June 18, 2008 -- It was supposed to be the best day of their lives. Three women had meticulously planned every detail of their perfect weddings to loving fiancés.
But suddenly, instead of wedding bliss, these blushing brides' dream weddings turned into their worst nightmares after they were left at the alter.
"Good Morning America" caught up with these jilted brides.
Nicole Contos Liakeas was a 27-year-old New York City kindergarten teacher in 1997, planning her dream wedding with a lavish ceremony surrounded by family and friends.
She waited as the ceremony was stalled. Her fiancé was late.
That morning, her husband-to-be, Tasos Michael, had told her his feet felt like jelly, but then said he would see her later, at the altar.
But her fiancé never showed. Instead, he sent his best man with a message: The wedding was off.
"It was very shocking. I felt like someone really just kind of punched me," Liakeas, 38, told "Good Morning America." "I just lost all feeling."
Her outraged family decided to invite wedding guests to attend the reception at New York City's swanky Essex House and, instead of moping, the jilted bride decided to keep her head high.
She shed her wedding gown for a party dress and joined her family and friends on the dance floor.
"It was horrible," she said. "I just knew that I had to, you know, be strong, I guess, for my family."
But 11 years later, Liakeas says the worst day of her life was actually the best. She is now married to the man she calls her "true love," George Liakeas.
The couple runs a medical spa together and has two beautiful daughters.
"If you ask me, 'How do I feel that Nicole was left at the altar?'" said her husband, George. "I think it was the best thing that could ever happen to me."
Another jilted bride, Marilyn Chivetta, also threw a party after her fiancé called off their wedding a week before it was to take place in 2003.
"I was under the covers for two days and numb, couldn't really talk." But, Chivetta told "Good Morning America," "I just decided that I had to take it, the negative and turn it into a positive."
Chivetta, now 37, invited anyone in St. Louis, Mo., who had ever been jilted to join her at what she called "The Broken Heart Ball."
"And my friends said, 'It's going to be a lot of women that are bitter.' It wasn't," said Chivetta. "I guess it was all about, if something negative happens in your life, you can choose to celebrate it."
"It's the happiest day of your life. And then, in a moment, it's the worst day of your life. Just like that," said jilted bride Kimberley Kennedy.
The Atlanta news anchor said she thought she had it all in 1997: the dream job and the perfect fiancé.
But everything fell apart on the day of her wedding rehearsal party.
"He said, 'I can't do it.'" Kennedy said she went numb. "You know that feeling you get when you get bad news?"
"I couldn't believe my ears," said her sister Kathleen Kennedy. "I turned around and probably said some things that I shouldn't have."
"My sister was angry. We left pretty quickly after that. It was just surreal," Kennedy said.
In one day, all the gifts were returned while the flowers and food were donated to charity. But then came the hard part.
"I was as low as a person could get," said Kennedy. "I can remember lying on that couch one day and thinking, you know what, how in the world did I get here? How did I get here?"
During that time, Kennedy's story made headlines. She received many letters of support and even one from her former fiancé, who apologized. She says she now sees that her wedding enthusiasm may have overshadowed his doubts.
"A wedding should be happy and joyous for both people. And it didn't feel that way, now in retrospect," she said. "It felt like I was pushing him."
Kennedy used her infamy as Atlanta's most famous jilted bride to get a job as host of her own weekly entertainment show called "Hot Topics."
She said that she still hopes to get married some day, but isn't in a rush. She has written a book about being left at the altar and it's coming out next year, around Valentine's Day.
"The story here is that I'm completely happy," said Kennedy, "You don't have to have a mate around to make you complete. And maybe I didn't know that before."
"You can dust yourself off and rewrite that chapter of your life," she advised. "And you know what? I like this chapter a whole lot better."
And Liakeas finally got her happily-ever-after ending.
"God had something better waiting for me," she said, smiling at her new husband. "At the end, I found my prince."