I CANCELED MY WEDDING by Johanna McCloy

A story about canceling a wedding with only 10 days to go . . .

Read her personal story, and many more, in the new book.
Released in August, 2022
Dare to be Fabulous: Follow the journeys
of daring women on the path to finding their true north 

“This book holds together the power women find when they are honest and courageous and truthful. Some of these stories moved me to tears, others made me believe in humanity again, many I could identify with. This book brought me tremendous joy, insight and brought me back to believe in the human spirit.”

~ JULIANNA MARGULIES, multiple award-winning actor and author of Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life

ABOUT JOHANNA MCCLOY

Johanna McCloy is a freelance writer, editor, and actor. She is the editor of this website and the upcoming Dare to be Fabulous book. She is also editor and publisher of her mother’s CIA memoir, Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant. Johanna’s acting credits include starring and guest starring roles in award-winning theatre, television, and film. She is also known for her one-woman campaign called Soy Happy (2000-2012), which helped open the door to veggie dogs and  plant-based menu items in Major League Baseball stadiums and other large sports venues.

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14 Comments:

  1. I understand every word you wrote. I cancelled my wedding 3 days before, 2.5 years ago. Everyone tells me it was an act of courage and congratulates me. However, I feel shame about it. Not for the money my family lost, or the money he lost (he covered for the new apartment and honey moon), not even because of the people who came from other countries to attend the wedding, and all that stuff… it´s because of HIM. I question myself why I didn´t do it way before… Why I had to wait to the very last moment… Then, after attending some therapy sessions and talking to older couples, I come to realize that it happened exactly they moment it had to happen, not one day before or one day after. But! that day! I pray for him often and wish to see him married and happy. I still love him, and so do him… But, we just don´t work together.

  2. Thank you so much for telling your story. My FI and I just cancelled the wedding yesterday. I’ve been lookin up articles and stories on what to do next. We live together and it’s not an easy task.
    I went through so much to be with him. My family is very religious and stopped speaking with me after they found out we were living together.
    Also he was abusive to me once while he was drunk and that set the stage for me beginning to lose hope for us. We went to counseling and still do. We actually have an appointment in 2 days to see what are the next steps.
    This is the second time we break off our engagement. He is convinced that over time we will be okay to get married I on the other hand am not. My mind feels like a grey fog.
    I’m emotionally exhausted and trying to mentally prepare myself to send out wedding cancellation cards and contacting all the vendors.
    Thank you for your story. It gives me hope for a better future

  3. I too cancelled my wedding. It was quite incredible reading this, because so much of what you said really struck a chord with me. I was quite a lot older than you were (32), and in February called off the wedding which was supposed to be in June.
    Like you, I had a conversation with my mum, and her reaction was not at all what I expected – I thought she would tell me that I was just suffering from nerves, but instead she was calm and told me it was ok not to go through with it.
    Like you, I wasn’t so worried about losing deposits, the fact that we had already sent out save the date cards, or the fact that I had already bought my dress etc, but just so worried about telling the person about whom I did (and still do) care for dearly. I don’t think I have ever had to do anything so painful.
    6 months later I still feel tearful thinking or talking about it – people ask me all the time ‘Isn’t the wedding coming up soon?’ and I have to explain over and over again, my voice wobbling each time.
    I’ve been living somewhere else these past few months and working out whether permanent separation is the right thing or not has been, in many ways, much harder than the actual cancelling of the wedding. I know there were good reasons why I had doubts about the marriage and why I left, and those reasons still exist and to a large extent will probably always exist. Your experience of going back and realising that it was not right a second time is a good reminder to me that although it may feel tempting, it would not necessarily be for the best.
    The fact that my fiance is a very kind and gentle person, and didn’t do anything ‘wrong’, has made the situation all the harder.
    Looking forward to things starting to feel a little easier, gradually.

  4. Wow, I really needed to read that. I was supposed to wed in 2 days. Needless to say my girlfriend canceled 2 mo before the set date. I’m left hurt, confused and embarrassed. After reading your story it’s given a
    me a chance to see things from her perspective. Maybe she felt as you did, at least I hope. Ten years is a long time and I’m glad you can finally talk about what happened. I want to thank you for sharing your story I’m sure you have touched many hearts, mine included. Thank you

  5. Take it one day at a time. Try to be gentle with yourselves. I know it’s really hard and you feel horrible right now, but have faith. Navigate your way with love and honesty and you’ll be all that much stronger for it. Whatever happens.

  6. I myself cancelled my wedding just yesterday. Our wedding is supposed to be in two months now. We fought too much and I ran out of patience and felt so much that I hated him. His family knows what happened and they never want to see us together again. The sad part is, I regret cancelling it. My eyes are still sore. We talked last night and this morning. He doesn’t want us to end at the same time he is also tired. MHis mom emailed me telling she will not support us if we decide to proceed with the wedding. She paid for everything and wants her money back. I’m so depressed right now. I know I can’t do anything about it. I just hope I will find the strength to get back on my feet. He was my everything for 4 years. I gave up everything for him even a career just to be with him. It’s over now. Everythingis over. I don’t know whats life after this. Wish me luck.

  7. Johanna, your writing, work, and mission is inspiring…you came into my mind…fondly…as I drove past your old building on Beachwood…where I live….and I googled you….found your site…very happy for you and for what you are doing…your big heart and insights always knew no bounds…I may have been one of those that you ‘seeing’ in this story…love your writing and your courage to put all this good stuff out to the world.

    Mr. Koch

  8. Your anguish is palpable. Be gentle with yourself, Tony. All you can do is your best. Try to forgive yourself. The past is behind you and the present is literally, a gift. You did marry and you’re so happy that you did. That’s what matters. If your wife loves you as much as you love her, she’ll understand. And by the way, eloping on a romantic beach in Hawaii sounds fabulous! You may have done yourselves a favor. 😉 It’s certainly simpler and more profound that way.

    Anyway, I understand your anguish all too well, even if my story went the other way. With time, you’ll be able to find levity in your story (believe it or not!) Forgive yourself and relish in what you have.

    I wish you and your wife a very happy marriage!

  9. I canceled my wedding two weeks before it was supposed to happen. I regret it very badly!!!! I just got scared and didn’t realize what a great opportunity I passed up to show the woman I love how much I really loved her. We ended up eloping on a romantic beach in Hawaii a week later. It was very romantic but to this day I regret canceling. I failed to realize how important it was for my wife to have that day and we could have shared it with all of the people we loved the most. Even thought we still got married, canceling the wedding did lots of damage to our relationship and caused a lot of concern for our family and friends and they still to this day don’t take us very seriously as a couple. I live with so much guilt. I wish I could do it all over again. Now, I’m trying so hard to make it up to wife I love her so much and I will do anything to make it up to her. if your reading this ….. please wish me luck. My wife deserve it.

  10. Just read this after searching for people stories on cancelling weddings. I cancelled mine 16 weeks before the big day.. It was not my HTB’s fault at all. I love him and want to b with him but his family ruined everything. My furture ‘out laws’ took over, decided my whole wedding for me, stopped talking to me if I disagreed with anything they wanted for the big day, they snubbed my mum, and I eventually cracked under the stress and heartache n pressure they put on me.. N I camncelled it.. It is the hardest thing I have eva done but the day was ruined before it even started, it was neva mine and my HTB’s day.. It was his mothers and sisters day, I was merely a porn piece to the hugh chess game them played. We are still together just,but we no longer live together, I have moved back to my home town after the violence n vile threats etc I received from his family.. I had no one where I lived so moved back to be near my own family.

  11. I just found this post on your blog. It brought back a flood of memories, one of which reminded me that your family history may have strengthened your resolve to follow the path you knew to be right.

    Your dear father summoned the courage to walk away from a marriage that he knew in his heart was a mistake…just days before the large event that had been months in the planning and involved dozens if not hundreds of people. He told me once that taking that action was one of most difficult things he had done in his life up to that time.

    I always respected him enormously for having that courage, and it was the first thing I thought of when you (or was it your Mom?) called me to cancel your wedding.

  12. What a fabulous piece, Johanna. Thank you for sharing your amazing story.

  13. Oh, Sweetie…what a wonderful, revelatory story. I recall the time very clearly, I recall the heyday of your relationship with Mark that preceded it, I recall your mom's kind & diplomatic phone call explaining your decision to reverse the wedding plans. I wondered about it, but felt it HAD to be the right action for you, & never doubted how hard that must've been or how courageous it was to pull it off. Your beautifully written article filled in so many gaps for me.

    Brava! Love you, Johanna…