My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Season 1 Episode 6

Cutting Edge: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

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Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Feb 18, 2010 on Channel 4
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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 facing prejudice, this is a community that lives alongside but detached from mainstream society. It is a world 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.moreless
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