Josten Bundy was told in July by a judge in Smith County, Texas, to either marry his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes, or spend time in jail for a misdemeanor assault (video below).
The marriage choice also included writing Bible verses and undergoing counseling.
Bundy's case began after a confrontation with Jaynes' ex-boyfriend in February. The ex said things about Jaynes that Bundy didn't like, so Bundy says he hit him twice, reports KLTV.
The ex-boyfriend filed charges against Bundy.
Judge Randall Rogers reportedly told Bundy at his sentencing hearing: “You know, as a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her … within 30 days.”
Bundy claims the judge offered him another choice: 15 days in jail and not telling his employer where he would be. Bundy feared losing his job, and chose marriage, notes Talking Points Memo.
Jaynes told KLTV:
"I mean, I used to watch 'Say Yes to the Dress' and all those shows and think about what kind of dress I would have.
" ... It just felt like we weren't going to be able to have the wedding we wanted. It was just going to be kind of pieced together for a minute, I didn't even have a white dress."
“None of my sisters got to show up, none of my family members, except my mother, my grandmother and my nephew," Bundy added. "It was such short notice that I couldn’t get it together."
Blake Bailey, a constitutional lawyer, said:
"It sounds kind of like the old days of shotgun weddings, but not even the judge is capable of enforcing what he thinks is best for some people in his court."
Bundy and Jaynes plan to have a second wedding, their dream wedding, after they have saved enough money.
Photo credit: Screenshot via KLTV, indianapublicmedia.org