Experts: Pre-Wedding Doubts Normal

Remember the hit comedy "Runaway Bride"? Julia Roberts played a woman who kept leaving men at the altar before she could say, "I do." Real-life bride-to-be Jennifer Wilbanks apparently also got cold feet, taking off on a journey to Las Vegas and Albuquerque, N.M. as she seemingly faked her own kidnapping.

Experts say pre-wedding doubts are normal. On The Early Show Monday, author Rachel Safier told co-anchor Harry Smith she called off her wedding, two weeks before the big day.

"It just didn't feel right," recalled Safier, who wrote "There Goes the Bride."

"It just didn't feel right," she repeated. "I didn't get on a bus. I'd like to make clear! Or fake any sort of kidnapping. But it just didn't feel right."

Safier says Wilbanks went "beyond the pale. (But) the sentiment of, 'I want to get on a bus, I wanna get on a plane, I wanna be anywhere but here' is very common."

Speaking of Wilbanks, Safier continued, "Actually, taking that next step, uncommon. Cutting her hair, faking kidnapping attack? Priceless."

Clinical psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig says jitters leading up to the wedding day are "natural. The problem is, it's like a dirty little secret, because the myth around getting married and getting engaged is that it's the most wonderful time in your life, you've met your soul mate, your perfect match, you will have no doubts, you will live happily ever after, done, end of story.

"So we don't leave space in our society, when you look at movies and soap operas, to have those doubts. If everybody walking down the aisle knew they were marrying the right person, or we could tell you how to do that, we'd make a fortune, because it's normal to say, 'Am I doing the right thing?' And it's a good thing. It means you're thinking about it."
  • Christine Lagorio

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