This is quite possibly the worst reason for getting married, ever: A Texas couple was ordered by a judge to get married within 30 days or the groom would face jail time.
It all started after Josten Bundy, 21, was arrested for assault after he got into a fight with the ex of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jayne.
“He had been saying disrespectful things about Elizabeth, so I challenged him to a fight,” Josten told Texas ABC affiliate KLTV. “He stepped in, and I felt like it was on, and I hit him in the jaw twice. I took matters into my own hands, and I know that’s wrong. I know I was raised better, but it happened.”
Josten had a sentencing hearing in July, where he was questioned by Judge Randall Rogers. “Was she worth it?” the judge asked Josten, according to court transcripts seen by KLTV.
“I said, 'Well, to be honest, sir, I was raised with four sisters. And if any man was talking to a woman like that, I’d probably do the same thing,'” Josten said.
Rogers then dropped a bomb on Josten: “As a part of my probation, you’re going to have to marry her…within 30 days.” If Josten and Elizabeth, who is 19, didn’t get hitched within that time frame, the judge said, Josten would be sentenced to 15 days in jail.
“That would have been fine, and I asked if I could call my job [to let them know],” said Josten. “The judge told me ‘Nope, that’s not how this works.’”
“Josten said that because my face was red, he thought I was okay with it, but then the judge made me stand up and asked me if I was okay with it,” Elizabeth told CNN. “I said yes. People were laughing behind me, and the bailiff had to say, 'Order in the court.' It was embarrassing."
As part of his probation, Josten also had to write out a Bible verse 25 times a day ("If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it." —Proverbs 26:27) and attend counseling, CNN reports.
The couple, who lived together before their forced engagement, then applied for their marriage license and set a date with the justice of the peace for a courthouse wedding.
While they say they had previously talked about getting married, they didn’t exactly have the wedding of their dreams.
“I would have worn a black tux with some yellow under it because I’m a Steelers fan,” says Josten. Adds Elizabeth: “I didn’t even have a white dress.”
Unfortunately, Josten’s father and sisters were unable to make it on such short notice.
Naturally, Elizabeth’s dad was pissed. “I was really upset," Kenneth Jaynes told CNN. "Judge Rogers stepped into my family and tried to tell them what to do without any regard for me or anything. This isn't his decision. I told them they didn't have to do this, but they were afraid. They are young, and they didn't know that they had any other options.”
At least Josten and Elizabeth seem okay with the marriage part: They say they want to have a larger wedding when they can save enough money.
We’re pretty sure that whole thing is illegal and pretty effed up, but…congrats?