|A bride with her bridesmaids on her wedding day |
[Photo Source: TLC]
- They marry young. Usually around 16 and by the time you are 19 you are considered an old bride.
- Travellers usually only marry Travellers and then once they get married they move from their parents house into a tiny caravan together in a communal living land site. They usually prefer caravans to houses and ideally, one without a toilet because it's considered disgusting to use a toilet inside a caravan. They use sheds outside instead.
- A lot of them do travel around but some of them stay put in their caravans especially if there are younger children going to school.
- The men go to work and the women stay home. Men typically do odd job and manual labor type work. In fact, women usually drop out of school by the age of 16 to help take care of younger siblings and help mom with household duties. They aren't planning to have a career so why bother? Their responsibility in life is to tend to their husband, the home and to have children.
- Women aren't allowed to go anywhere without their husband once they are married and before that not without siblings or someone else to accompany them. Boys can pretty much come and go whenever they choose and never have any responsibilities around the house.
- Brides absolutely DO NOT live with their fiance or have sex with their fiance for that matter prior to being married.
- Young girls wear tons of make up. They run around in tight, bright, sparkly, revealing clothing at parties and weddings with the intention of attracting a husband. Their going out attire looks like stripper costumes. This seems to be in great contrast to their devout catholic religion and strict upbringing.
- It's a male dominated culture. Women basically belong to their parents until they get married and then they belong to their husband.
- This community is often discriminated against and marginalized because of their lifestyle.
|A Traveller bride with her massive cake at her wedding|
[Photo Source: TLC]
- Their weddings are really over the top. The decor often includes things like balloons, butterfly's, hearts, and all kinds of other whimsical fairy tale sparkly things. And lots of it.
- There are no invitations. The news of a wedding is spread by word of mouth. Anyone who wants to come shows up and weddings are often used as a place young men to look for a wife.
- The wedding location and even the date is a closely guarded secret. Sometimes even the cake and dress vendor will not know the location up to the very last minute. Guests find out about the wedding location at the ceremony which is always held in a catholic church. Gypsies have a rowdy reputation so they have to keep their Gypsy identity secret . It's typical for brides to be cancelled upon or refused multiple times by venues before securing a location and date.
- The bride's mode of transportation on the wedding day ranges anywhere from a horse drawn carriage a la Cinderella to a hot pink hummer.
- The dresses are BIG and considered the most important part of the wedding. As they walk they have to kick the skirt ahead of them in order not to trip and they barely fit inside doorways and into cars. The bride usually designs her own dress then has it custom made. No store sells the type of dress that these girls want. They can weigh twice the bride and are so heavy that they often end up with scars on their hips from wearing them all day. Think Cinderella on steroids and that is your gypsy bride wedding dress. Their accessories often include elbow length gloves, massive tiaras, large quantities of make up and heavy spray tans.
- The bridesmaids dresses are almost as big and twice as bright. The bride is responsible for getting them custom made along with her own dress. Color combination such as hot pink and neon yellow are not uncommon. The bride's little sisters are dressed as the "mini bride" and wears and exact replica of the bride's dress.
- The only thing bigger then the dresses is the cake. There will often be one very large cake and then a bunch of other surrounding smaller cakes. They are usually done up in fairly tale themes in the shape of a castle or carriage and adorned by barbie dolls.
- Cost is never discussed by the gypsies or their vendors but I can only imagine.