My Big Fat Gypsy Valentine TX: 11 Feb 2013, Week 7
Big Fat Gypsy Weddings returns with its most romantic reincarnation yet - a brand new one off Valentines special exploring love and courtship in the Traveller community.
We meet a group of girls still enthralled with the idea of fairytale romance. In the Traveller world it is still common to marry young and both the brides in this episode are 16-year-olds marrying their first loves. But can the dream of a white wedding live up to the reality? And can the magic of the big day survive in the months and years afterwards?
Ina Casey is a 16-year-old (now 17) Traveller marrying her first boyfriend. Having got together in secret they were ‘outed' by her uncle who "squealed", and were quickly engaged. Now we meet Ina as she prepares for her wedding day.
No stone has been left unturned - Ina is wearing an outfit made from "glitter fabric"-material more commonly used in wallpaper. Ina also has grand plans for her seven bridesmaids, but she is keeping the details a secret - even from the bridesmaids themselves - meaning all the girls must be strictly blindfolded during the dress fittings.
Despite her relative youth, Ina is convinced she has met "the one". As she points out "some people have to kiss 100 frogs to get their prince, I only had to kiss one" But as the wedding draws nearer the reality of leaving her family to start a new life begins to kick in and on the big day itself, the emotions come flooding out...
Ina's cousin and Maid of Honour is 18-year-old Estella. As she points out "you spend half your life playing with Barbie dolls and the other half trying to look like one", but unlike Ina, Estella is in no hurry to settle down just yet.
This Valentine's special also catches up with Travellers Danielle, 15 (now 16), and her 21-year-old fiancé Brendan as they prepare for their wedding day. Having met her one true love Danielle is desperate to start her new life with her man and the wedding is scheduled to take place just a day after her 16th birthday. Despite her youth Danielle is convinced she has made the right choice: "People think that I'm 15 and I don't know what love is", she says "but he's perfect for me and hopefully I'm perfect for him"
In the last series Danielle celebrated her hen night wearing a tutu lit with fairy lights. This time it is Brendan's turn to gather his friends and family and celebrate his stag do with a spot of hunting. Too afraid to go to a pub before the wedding in case he gets into a fight, Brendan and his friends sing songs, drink around a campfire and reminisce about what Traveller life used to be like.
Nevertheless a cloud hangs over the happy couple. Brendan is due to appear in court charged with receiving stolen goods. He has had a troubled relationship with the law and a guilty verdict could mean a lengthy prison sentence.
We follow the love-struck teenagers in the build up to their big day and beyond, witnessing Brendan's attempt to escape the long arm of the law and remain with his young bride and Danielle's growing determination to keep her new husband on the straight and narrow...
Lastly we meet Theresa, an eight-year-old Irish Traveller with strong opinions. She explains the rules of romance to us, a subject she is well qualified to talk on, as her "mum and dad are in love". However Theresa isn't looking to settle down so early herself as she wants to "concentrate on her career".