger towards him. It helps she had been well aware of his fears from day one and was prepared for him to go all 'Chandler' at some point.
* A run away groom is mentioned in ''Series/MidsomerMurders''. DCI Barnaby managed to get through the important part of the ceremony, but ran off after saying, "I've got it!" instead of "I do" to chase a murderer. When his wife decides she wants to have a proper ceremony for their anniversary, he interrupts it by [[spoiler:arresting the vicar]].
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "The Wedding of River Song", we finally learn exactly why Queen Elizabeth I was so pissed at the Doctor way back in "The Shakespeare Code": they were supposed to elope, but he never showed. This is finally resolved in "The Day of the Doctor", where Elizabeth forces Ten to marry her before he, Eleven, Clara, and [[spoiler:the War Doctor]] head off to the present to stop the [[spoiler:Zygons]]. However, since the events are {{Ret Con}}ned, it appears that the marriage never actually happened. Alternatively, it could have still happened, but Ten forgetting getting married and never returning to Elizabeth could have been what pissed her off.
* ''Series/{{Neighbours}}'' did this with Toadie and Stephanie (as a result of Toadie realizing that Steph was far less enthusiastic about it than he was), Marc and Stephanie (Marc had fallen in love with Steph's sister Flick) and Mark and Annalise (Mark suddenly decided to become a priest - ironically, he had only converted to Catholicism because he was marrying Annalise).
* ''Series/GeneralHospital'': Sonny leaves Brenda at the altar in order to protect her from rival mobsters looking to kill him. Several years later, Jax does the same thing, fed up with always being second-best to Sonny despite bending over backwards to make her happy (the final straw was witnessing her kissing Sonny the night before and her failure to be honest with him about it, despite him giving her several opportunities).
* Leo becomes one involuntarily in the ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' episode "Magic Hour" when he and Piper try to get married against the Elders' will. Just as the little ceremony is about to start, the Elders abduct him. They do get married later though with permission.
* Sir Anthony Strallan jilts Edith at the altar in series three of ''Series/DowntonAbbey''.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'': In the episode "I Do", [[SuperOCD Emma]] and [[CreatorsPet Will]] were set to be married. However, Emma leaves the church before the ceremony begins in a cab through the back door, after the stress from the big day and having been kissed by [[spoiler: Finn]] a few days prior to the big day was too much for her to take.
* ''Series/{{Vera}}'': In "Muddy Waters", the VictimOfTheWeek called of his wedding a couple of days before the ceremony and then disappeared.
* On ''Series/MidnightTexas'' Manfred is on the run from the father of his ex-fiance who he left at the alter. It was actually a con perpetuated by Manfred and his grandmother. The girl's father was a powerful Romani mage who wanted to add Manfred's psychic gifts into his bloodline. He contracted with Manfred's grandmother for an ArrangedMarriage and once he paid her the money, she and Manfred made a run for it. The bride killed herself soon after [[spoiler: because she saw the marriage as the only way to escape her abusive father]].

* 'Someone Saved My Life Tonight' is Elton John's autobiographical song about a man calling off his wedding.
* Music/TaylorSwift's "Speak Now", while an example of SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace, has the groom ditching the bride and running away with the narrator. This is supposed to be a ''happy ending''.
* Music/KatyPerry's "Hot n Cold" music video has the groom having doubts with the vows and attempted to run away from the wedding, only to have Katy relentlessly chase after him. It turns out to be an ImagineSpot though, and the video ends with the wedding proceeding normally.

[[folder:Urban Legends]]
* An urban legend about the groom catching the bride cheating. He goes through with the wedding, up until he distributes a special gift to the guests -- an 8x10 picture showing the unfaithfulness, while leaving the expenses for the bride's family. Example: http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/g/groomsrevenge.htm

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'':
** Kafei is supposed to marry Anju on the day of the annual festival, but has run away. Justified, in that he's under a spell that's turned him into a child, and needs Link's help (doesn't everyone?) to get his proper body back. [[spoiler: While you never see it happen, it's assumed that he does get his body back since you see the wedding from his height and it's too tall to have been the view of a child.]]
** In the manga based on the game, [[spoiler: you ''do'' see him get his body back, though Kafei's adult face is never shown as part of a running gag and likely meant to mirror the game's tricky camera.]]
* In the "Wedding Reception" stage of ''VideoGame/ChoChabudaiGaeshi'', the groom running away is just one of the things that drives Kiyomi (the bride) to FlippingTheTable in a bout of over-the-top rage, sending the wedding cake flying.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault''. [[spoiler:Nick is abducted the night before he marries Ki by evil counterparts from the "Nega-Verse", and those responsible leave behind a "Dear John letter" for Ki (presumably written by Nick's Nega-verse counterpart). Ki refuses to believe it, however, and goes to rescue him with the rest of his friends]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Implied in the song "Worthless" in ''WesternAnimation/TheBraveLittleToaster'', when the Texas limo tells its story:
-->''Once took a Texan to a wedding...\\
He kept forgetting, his loneliness led him\\
His thoughts turned to home and we turned.''
* In ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'', Monty would have married Désirée D'Allure if he hadn't encountered that truck loaded with cheese.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DungeonsAndDragons'', Eric agrees to be married to a Queen, but when the ceremony includes listing a series of extremely dangerous trials the groom is supposed to do, he instantly makes his escape before the official even finishes. Well, that and she turned into a troll at the altar.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ElTigre'', Puma Loco (in his younger days) ran away with a woman named Dora, leaving Lady Gobbler at the altar.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'', Mark Chang runs out on Princess Mandie at the altar. But since this was an ArrangedMarriage to an AxCrazy princess that he never wanted anyway, it's portrayed as proper.
* A dark version occurs in the ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' episode "Ghost Bride", where a bride from many years ago was abandoned at the altar -- her groom left her for her sister. [[DisproportionateRetribution The bride proceeds to kill the two not long after]].
* [[spoiler:Lars]] does this to [[spoiler:Leela]] in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' movie ''[[Recap/FuturamaM1BendersBigScore Bender's Big Score]]''. Although, to be fair, he only did it [[spoiler:after he learned that all the time copies were doomed and he, himself a copy of Fry, didn't want to put her through the grief of his death.]]
* Otto from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. He was once engaged to a girl named Becky, but at the wedding she revealed she couldn't stand heavy metal after he hired a Poison cover band to play at the ceremony. Marge then told him he had to choose between Becky and his music - he chose the latter, leaving Becky at the altar.
* Chlorhydris assumed that this was what happened to her fiance Manfred the Magnificent on the day of their wedding in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' episode "Chlorhydris' Lost Love", but as it turned out, her witch rival Drusilla prevented Manfred from attending the wedding by [[TakenForGranite turning him into stone]] and keeping him a prisoner for twenty years. Manfred did end up leaving Chlorhydris when, shortly after being reunited, he was pierced with the witch's black heart arrows and his heart became filled with hate.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'': In Season 2, Bolin runs out on his wedding with EmotionlessGirl Eska. [[{{Yandere}} She takes this badly]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In 1906, an hour after their wedding, William [=McKeekin=] told his bride he was going to get a carriage. That was the last anyone heard or saw of him, and after seventeen years of searching for him his widow sought an annulment.

!!Runaway Couples

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* '''Game Over''': Due to some rather strange circumstances, ''both'' the main characters end up bailing on their wedding on the day. However, for the bride it was about her lack of self-esteem on account of being a much older woman and the groom was trying to find her. They ''do'' end up returning to the wedding venue after talking things through.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/230261/going-anywhere Going Anywhere]]'' has a bride and groom in an arranged marriage both deciding to run away, both leaving Canterlot on the same train and becoming travelling buddies under false (or incomplete) names. As a result, the sequel story ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/247904/any-way-you-want-it Any Way You Want it]]'' picks up several weeks later with the two living together, and they still haven't figured out that they were engaged, [[CannotSpitItOut because neither are willing to be the first to reveal to the other what they were running away from]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The climax of ''Film/TheGuru'' has a wedding broken up by ''two'' people - one who professes his love to the groom and the titular character declaring his love for the bride. Both are successful.
* The conclusion of ''Film/MammaMia'' has the couple decide not to get married quite yet -- mainly due to the fact that the whole wedding ceremony was an excuse for the bride to meet her real father (out of three possible men). Segues into WhyWasteAWedding when Donna and Sam get married instead.
* The conclusion of the second ''Film/ThePrincessDiaries'' film, where both halves are marrying out of duty (she for her country, he for his parents). Neatly combined with NoSparks. They remain very good friends and end up dating other people at the end. ''Also'' segues into WhyWasteAWedding, as Queen Clarisse and her Head of Security Joe get married instead after several decades of hiding their feelings.
* Occurs in ''Film/EverAfter'', with Prince Henry and the Spanish princess [[ArrangedMarriage he was suppose to marry]]. Right at the altar, he realizes the reason why she was hysterically crying was because she was in love with someone else and didn't want to go through with the wedding, just like him. So he calls off the wedding and runs off to find Danielle, just as the princess runs into the arms of her beloved also.
* The 1991 John Candy film ''Only the Lonely'' tweaks this plot point in which right before the wedding, Danny and Theresa have a falling out the night before the wedding over Danny's relationship with his mother and Theresa storms off. The next day, NEITHER of them attend the wedding, having seemingly deemed their relationship unworkable and deciding to move on with their lives. The couple does end up together, but only after Danny clears out his personal problems and chases down Theresa as she leaves Chicago. There is no second wedding shown.

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'': Angela and Hodgins run away from their own wedding -- together -- after they discover [[spoiler: Angela's ''still'' married, as she'd mistakenly thought the wedding ceremony with her first husband (jumping through a fire) hadn't stuck.]] They leave behind a horrified, confused group of people, with Brennan (the maid of honor) and Booth (the best man) standing at the altar with the priest. Brennan clears her throat awkwardly and asks what they're supposed to do.
* In the RealityShow, ''Married by America,'' two couples who met over the course of the show were to be married, and both ended like this. In one couple, it was the bride who backed out; in the other, the groom. It was pretty much the death-knell for wedding-themed reality shows (as opposed to just dating), since they've never ended well. Who would have thought marrying someone you've only known for three months was actually [[CaptainObvious a bad idea?]]
* On ''Series/LifeGoesOn'', eldest daughter Paige, who has been having panic attacks in the days leading up to her wedding, waits until she's at the altar before asking her fiance if he really loves her. He admits that he does but that they're not right for each other and nowhere near ready. Sure enough, she goes dashing down the aisle to reunite with her true love, with her now ex-fiance's blessing.
* Engineered by Tom in ''Series/WaitingForGod'' - Diana has been single for over 60 years and wants to remain that way, but her latter-years lover Tom is unsatisfied with his role as the last of a long line of equally significant lovers. After many hijinks as Diana tries to avoid having to marry Tom, Tom ultimately refuses to marry her instead. They then carry on their affair as normal, Tom accepting that Diana having been willing to marry him at all is good enough and he doesn't need to actually force the issue.
-->'''Geoffrey:''' Dad! You're supposed to say "I do".\\
'''Tom:''' But I don't.
* ''Series/TheATeam'' episode "[[Recap/TheATeamS1E12TillDeathDoUsPart Till Death Do Us Part]]" takes this a step farther by having the eponymous team show up to rescue a bride from being coerced into marrying the VillainOfTheWeek. Their escape plan involves having Murdock walk down the aisle disguised as the bride; thus resulting in MURDOCK becoming a runaway bride himself. Murdock later writes the villain a letter of apology for leaving him at the altar.
* ''Series/PartyOfFive'':
** In season 2, Charlie gets cold feet and freaks out about his wedding to Kirsten. After some convincing from everyone he opts to go through with it. Then comes the reveal that Kirsten is calling the wedding off. She says if Charlie got cold feet then she couldn't marry him because he wasn't sure about the relationship. [[spoiler: They eventually get married four years later with no cold feet]].
** A few episodes earlier, Kirsten and Charlie get fed up with the pressure of trying to plan their wedding and leave a note saying they've run off to Reno to get married right away. At the end of the episode they show up at the house saying they couldn't go through with it.
** These two really seem to love this trope. The season 2 finale has Charlie convincing Kirsten to leave her fiancée at the altar and get back together with him. Considering she was marrying the man only a couple of months after leaving Charlie, this was probably for the best.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Ted initially has some doubts about running away with his ex-girlfriend Victoria, but eventually agrees, on the condition that she leaves a note. During the ensuing hijinks, Ted discovers that Klaus, the groom, is ''also'' running away, and Ted uses this inside knowledge to clear Victoria of any blame. Awkwardly, the three of them somehow end up rooming together.
* An episode of the reality series ''What Would You Do?'' used this scenario for inspiration in which they staged both a runaway bride and later a runaway groom getting cold feet and escaping to a bar. The scenario was intended to see how bystanders would react to the situation. In all scenarios, be it bride or groom, the bystanders all convinced the cold-footed spouse-to-be to get to their wedding and supported them.
* One year before doing the first example herself, ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' had an example in the sixth season. Roxie decides to marry a witch boy, though she doesn't know he's a witch. To prevent the wrath of her tyrannical Aunt Irma, Sabrina pretends to be the bride and even tries to marry Peter in Roxie's place. Once the ruse is revealed, the wedding is called off. Roxie and Peter later postpone the engagement until they get to know each other better.
* On ''Series/ShakeItUp'', Georgia and Jeremy realize they aren't ready to get married and break off their engagement at the altar.
* On ''Series/{{Martin}}'', Martin and Gina get fed up with their overbearing relatives and take off to the Bahamas with just a few of their friends. Give how well it went off, one suspects this was the plan all along.
* Subverted on ''Series/TheOffice''. While Jim and Pam do get married in front of all of their friends, it turns out they sneaked off and eloped before, anticipating that the gang might do something stupid.