A few weeks ago, reports surfaced that Charlene Wittstock tried to leave Monaco three separate times to avoid marrying Prince Albert on July 2.
Wittstock eventually did made the long walk down the aisle, but recently, a few other well-known brides refused: Crystal Harris very publicly called off her wedding to Hugh Hefner in June, and Ginnifer Goodwin broke off her engagement to Joey Kern in May.
Celebrity brides are hardly the only fiancées to get cold feet, but the surfacing of so-called “runaway brides” in headlines this summer invites a closer look at why and how some women call off their engagements -- and why so many others who feel they should, don't.
Second thoughts are a consistently popular topic on wedding registry sites like The -- type "cold feet" into the site's search box and you get 212 results, including links to community forums where individual posts often yield at least a dozen replies.
"I feel wayyy too young to be doing this but I feel like we're in too deep," wrote one bride-to be.
"I'm getting married in less than 3 months and I'm considering having someone block the doorway.
I can run fast in pumps- believe me," confessed another. I'd just like to know whether other women who are clearly excited about their wedding plans are equally as excited about their married lives." Indie Bride.com, a site for brides seeking advice not generated by the profit-driven commercial wedding industry had over 33,000 conversation threads about the urge to bolt.
Mandy Karo, 25, of Craig, Colorado, who broke off her engagement in April, said one of the reasons she originally said yes to a man she knew was wrong for her was that she saw how many of her friends were married and having kids. "Part of me really just wanted to get married," she said.
And pop culture's celebration of the wedding as the ultimate milestone in a woman's life has arguably reached an all-time crescendo.
Current and upcoming wedding-centric reality television shows include "Say Yes To The Dress," "My Fair Wedding," "Four Weddings," "Rich Bride Poor Bride," "Bridezillas," "The Real Wedding Crashers" and "I Do Over." Wedding-themed movies have had impressive showings at the box office over the last decade, and there are numerous national and regional bridal magazines in circulation and countless wedding websites and blogs.
One user explained that she'd been pressured into a big traditional wedding with a "princessy" dress, something she never wanted.
"When I think about getting married I feel sick to my stomach. "Many deposits have been put down, save the dates have gone out.
Cancelling it is not logical."Calling off a wedding is not a decision most women make impulsively. census showed that 41 percent of women aged 25 to 29 and 24 percent of women aged 30 to 34 had never been married.
In addition to the potential benefits that make marriage appealing to both sexes –- love, lasting companionship, tax benefits, among others -- research shows that unmarried women still feel stigmatized, even though more American women than ever are remaining single. Through interviews with women who've called it off, Anne Milford and therapist Jennifer Gauvain, co-authors of the book "How Not to Marry the Wrong Guy," found that many women have an arbitrary timeline for the age by which they should be married.