Wedding Off for Runaway Bride

Wedding Off for Runaway Bride
John Mason and Jennifer Wilbanks
AP(2)

05/18/2006 AT 03:00 PM EDT

A year ago Jennifer Wilbanks bolted into tabloid infamy as the "Runaway Bride" when she faked her own kidnapping for three days on the eve of her wedding in Duluth, Ga.

To the amazement of many, fiancé John Mason quickly took her back, with the couple even moving into a large new home in an Atlanta suburb and talking about taking a second run at marriage.

But in early May Mason's camp let it be known that any nuptials were off – and suddenly the woman who couldn’t take "I do" for an answer seems to be having a problem with "I don't."

"I'm not confirming or denying the breakup," Wilbanks, 33, told PEOPLE May 14. "John and I have some things to work out."

But to Mason's family and friends there is no doubt that this time the split is for good. "I think John realized there were some fundamental differences in their personalities that he wasn't going to be able to deal with," a friend says of Mason, 33, who runs his family's Duluth medical-care business.

Whatever the cause of the breakup, Mason's family voiced relief at the turn of events. "We're just glad there's a final resolution," John’s father, Claude, who was to have been his son's best man, told PEOPLE.

As for Wilbanks herself, things could be worse. She remains on probation but has completed her 120 hours of community service (she picked up trash, washed state cars, cut grass and did office work) for making false statements about the kidnapping and has paid back nearly $15,000 to cover the cost of the police search. And if nothing else she has shown a resilient streak.

Aside from the possible collapse of her love life, she told PEOPLE, "things are great!"

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