'I don't believe in fighting fire with fire,' she said. 'I'd rather just deal with the situation as best as I can and hold my head high.'
A Welsh bride who was left at the altar on the day of her wedding has now become an inspiration for jilted partners everywhere by the gracious manner in which she handled her now-ex-fiance's sudden change of heart. Kayley Stead was getting her hair and makeup done on September 15—the morning of her nuptials—when one of the groomsmen phoned her best friend to inform the bridal party that the groom had vanished. The 27-year-old, who began dating her ex-fiance in December 2018 and got engaged to him in August 2020, explained that she and the groom had decided not to speak to each other the evening before the wedding, reports New York Post.
"I saw the groom at around 4 p.m. the day before the wedding and I haven't heard from him since," shared Stead, who is an insurance clerk. "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." When she first heard about his disappearance, however, Stead gave him the benefit of the doubt. She told her bridesmaids that her ex had a habit of going for walks or drives by himself to clear his head when he was anxious. She also advised her friends and family to keep on getting ready as she held out hope that the groom would return.
"I honestly believed, hand on heart, that he was going to be there," Stead recalled. However, by 11 a.m. that day, it became evident that the groom didn't plan on showing up for their wedding. "At that point, I was gone. I was sobbing," Stead said. Devastated, she had to break the news to the rest of the bridal party, her hairstylists, parents and videographer. Just when it looked like the day had come to a sad end even before it began, Stead's videographer jokingly suggested that she go ahead with the celebration. "You've spent all this money, you're not getting it back, all your guests are there, why don't you just go?" the filmmaker asked her.
Stead's friends loved the idea and encouraged her to go ahead with the party. "That's when I was like, I'm going to do it. I'd spent all this money, I'd been looking forward to the food, a dance with my dad, and spending time with my family, so why not?" Stead recollected. After taking 10 minutes to compose herself, she went along with her plans and enjoyed her wedding day at the Oxwich Bay Hotel in Swansea, Wales. Backed by her supportive wedding party, friends and family, Stead made a spectacular wedding entrance to the Lizzo hit "Good as Hell" and gave speeches, danced her first dance with her groomsmen, her brothers and her dad Brian, and posed for her professional photos.
"You can probably see a few tear streaks down my face, but I love the photos," Stead shared. "I wanted to make sure everyone knew that it wasn't about the sad and we were going to power through this. It was a very awkward situation for [my friends] to be in, but they all stayed. I didn't want to remember the day as complete sadness. There were so many special moments... so there was still happiness in the day. I was in complete bliss — unknown bliss. I had no clue, no signal. He showed me no reason as to why he would leave me on that day." Stead's friends have since set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for some of the event's expenses. Meanwhile, the bride canceled her honeymoon trip to Turkey, packed up her ex-partner's belongings from her home, and left them with his family. "I don't believe in fighting fire with fire," she said. "I'd rather just deal with the situation as best as I can and hold my head high."