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

After a chance encounter and years of dating, Ryan and Hanna are about to walk down the aisle and commit to each other. But when Ryan’s mother reveals an incriminating video of Ryan with another woman, Hanna feels her heartbreak. But later, the truth of the video is revealed, along with more deceit than Hanna ever expected.

Do parents just enjoy dropping bombshells before weddings? When I say before—I mean 30 minutes before?

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

Ryan and I met two years ago—it was one of those by-chance meetings. I was at the community theatre because one of my friends, Mila, was in the local musical with her directorial debut.

So, there I was, standing outside after the performance, holding a bouquet of flowers for Mila. Ryan walked out, and because of the crowd, walked directly into me, crushing the flowers.

“I am so sorry,” he said, picking up the bouquet.

“I hate crowds,” I said.

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

“I’m not a fan either,” he said. “I’m Ryan.”

“Hanna,” I said, introducing myself.

Just three months into our romance, Ryan proposed in a pub while drinking Guinness and eating crispy potato skins.

Last week, we should have sealed that promise with our wedding vows. But our wedding went in the complete opposite direction it should have gone.

Initially, my family welcomed Ryan with open arms. As the only daughter, my parents were thrilled that I had met someone who genuinely made me happy.

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

“He makes her happy,” my father said, smiling. “That’s all a father could want.”

Ryan felt welcome—he felt the warmth that they showered him, and through that, we grew stronger as a couple, too.

On his side, it was more or less the same thing. The Coles opened their home and hearts to me, and they wanted nothing more than to have us over as much as possible. Mrs. Cole, Audrey, had gotten into a coffee date and manicure routine with me, too.

Everything felt right—until the very moment it wasn’t.

Leading up to our wedding, I was the calmest I could have been. It was a small church wedding, and Ryan and I had planned the intimate affair right down to the little details. We knew exactly what we wanted and how to make it special for our day.

But on what was meant to be the happiest day of my life, just before the ceremony, my soon-to-be mother-in-law pulled me aside.

“Darling,” she said. “Can we chat for a moment?”

I nodded and told her to wait until my glam team was done with my hair and makeup.

Something about her demeanor made me feel anxious and nervous. I watched her movements from my reflection in the mirror.

Her eyes moved around the room quickly, often settling on my wedding dress hanging from its hook.

When I was ready, and my mother was buttoning up my dress, I turned to Audrey.

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

Her eyes glazed over, seeing me in the dress. She had been at my fittings before, but this was the moment that Audrey and my mother would see the full effect of my bridal outfit.

“Hanna,” Audrey said. “There’s no easy way for me to say this.”

My heart thundered in my chest. While my hair was being done, and I sat watching her, I knew that nothing good was going to come from our conversation.

“Just say it,” I said. “Tell me.”

Audrey pulled her phone out of her clutch and held it out for me.

“There are videos on this phone that will explain everything. I am so sorry, Hanna, but Ryan needs to be caught out.”

My mind raced. I couldn’t fathom what I was about to see once her phone was unlocked.

“Here,” she said, handing me her phone as a woman’s voice echoed through the room.

The videos on Audrey’s phone revealed Ryan with another woman, in clandestine affection, undeniable betrayal.

“Are you sure?” I asked. “This is him?”

Audrey closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

“Well, look at the jacket on the bed,” she said. “Isn’t that the one you got him?”

I pressed play again, and looked at the jacket. The hotel room also looked familiar—I was so sure that we had been there before.

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

I was struggling. I couldn’t believe that my almost mother-in-law was standing in front of me with a video showing her son’s affair.

“Hanna,” she said slowly. “It’s right in front of you. You can choose to overlook it, but think of the man that you would be marrying if you choose to ignore it. Could you live with yourself knowing that? Could you live with him?”

I shook my head. I wanted to cry because of how overwhelmed I was.

“Fine,” I said.

“You’re calling off the wedding?” Audrey asked, hope lining her voice.

“No,” I said. “I’m going to walk down that aisle. I’m going to walk to the man who has been unfaithful to me. And when the time comes for our vows, I’ll break it off then.”

“Okay, dear,” Audrey said, putting her phone back into her bag. “It’s almost time now, anyway.”

I sat down on the chaise, and waited for my father to come and get me when it was time to marry Ryan. I wanted nothing more than to get into a car and drive away to some place where I could eat my feelings in a mountain of fries.

My heart violently pounded with fury as I approached the altar on my father’s arm. Ryan, aware of the storm brewing beneath my skin, smiled tenderly at me. He took my hand and squeezed it.

It would have been absolutely perfect, except for the fact that he had been with someone else.

Our priest went on to quote scripture about love and matrimony from the Bible. And when it was time for our vows, my heart quietened down—finally realizing what was about to come.

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

“Speak louder, Hanna,” the priest said.

“I don’t!” I said more confidently, the words echoing like a resounding shockwave.

Ryan’s shock morphed into confusion as I repeated those two words again.

“Hanna? What?” he asked, hurt and betrayal deep in his voice.

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

The church hushed immediately, as if everyone were holding their breath. With shaking hands, she opened her bag and took out her phone. Like earlier, she held it out to me.

“Look,” I said to Ryan.

Ryan took a step back, almost falling over the wedding arch.

“That is not me, Hanna!” he said loudly. “Hanna, you know it’s not me!”

I refused to look him in the eye.

Then he confronted his mother.

“Mom, what is all this? What is that? Where did you get that video?”

Audrey shook her head and walked down the aisle, leaving the church in silence.

I could not bear to hear Ryan’s excuses.

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

And I wanted to. Of course, I wanted to believe the man I loved. But it was clear, the jacket that I bought him lay across the bed in the video. He had been with someone else.

And if there was the possibility that he wasn’t with another person—how would he explain the video? And the woman who was barely dressed? And the sound effects?

“I can’t do this,” I said. “I won’t.”

I ran out of the side door, my parents following closely behind.

Ryan continued to reach out to me for the rest of the day—and when night settled, I finally blocked his number.

Yet, two days later, when I was wrapped in a blanket wondering where everything had gone wrong—Ryan showed up at my parents’ house with takeout and flowers.

“You expect this to fix everything?” I asked.

“I need to talk,” he said simply.

Against my better judgment, I listened.

What Ryan revealed next sent me down another spiral.

He had confronted Audrey after the wedding.

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

“I think you did that,” I blurted out.

“Hanna,” he warned. “My mother orchestrated that video. The people in it are her students. And it was all because she didn’t want us to get married.”

My jaw hit the ground.

Audrey was a high school teacher—but she also tutored first-year college kids in English. So, when it truly came down to the fact that Ryan and I were actually getting married, she panicked. She called two of her college students, who were too eager to make a bit of extra money, to play the part.

“I thought she liked me,” I said while digging into the food Ryan had brought over. “Clearly she doesn’t if she put an entire video together.”

“She did say that the sounds were edited,” Ryan chuckled nervously. “But I’ve got to hand it to her, adding my jacket was a good touch.”

I didn’t understand how I felt. For the past two days, since walking away from my own wedding—I convinced myself that Ryan had been the bad guy in my story. That he was the villain who broke my heart, while his mother exposed him for who he was.

And yet, the reality was so much worse.

Here was a woman who had claimed me as the daughter she never had, only to break my heart before marrying her son.

She believed I was unworthy of Ryan.

I forgave Ryan immediately, and he did the same in return—I did accuse him of cheating on me in front of all our guests.

We’re still together, but I don’t know what the future holds. For now, I feel hurt and betrayed by Audrey. And I know that forgiveness will be difficult to come by for her.