true life stories

Teenage bride to burn 30 kilo wedding dress after divorce

Thursday, May 31, 2012
Image: Twitter

A teenage bride who married at 16 in an over-the-top wedding will now divorce her husband of just two years and plans to burn her 30kg wedding dress.

Josie McFayden, who starred in the first episode of the UK TV show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, married Swanley Smith in 2010.

During their fairytale wedding ceremony, which was watched by 6.5 million viewers, she wore a one-of-a-kind white net and diamante dress.

Gypsy wedding dresses are extravagant one-off designs, and the bigger, the better. Gypsy brides often compete with each other to have the biggest and best dress made from layers of tulle and diamantes, which can lead to them being almost unwearably heavy.

Now Josie, who has an eight-month-old daughter with Swanley has moved out of the pair's caravan after discovering her husband gave half of their life savings to his family and spent the rest on himself.

The pair was given £105,000 ($239,150) as compensation by Surrey County Council after being forced to leave the caravan site they lived in after it became contaminated.

"I am in shock. I’m 18, with a baby and getting divorced," she told told UK newspaper The Sun.

"I feel I can never trust another man with anything."

She said cracks in her marriage began to show soon after the pair said 'I do'.

"It was like a fairytale, but it was too good to be true. Swanley just changed overnight," she said.

"I was supposed to be a lady of leisure bringing my little girl up and he was supposed to provide for his family.

"But I spent four-and-a-half hours a day cleaning and he stopped going to work. I just never felt like his wife, I felt like his maid."

Josie, who is part of the gypsy traveller community, says it is not uncommon to get married at a young age, but said she would be advising her own daughter to wait until she is in her 20s to get married.


Related video: See Josie's 30 kilo wedding dress in the video below.

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