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Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

S1-E3 Desperate Housewives

S1-E3 Desperate Housewives

Catch Up


Right from birth, life is pretty well mapped out for traveller children. Girls stop going to school around the age of 11 (it’s shameful to continue, explains one mother), spend the next few years learning to clean and care for children, and then get married around 16 or 17. Boys stop school early, too, but don’t do cleaning (that’s considered “gay” says another mum). Instead they work alongside their dads. Kids as young as seven can handle a digger truck as well as the next man.

So it’s probably no wonder that traveller girls look forward to any occasion that calls for dressing up in a mega-frock and bling.

Cassa reckons it was worth going to school just so she could attend the school prom looking, as one friend says, like “a bouncy castle on legs”; Santana, meanwhile, is excited about her Sweet 16 party, partly for the dress but also for the 12ft-high cake decorated with fireworks. Then it’s back to the cleaning.


The programme looks beyond the extravagance of gypsy weddings to explore the everyday lives of women within Britain's traveller communities. It also reveals how attitudes toward literacy, education and relationships make for a stark contrast between their daily duties and the lavishness of their fairy-tale nuptials.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Jes Wilkins
Series Producer Vicky Hamburger


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