Truth about marrying at 23 like Brooklyn Beckham: Another young groom speaks out

Brooklyn Beckham. (Getty Images)
Brooklyn Beckham has tied the knot at 23. (Getty Images)

The fact Brooklyn Beckham has married at just 23 makes him a rarity, given the average age for UK men to get hitched is 38 – a significant 15 years older. His new wife Nicola Peltz Beckham is only 27 too, still well below the average age UK women tend to marry, which is nearly 36.

While some onlookers might be skeptical about Brooklyn's decision to commit in his early 20s, for others, being a young groom is the best decision they've ever made.

We spoke to Jack Butler-Terry who, just like Brooklyn, wed the love of his life Rosie May Butler-Terry at 23, back in 2016. With them both growing up near Southend-on-Sea, Essex, he'd already been with her since he was 15 as his childhood sweetheart, at which point he told his Mum, "I want to marry that girl."

Read more: Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz combine names but David and Victoria miss off Peltz

Now both 30, living near Brighton, Jack says it was "one of the best things I've ever done" and "genuinely one of the best days of my life". The pair are still going strong and have just welcomed the latest addition to their family, their four and a half week old son.

"We met in secondary school, and started dating in year 11 when we were 15, but we'd known each other for several years and been friends since about 13," says Jack.

Read more: Brooklyn Beckham's wedding: The lowdown on Nicola Peltz's dress

Young couple getting married. (Getty Images)
It seems young marriage can withstand the test of time. Posed by models (Getty Images).

Jack and Rosie later discovered they had lived 10 minutes apart from each other from the age of four, and had crossed paths at 10 years old without realising.

"I'd asked Rosie why she hates wasps so much, and she said 'When I was about 10 I went on a school trip and this chubby kid fell into a wasp nest'. And then after confirming which place, I raised my hand and said 'I'm the chubby kid'," he laughs.

"She had sat behind me on the bus while I cried and was covered in wasp stings."

So what first drew Jack to Rosie? "She's drop-dead gorgeous, incredibly smart and she was just someone that I was very happy to be around."

Wanting to get the attention of Rosie and her friends in secondary school, who were into skinny jeans and big fringes – very 2008 – Jack says, "I went out and I bought a whole outfit that I thought I'd impress her with."

Read more: Victoria Beckham wears slinky silver dress to son Brooklyn's star-studded wedding

Cropped photo of young couple holding hands. (Getty Images).
Does being childhood sweetheart's make young marriage last longer? (Getty Images)

But as Jack had tried to ask her out a few times without much luck, it wasn't until one fateful night on MSN (which he swore would be his last attempt) that she actually ended up being the one to ask him.

"After our first date, I remember I got home and was sat in the kitchen while my mum was making dinner," Jack recalls. "And I said 'I want to marry that girl'. My mum was like 'Okay, let's calm down Jack.' But sure enough, I gave that same example in my wedding speech to her years later."

"We just balance each other out," says Jack. "We're opposite in many ways – I'm quite emotional and she's a very practical, sensible person, but we both have a fun side. We really clicked."

Jack proposed at 21 after they had spent six years together (a little different to Brooklyn and Nicola who reportedly started dating in 2019, with Brooklyn popping the question less than a year later).

Jack and Rosie had stayed together when attending local colleges after school, and then when they both went off to Uni, Jack in Coventry and Rosie in Oxford, making the most of every weekend together.

Finishing his course earlier, Jack moved to London for his first job, with Rosie moving in with him when she had finished.

Read more: 5 reasons to ignore the statistics and marry young

Young couple running together by sunset hill with amazing mountain view. (Getty Images)
Many young men say they just know when the time is right to propose. (Getty Images)

"We were in our first flat together and it just felt like the time was right [to propose]," he explains. "We went on holiday to the Lake District. Rosie had always said she didn't want a public proposal. So I thought, 'Perfect, I'm going to take her to the top of the highest mountain and I'll propose there.'

"I was so nervous. It was about 6am and she was getting a bit annoyed with me. But I wanted to get it done in the best way. So we reached the top of the tallest mountain in England and then I went down on one knee and popped the question."

Of course, she said yes.

Jack just knew it was the right decision. “By that point we'd been through so much together. We'd gone through university apart, we were now living together, and she was about to start her Masters studying in London. It just felt like a natural progression."

Rather than facing judgement, Jack says they were even starting to get questions about marriage from family. "My mum was married at 18, so I have young marriage in my family background anyway. It didn't really strike me as being odd.

"It's only recently it's struck me, 'Oh, it was our six-year wedding anniversary a few weeks back.' I said that to someone and they were like, 'Wait, you married so young'. I always forget 23 is quite young for it.”

Any doubts they'd faced about their relationship came when they were 15. "We found out our friends had said, 'That's not going to last'. And that stung at that time, because they were our closest friends. But by the time we got married there wasn’t that concern."

Read more: The recipe for a perfect marriage, according to happily wedded couples

Young couple getting married. (Getty Images)
What do you think about young marriage? (Getty Images)

The pair tied the knot on Easter Monday 28th March 2016 in a country house in Chelmsford, with Rosie, who is six months older, being 24 at that point. Despite them both being nervous about what a wedding is supposed to be like, being the first among their friends to marry, any worries melted away on the big day.

“We did a ‘first look’, so we saw each other outside of the room, and it just settled us straight away," says Jack. "Obviously we knew that this was what we wanted, but as soon as that happened, we knew this was definitely what we wanted.”

"We just danced and drank and ate the day away. And that's genuinely one of the best days of my life still.”

The newlyweds then enjoyed a honeymoon travelling around America together for three weeks.

Watch: David Beckham 'shed a tear' during emotional speech at son Brooklyn's wedding

For those who might be skeptical of young marriages, Jack says, “It's still one of the best things I've ever done. It has absolutely set up the rest of my life and it was that last bit of stability that I really needed to go on my way. It is a big decision, but it's a bloody great one, because it opened so many other doors."

"Age is such a weird barometer for things," he adds. "I think judging the choice of marriage on age is really strange. At the end of the day it's signing a piece of paper to say, 'I love this person, this person loves me.' As long as you've got your person, go for it.”

A view from directly above of young woman and man looking at their new baby boy or girl with love.
Jack and Rosie are happier than ever, and have welcomed their first child together. (Getty Images)

The pair now live near Brighton where they've been for over two years, having moved out of London when Rosie finished her course.

They bought their first house together in July last year, only to find out Rosie was pregnant two days before moving.

"It was so exciting. It's been a bit of a whirlwind year," Jack says, with his newborn baby crying in the background. He's clearly just as unfazed about being a new dad as he was at being a newlywed all those years ago.

Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz attend the 2021 Met Gala benefit
'As long as you've got your person, go for it.' It seems Brooklyn does have his person...(WireImage/Getty Images)