- Josie Smith was just 16 when she married Swanley on the hit TV show
- After less than two years of marriage the couple are to divorce
- The mother-of-one has vowed to burn wedding dress weighing five stone
05:33 EST, 30 May 2012
A teenage bride on the hit TV show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding has vowed to burn the huge five-stone wedding dress she wore down the aisle after separating from her husband.
Josie McFayden was just 16 when she married Swanley Smith in an enormous frilly white frock followed by a team of bridesmaids dressed in hot pink in a ceremony watched by 6.5million viewers in July 2010.
Now after less than two years of marriage and the birth of a daughter, Josie, 18, is getting divorced from her husband following a string of blazing rows.
Lavish affair: Swanley and Josie Smith married in an extravagant ceremony when she was just 16, in front of 6.5million viewers
Rocky relationship: The pair split after less than two years of marriage following constant fights
Josie has moved out of the couple’s caravan and is living in a house in Middlesex with their eight-month-old child, also called Josie, and her mother.
Today Josie told how she was ‘swept off her feet’ by Swanley, 21, who she met on a social networking site six months before they married in her dream fairytale wedding.
She said: ‘It was like a fairytale, but it was too good to be true. Swanley just changed overnight.
‘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.’
No holds barred: Guests typically dress to impress in the traveller weddings featured on the hit programme
Big day: Josie’s little brother John McFadyen, 18, after saying his vows on the show to Cheyenne Pidgley, 16, who he met at his sister’s wedding reception
She added that she felt a weight has been lifted off her shoulders after the split and she will burn her wedding dress to show it is truly over.
Josie said she tried to make the marriage work as the travelling community frowns upon divorce and believe that the family comes before anything else. She admitted that ‘in her world’ the man comes first and wives are expected to obey.
But the final straw came when she discovered Swanley had secretly spent their savings.
The couple received a £105,000 compensation payment from Surrey County Council after they were forced to leave the site where they were living in Caterham when it was declared contaminated.
But Josie claimed she didn’t see any of the money while her husband gave half to his family and spent the rest buying himself X Box games and a £13,000 Rolex watch.
She revealed that Swanley hasn’t been to visit his daughter since the couple split but she hopes he will still play a part in her life.
Josie, while insisting the split wasn’t because she married too young, admitted that after her own experience she hopes her daughter won’t get married until she’s in her twenties.
She added that she knows many other travelling couples who married young and are still very happy, including her brother John McFadyen who met his wife Cheyenne at her own wedding.
She is now back with dad Chris and mum Josie at their home in Middlesex, where she is sharing a room with her sister Berry, 14.
The bigger the better: Bride Danielle Marry, from Corby, Northamptonshire, and her bridesmaids wore huge dresses typical of the TV show
Young love: Danielle and Brendan Marry saying their vows at Our Lady Of Walsingham Catholic Church in Corby, Northamptonshire, on series four of Big Fat Gypsy Wedding earlier this month
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Why burn it??? Help someone out who cant afford a luxury wedding dress
Compensation payment of £105,000 ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? My mum’s husband who has worked his who life was recently made redundant… when going to the council to see if he could claim any benefits (he’s now 64) he was told he doesn’t meet the criteria…. how about giving him back his entire life’s NI contributions instead of handing it out to 18 year-old gypsy travellers !?!? what’s wrong with Britian???
they were given £105,000 compensation?? how the heck did they manage that, these people dont work, pay taxes or council tax yet they’re entitled to compensation?? no wonder this country has gone to pot
Good for her. She is far too young to be tied down to a man anyway. She will be better off pursuing a career and supporting herself and having fun in life before letting some man curb her spirit.
- Dee, Belfast, 30/05/2012 10:57
I’m sorry but that’s not gonna happen
Don’t burn the dress! They cost upwards of £50,000 from what I have heard! Auction it on ebay!
Good and when you burn the dress could you also do a disappearing act . Such a waste of space.
I like the name Swanley, thought it unusual to say the least.
Sad the marriage has not worked out.
Just shows expensive weddings and dresses and such are all irrelevant .
Quick frankly to be different on this show and stand out, you need a plain simple elegant dress…
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