J￼ay Pettifer was always a daddy’s girl.
So when she was 29 and her relationship fell apart, it was her dad, Ray, 68, she turned to for support.To cheer her up, Ray took his girl to a pub trivia night. Jay enjoyed spending time with her dad and his best mate of 30 years, Anthony, 51.
Unbeknown to Ray, Jay and Anthony’s friendship deepened, and Jay made the first move. ‘I didn’t think it was weird. I certainly wasn’t thinking “Oh, this is Dad’s friend. I shouldn’t be doing this”,’ Jay told the Daily Mail. ‘After all, I was almost 30! ’When Ray found out, he was furious.
He banned Anthony from his home, but Jay knew she’d met her soulmate and wasn’t prepared to let Anthony go. When Jay called her dad a year later to let him know she and Anthony were getting married, she was met with a stony silence.
‘I knew Anthony was a brilliant bloke,’ Ray said. ‘But I felt total shock. I was uncomfortable with the idea that my only daughter was marrying a man so much older.’
It was only when Ray heard Jay and Anthony were planning a registry wedding that his attitude changed. Ray booked a church for Jay’s big day. ‘Dad knew I’d always dreamed of a romantic wedding with a horse and carriage, and he’d arranged that, too,’ said Jay. But what changed his mind? ‘She loved Anthony, so I had to let go of my anger – and let Jay go too, and give her the wedding she deserved,’ he said.
Ray walked his daughter down the aisle and has since resumed his Sunday pint at the pub with his best mate, and now son-in-law, Anthony.
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