Being left at the altar is a common plot line in many romantic comedies. However in real life, not only can calling off a wedding be emotionally excruciating, but it can also be very costly.
The wedding industry is a $51 billion business, and the average wedding now costs over $30,000, according to the wedding website TheKnot.com. So when a wedding doesn't happen, much of that money is gone for good.
"We had our venue. I had my dress. I had bridesmaid dresses. We had our band, our photographer. We had just paid for the honeymoon. We were going to Hawaii," Stacey Becker, the New York City-based author of "Knot the One," told ABC News' "Nightline."
Becker was happily planning for her wedding, when her fiancé called it off.
"There were nights I would spend crying my eyes out in bed. I couldn't get out of bed. [I couldn't go] to work and [put] on a normal face while I am dealing with people at home and I am crying at home, sobbing," Becker recalled.
Becker soon found out cancelling a wedding can be almost as hard as planning one.
"[You need an] army of people to help you. I was calling, saying I wasn't getting married," said Becker.
Fortunately for Becker, she was able to get her deposit back for the reception. She later channeled her heartache into a book and is now happily married with a baby girl.
Becker's former fiancé, who she calls Brad in her book, told "Nightline" in a statement: "Stacey Becker was my best friend and I loved the time we shared together. Unfortunately, at 26 I was not ready to make a forever commitment. I am happy to have realized that and think that Stacey and me are both in better places because of it."
Like Becker, Kilee Manulak was also supposed to get married and had everything ready to go.
"Everything was done, pretty much. I was getting ready to, you know, just touch up with the DJ and, you know, just make sure everyone was on board and remembers the time, but everything has already gone out - we were ready," Manulak, who lives in Florida, told "Nightline."
But, Manulak said, a week before the Nov. 7 wedding, her fiancé called it off with a text message.
"It just said, 'You know, I've been having these back and forth feelings and I don't know if I can do this. I don't want to marry you.' Those aren't quotes, 'cause I don't remember exactly what it said, but that's kind of the gist of what the text message said," said Manulak. Her ex-fiancé didn't respond to "Nightline's" request for comment.
Instead of walking down the aisle, Manulak and her bridesmaids wore their dresses to a Color Fun Fest 5K in Tampa Bay, Florida, in November, where they were doused with colored powder throughout the course of the race.
"I thought this would just be a unique way again to just create a new memory in this dress, instead of, you know, 'This is my pretty white dress. I'm going to walk down the aisle and marry the man of my dreams,'" Manulak said. "Now, it's making a new memory for it, so I have something else to think about for this dress."
Manulak plans to get the dress cleaned and then donate it to charity. Though her heartbreak is still fresh, Manulak agreed that it wasn't meant to be and calling off the wedding was for the best.
"I want him to know that I thank him. I really do. I want him to know that I wish him all the happiness in the world - him and his family. And I'm not mad at him for calling off the wedding," Manulak said. "I thank him, because now I'm able to find true happiness, and now I'm able to be with my soul mate, and he did you know, have the courage to call that off."