Not all those who say "yes" to a proposal will go on to say "I do." According to a 2013 study conducted by The Wedding Report (via The New York Times), about 13 percent — roughly a quarter-million — of engagements don’t end in marriage. When concerns mount, some couples may choose to delay their big day as opposed to call it off altogether. Of course, other couples may decide to go forward with their wedding plans despite having plenty of reservations.
While celebrity couples may not exactly be just like us, they’re certainly not immune to relationship woes. In fact, the Marriage Foundation (via The Telegraph) estimated that famous people are nearly twice as likely to divorce than the rest of us. Likewise, some celebrity couples aren’t exactly unfamiliar with having to cancel their engagements. Here are a few of the biggest names who made the decision to call off their weddings.
Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland
In 1999, Julia Roberts starred as the female lead in The Runaway Bride — a role for which she was well-suited. In the early ’90s, Roberts acquired real-life experience as, well, a runaway bride. In July 1991, People reported that 23-year-old Roberts and 24-year-old actor Kiefer Sutherland’s nuptials would be "the fantasy wedding of the decade." But, just two days before their wedding was set to take place, Roberts called it off.
"I think she had courage," Sutherland revealed in an interview (via Hello! Magazine) some 25 years later. "It wasn’t what she wanted to do in the end. And it think it took a lot of courage, in amongst all of that other stuff, to be able to say, I can’t do this." He continued, saying, "She was arguably the most famous woman in the world, and this wedding that was supposed to be something between the two of us, became something so big." Although they never got back together, both Roberts and Sutherland have gone on to find love again with other people.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt
Before Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, there was Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow. The super couple started dating in 1995 and, in 1996, Pitt proposed. How far the two got into their wedding planning, however, is up for debate. In the late ’90s, People cited "one person familiar with the couple’s plans" who said that the planning didn’t quite get that far. Other reports, however, revealed that the "hush-hush wedding" was scheduled to take place during late summer in The Hamptons — ironically where Paltrow and Brad Falchuk would eventually wed. People also reported on Paltrow’s visit to wedding dress guru Vera Wang. Hmm. Even so, the two called off their engagement in 1997.
When interviewed on Girlboss Radio in 2017 (via Harper’s Bazaar), Paltrow revealed that she’d "f***ed up so many relationships." She continued, saying, "So Brad Pitt, if you’re listening. I f***ed that up, Brad." Nothing like some closure after 20 years, right?
Carson Daly and Tara Reid
Can you believe Carson Daly and Tara Reid were actually once a couple? Not only that, but they planned to get married. In 2001, Reid and Daly made the decision to postpone their wedding because Reid was cast in an upcoming movie. "I had picked out the bridesmaids’ dresses and the invitations, but we just canceled everything," she told TV Guide Online (via Deseret News) at the time. Three months later, Daly’s publicist revealed that the two had broken up. Reid later revealed that she was devastated by their breakup.
Some 11 years later after their split, Elle asked Daly if he had any regrets about being engaged to the actress. Daly responded, saying, "To some extent, I dodged a bullet." Ouch. He added, "I was getting serious about my career, and she wanted to shoot movies and just party in her time off. That didn’t work for me."
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
Remember Bennifer? Sigh. How could anyone forget the early aughties pairing of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck? Although the movie Gigli should’ve probably been an indication that these two didn’t exactly work well together, we were nevertheless excited when they got engaged. And when they postponed their wedding? Well, that was certainly the talk around the water cooler for a time.
Just four days before the couple planned to say "I do," Lopez and Affleck called off their Californian wedding. "Due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding, we have decided to postpone the date," the couple revealed in a statement to People. Despite initially being postponed, the Bennifer ceremony would never end up taking place as the couple decided to end their relationship. "I think different time, different thing, who knows what could’ve happened, but there was a genuine love there," Lopez revealed in an interview in 2016.
Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow
Cyclist Lance Armstrong and singer Sheryl Crow were, admittedly, an odd pairing. Still, it seemed to be working. The couple dated for two years before getting engaged. Five months into the engagement, however, the couple confirmed their breakup. "We both have a deep love and respect for each other and we ask that everyone respect our privacy during this very difficult time," the couple said in a statement provided to People in 2006. The publication revealed that the couple had previously denied relationship trouble and insisted that their wedding was still scheduled for the spring.
"I think Sheryl’s a great lady, but she wanted marriage, she wanted children…" Armstrong revealed in the 2009 biography Lance: The Making of the World’s Greatest Champion. Although he said it wasn’t that he "didn’t want" those things, but rather that he’d just gotten out a marriage and already had children. He explained, "Yet we’re up against her biological clock — that pressure was what cracked it."
Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris
After dating for 11 months, founder of the Playboy empire Hugh Hefner and Playboy playmate Crystal Harris got engaged in 2010. According to Us Weekly‘s report from the time, the couple planned to marry at the Playboy Mansion in late Spring 2011 before 300 guests. That is, until Harris backed out.
"I called it off because I didn’t think it was the right thing for me to do," Harris revealed on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show (via Us Weekly). She claimed the decision was "mutual" and that she wasn’t dating anyone else, as many had speculated. "I respect him more than anything, and we’re still going to be really close," Harris explained. And close they remained. Despite their 61-year age difference, Hefner and Harris eventually wed on New Year’s Eve 2011. The couple remained married until Hefner passed away at the age of 91 in September 2017.
Kat von D and Deadmau5
In December 2012, musician Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman) tweeted a question to his then-girlfriend, tattoo artist Kat Von D. "I can’t wait for Christmas so … Katherine Von Drachenberg, will you marry me?" he asked (via People). Von D replied with a series of exclamation points and referred to Deadmau5 as her fiancé — and that was that. The couple set a date — August 10, 2013 — and compiled a guest list. The pair even planned on having an "underwater-themed" ceremony, according to Von D.
However, Von D took to Twitter again in late June to reveal that the engagement was off. "Cheating on your loved one is the most hurtful thing one could do," she tweeted, "I hate to have to admit, that this relationship is indeed over." Later that same day, Deadmau5 posted to Facebook (via Us Weekly) claiming that he and Von D "mutually ended the engagement" and that he was never "unfaithful to Kat" during their relationship. Still, August 10 came and went — and no "underwater-themed" wedding took place.
Big Sean and Naya Rivera
In late January 2014, Glee actress Naya Rivera praised her fiancé, rapper Big Sean. "I think he’s going to be an amazing husband," she said, "and he’ll make a great father someday." Nevertheless, the couple broke up by early April of the same year. Big Sean’s rep revealed in a statement obtained by E! News at the time that Sean "made the difficult decision to call the wedding off."
In her memoir, Rivera gave readers a little more insight into their abrupt breakup. According to the actress, they’d been fighting a lot while Sean was traveling and the rapper revealed he didn’t want to see Rivera anymore. But, because the actress had a key to his home, she decided to go see him. In doing so, she found a young woman — "it rhymes with ‘Smariana Schmande" — on his couch. Yes, Ariana Grande.
The actress further revealed that she learned the status of her and Sean’s relationship through the internet. "Not only were we no longer getting married, but apparently we weren’t even together anymore," the book reads.
Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid
Not long after Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s divorce was finalized, Cox found love again with Snow Patrol singer and musician Johnny McDaid. In June 2014, Cox tweeted a picture of her and her beau with the caption: "I’m engaged to him!"
In an April 2015 interview on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Cox revealed that her then 10-year-old daughter Coco was thrilled about her mom’s upcoming wedding. "I was gonna hire a wedding planner, but apparently she wants to do it," Cox joked. By December 2015, though, People confirmed the news that Cox and McDaid split and ended their engagement. Cox later revealed that the collapse of their relationship was "so brutal," but that she "learned a lot" and is a "better person" as a result.
In late January 2019, Cox told Ellen Degeneres that she and McDaid actually got back together six months after splitting — and after he moved back to England. Although they’re not engaged as of this writing, Cox claims their relationship is "better than it was before."
Mariah Carey and James Packer
In January 2016, singer Mariah Carey and billionaire James Packer got engaged. Still, many of the details about the couple’s relationship — and subsequent breakup — were only just revealed in 2018 through Damon Kitney’s book, The Price of Fortune: The Untold Story of Being James Packer (via Vanity Fair).
One of Packer’s friends, businessman Kerry Stokes, admitted that he was actually the one who postponed the wedding. "We did have some issues at the time because Mariah’s agent was most insistent that they would not be separated and the wedding take place…" he explained. In the end, the couple decided to call off their engagement altogether.
By the time they called it quits, though, Carey had already purchased her custom $250,000 Valentino wedding gown. But that’s not to say she didn’t make use of it. TMZ reported that the singer burned the dress as part of the music video for "I Don’t." Ooh! Sick burn.
Nick Cannon and Selita Ebanks
One of Mariah Carey’s other exes, Nick Cannon, also was involved in planning a wedding that would never come to fruition. No, not with Carey, but with Victoria’s Secret model Selita Ebanks. "I was never that girl who dreamed of her wedding day," Ebanks told People back in 2007. "I’m learning all about [weddings]. The whole something new, something blue. This is all new to me, so I’m all about the wedding planner!" The couple had plans to take a trip down the aisle within a two year timeframe.
Just four months after revealing some of her wedding plans, the engagement was called off. "Selita and Nick are taking a break to focus on their careers but still very much love each other and remain the best of friends," Ebanks’ rep, Melissa Raubvogel, confirmed to People. Despite being labeled "a break," the couple never did get back together.
Nick Young and Iggy Azalea
When basketball player Nick Young and rapper Iggy Azalea postponed their wedding, you may not have thought much of it. After all, the couple were just making some logistical adjustments — or so we thought. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest (via E! News) in March 2016, Azalea revealed that she was still planning her wedding but had moved the date because of her tour. "It was going to happen at the end of the year but now I have to go to work so we’ll probably have to wait until the end of the next basketball season to do that," she explained. "So that kind of is a bit sucky, but it’s alright."
By June, though, Azalea revealed in a since-deleted Instagram post that she and Young had called it quits and wished him the best. "It’s never easy to part ways with the person you planned you’re [sic] entire future with," she wrote, "but futures can be rewritten and as of today mine is a blank page."
Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney
In March 2016, Lady Gaga was busy planning her wedding to actor Taylor Kinney. Contrary to what you might’ve expected, the singer revealed to Ryan Seacrest on his radio show (via E! News) that she was planning a "family-style wedding." She added, "We are not planning anything that is worth writing about." Her family were also heavily involved in the planning. "I think if I wouldn’t let my mom do this with all of us and my family — I think if I would of denied the women of my life the planning of the wedding they would probably kill me," she joked.
Nevertheless, the couple decided to end their engagement and go their separate ways just four months later. In Gaga’s documentary, fans are provided with some more details as to why the couple split up — and it could just have something to do with Gaga’s burgeoning career.
Tony Braxton and Birdman
When interviewed on The Wendy Williams Show in November 2018, singer Toni Braxton dished about how she and rapper Birdman met. The singer revealed that they’d actually been friends for about 17 years before their relationship turned romantic. They eventually got engaged and, as Braxton told Wendy Williams, she and her fiancé hadn’t quite set a date, but that Birdman was planning something "before the year’s out."
Although neither Birdman nor Braxton have officially confirmed a breakup, it seems all too likely. E! News reported in January 2019 that Birdman posted an Instagram Story, writing, "It’s over …" Eek. Shortly afterward, he deleted the post and removed all of the pictures from his account.
Braxton, too, wiped her Instagram account before posting a photo of herself with the caption: "Starting a new chapter isn’t always an easy choice … but ALWAYS choose to be chosen. Cheers to a new year." Birdman and Braxton also no longer follow each other on the social media platform, which is never a good sign.