The Evolution of a Shared Obsession: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

by Katie Walsh and Jolie Kerr

Jolie Kerr: Katie. There’s a British show called My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and I am OMGOBSESSED with it. It’s just been picked up for American adaptation, but four of the five original episodes are available on YouTube.

Katie Walsh: Wow, are they tinkers like the character Brad Pitt played in Snatch? This looks amazing.

JK: There are actually two groups — Irish Travellers (tinkers) and Romany Gypsies. I haven’t gotten to the Romany episodes yet, but oh boy are the Irish Travellers really something else again. I can’t really wrap my mind around them yet, but hopefully a few more viewings will give me more information.

KW: Literally at 1:38 on the video of part one episode one and I’m OBSESSED. THANK YOU!! Oh my God the Communion dress! OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. All I can think is pink sheepdog.


KW: Swanley’s so hot in his wedding suit. It’s actually insane how “my type” he is.

JK: LITERALLY BUT NO SWANLEY!!!!!!! But there’s so much I really don’t understand about the Travellers — like, why do the women dress like whores when they’re so chaste???

KW: Maybe the Traveller culture is like the Madonna/whore complex jacked up to 11. I mean, the grabbing? All the fun of sexual assault with none of the ramifications!

JK: Oooh, that’s a very interesting take on it! And it would make sense, given the strict Catholicism.

KW: I forgot to mention in Episode two — the First Communion party with the stripper dancing! The outfits! It’s crazy how the hyper-sexualized dancing and clothing contrast with the strict control of the girls’ sexual activity.

JK: It’s interesting … the other thing is that you never see or hear the men ogling the women, which? Is strange given the way they’re dressed, I guess. And the grabbing! There’s one girl who talks about how girls try to avoid grabbings, but at the same time is shown buying a new dress and getting all tramped up for a wedding where, by her admission, grabbings will take place. I’m so confused.

KW: It’s almost like the small, insular community is clashing with the sexually uninhibited modern world, and it’s just like WTF is going on with the gender roles? I heart you, producers of this show. Can we infiltrate the Irish Travellers? I’ll start working on my accent.

JK: I can think of nothing I would like better. Have you gotten to episode two with “20-year-old tree surgeon Pat” who is getting married to a non-Gypsy who has a LIGHT-UP dress with MECHANICAL BUTTERFLIES?

KW: Here’s what’s killing me about the show right now (aside from EVERY SECOND): The way the girls have to walk in those stupid-ass dresses! They have to kick their little feet through yards of tulle and it looks absolutely ridiculous. I loved the mechanical butterflies (complete with fire extinguisher on standby!), but nothing takes the cake like Josie’s mini-in-the-front wedding dress. My God.

JK: SWANLEY. (Sorry. I just love yelling that name!) Yes about the walking!! They’re all gussied up and seem not to mind AT ALL that they’re lumbering inelegantly about! Does not compute!

Have you watched the episode with Lizzie? She scares me — there’s a lot of pent up anger there. I feel like she’s going to snap one day and murder her entire family.

KW: OK, I’m watching right now, and Lizzie is talking about how she can barely read or write. Ahh.

JK: She broke my damn heart. “We ain’t gonna be doctors and lawyers. Housewives, that’s what we’re meant to be.”

Also: I am mesmerized by how clean their homes are.

KW: I think we all know how you feel about the merits of bleach. How clean would you keep your house if your husband was as dead sexy as Paddy Doherty?

JK: Paddy Doherty PANT PANT PANT. Katie, I would let Paddy Doherty tinker with me all the livelong day.

KW: Jolie, I don’t know what to think. A Paddy Doherty/Swanley sandwich is pretty much my number one bucket list item right now. But, being married to them would mean being a second-class citizen who’s treated as property or a maid. Why must I grapple with these conflicted feelings??

JK: Would the promise of a Versace-style chalet sway you? I, for one, think you would look lovely in a back lit, sticky-out wedding dress!

KW: If Kate Middleton really wants to upstage Diana’s train, she needs to embrace the sticky-out wedding dress and walk down that aisle on Friday encased in a tulle bomb that extends five feet in each direction, with lit sparklers sticking out of her crown, mechanical Swarovski pinwheels, and cleavage up to her neck. It’s clear the Brits do not mess around with the wedding game, so I sincerely hope Kate BRINGS IT.


Jolie Kerr and Katie Walsh want the cleanest caravan and the stickiest-outiest dress.