Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

After tonights episode of a big fat gypsy christmas wedding, i thought i would put together a blog looking at our facination with the brides, dresses and the programme in general.

From 20ft trains and 20st skirts to flashing bodices and mechanical butterflies, we are a nation obsessed with these flamboyant Gypsy Brides. The shows series attracted around eight million viewers  and we just can’t seem to get enough of those
outrageous frocks.

This show is where ancient traditions meet modern fashion in an ostentatious culture clash in the world of 21st century gypsy and traveller weddings.  The show gains rare access to this fascinating and often misunderstood community, it , reveals a culture where brides compete to have the biggest dress, but having children out of wedlock is still taboo and divorce is unheard of.

In one epsisode we met a bride who was so keen to go one better than other brides, she had lighting put under layers of her dress as well as in the veil. I must admit it looked stunning once the lights were turned on at the evening reception but it was rather humourous seeing the dress maker on hand with a fire extinguisher as a precaution.

The weddings are visual spectacles; girls go off to church in enormous dresses that sometimes weigh more than the bride herself.

Although some of the women appear sexually provocative, there is a no sex before marriage rule and even engaged couples are chaparoned wherever they go. Loyalty and high morals is the norm. 

As beautiful as these dresses and i marvel at the detail and amount of work, love and care that has been put into each one, but they are so large they are not made for their practicality and sitting in a car or carriage looks uncomfortable and there is certainly no way you can glide beautifully up the aisle.

I am also unsure of some of the styles of bridesmaids outfits, which seem to be typical of the gypsy weddings, some leave little to the imagination, but again i admire their love of bright
vivid colours.

When it comes to their receptions they are equally flamboyant, must admit i love this cake, very girly and princess like, which i guess thats all any bride wants to be on their wedding day - a princess.

So the Gypsy/ Traveller community seems to live alongside but detached from mainstream society. It is a community of contrasts, living by centuries-old religious and cultural traditions, but at the same time embracing the some of the extreme celebrity and fashion-obsessed times in which we live. Love it or hate it. I think we will be forever facinated with "Big Fat Gypsy Weddings"

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