No, I don't think Jennifer Wilbanks should be prosecuted; but I bet her Momma should.
As I see it, Jennifer had been living with her fiance for a while so the commitment was pretty well established. More appropriate than a huge wedding with 600 guests and 16 bridesmaids would have been an elopement, a quick fifteen minutes before a justice of the peace, or a small family service in a church chapel.
But I bet Momma would have none of that. After all, there is social position to be considered. (People with little social position worry about it a lot more than people who have it.)
So The Wedding of the Year must be planned and Momma, with her experience giving parties, etc. is the one to plan it. At first, yes, Jennifer must have what she wants but Jennifer is young -- much too young to know what she wants.
And Jennifer soon learns that it may be her wedding but it's Momma's party.
First there's the selection of the bridesmaids. ("But you MUST ask Kimberley. Her older sister is the President of the Junior League and besides, you sat beside her in nursery school.") Then there must be an usher for every bridesmaid. ("Do we have to invite him? He gives me the creeps even if he is your best friend."
Then there's the dress and the bridesmaid's dresses. Jennifer wants blue, Momma wants the more stylish black. Jennifer says black is too depressing for a wedding, Momma says it's the latest in fashion. They choose black for the bridesmaids.
Jennifer wants a storybook dress with lots of gathers and a full white veil. No, says Momma. A plain, white sheath with a long train is more stylish. Momma is paying so the sheath it is.
There's a caterer to choose; wedding cakes, champagne, favors, flowers. . .gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. What kind of reception? Brunch? Dinner?
Thank you notes...with 600 guests we're talking thousands of gifts. Shower gifts, wedding gifts, odd little gifts of thoughfulness from service people. Each requires a thank you note if your social standing is what Momma wants it to be.
Bridesmaids must give parties for the bride. Showers and teas, barbeques and dinners. Extensive records must be kept -- who is coming, who isn't. Who sent a gift and what was it?
As the time gets closer to the wedding, the pressure becomes more and more intense. Especially when the wedding is a showpiece with the focus on the performance rather than the couple and their committment, everything has to go perfectly. If something goes wrong, there's h... to pay.
The stress on the bride can be unbearable. Concentrating on pulling off the grandiose plans, the bride can easily lose touch with what the wedding is really all about. Instead of a special moment between the two of them, the production takes over. Everyone's occupied with making the wedding come off without a hitch; the bride is honored at so many parties it's a nightmare to keep up. (And the hostess of each of those gets a thank you note, too.)
If the bride is the least bit shy she dreads that walk down the aisle with all those eyes on her and she fervently wishes she had the nerve to run -- with or without the groom.
So she snaps.
I'm sure Jennifer had no thought at all about what would happen when she disappeared. In her confusion she wasn't even aware of the terror she caused her parents and husband-to-be. She just ran. It says a lot about her relationship with her parents that she didn't call them; she called her fiance.
I think the fact that some citizens of her hometown feel she should apologize to them is silly, selfish and stupid. It smacks of jealousy -- or a grab for attention like the beautician who appeared on national TV complaining. Thank goodness local law enforcement seem to be more sympathetic to her emotional stability.
One thing is definitely for certain -- Fox News and the rest of the media should leave the story alone. They've already given it far too much attention. It doesn't deserve more.