My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding
Thursday at 8.30pm
Entering the world of 21st Century gypsy and traveller weddings,
where ancient traditions meet modern fashions in an ostentatious
culture clash, this film follows four gypsy and traveller families
on their wedding day.
Considered 'on the shelf' at 20, in gypsy and traveller communities many girls get married soon after their 16th birthday with the support of their family. 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.
Gaining rare access to this fascinating and often misunderstood community, the film uses the prism of the weddings to reveal a culture where marriages between first cousins are acceptable but having children out of wedlock is still taboo and divorce is unheard of.
Used to being taunted, this is a community that lives 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 gaudier extremes of the celebrity- and fashion-obsessed times in which we live.
*Teletext Captions Page 801*