A bride-to-be says she will slam her critics when she walks down the aisle with her fiance who is 36 years her senior and has three children older than her.
Carly King, 22, is preparing to tie the knot in a traditional high-profile white church wedding to her fiance 58-year-old Billy Potter next weekend.
But their relationship has been dogged by critics and snipers who have hit out at the pair’s big age gap, which also sees Mr Potter have three children, aged 27, 29 and 31, older than Miss King and four children.
But despite the negativity the couple, from Woodbridge in Suffolk, say that they love each other to bits and worship the ground each other walks on.
Miss King admitted: ‘We tried to hide it to start with because of the age gap.
‘He’s got three children and we didn’t want it coming out if it wasn’t going to be serious.
‘But people did find out and they had a lot to say about it. Most of it was negative to be honest.
‘People were saying it would never last, that I was after his money. Just hurtful things. They just weren’t prepared to give us a chance at all.’
Miss King first met her future fiance aged just 18 in November 2011, when she had a problem with her car.
She explained: ‘I had just passed my driving test and my car had a dodgy clutch. My sister knew of Billy and said to take it to him.
‘I said ‘can I trust him though?’ I was a bit worried about it because I didn’t know who he was.
‘She said ‘yes, of course you can’. So I took it round and he looked at the car and I instantly found him quite attractive.
Miss King explained: ‘We knew we had it coming. That’s why we tried to keep it hidden to start with.
‘There are a lot of judgmental people out there.’
But she was only too happy to say yes when Mr Potter got down on one knee at their favorite restaurant, the Red Lion in Martlesham, near Ipswich, last November to propose.
Miss King, a senior night carer at Woodbridge Residential Care Home said: ‘It was a shock as he said he would never get married, but obviously he wanted to.
‘The 36-year age gap has not affected anything really. At the start he said he would never get married because he wanted to warn me.
‘I accepted it, but I knew deep down one day I wanted my dream wedding and in the end it just got more serious and he wanted it to. He loves me a lot.
‘He finds his emotions hard to talk about but I know that he loves me. We genuinely worship the ground each other walks on.
“We like the same things. I’m very mature mentally and Billy just likes to have fun and we meet in the middle. It is just perfect.
‘I am never one to go out clubbing. I think I’ve been clubbing once and came home at about 10.30pm because I absolutely hated it
‘I would rather sit down at a pub and have a meal, which is what we do regularly.’
The pair had managed to keep their courtship a secret for six months before the rumor turned into fact.
Two months after they were forced to go public as gossip and backbiting threatened to run riot, Miss King’s mother, Linda, said she was keen to meet Billy.
She said: ‘My mum asked me to bring him round for a barbecue. She said “we’ve got to meet him now, it’s been going on for too long”.
‘He came round and met all my family, who just loved him. My mum just wants what I want.
‘She is the best mum in the world. She just wants me to be happy.
‘Billy would not have been her ideal choice for me, of course not. But she realized how happy he made me and that made her happy.
‘My friends just want what’s best for me as well. At the start they didn’t say too much in case they hurt my feelings.
‘They were obviously worried about the age gap like anyone else was, but now – two are going to be bridesmaids.