Jennifer Cowan, a 38-year-old senior telecoms executive from Cardiff, admitted it may have been a mistake to organise ‘the fairy-tale wedding of her childhood dreams’ as she had promised herself thirty years ago.
After spending her 20s and early 30s dedicating herself to building a successful career in a competitive corporate environment Cowan finally decided it was time to marry. ‘I felt I owed it to myself to have the wedding I’d always dreamed of as a little girl,’ she explained, ‘but on reflection my Vera Wang dress might have looked a bit better without the taffeta fairy wings and the pointy tinsel-wrapped princess hat’.
Plans for the ceremony were comprehensively detailed in a colouring book that she had kept since she was eight but after months of hectic preparations it was only as she entered the church that she had a chance to wonder whether she had made the right decision. Determined to go ahead, she began her graceful walk down the aisle to the theme from Black Beauty, proudly displaying the large crystal engagement ring she had got from the bubblegum machine outside the newsagents.
The reception for 300 in the garden of her parents’ Maidstone semi saw everyone toasting the bride and groom in Tizer and enjoy the requested wedding meal of ‘jelly and ice cream, and chocolate cake, and chocolate pudding, and chocolate ice-cream, and chocolate mousse, and chocolate.’ Speeches were kept brief to enable Cowan and her bridesmaids, her five best friends from class 2B, to perform a dance routine to ‘I’m in the Mood for Dancing’ by the Nolans. Soon after guests started taking their party bags and leaving, giving their congratulations to a tearful and ‘clearly very moved’ bride.
Most surprised of all was her groom, Henry Winkler, better known as ‘The Fonz’ from Happy Days, who gave his signature thumbs-up to the vicar and seemed delighted at landing himself a younger bride so late in his life. ‘He’s in his mid-sixties now,’ said Cowan’s mother, tearfully. ‘I don’t think she really thought it through.’