Here comes the bride ... and her 20-foot train! Gypsy wedding fashion is unlike anything you've ever seen. Bigger and bolder is better, and these brides sparkle in bone-crushing skirts for the most special day of their lives.
Some people might assume that gypsies prefer understated weddings, given how protective they are of their traditions and lifestyle. But the reality couldn't be further from this assumption, since many gypsies drop major bucks on some of the flashiest and most elaborate gowns ever worn by brides. These aren't your run-of-the-mill white A-line gowns. We'll offer you a crash course in gypsy wedding gowns -- from the giant crinoline skirts to the sexy, sculpted bodices.
Gypsy wedding gowns boldly defy not only standard fashion guidelines, but the laws of gravity as well. These breathtaking, over-the-top creations are limited only by the confines of the designer's imagination, and piles upon piles of crinolines are required underneath skirts to hold the dresses' shapes.
In fact, a gypsy bride named Sam donned an impressive 21 crinolines in her quest to achieve her ideal look. The volume of her skirt wasn't even the most stunning feature of her baby-pink gown. 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.
With all the fabric and embellishments, many of these dresses tip the scales at unbelievable weights. (MailOnline, a British newspaper, reported that Sam's was 280 pounds!) It's not uncommon for a bride to sustain cuts and bruises from the heavy gown she wears.
But the weight alone isn't what makes a gypsy wedding dress tough to wear. Many come with incredibly long trains that are tricky to stuff into the horse-drawn carriages and sports cars that are often commissioned to transport brides to the ceremony site.
In terms of accessories, forget itty-bitty tiaras -- envision giant, crystal-encrusted crowns worth an average of $1,600, complemented by equally extravagant necklaces and earrings. Truly, when it comes to gypsy wedding day fashion, bigger is better, but gigantic is ideal.
When compared to the bride's gown, the groom's attire at a gypsy wedding is, well, boring. Generally, nothing lights up or is encrusted in pricey gems. But in contrast to many American nuptials, a gypsy groom's tuxedo can be significantly flashier. He might wear accessories in bright colors to coordinate with the palette of the wedding, whether that's shocking pink or teal. His tux may be all white, all black or really anything the bride so desires for her big day. Men are heads of household in gypsy culture, but for this one day, it's the bride who calls the shots and stands out -- particularly once she enters the room in all of her fluffy, sparkly glory.
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.
Even young attendants can expect to don full makeup and wedding wear that an outsider might consider racy. Some brides opt to spread the giant-skirt wealth by choosing flower girl and bridesmaid gowns with incredibly full skirts, whereas others outfit their girls in hip-hugging ensembles. And another tradition is dressing the bride's little sister to look like a miniature bride.
By and large, gypsies seem to stand by their culture's personal sense of style and make no apologies for their aesthetic.
When it comes to weddings, you can't go wrong in a basic, black cocktail dress … unless you're at a gypsy wedding, of course. At gypsy weddings, guests dress to impress. Often, gypsy girls attend these events to scope out potential suitors, so they have to attract attention.
Forget notions about overshadowing the bride -- gypsy girls seems to have an understanding that more is more at weddings. It's not uncommon to see a range of wardrobe options, ranging from tight pantsuits with cut-outs to flirty dresses with sparkles and ruffles. Full stage-worthy makeup and styled hair top off the look. It may seem excessive to an outsider looking in, but to these young women, it's just dressing up!
Lots More Information
- Gypsy Culture
- 10 Colors Your Bridesmaids Don't Want to Wear
- The Bride's Ultimate Guide to Choosing Her Perfect Wedding Gown
- Best Wedding Hair Accessories
- Bull, Sarah. "The travellers' Romeo and Juliet: 'Gorger' Sam marries gypsy Pat in the biggest dress ever seen in the Romany world." Daily Mail Online. Jan. 26, 2011. (June 1, 2011). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1350561/Big-Fat-Gypsy-Wedding-Sam-marries-gypsy-Pat-huge-dress.html
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- Reid, Amy. "Gypsy bride featured in C4 documentary files for divorce." Wedding News. Nov. 2, 2010. (June 1, 2011). http://www.wedding-news.co.uk/tag/gypsy-wedding-traditions/
- Jackson, Kate. "The Gipsy Blings." The Sun. Feb. 18, 2010. (June 1, 2011). http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/2858611/Over-the-top-world-of-traveller-weddings.html