I Yelled ‘I Don’t!’ at My Own Wedding after Conversation with Groom’s Mother Whose Plan Almost Worked Out

After years of courting that started with a chance meeting, Ryan and Hanna are ready to tie the knot and declare their love for one another. But when Ryan’s mother plays a humiliating video of Ryan with another woman, Hanna is distraught. But later on, in addition to the truth of the video, Hanna finds more deceit than she could have ever anticipated.

Are parents just fond of divulging startling details before weddings? Do I mean thirty minutes in advance when I say before?

Because that’s exactly what Ryan’s mother did.

We kind of happened to cross paths when Ryan and I initially met two years ago. I was at the community theater because one of my friends, Mila, was directing her first musical here.

And there I was, standing outside with a bunch of flowers for Mila, right after the event. Ryan walked out, bumping into me and crushing the flowers because of the crowd.

He grabbed the bouquet and said, “I’m so sorry.”

“I detest crowds,” I said.

He giggled and gestured for us to move away from the door.

“My name is Ryan, and I’m not a fan either,” he said in admission.

I spoke up and gave my name as Hanna.

Three months into our relationship, over crispy potato skins and Guinness, Ryan proposed to me in a pub.

Last week, we should have sealed that promise with our wedding vows. Nevertheless, our nuptials transpired in a manner that was not intended.

My family welcomed Ryan with open arms at first. Being the only daughter, my parents were ecstatic that I had found someone who actually made me happy.

“This is a different side to you, Hanna,” said my mother one evening when we invited Ryan around for family dinner.

“He makes her happy,” my father grinned, adding, “A father could only want that.”

They made Ryan feel comfortable and included, which improved our relationship as a couple.

On his end, everything was much the same. The Coles’ primary intention was to give us the best hospitality possible as they welcomed me into their home and hearts. Audrey, Mrs. Cole, had also formed a schedule with me that included coffee dates and manicures.

Things appeared to be in order up until that one moment.

I had tried to be as calm as possible prior to our wedding. The tiny church wedding was painstakingly planned, down to the last detail, by Ryan and me. We knew exactly what we wanted and how to personalize it all for our big day.

But on what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life—the morning before the wedding, my soon-to-be mother-in-law called me aside.

“My darling,” she said. Could we have a quick conversation?”

I nodded to her and told her to wait until my hair and makeup artists were done.

Her demeanor gave me a nervous and uncomfortable feeling. I stared at my reflection in the mirror as I watched her motions.

Her eyes flew across the room, stopping often on my wedding dress hanging on its rack.

When I was ready and my mom was buttoning my dress, I looked to Audrey.

“I’m ready when you are,” I said, grinning at her.

Her eyes went glazed when she saw me dressed in the clothes. Although Audrey and my mother had been to some of my prior fittings, this was the first time they would see my bridal gown in its entirety.

“Hanna,” Audrey muttered. “I find it hard to say this.”

My heart was pounding in my chest. I was sitting there watching her while my hair was done, and I knew that our conversation would not go anywhere productive.

Tell him to simply say it, I said. “Please explain to me.”

Audrey pulled her phone out of her handbag and showed it to me.

“There are movies on this phone that lead you through every step. I’m really sorry, Hanna, but Ryan needs to be made public.

My mind was racing. I had no idea what I was going to see when she unlocked her phone.

The sound of a woman’s voice filled the entire space as she handed me her phone and said, “This here.”

A blatant betrayal, the recordings on Audrey’s phone revealed Ryan to be secretly in love with another woman.

“Are you positive?I asked. Is he present?”

Audrey closed her eyes and took a big breath.

“Well, look at the jacket on the bed,” she replied. “Is that the one you acquired him for?”

I hit play again, then took another look at the jacket. The hotel room also looked familiar, and I was convinced we had been there before.

“But Ryan’s face isn’t in the frame,” I said.

I was experiencing difficulties. I was astounded to see my almost mother-in-law standing in front of me with a film exposing her son’s adultery.

“Hanna,” she slowly said. It’s right in front of you. Even though you have the option to disregard it, think about the man you would be marrying. Could you live with yourself in light of that? Are you able to live with him?

I shook my head. I wanted to cry because I felt so overwhelmed.

“That’s okay,” I answered.

“Are you planning to postpone the wedding?With optimism in her voice, Audrey asked.


“No,” I answered. “I plan to walk down that aisle. I plan to walk over to the man who has deceived me. At that point, when it’s time for our vows, I’ll stop talking.

“Okay, darling,” Audrey said as she replaced her phone in her purse. “Anyway, it’s almost time now.”

When it was time for me to tie the knot with Ryan, I curled up on the chaise and bided my time until my dad could come collect me. All I wanted was to get in my car, drive to some somewhere, eat a ton of fries, and drive away from my emotions.

My heart was racing so hard with anger as I approached the altar on my father’s arm. Sensing the anger growing beneath my skin, Ryan smiled kindly at me. He grasped my hand and squeezed it.

It would have been a dream come true if only he hadn’t been seeing someone else.

Our priest went on to quote biblical verses that addressed marriage and love. As our vows drew near, my heart began to settle as I realized what was about to transpire.

I murmured, “I don’t,” more to the ground than to Ryan.

Hanna was pushed to speak up more by the priest.

“I’m not!Speaking with more confidence, my remarks sent a loud shockwave through the room.

Ryan looked surprised and then confused as I spoke those two things again.

Hannah? Why is that? He asked in a tone full of hurt and betrayal.

“Ask your mom,” I said, pointing to Audrey. “Mrs. Cole, please tell everyone what you told me earlier.

The church suddenly became hushed, like if everyone was holding their breath. Her hands shook as she took her phone out of her bag. Like she had done earlier, she held it out to me.

“Watch,” I informed Ryan.

Ryan took a step back and almost fell over the wedding arch.

“That’s not who I am, Hanna!He raised his voice. Hanna, you’re aware that it’s not me!”

I looked away from him.

Then he confronted his mother.

“Mom, what’s the deal?” What is that? In what way did you get the video?

Audrey turned to exit the church and vanished down the aisle, shaking her head.

Ryan’s excuses were too much for me to bear.

“Hanna, please,” he pleaded. “I need you to believe in me.”

And I wanted to. Of course, I wanted to believe in the man I loved. But it was obvious—the jacket I bought him was lying across the bed in the video. He was in the company of someone else.

And in the event that it turned out he wasn’t with anyone else, how would he explain the video? And the girl with almost nothing on? How about the sound effects?

“I can’t do this,” I murmured, “I refuse to.”

My parents followed close behind, leaving the side door behind.

Ryan kept calling me for the rest of the day, so I disabled his number when night fell.

But two days later, while I was wrapped up under a blanket, wondering where it had all gone wrong, Ryan showed up at my parents’ house with takeout and flowers.

“You believe this will address every issue?I asked.

“I need to talk,” was all he said.

Against my better judgment, I listened.

I went into yet another spiral as Ryan revealed his next insight.

He had gone up to Audrey after the wedding.

“As if she hadn’t just ruined our wedding, she was sitting there, in her kitchen, eating toast and listening to old records,” he replied. “I went straight to her house.”

“I think you did that,” I cried out.

“Hanna,” he sternly warned. My mother was the genius behind that video. The people in it are her students. And her distaste for our marriage was the root of it all.

My jaw fell to the ground.

Audrey taught high school and also worked as a tutor for first-year college students in English. When she understood that Ryan and I were getting married, she started to get really nervous. She hired two of her college students for the position because she was too eager to make a little extra money.

“I thought she liked me,” I replied, savoring the meal Ryan had brought over. “She obviously doesn’t, considering that she assembled a whole video.”

“She did say that the sounds were edited,” Ryan chuckled tensely. “But I have to give it to her—it was a nice touch to include my jacket.”

I had no idea how I felt. I convinced myself Ryan was the bad guy in my story ever since I left my own wedding two days ago. that he was the villain who broke my heart, and that his mother exposed him for what he was.

However, that was not even close to the truth.

This was a woman who had left me for her son, breaking my heart, and now she claimed me as her lost daughter.

She believed that Ryan wasn’t deserving of me.

I accused Ryan of being unfaithful to me in front of our guests, but he instantly expressed regret, and I reciprocated.

We may still be together, but I have no idea what the future holds. Audrey has temporarily misled and injured me. Moreover, I know that forgiveness will be hard for her.

What would you say in response?


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