A TRAVELLER has revealed how she married her boyfriend at 16 after her family found out about their secret relationship.
Ina met her 17-year-old groom when she was just 15, but she was forced to keep their courtship under wraps due to her family’s strict rules.
Speaking on Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, she explained: “I wasn’t allowed a boyfriend until I was 16.
“I liked him and he liked me so he asked me to go with him and I kept it a secret from mammy.
“But my uncle squealed, he found out – he was a pig.”
When their relationship was ‘outed’ by her uncle and, per traveller culture, they were quickly engaged and their wedding fast-tracked.
In preparation for the wedding, Ina, who lives in Staines, ensures that she has the perfect tan by taking a trip to the sunbed.
But she has no concerns about the damage it could be doing to her skin.
“Everyone has cancer but it just takes something to set it off, but the sunlight outside can give it to you as well,” she says.
Ina’s dress is made out of a fabric more commonly used for wallpaper, and she is forced to wear a ‘bumper’ underneath to prevent her from accumulating scars as so many traveller women do from their heavy wedding dresses.
While Ina is more than excited about her dress and her new life with her husband 200 miles away, she admits that her wedding symbolises an end to the life she’s used to.
“It’s (the wedding) the last time you’re with your parents,” she says.
“You have your freedom and then that’s it then you’re married.”
But her mum has no doubt of her daughter’s future.
“I’ve no worries even though she is very young,” she says following their nuptials.