Lauren Adkins, 25, is married to a life-size cut-out of vampire Edward Cullen from the Twilight movies, played by Robert Pattinson.
She says: “We got hitched in Las Vegas last year and I’m sure we’re happier than most newlyweds. People might think I’m crazy but my flat-pack R-Patz is the closest I’ll get to the real thing and he’s the one for me. For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with romantic fairytale endings. When I was a child, I watched the Disney versions of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella until the tapes wore out.”
Sitting next to her husband in a bar, Lauren orders a gin and tonic.
She nods towards Edward and tells the barman: “He’ll have a beer.”
The barman looks at her as if she has gone completely mad because the “man” next to her is made of cardboard.
As Lauren grew older she became a fan of teen romantic comedies and expected to meet the man of her dreams on Prom Night.
But it was not to be and at 17 she found herself desperate and dateless. She started college and moved out of her home but every guy she dated failed to live up to her ideal.
Then came the Twilight books and films – and the vampire of her dreams.
Lauren, from Las Vegas, says: “It was different from any love story I’d seen before – after all, the leading character was as likely to suck your blood as open the door for you. I was obsessed.
“Leading man Edward was quiet and mysterious, yet superhuman and invincible. And so sexy. I tore through the books and I queued outside the cinema when the film was released, desperate for my first glimpse of Edward. And when Robert Pattinson appeared on screen at midnight, he was perfect. I knew that very minute I wanted to marry him.”
A few months later in a record shop she saw a 6ft tall Edward in a suit.
“Of course he was made from cardboard, but that didn’t matter to me. Suddenly I was taken over with an urge to have him. I grabbed his rigid torso and stuffed him under my arm before marching to the counter and handing over a $20 note.
“Then, cramming him into my car I headed back to my apartment where I ripped off his cellophane and stood him at the foot of my bed. For the rest of the night I couldn’t take my eyes off him.
“Then I started thinking – the guys I’d dated before had all been so hopeless, I might as well have been with a cardboard cut-out. So where was the shame in taking him out with me?”
In the following months, besotted Lauren took Edward out with her more and more. He became her other half.
She says: “A friend who thought I was going mad said one night: ‘If you love him so much why don’t you marry him?’ Her words rang in my ears. She was right. Why didn’t I?”
Lauren went online to find a chapel where she could pledge her love to Edward Cullen.
Sure enough, the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel on the Vegas strip agreed to carry out the service. They even offered a choice between a traditional minister and an Elvis impersonator.
Lauren says: “I walked down the aisle in January in the white wedding dress I’ve always dreamt of.
“I held the reception at an art gallery and ordered champagne and a five-tier cake to share with my 50 guests. The day cost £2,000 but I didn’t care – I wanted to do it properly.
“We had our honeymoon in LA and I wanted us to climb up to the Hollywood sign together. I had to carry him, and we had to do it at night because he can’t be in the sun. But everyone makes sacrifices for the man they love, right?”