My Big Fat Royal Gypsy Wedding: Channel 4, 9pm on April 28th
Some people may live in palaces and some in caravans but regardless of wealth or title everyone wants their own wedding day to be absolutely perfect.
On Friday – exactly a fortnight before Kate and William say I do – a very special wedding took place in Peterborough between Irish Travellers Mary and Paddy.
The 23 year olds who have been together for three years are the stars of the brand new one off special My Big Fat Royal Gypsy Wedding which will air on Channel 4 at 9pm on April 28th – the day before the Royal Wedding.
No different from Kate and William the couple had set ideas about what they wanted for their day and like most brides Mary confessed she has been dreaming of her wedding day for years. Making the day special for the couple was job of dressmaker Thelma Madene and her team.
They were tasked to pull off a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding that would rival the Royal wedding in the glitz and glamour stakes…. in just three weeks.
Organising a wedding can often take months – sometimes years – but the three week deadline meant that the team were under immense pressure to deliver the wedding of Mary’s dreams. With camera’s following their progress Thelma and her team worked day and night to give bride what she wanted.
There were certainly some tears and tantrums but by the look of things the team certainly did not disappoint. Some travellers say that the fashion for ‘sticky out dresses’ was first inspired by Diana Princess off Wales’ wedding dress.
Rather aptly Mary chose a ‘Princess’ theme for her big day. In true fairytale fashion arrived at the church in a carriage pulled by six white horses and manned by coachmen dressed in white suits.
Accompanied by her father the bemused bride drew cheers from the crowds of onlookers as she travelled to the church although she was not that easy to spot as she had layers and layers of her incredible white wedding gown piled around her almost hiding her from view.
The enormous bespoke billowing white dress was adorned with over 40,000 crystals in the bodice and train – the most crystals Thelma has ever used in a dress. The gathered white train was 18 ft long and wider than Diana Princess of Wales’ own epic train.
To top it all off Mary wore a crystal encrusted tiara ensuring she certainly sparkled like a fairytale princess on her special day. In her hands she carried a bouquet of white roses entwined with large white features and dotted with crystals. Arriving at the church – an hour late – the bride was helped from the carriage by her maid of honour.
Like Kate Mary chose her younger sister Margaret (18) to be by her side at her wedding. Margaret had travelled to the church in a limousine with the other 5 bridesmaids and the two mini-brides. Margaret, the bride’s mother and the five bridesmaids wore sugar pink dresses with crystal encrusted bodices.
Also part of the wedding party were Mary’s two youngest sisters Nikita and Caitlin who were ‘mini-brides’ for the occasion – a tradition amongst some Irish travellers – and dressed in exact replicas of Mary’s bridal gown.
After the wedding ceremony the married couple emerged from the church to find locals gathered to take photos and give them a round of applause. They left to celebrate their wedded bliss with friends and family at a reception near by.
Thelma had been charged with dressing the venue to the bride’s wishes but it was the wedding cake which caused some last minute panic. The cake – made by the same company that made the Disney Castle cake in the series of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings – resembled the Cinderella carriage that Mary travelled in to the church, complete with six white horses.
However, it was so large that there was frantic scramble to find a table big enough for it at the venue. In the end THREE trestle tables had to be hurriedly fitted together in order to display it in it’s full glory. With nearest and dearest gathered the couple danced into the night.
A spokesman for the venue, Wood Green Animal Shelters, said: “We pulled out all of the stops to ensure Wood Green looked absolutely stunning on the day. All of the staff involved worked tremendously hard to ensure the bride, groom and their families had a great time.”
The married couple are now on honeymoon but to see all the planning and preening – including behind the scenes pre-wedding jitters – tune in to My Big Fat Royal Gypsy Wedding.