My Big Fat Gypsy Weddings returned to our screens tonight for a one-off Valentine’s day special. We followed two teen brides as they prepared for their big day, complete with glitter.
My Big Fat Gypsy Valentine followed Ina, 16, and Danielle, 15, as they prepared themselves for their wedding days. Getting married at a young age is quite common in the travelling community.
We first looked at Danielle and her journey, as she was set to wed 21-year-old finacé, Brendan, the day after her 16th birthday. She had been dating Brendan for a year, and he was her first and only boyfriend. She spoke of how many people questioned her marriage, but admitted that he is “perfect for me”.
Brendan has been in trouble with the law several times, and just before the wedding he had a court case booked to decide his fate, after being involved in the robbery of a laptop. Danielle showed her concern about his future, worried that he would be going to prison just after they get married. Brendan admitted that he was “expecting jail”, which worried Danielle as Brendan “needs to support” her, as her husband.
The gender roles in a traveller’s family are very traditional, women are seen as in control of the house and men are seen as having more freedom outside of the family home. Therefore, if Brendan were to receive a prison sentence Danielle would be expected to be secluded from the rest of the world, until he was released.
Danielle and Brendan had a fairytale wedding, with many of the local community coming out to support them on their special day. Some spectators spoke of the extravagance, saying it is like “a royal wedding”. The wedding went off without any hitches, and the couple seemed to be very happy. However, the fate of Brendan’s court case was looming over the newly-weds. The couple were very nervous about Brendan’s future but they were relieved as, after a six hour court case, Brendan was let off going to jail. He vowed to Danielle that he is “going to be a good boy now”. We hope the couple continue to be happy together.
Ina's wedding dress, made from 'glitter fabric', caused a few problems on her wedding day (Photo: Channel 4)
Meanwhile, Ina was also preparing for her big day, as she married her 17-year-old boyfriend. This teen bride had one thing that she wanted to be perfect for her special day; her dress. The 16-year-old bride decided to have her dress created from 'glitter fabric', a material often used for wallpaper. The dress used 55 metres of fabric and would scratch and burn the wearer. To look her best, Ina also undertook a very strict diet where she would “eat nothing” to look good in her Disney-esque wedding dress.
As well as getting married, Ina would soon be making a life-changing move, 200 miles away, to live with her new groom in a site by his family. She would be leaving behind her own family, including her Mum, sisters and cousins. This is quite an ordeal for a 16-year-old girl, so it was not surprising when the family were frequently brought to tears as they thought of the new move.
The church was full of guests, ready to see Ina marry her 17-year-old fiancé, but Ina kept them waiting as she fought with her over-sized dress whilst trying to get ready for her big day. She finally got to her wedding two and a half hours late, but once she got there the ceremony went by seamlessly. She also even managed to enjoy her reception, after a few more fights with her dress.
The two teen brides seemed to look at their married lives very positively, and were very happy with their new grooms.
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