Linda Colling: My Big Fat Virtuous Wedding

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BIGGER and bigger. And that’s not just the Big Fat Gypsy wedding frocks, but the millions this Channel 4 runaway hit is pulling in every Tuesday night.

It’s great, the gaudier the better. And it’s got us gawping incredulously as the gypsy queens vie to make their wedding day bigger and better than the one before.

Last week’s fantastic profusion of pink lace, weighed the bride down by 14 stone, 500 metres of netting, mechanical butterflies with fluttering wings and inbuilt fairy lights, making it such a fire hazard, an extinguisher was on hand just in case the bride went up in flames.

Unbelievable, and that’s what has us transfixed in disbelief at how far the gypsies will go to turn their fantasies into their dream day.

How many more want to copy them I wonder? Chavs everywhere who long to shine head to toe in a sea of Swarvoski crystals like the gypsy brides whose back-breaking dresses weighing 20 stone, with a 20-foot train and costing up to £50,000, are so over the top they literally leave their mark.

The brides have the scars to prove it on their hips, from their meringue, heavier than her and so extravagantly encrusted it has rubbed her skin away.

But the bigger rub is when you bring on the bling and do it gypsy style you have to have a whole lot of lolly.

A gob-smacking £142,000 is a typical cost – six times the price of an average non-gypsy wedding. And that’s cash on the nail. And that’s an awful lot of tarmac. Where do they get that kind of money from? Don’t ask.

Apart from the over-the-top statements these gypsy girls are making on their wedding day, is one hefty moral that we have lost – no sex before marriage. That’s something that remains intact in their culture and no doubt why they marry so young, often as teenagers, with divorce rare.

Their wedding day is what they dream of and they grow up accepting they will not have children born out of wedlock and bring shame on their family.

Contrast that with the 14-year-old girls we see pushing bairns in buggies everywhere. Yes, the gypsies marry young, but here in their community their moral code over marriage and the family has a strength that puts our society to shame.

The girls are chaperoned and are not allowed to be seen out by themselves, so are normally in groups.

What a shame our girls are growing up without the same constraints or even respect for themselves. And we can take a leaf from their book on how to take your vows in church.

It was great watching the bride and groom so happy they couldn’t stop laughing their way through the ceremony and then he swept her off her feet and carried her down the aisle.

Later they tossed wedding cake at each other as is their custom. And even if you can’t abide their flashy style, when it comes to celebrating all that a marriage is about you have to hand it to the gypsies, and we can certainly learn a thing or two about their life-long commitment to marriage – which is anything but a fairytale.