If I could have crashed a wedding in the British Isles this summer, it would not have been Will and Kate’s. Hands down it would have been somebody’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Have you seen this? In a way it’s Toddlers and Tiaras (which doesn’t interest me, although I loved “Little Miss Sunshine”) on steroids. At least, that was my first impression. But I got hooked on the TLC series—originally a British documentary—and found it fascinating. Visually entertaining, the series reveals a lot about contemporary Romany gypsy and Irish traveller culture through their lavish weddings with massive dresses stuffed into horse-drawn carriages. And don’t forget the hats. Ah, the British ladies and their hats. Such fun!
If you haven’t seen it, here’s a video snippet from YouTube. And the “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” website offers a good deal of background, some history, and a bit about stereotypes and urban myths about gypsies. But these are real people who cherish the “traveller ways” and who live on the fringe of society. It’s clear that a young girl’s wedding—and young they are—is the biggest day of her life, which is why she’s determined to make the most of it. After that she’ll keep house in her little trailer and tend her husband and children. But, oh the baubles and frills, oh the pomp and circumstance for that one day. And why not? How different is it from “Say Yes To the Dress” in NYC, Atlanta, Dallas, wherever? Couture is in the eye of the beholder. “My Fair Wedding”—which I love—offers that princess-for-a-day sentiment, too. More than anything, I think it’s what we dream of for our daughters.
Remember Johnny Depp in “Chocolat”? I didn’t see anyone in “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” who looked like this, but the image is perfect for a Romance hero. Mystery man, outsider, bad boy–tough, independent, brooding. Wasn’t Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights described as a gypsy? And there are such romantic trappings–the music, the dancing, the horses, the nomadic life. Funny, but the only gypsy (or often part gypsy, so the other part can be titled) hero that comes to mind is that yummy Nicholas Brisbane from Deanna Raybourne’s Silent series.
Help me out. Can you recommend any romances with wonderful gypsy heroes? Have you seen the wedding series? What struck you—what was your takeaway?