- Kayley Stead went viral on TikTok after sharing that her fiancé didn't show up for their wedding.
- The 27-year-old went ahead with the reception by herself and was praised for her decision to do so.
- Speaking to News24 from her home in the UK, Kayley said there were no signs of cold feet before the big day.
- On the morning of the wedding, she found out that he had taken off in the night, leaving everyone, including his groomsmen, in shock.
After being with her partner for almost four years, the last thing Kayley Stead expected was for him to desert her on their wedding day.
The 27-year-old from Wales went viral on TikTok after sharing her story about her fiancé's failure to pitch up for their wedding on 16 September. But that didn't stop her from enjoying the day she had planned for so long.
In the short video she posted, she could be seen having fun at her reception in her wedding dress, sans her partner.
From her home in the UK, the insurance manager told News24 why she decided to post her story on social media.
"I just wanted to show myself that, even though I technically didn't get what I wanted... I'm still hopefully going to get my happily ever after, just in a different way."
In addition, she could view the video clip whenever she questioned her decision, she added.
"Whenever I have that moment of going, 'Did I do the right thing? Did I make the right choice?' I can go back to it and go, 'Yes I did'."
@kayleystead So I was a jilted bride and unfortunately shit things happen to people. Even though the day didn't go to plan, I couldn't let the hard work that I put into this day and a good party go to waste. The day was filled with many laughs and a lot of tears. When they asked me what song I wanted to enter into there was no other choice but Lizzo's anthem of a song... Good As Hell ??! This song carried me through the day and reminded me that "if he don't love you anymore just walk your fine ass out the door". I have never resonated with lyrics so much as I did/do with @lizzo song until that moment. Sorry for more posts about this day, there will be more but I'm proud of it so what can I say. #lizzo #goodashell #womenempowerment #womensupportingwomen #wedding #jiltedbride #selflove #loveyourself #music #dance #memories #moments #weddingdress #bridesmaids #friends #carryingon ? Good as Hell - Lizzo
When I watched the video on Kayley's TikTok page, like many followers, I wondered why her fiancé had walked away. Did he show up at the venue? Was there a huge fight before the ceremony? Why would he just not show up?
But it turns out that Kayley is in search of answers too. According to her, it was out of the blue and left everyone, including his groomsmen, in shock.
In fact, she said, she and her ex-fiancé shared a sweet moment the night before the wedding.
"We hugged each other. We kissed each other goodbye. We had an agreement that we weren't going to talk to each other because it's kind of that traditional, okay let's see each other when we say, 'I do.' And we were really excited."
The next morning she found out that he had disappeared.
"He had just gone in the middle of the night. Something probably just clicked in his mind, or the nerves got the better of him. I'm not too sure."
The videographer/photographer joked that Kayley should proceed with the ceremony because of all the money she had spent on it, so she decided to do just that.
Her best friend and sister let guests know that a marriage would not take place that day but that they could stay to support Kayley anyway.
The 27-year-old said there were no signs of cold feet in the lead-up to the big day.
"If there was a sign, then I didn't see it. Yes, both of us were stressed, both of us were nervous, but it's a big day... I didn't see it as concerning because we both talked about going on honeymoon together after, [which] his grandmother paid for."
The couple also spoke about plans for the future, including moving in together.
"There were no signs. I wish there was [a sign] because I would have gone, 'Let's have a conversation.' But there wasn't, unfortunately."
Kayley has had contact with her ex-partner since then, but it wasn't to discuss the elephant in the room, she said when she spoke to News24.
"The contact that we've had is basically I packed up all his stuff, gave it to his dad, but because of the work that he [does], I decided to keep his work uniform because I wanted to hand it in just to make sure there was no comeback [for] me; I wanted to make sure his property was safe.
"Because of that, he messaged me just about that. It wasn't regarding the wedding or how I was, or any explanation. It was just about his belongings."
Online, many people praised Kayley for her decision to go ahead with the reception. She has received messages of love and support from followers across the globe.
"It was incredible, and it really helped me understand that I made the right decision," she said about the comments on her post.
"I can't begin to thank people enough," she added. "I didn't see the impact it had until I saw the outpouring of love that I am getting. It's shown women that if they do have someone do that [to them] on their day, or they do that on a special day, or they do it on a normal day, that doesn't define them. They can still overcome it."
At her reception, Kayley walked out to Lizzo's Good as Hell, saying that she resonated with the lyrics. Lizzo sings: "If he don't love you anymore. Just walk your fine ass out the door."
Now Kayley turns to The Greatest Showman's This is Me for inspiration.
"I always connected to that song a little bit. But I'm starting to find myself a bit more because I think always, after an event or something that's happened to you, you change. Humans change, and I'm trying to find who I am now after that, and I think that song at the minute is helping me process [that]."