Getting cold feet prior to a wedding can be problematic for many, but few would go to the extreme of faking their own death.
That was what American Tucker Blandford did when he suddenly realised he didn't want to marry Briton Alex Lanchester, Huffington Post reported.
The pair met in August 2012 when Lanchester was at university in Connecticut, and quickly they fell in love.
"He was such a gentleman. He showered me with jewelry. We would go out for a posh dinner on the tenth of every month to celebrate the day we got together," Lanchester said.
But when Lanchester was to return to England both feared their love would wane, so Blandford popped the question before she left in 2013.
She excitedly accepted and an August 2014 date was set.
Wedding plans began to be arranged and a little girl's dream was ready to be realised - that was until Lanchester received a call a few months ago from a man claiming to be Blandford's father.
"He told me Tucker had been deeply depressed and wanted to die, so had thrown himself in front of a car," she told Yahoo! News UK.
"The man explained that they had been trying to send Tucker off to a psychiatric unit for help. But it was too late. I couldn't breathe. It was absolutely devastating."
A short time later Lanchester called the family back, only to get Blandford's mother, who said her son was alive and well.
Blandford later told the Daily Mail that things had moved too fast for him.
"I'm a terrible, awful person. I know I shouldn't have told her I was dead, but I didn't know what else to do," he said. "Alex is an amazing girl but I got scared and wanted to get out of the relationship. It was moving extremely fast and with us being in different countries, it was really hard.
"At the time I just felt like I couldn't tell the truth and thought if I could just postpone everything it would be better."
Since finding out about the "gutless" deception, Lanchester has refused contact with Blandford, although he has texted her to say he was sorry and has paid back half the US$1,200 (NZ$1,400) he owes her for wedding-related expenses.
"I don't think I'll ever forgive him," she said.
"To pretend to be dead to get out of marrying me is just gutless. If he loved me, how could he do such a thing?"
In a display of a small silver lining, Lanchester's loss of love has led her to a new career. She has started a business making wedding favours (perhaps she had a bunch left over).
💙💙💙 cc/ @ChickenParm91 pic.twitter.com/UtyP4d9i
— Alexandra Paula (@leksibaby_x) December 16, 2012
❤ sillyfaces. pic.twitter.com/w9kpR61S
— Alexandra Paula (@leksibaby_x) December 1, 2012
We made a red neck tree... pic.twitter.com/kIgSc0ql
— Alexandra Paula (@leksibaby_x) November 29, 2012
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