Gypsy Wedding Dress Anatomy

posted: 04/10/12
by: Natalie Kilgore
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Regardless if a gypsy bride's dress is white or pink, chances are it's going to be over-the-top! See more gypsy fashion and beauty pictures.
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In the traveller community, a girl's wedding day is regarded as the most important event in her life. While gypsies have a reputation for pinching pennies, it's not uncommon that they dig deep into their pockets to make sure a bride gets exactly what she wants on her big day -- no matter how many zeroes are needed to do so. While the cake and open bar contribute to the expense, nothing quite compares to a gypsy bride's massive, elaborate wedding gown.

Countless hours of hard work and labor go into producing a single gown for a girl in the gypsy community, and the garment is often not complete unless it's embellished with thousands of shiny Swarovski crystals. While most dress designs are white and feature flowers and stars, some gypsy brides request over-the-top details they hope will make their gown stand out. One young bride, Dolores, wore a cat-themed wedding gown, and another bride, Sam, requested a pink dress decorated with mechanical butterflies and tiny lights. Since a bride's design ideas are an integral part of the dressmaking process, the garment often reflects her individual sense of style, and no detail is considered too showy or outrageous.

Gypsy brides strive to choose a dress with an element of surprise, and baring a little skin isn't taboo for these girls. Despite the low-cut, revealing gowns gypsy brides tend to favor over modest designs, traveller girls place great importance on purity and strict morals. In the gypsy community, girls are expected to remain chaste until marriage. So even though a wedding gown may include a thigh-high split, revealing a garter on a long, tanned leg, the dress isn't a representation of the bride's moral code of conduct.

Most girls fantasize about their wedding dresses, and gypsy girls are no exception. However, gypsies' gowns are far more expensive than anything most brides could ever imagine. Some gypsies have reportedly spent upwards of $80,000 on a wedding dress, not including accessories. Large, ornate tiaras covered in dazzling crystals and pearls are popular among brides in the traveller community, totaling around $1,500 each.

The yards of crinoline and satin a bride drags around with her over the course of her wedding day is a feat. Including as many as 24 net underskirts and trains up to 20 feet long, the staggering weight of gypsy gowns can tip the scale by as much as 280 pounds. The colossal weight and girth of these dresses make it difficult for brides to fit through doors, walk down the aisle and sit comfortably at their receptions, leaving most girls quite fatigued by the time the cake is cut at the end of the night. Countless cuts and bruises from sharp glass crystals and tight-fitting corsets serve as proud reminders of grand nuptials long after they're over. Regardless of the discomfort and exhaustion a gypsy bride endures on her wedding day, if the event is memorable and unique in part to her spectacular gown, a little pain is well worth it.

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  • Abraham, Tamara. "More taffeta, tantrums and traveller traditions: Forget William and Kate, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding is back..." Daily Mail. Jan. 18, 2011. (Mar. 28, 2012)
  • Arthurs, Deborah. "Big Fat Gypsy Weddings bride takes to the streets in 12 stone dress to celebrate return of hit C4 show." Daily Mail. Feb. 10, 2012. (Mar. 27, 2012)
  • Carroll, Helen. "An awful lot of Tarmac! We reveal the ?140,000 cost of those Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (just don't ask where the cash comes from)." Daily Mail. Jan. 28, 2011. (Mar. 27, 2012)
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  • Daily Mail. "Revealed: The bizarre secrets of courtship in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding." Jan. 19, 2011. (Mar. 27, 2012)
  • Daily Mail. "We're gonna need a bigger carriage! My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding returns with a dress so big... there's no room for the 'groom'." Jan. 31, 2012. (Mar. 28, 2012)
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  • Thompson, Jody. "After the, cleaning and being 'second-class citizens' - what Big Fat Gypsy brides can expect after tying the knot." Daily Mail. Feb. 2, 2011. (Mar. 28, 2012)

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