Marriage is a wonderful thing, and having someone who wants to walk down the aisle with you and spend forever with you is a blessing of epic proportions. But while we all love fairytales, the truth is that not all marriage proposals result in happy-ever-after. In fact, some end in rejection that are crazier than you can ever imagine.
From grooms getting ghosted to brides feeling betrayed, these are some of the craziest marriage proposals rejections we’ve ever heard of. But hey, don’t worry if someone rejects your proposal. You’ll find your soulmate eventually; we believe that. For now, let’s cringe, grimace, and laugh at these failed marriage proposal rejections that have likely led to heartbreak, happiness, true love, and epiphanies.
Here comes the bride… or not…
#1 You’ve got mail
“Not exactly this, but I proposed, got engaged for like 2 months, then got my ring returned in a paper bag with very little explanation of what went wrong.
It was horrible right after. Like, couldn’t stop thinking about it every second. Then every minute. Then every hour. Then every day. Then week. Then month. Then year. It’s been over a decade now and it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. We were so so wrong for each other and it was a toxic relationship. You can’t see it until you’ve had some time outside of it to reflect and to meet someone you get along with so well you wonder why the hell you didn’t meet them earlier.” –insanitylater
#2 The one that got away
“My friend A had been with his girlfriend B for years, so he decided he wanted to propose. What he didn’t know, is that B was also thinking about proposing to him.
A proposed first, and B freaked out because she had already set her proposal and bought a ring, so she said no. Over the next week, B freaked out more and more, and refused to answer A’s calls and messages.
A then decided to use the money he had saved up to buy a plane ticket to Europe. What was supposed to be a 3 month trip through western Europe turned out to be a year long trip around the world.
One day, A says that he’s coming back and B decides to go and wait for him at the airport and propose to him there. It turns out that while being in Peru, A met a girl and they fell in love almost immediately, and got married in Peru.
Cue 5 years later, A and his Peruvian wife are still happily married and recently had a baby, while B hasn’t still quite forgiven herself for ruining her relationship with A.” – ThePeasantKingM
#3 Serendipity for everyone
“My dad proposed to a woman who said no. My dad was a violent alcoholic and she said she couldn’t be with him unless he got clean. Took him a little while, but he did it. He wound up meeting my mom through a match maker and they’ve been married 25 years.
If that woman never said no to him, he never would have gotten clean. It was the lowest point in his life. But it all brought him to my mom who makes him happier than ever.
My dad talks to her sometimes. She got married to someone else and they had a son.” – calculust_
#4 Dodged the (stalker) bullet
“I was the one who said no.
We were high school sweethearts – had actually known each other since first grade and despite me moving to a different city, we reconnected in high school.
I followed him out to college and realized there was a whole other world out there besides the small town I grew up in.
He already had our entire life planned out and it wasn’t until we had dated 3 1/2 years and he “surprised” me with a ring and a proposal that I realized he wasn’t what I wanted at all. He was lazy, never went to class, didn’t stand up for himself, and was codependent.
I said no.
He then proceeded to literally stalk me. We lived in the same apartment complex, but different units. He would knock on my door all hours of the day. I never answered. He would call and text constantly. This was before you could block numbers on an iPhone.
He attempted to break into my roommates window and was successful because she had left it unlocked. I wasn’t at the apartment and he told her, “I was just trying to get some stuff”.
The very rare occasions I would open the door (very shortly after our break up), he would force his way in or stick his boot in between the door so I couldn’t close it.
I called the cops numerous times but they never did anything.
He would follow me if I left places.
At one point, he somehow knew information that I knew he COULDNT have known and found out he had somehow installed a program onto my computer to track all my passwords and keystrokes and activity.
That was when I decided to change my phone number.
He would leave stuff on our balcony. Letters, gifts, random sh**.
He did not stop and would threaten me often by saying he would find out my new phone number.
Eventually, it did get less and less, however TO THIS DAY, I still hear from him.
I’m married now (for almost 4 years) and I’ve heard that he is also married and has a kid on the way.
But a few months ago, he found my extremely obscure Facebook (it’s not even my full name. It’s half my first name and only my middle name. I have maybe 11 “friends” on there that he has no connection with. I really only use this fb to be in groups to discuss true crime) and asked me to meet up with him for lunch for closure. I blocked him, but I know I’ll hear from him again somehow in a few months.
It’s ridiculous, honestly. I regret ever dating the guy.” – freetraveler11
#5 Don’t miss the deadline
“We talked about getting married and agreed that so long as the proposal was a surprise it would be fine. So I got help from some of her friends to make it special. Dinner at her favorite restaurant with our families in attendance and the ring on a piece of chocolate cake delivered by the waiter. The act was “we just all happened to show up at the same place on the same day at the same time”. Sure, a child could see that it was a setup, but that wasn’t the point.
Evening goes great, cake comes out, ring is discovered, I get down on one knee…
…and she says no in front of everyone.
My family is shocked. Her family is shocked. Her friends are…not so shocked.
She breaks up with me right there. “You took too long.”
A month later she’s engaged to one of her co-workers.
Joke’s on her though. Not only do her parents like me more than her (we’re still on speaking terms and I regularly go hunting and fishing with her father. Meanwhile he hates his son-in-law) I started dating one of her *former* friends (she lost a few over the breakup) and we got married the following year.” – The TrumpHole
#6 A perfect time for everything
“In 2017, Google came up with this idea to allow you to make photo books out of your Google photos account. My girlfriend and I had been dating for almost 2 years and I knew she was the one I wanted to marry, so I created this wonderful photo book of all of our selfies together and ended it with a page made out of a photo I generated that said will you marry me. I then proceeded to put all these things into an album and build the photo book.
What didn’t occur to me at the time was that the album I put these in was a shared album and the other person gets a notification when you add new photos to it. And the other person that the album was shared with? My girlfriend.
That evening, we had dinner and it all came out. She saw the photo, she wasn’t ready, there were a few reasons why but they were good reasons and smart reasons mostly to do with timing, family, and finances. We weren’t breaking up, we just weren’t getting engaged at that time. A year later, we have fully discussed the concept of getting married, we went ring shopping, she picked her own ring, and by the time I actually did propose we both knew what her answer would be.
We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in April. It seems to have worked out so far! And the photo book is on a shelf to my left as we speak.” – baltinerdist
#7 A detour to find your soulmate
“Not sure if this count but I proposed, she said yes, but 1 month before the wedding she took it back. This is what happened immediately with my life.
- I personally lost about $3,000 worth of deposits. My parents and her parents lost about $4000 each on deposits. Me and my parents are working-class so it took years for us to financially recover from this.
- I spent $2,200 on a ring I didn’t want. My biggest regret and will say this to anyone who listens. The engagement ring chain I bought it from wouldn’t take it back. I took it to pawn shops and they’d only offer a few hundred. This engagement ring store, bank on customers who wants the whole ring (stone, band, setting). If you’re going to buy a ring JUST BUY THE STONE a gold band, setting you can get a better deal from a local jewelry store. Apparently, my gem I bought was sh**. Most of the cost of the ring was BS.
- Most of my family was from out of state and a lot of people were pissed because they canceled their flight.
- I had to go to the ER. So I didn’t leave my room, I couldn’t take any calls because everyone was pissed and I didn’t want to hear it. I was depressed and just stayed in bed. One day my roommate grabbed me and took me to the ER where the doctor treated me for severe dehydration and an infection.
What happened when I got over it? I became stronger for it. I didn’t propose to anyone until a decade later – honestly, there wasn’t anyone that I didn’t love deeply enough to be in a committed relationship. But when I proposed I was in my thirties our relationship was more mature than the first time I proposed. We’re now married for 13 years. She’s my best friend. When I have good news she the first person I want to tell it too… when I have bad news she’s the first person I want to tell it too. I financially recovered as well.
I learned my lesson about the engagement ring. Only paid $300 for it. She LOVED it and treasures it. After our 10-year miles stone we were doing so well, I told her to pick a wedding ring of any cost. She refused. She still wears that cheap $300 ring and loves it.” – shaka_sulu
“I spoke to her about it beforehand, and she seemed really Keen on the idea. So I decided to propose about a week after in front of all our friends. She was so shocked she picked me up off my knee and shoed me away. Most of our friends were confused because everyone knew it was going to happen, and she said she was excited for it.
I didn’t know what to do, it was all really embarrassing and later she explained she didn’t mean no she just didn’t know what to say and was scared.
She said yes after apologizing profusely and just this year we celebrated our 9th anniversary.” – GeerieGeraln
#9 Third time’s a charm
“My mom rejected my father the first TWO times, lol. There was no real hard feelings between them. I guess my mother was just not ready for marriage yet.
She ended up proposing to him. My grandmother and mother sewed a suit for their dog to wear and attached a sign around his neck with a ring that read “will you marry me?” Then she sent the dog out into the kitchen to beg for scraps while my father was preparing dinner. The next thing she heard was a very concerned voice shouting
“HONEY! The dog is asking me to marry him!”
Cue absolute hysterics.
My dad said yes to the proposal. My HUMAN dad and my HUMAN mom are still married two decades later.” – Reddit
#10 Will you NOT marry me?
“She had said she wasn’t really a fan of marriage, so I thought proposing non-marriage might be well received, and I wanted us to be together for the rest of our lives. So I asked her not to marry me.
She said no. We have been married for 10 years.” – Incognito_Matt
#11 The wheel of fate
“I had planned a special occasion for my proposal. Before we went to a family event, I took her on one of those observation wheels and I proposed at the very top with a ring I had designed myself. I was overjoyed when she said yes—at first. A few days later she exchanged that yes for a no, and my whole life fell apart.
I was distraught, but we pushed past it and continued dating for a while, albeit long distance. When I would visit her, it would get super awkward, and eventually, her dad no longer let me see her. It took me years to recover from the whole ordeal. Now, I am happily married and looking back I am glad the previous relationship never worked out. I was not in a good place when I met her, and her family was super controlling, so it would never have worked. The woman I married is super cool and is my best friend, so everything turned out better than expected.” – alocinapap
#12 Ask me again
“We had only known each other for three months when he proposed. He was smitten but I was more cautious. I told him no, I like you but it’s way too soon. He asked how long he should wait before asking again and I said maybe a year. He proposed again at midnight, exactly one year after we first met. I said yes, and we have been together for eight years now.” – kjel99
#13 Patience is a virtue
“Not my story, but someone I’m friends with.
They both had sh*tty homes and became a couple at 14. Somewhere around 20, he proposed to her. She said she wasn’t ready to commit yet. After that he’d propose to her every year partially in hopes she would be ready but it was also kind of a ritual where he would show her that he’s still serious. She would say no every time. In their late 20s he was done with his studies, she could see the finish line so she told him she’s ready – meaning marriage and eventually children. That’s when he gets seconds thoughts about marrying the only woman he ever had a relationship with and he wasn’t sure if he was making a mistake. They went on a break, she went to the US (from Europe) to do her PhD at MIT. They drifted apart more, she moved on and found a new long term relationship with a partner that’s a lot better for her while he quickly regretted ending the relationship.” – Dashu
#14 Engagement ring over onion ring
“My dad kept trying, and was eventually successful when he stopped using onion rings.” – Jedinate6
“We were dating for a little over a year but I was so sure she was the one. I drove 2 hours to see her at her college and went on a beautiful winter night walk and proposed. She looks me right in the eyes and said, “Oh you thought this was serious? Well um, I don’t know how to say this other than I have been seeing other people. Well, actually I have been seeing other women.” I was stunned I got up, put the ring in my pocket and walked to my car got in, and drove away never looking back crying the whole time. Haven’t seen or spoken with her in 7 years even though she has tried countless times to reach out. Now it’s a story I tell friends who are nervous about asking their significant others to marry them. Reminding them that even if they say no it could be worse.” – yathisisafakeone
#16 Puppy proposal
“My ex’s parents have a cute story. They both grew up poor in nowhere, Texas. They start dating and he makes it big in the banking sector (real big). He buys a ring and takes her out on a date and pops the question. She says no. He buys her a car and surprises her with it and pops the question, and she says no again. A week later, he shows up with a puppy in his coat pocket and she can’t resist the puppy dog eyes… Literally. They’ve been married some 35 years I think…” –Inri137
#17 Love at 2nd question
“My grandparents. The most incredible love story I know. My gramps proposed to my grandmother on the fourth sentence he ever said to her. She laughed, thought he was mad, and said no. She told him to meet him the next day, if he was serious. He did. And she said yes.” – SevernCs
#18 Putting your foot down
My dad asked my mom to marry him several times and she kept saying no. She had been engaged before and it was a disaster relationship and she had decided she was never going to get married. But her and my dad stayed together.
Finally, one day my dad says “sit down, we need to find a day that works where both our families can be in town for our wedding.” And she was like “okay.” And they got married. She loves that story but he just rolls his eyes and goes “your mother is SO difficult.” They’ve been together for 32 years!” – ThrowawayMeiDay
#19 Smoke-free matrimony
“My mum turned down my dad multiple times. Said she’d reconsider if he quit smoking. They’ve now been married 47 years and my dad hasn’t smoked since!”- BoulderRat
#20 Straight out of a Romcom
“My mother told my father no three times. On the third time he got wasted at a local bar and basically started pouring his heart out to anyone who’d listen. Mind you, it’s a very small village in the Italian alps and my father barely spoke Italian and no one in the village spoke English, including my mother. Word got back to my mom about this sad American at the bar so she went to find him and she told him she’d marry him.
My parents celebrated their 44th-anniversary last month.” – PazzaCiccio
#21 Don’t give up
“We lived together for another six years until she changed her mind and told me that I should ask again. We were engaged for over a year and got married in 1991. We are still married, have three children, and are both still very much in love.” – h2f
#22 Home is where the heart is
“We met in her home country of Germany while I was traveling. It was love at first sight and we dated long distance for a while, with either me flying to Europe or her flying to the US. After a while, I suggested marriage multiple times so we could justify living together in one place. Her answer was always the same—no. I stayed patient and tried not to be pushy, as I knew she was worth the wait. Then finally one day it hit her—marriage is how we could be together. If we got married, we could live in a country together. A few years later and I’m still married to my best friend and living with her in Germany.” – elubow
#23 So, we meet again
“Dated my wife in high school. I was all wrong for her at the time, and it was going way too fast so we broke up on good terms. One of the last times we talked, I asked her if she would marry me one day, she laughed it off and said no way, and said I was definitely not the marrying type. Fast Forward to college, I was working full time and she was a law student, and she walked into the liquor store I was the manager of. We talked for an hour, and it continued in the parking lot, just talking and catching up. At the end of the conversation as she was leaving, jokingly I asked her to marry me again. She laughed, I laughed.. and she said ‘we’ll see’.
Married 16 years in October.” – morganstern
#24 Excellent idea!
“We were living together. I asked, she said “No, I love you but I need to think about it. I don’t think I’m ready yet. Can you give me some time and ask later?”. A few months go by, I ask again, same response. A few more months, same deal. A couple more weeks and then she says “hey, what do you think of us getting married?”. I replied: That’s an excellent idea, why didn’t I think of that?” – grayputer
#25 Just kidding
“lol I asked my wife, she knew it was coming, got down on one knee, she said no, I blanched, she said “just kidding I swear it”. We’ve been married 22 years last April. every once in a while just for fun I bring it up, and she always apologizes, lol” – peoplewillknow
“I proposed to my then-girlfriend in Central Park, NYC back in 2013.
We were with her sister & sister’s fiancé and they were in on my plans to surprise her: juggling who had the ring box, him taking random photos of squirrels or whatever (to justify him carrying his nice camera that day), and otherwise being very supportive and helpful. When we got to the little bridge that we usually took pictures on we did our pose and I did the classic “oh shit I gotta tie my shoes real fast” move to get down on one knee. I busted out the ring box and popped the question. She had no clue how to react and uttered a soft “…no…”
What the f***.
Ultimately she was just speechless and stunned that I was able to pull the wool over her eyes all day and the “no” was more of a “no way you were able to do this” reaction. We’re now married almost 5 years and have twin daughters!” – SpaceEurope
#27 Dodged a bunch of bullets
“Dated a woman for over two years and popped the question. First time she said “I don’t know”. A couple months later I asked her again, she said “Maybe.” I was pretty bent out of shape. But then I found out she was sleeping with several of my friends so I dodged a bullet there really.”
#28 A man of his word
“My dad proposed to my mom after they’d been seeing each other for just under two weeks. She laughed and basically told him he was crazy, that it was way too soon. My dad said, (and he is very proud of this fact,) “Fine. I asked you once. I’m not gonna ask again.” My mom thought he was bluffing. After a year of dating she started giving him a hard time about not asking her to get married again, and he stuck to his guns and said she missed her chance and he wasn’t going to ask again. My mom finally broke down and asked him to marry her. Made sure she properly took the piss out of him when she did it, too. Made a big show about asking his father for permission, got down on one knee in public, got him the gaudiest engagement ring she could find. He said yes and they just celebrated their 30th anniversary.” – Wissix
#29 I’m telling!
“It was the second grade and the girl’s name was Christina and she was in my class. I asked her if she would marry me and she said no. I did the only reasonable thing, I told the teacher on her.” –moby323
“We had been dating about 6 weeks. I knew. I just knew she was the one. She said, ‘You’re a great guy and I love you, but I’m not ready to get married.’
We continued dating. I asked again a week or so later. Similar response.
Lather, rinse, repeat. I asked 4 more times over the next few weeks. Finally, we were at a Chinese restaurant. Fortune cookies come. Mine says, “Your wish is within reach. Ask once more.” Hers says, “Get your hope chest ready.” No bullshit. No setup. Totally random cookies from the restaurant. I reached across the table, took her hand, and asked for the 7th time. She didn’t really say, “Yes.” More like a sigh and a resigned “Okay.”
First date: Dec 12, 1981, Married: Apr 3, 1982, Still together. One son, 2 granddaughters, 2 great-granddaughters. Still giddily in love.
Never give up! Never surrender!” – CharDeeMacDennisII