My Take Too: CourtneyK takes on MY BIG FAT GYPSY WEDDING
I’ve always been fascinated by Travelers. When I worked in retail we’d encounter them every so often, just enough to make me curious but not enough for me to form any real opinion on the culture. So when I saw the advertisement for MY BIG FAT GYPSY WEDDING, I quickly added it to my DVR list. I was not disappointed at ALL!
At first I thought this show must be at least 10+ years old from the hair and the makeup, I mean really. A mullet on a man where the “party” part is bleached blonde? That couldn’t possibly be current hair. I was wrong. When the dressmaker, Velma, mentions that many girls are using Disney’s The Princess and The Frog as inspirations for their dresses, my breath caught. This show couldn’t have been filmed more than 2 years ago. 2 years people! My jaw hit the floor.
Exploring the culture of Irish Travelers and English Gypsies in the United Kingdom, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding is a tiny peek into the lives of community members who are traditionally tight-knit and secretive. This isn’t a tell-all show, it’s carefully shot around weddings and while it will sometimes branch out to explore parts of the culture (gatherings, fights, memorials, first communions, etc) the focus always comes back to the weddings. And boy howdy, these weddings aren’t subtle in the slightest.
Think of the biggest, most outlandish wedding dress you’ve ever seen. Got it? Great! That dress wouldn’t even register on the scale compared to the gowns that the Gypsy brides wear. Not even close! Gypsy girls want bigger and heavier than anyone else. The show frequently talks about physical damage caused by the gowns. Imagine a dress that is so heavy and huge that it cuts your skin and causes scars that never fade. One of the brides is quoted “The more it bleeds, the better the dress.” Yeah, I have a hard time
imagining it too! But they demand bigger and bigger still! It’s not uncommon on any given episode to see a bride get stuck trying to get into a vehicle, walking down the aisle of the church, needing assistance with the full skirts of her dress as she tries to maneuver through the doorway of her reception.
As big as these dresses are, they are no where near modest. Deep cleavage or whole missing sections in the front skirts or sheer bodices are incredibly common. Not to mention some of the scandalous bridesmaids gowns and mini-brides/flower girls! Heavens! For such a traditional and heavily religious culture, these girls dress like they are working corners (and I say that with the utmost respect I swear!) instead of attending a wedding ceremony.
This show really is worth watching, it’s interesting to see the interpretations of the Gypsy/Traveler culture and compare them to what you, the viewer, personally understand. The season finale promises a glow-in-the-dark dress by an “outsider” marrying a Gypsy (UNHEARD OF!) and another bride who has the biggest dress I’ve ever seen along with a Jersey Shore tan and blonde hair bleached within an inch of its life. It’s a train wreck of a show that I’ve already lined up snacks to eat while I watch!