The current news of Kesha Ni’Cole Nichols being slighted out of her wedding to NBA star Richard Jefferson gave me the impetus to cover the worst fear of any bride: getting left at the altar.

Although Nichols received fair warning, others in a similar situation may not be so lucky. Furthermore, the guests will most likely not have a night out with the defector’s high-end credit card. So, what is a woman to do when her big day gets cancelled due to a runaway groom? While I’m no expert on the subject, I think I have a plan that could help.

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To: Most people would reason that the bride must keep a stiff upper lip when this happens. If you find the strength to keep your cool under such extreme circumstances, more power to you. But, if you’re naturally weepy, feel free to cry. However, this isn’t where you reveal your secret hatred for your former future in-laws. Whichever route you take, stay dignified and classy and avoid having an epic meltdown.

Stay The Night: If you can stomach it, I say that you deserve to have that bridal suite and all of the perks that came with it. Funny enough, most of the foods associated with a romantic evening (chocolate, champagne, gourmet breakfast) are comfort foods in times of distress, so have at it. But, don’t drink yourself into oblivion. It won’t make you feel better and hangovers are not fun. If the reception hall is already paid for, why not let your guests enjoy it anyway? They do need to eat. But, if that’s too much, you have every right to send everyone home.

Give it Up to the Guests: Chances are, the guests will feel sympathy for you and will send their apologies and words of encouragement. Accept them graciously. Just be mindful of those who may get a bit gossip-y; make sure you don’t dish out too much information on the particulars of what really happened-unless, of course, it’s already public knowledge. Also, be sure to thank your guests for attending what would have been your big day (and, keep them in mind for the second attempt-hey, it’ll happen). Also, your thank you cards now have an excuse to be witty: when actress Diane Farr got jilted by her fiancé, her thank you card read “Met the right guy-gave him the wrong finger. Thank you for your support”.

After the Aggravation: There are two ways you can go about things after this happens. You could wallow forever in self-pity, get terribly miserable every time this is brought up, vow to never love again, and get markedly depressed on your former wedding date each and every year thereafter…

Don’t you DARE do this!

Despite what you may think, this is not the end of the world. I give you permission to be sad for a week. Seven days. That’s it.

Then, get up, put on some (real) clothes, and keep in mind that perhaps that your getting left at the altar is a blessing in disguise. Instead of having to deal with a failed marriage (either by way of divorce or sheer misery), the louse that was dumb enough to leave you on the day of all days gave you a chance to find the One. The Real One. Bonus: you have yet another chance to plan an even more fabulous wedding and experience a happy marriage with the one that will never leave your side.

One last thought: until you acquire a new anniversary date, why not celebrate your almost-wedding anniversary? I know divorceés who do something special for themselves on their former wedding anniversaries be it go out on the town with friends, throw a party, or simply indulge in some other gratifying activity. Something to think about…

Better luck next time...

Better luck next time...

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