Many would have hoped for, but few expected, such a spectacular escalation in hostilities ahead of what has suddenly become the summer's most-talked-about wedding. Enter the father-of-the-bride.
"My humble opinion of this Carolyn is that she is so far up her own backside she really doesn't know whether to speak or fart," said Alan Withers, 64, after a scathing email sent to his daughter by her future stepmother-in-law went viral online.
Carolyn Bourne's message – in which she accused Heidi Withers of behaving "like a brash celebrity" with a "lack of manners" – became known to the world after its recipient, a 29-year-old PA from London, sent it to a handful of her friends, who passed it on to others, who then did the same.
"I met Carolyn and her husband Edward for dinner at a pub in London last year," Mr Withers said, speaking at his home near Ledbury in Hertfordshire. "Edward was a jovial chap but Carolyn was quite snotty. She had a look about her which made us think she thought she was better than us. Ever since that meeting we call her 'Miss Fancy Pants'."
Among Mrs Bourne's most choice barbs towards Heidi was her discontent at the Withers' inability to contribute very much towards the cost of the wedding ("convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters' marriages").
Mr Withers disclosed that he and his wife Sylvia had been unable to pay for most of the cost of the wedding after they were both made redundant in January by the company that owned the nursing agency they ran together.
"We are not destitute but at the time money was hard to come by," he said. "I don't think she realised what the background was to us not being able to contribute a great deal. I don't care if she apologises. You can't take back what has been said once it's said."Reuse content