Though Gypsy Rose Blanchard was initially hesitant to go public with her relationship with her new fiancé, Ken, she’s ready to take the next step in their romance. According to family friend and By Proxy writer Fancy Macelli, she’s actually started planning her wedding. Unfortunately, it won’t be much of a ceremony, because Gypsy, 27, and Ken, 26, are planning to tie the knot behind bars — and the family has some serious concerns. Though Fancy and the rest of her writing team, including co-creator Tori Johnson, have been publicly supportive of the couple in the past, they admit now that they’re worried Gypsy and Ken aren’t making the right decision, explaining that Gypsy’s dad and step-mom have raised similar objections.
“They’re planning to get married in January in prison,” Fancy told In Touch. “We’ve all voiced our concerns to both Gypsy and Ken, including both Kristy and Rod [Blanchard]. It’s not that they don’t support them getting married or their relationship or any of those things. What they don’t support is this shotgun of a wedding, and they don’t understand why. There is nothing that changes [their situation] by them getting married in prison.”
Explaining that Gypsy wouldn’t be allowed conjugal visits with her soon-to-be husband, the writers spelled out that, even if they are legally married, there are no benefits offered to them within the prison system. “It’s not like she gets extra phone calls or more visits or longer visits or private visits, nothing. Literally no things change by them doing this other than it solidifies that she now comes out when she is a wife.”
Walking down the aisle behind bars — assuming there is some kind of an aisle — also robs Gypsy of her opportunity to have a real wedding, says the writer. The family worries that the 27-year-old won’t realize what she’s missing out on until it’s too late. “Her mother ripped from her every single life moment that a girl would want,” Fancy said. Gypsy never had the opportunity to go on a date or dress up for a school dance or feel the anticipation that comes before a first kiss (that is, outside of her encounter with ex Nick Godejohn in a bathroom at the movies).
“She’s never had [those moments],” Tori explained to In Touch. “She won’t [get it] until maybe when Mia [Blanchard] is getting married.” The family worries that once she sees her little sister going dress shopping with mom Kristy or dancing with dad Rod, it’ll click — but the opportunity will have already passed her by. Though the couple might plan to have a second wedding later on, Fancy and Tori have shared their concerns that life often gets in the way — and things don’t always go according to plan.
“[Ken’s] answer to me was, ‘I’ve discussed this with [Gypsy] and it’s our decision that we’ve made together,’” the By Proxy creator said. “His answer is always, ‘We’ve talked about it. This is our decision.’ And Gypsy … She hears what [everyone is] saying, but I think she’s really got this kind of thought process in her head right now that ‘nobody’s going to tell me what to do,’ because somebody told her what to do for so long. Kristy, you know, they addressed it with her. They told her how they felt. They told Ken how they felt. And then it came down to, ‘We’re doing it anyway.’”
Kristy and Rod will support their daughter and her choice no matter what, but it’s not the outcome they’d hoped for. “[They] said, ‘OK, we wish you would wait, we really, really do, but obviously, because we love our daughter, we’re just gonna support you, even though it’s not at all what we would want for you.” The parents were hoping that their daughter would have a year after her release to explore who she is. “That’s what Kristy said. ‘A year to find herself and get some counseling and figure out what she wants to do with her life and just be Gypsy before she is someone else’s wife.’”
But what will Gypsy’s prison wedding actually look like? “Kristy’s still trying to get a bunch of confirmation on this, they’re allowed about six people. So yes, her parents could be there, his parents could be there, and maybe two other people.” As for siblings, not so much. Rod and Kristy have two other children, Mia and Dylan, and Ken has siblings of his own, so the couple wouldn’t want to pick and choose which brothers and sisters would be able to attend. “That’s not including step-parents or grandparents or anything like that. They would all be robbed [of seeing that moment].”
Fancy also suspects that Rod might miss out on the opportunity to walk his daughter down the aisle in a white dress. “Rod, I’m sure, wants to have that private moment with his daughter,” she said. “[But] we’re not even sure she gets to wear a dress.” The prison’s regulations would also complicate any possible wedding photos. “There are so many rules as to how can you stand, how much can you touch, how far apart can you be, how many people can be touching each other,” she continued. “The pictures that come out of the prison [are] awkward at best, and it’s not their fault.”
Their other concerns? They’re not sure if it’s what Gypsy actually wants. After years living under mother Dee Dee Blanchard‘s thumb, the 27-year-old still struggles with some people-pleasing behaviors, occasionally telling people what they want to hear in an effort to spare their feelings. “I don’t necessarily know if it’s Ken’s idea to go forward or if it’s Gypsy’s idea mainly to go forward. They’re not saying that. It’s all a ‘we.’ There’s no ‘I’ in this situation. There’s no, ‘I feel’ or ‘I want,’ it’s ‘we.’”
That use of “we” is particularly worrying, since Gypsy has only ever been on her own while she’s been behind bars. While living with her mom, she was under Dee Dee’s control. After her mother’s death, Gypsy spent a short few days with Nick. And though she has more freedom than ever before behind bars, she’s still not free to build her own life just yet. “Gypsy’s never been an ‘I.’ She’s never had that opportunity. … [Now], it’s all ‘we, we, we, we think, we feel.’ Where’s Gypsy in that? Where’s Ken in that?”
It’s possible that Gypsy is going along with what Ken wants. It’s also possible that Gypsy, faced with a major decision for the first time in her life, has decided that she’d rather be married sooner rather than later, and that Ken is the one not rocking the boat. The 26-year-old claims he has his fiancée’s best interests in her, and the family likes him, but they also simply don’t know him that well.
“The first meeting was the meeting that the pictures have been released from,” Fancy said. “It was a weekend in May. … [Kristy, Rod and Ken] spent one weekend together. They met him at the prison with her. They talked over her father’s gumbo, and then, after so many hours of being at the prison, they went back to the hotel and spent some extra time with him there, but no, beyond that, nothing other than phone conversations, email and Facebook. [That’s the] one time [they met in person.]”
Hopefully, they’ll get the chance to know him better before the wedding. Though Ken currently lives in Washington, he’s planning to move to Missouri before the year ends. For the duration of Gypsy’s stay at Chillicothe Correctional Center, he’ll stay nearby, and once she’s release, the plan is to move down to Louisiana, where Rod and Kristy live, and settle in New Orleans or potentially Cut Off. That will give Gypsy and Ken time to get to know each other better, too.
According to the By Proxy writers, the couple have only met up in-person maybe ten times — and it’s more likely to be something like six or seven. Long-distance relationships are expensive, and when you have to also pay for a motel or hotel instead of being able to stay with your spouse, those costs add up. Their lack of time together is just one more issue the family has with their wedding plans. “I’ve heard Kristy be concerned. What is their relationship going to be like? Do we really know?” Fancy said.
“[It’s] not that she thinks anything ill of Ken, but there’s just so many things that go into being compatible to be married. … It’s not being able to eat the same things or watch the same movies or enjoy the same things. Maybe he doesn’t like hiking and she does. Maybe she wants to travel the world and he doesn’t. … They have not experienced anything as a couple together that makes you go, ‘I really want to spend the rest of my life with this person and I think I can.’ And even those marriages fail.”
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