Reality Time: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

(EDIT: Hmmmm, looks like I’m having some photo issues. I do apologize. Everything looks fine in wordpress, but jacked on the page. Bummer. )

I’m at the wedding of this lovely couple this weekend. Aren’t they cute?


This wedding has a lot to live up to. Why is that, you ask? Because for me, the bar for all future weddings has been set. And it’s been set quite high. You see, the only weddings I want to attend are the gypsy kind.

Please understand:  I do not watch wedding shows. I’m not even a fan of actual weddings, for the most part. BUT. My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding has started to slowly thaw my chilly opinion of weddings. It’s over-the-top, crazy, and surrealistic in scale. And oh so glittery.

Now, I don’t know a whole lot about gypsies. I know they are a superstitious and crafty bunch, who spend a lot of time around horses (quite a lot of them are supposedly good trainers), and live on the outskirts of society to some extent. In some cases, they’re thieves, supposedly. I knew that the old lady gypsies are way into putting curses on people who don’t buy clothes pins from them (a fact recently relayed to me via my friend Emilia). So, you know, pretty much the Hans Christian Anderson version of gypsies. Or Cher, ala “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” (you can’t see this, but I’m doing my Cher impersonation right now, complete with hair tossing and tongue in cheek.)

But I had no idea about their wedding customs. Holy Cinderella Complex. It’s like a cross between “Toddlers & Tiaras” and “Jersey Shore.”


Here’s the description from TLC:

“My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding paints a visually arresting portrait of the secretive, extravagant, and surprising world of gypsies and travelers in Britain today. The weddings are visual spectacles: brides and their families compete to have the most flamboyant dresses; girls parade into church in enormous dresses that sometimes weigh more than the bride herself. Although the women look sexually provocative there is a tradition of premarital chastity that is increasingly unusual in Britain today.”

To say these women look sexually provocative is the understatement of the year. To watch them dance in the skimpiest of outfits at the wedding and bachelorette parties is to instinctively pull out your wallet and fish for dollar bills. It’s pretty amazing.

And the cakes? Ree-donku-lous. Huge. Just huge. Buddy from Cake Boss better up his game.

One of my favorite episodes involved a non-gypsy bride named Sam. Since she was marrying into the tribe, she had to be even more outlandish and big than the normal bride. Her huge pink pouff of a dress included lights (!) and animatronic butterflies. Here’s a TLC description:

“The veil and dress were studded with fiber-optic lights for extra shimmer, and mechanical butterflies fluttered on the bodice. Brides always light up a room, but Sam upped the ante with her illuminated dress … even if that meant that her mother had to trail her all evening with a fire extinguisher in case of a dress disaster.”


It’s not at all uncommon for these girls (average age: 17) to get scars on their hips from where the corsets holding up these 200-pound dresses are cutting into them. It’s like, modern-day Chinese foot bandaging or something.

Another episode featured bridesmaids dresses that laced up in the back like pirate wenches costumes. I’ve been to some Catholic ceremonies and my understanding it you can’t have uncovered shoulders – these girls have heaving and ample busoms on full display. Even the little girls are wearing this stuff! I’m telling you, this scene is crazy! Here’s what TLC says:

“Although many cultures encourage understated elegance for the bride’s attendants, gypsies embrace over-the-top, overtly sensual gowns in wild colors to enhance the party-hard theme of the evening (Pippa Middleton’s dress would likely be scoffed at). Some of the most popular hues for gypsy attendant-wear include fire engine red, coral, purple and the hottest of pinks.”

gypsy 1


And there’s no explanation of where the money comes from for these extravaganzas. From what I can tell, gypsies are like my trailer park trash cousins, but with traditions. They live in trailers. The men seem to have very blue-collar jobs (no hedge fund managers or doctors or anything). They’ve got tons of kids. And the wives don’t work. So no clue where they get the money for all this bling.

All I know is: Suzanne’s dress better light up or this whole wedding is going to be very disappointing.

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