A Real Gypsy Wedding.

Anyone watch “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”?

Anyone wonder if the show is actually representative of the traditional Gypsy culture and W-day styling?

I have. And so did Rock My Wedding sponsors Christian and Erica from Christian Ward Photography. So much so in fact that they researched the subject to create a beautiful inspiration shoot based around original Romany traditions and recommendations from real-life travellers themselves.

This is truly a fascinating read as well as a deliciously whimsical dose of pretty, not to mention offering a plethora of ideas for your own Big Day. These are without doubt some of the most delectable vintage-inspired accessories and gowns I have ever seen. And it makes a nice change to feature some gorgeous ideas for your Groom too.

You may have seen a selection of these images in a recent edition of YAYW magazine, congratulations to the team behind the shoot for going all out glossy – you deserve it.

Enjoy lovelies.

Gypsy Shoot 3 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

Christian and Erica: We’d been looking to carry out a creative shoot for some time, though we were wanting to create something based on an original theme where there would be a story. We admit to having watched a few episodes of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, and for me that was the spark that set light to the idea of a creative shoot inspired by a gypsy theme.

Gypsy Shoot 12 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

I had always thought that the picture painted by the TV show was most likely far-fetched and not representative of the gypsy culture, and so I began to research gypsy weddings not of the Big Fat type but of times gone by. The idea for the shoot for me always centred on being able to find an original Romany gypsy wagon, and this proved difficult as did finding much information about old-fashioned gypsy weddings.

Gypsy Shoot 9 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

Eventually we managed to locate 2 or 3 wagons across the UK, but in each case there was something that wasn’t ideal about each of them and didn’t quite match up to the picture I had in my mind. By chance I stumbled across a website for a gypsy wagon restorer, and I sent them a quick email to see if they could help us, not really expecting to hear back. A week passed and I had given up on that avenue when an email came through late one Saturday night just saying that they could help and to give them a call. I called them back straight away, and the following morning we were setting off at 8am for the 2 hour drive to Blackpool to see Walter – the real, bone fide gypsy- and the 2 wagons he had in mind.

Gypsy Shoot 2 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

It transpired that Walter and his family are the most revered restorers of Romany wagons internationally, and as we sat over a cup of tea in their kitchen we looked through photos of him with Ronnie Wood (who is actually descended from Romany blood) who had just bought a restored wagon from him.

Gypsy Shoot 5 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

We also took the opportunity to talk to Walter and his wife Mary about traditional gypsy weddings, and within minutes they’d found a fascinating old leather-bound album full of black and white family photos from gypsy weddings, and so we began to form a picture of what a REAL gypsy wedding would’ve looked like. Walter took us though to his barn, and it was an exciting moment to come face to face with what would become the centrepiece of our shoot- a gorgeous, original ‘Doors & Windows’ Romany caravan, hand-carved and covered in gold leaf.

Gypsy Shoot 6 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

We finished the day by strolling across the land that Walter and his family owned, as he had agreed that when the time was right for us we could carry the shoot out anywhere on his land and they would set us up with everything we needed. A special mention must go to Walter and Mary for being so welcoming and helpful, despite their initial reservations given the perception of gypsy weddings created by the TV show.

Gypsy Shoot 7 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

With the main ‘prop’ arranged, we then set about properly forming the theme. Gypsy, Romantic, Country, Folk, and Whimsical were at the top of our list of what wanted to achieve with our styling. The next few weeks were spent researching and liaising with suppliers across the UK who we felt fitted with our theme and who we would be interested in working with on the shoot.

Gypsy Shoot 10 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

I have to say that without fail all the suppliers we worked with were absolutely brilliant and we feel really lucky that we managed to assemble such a great list of suppliers who fitted so well with what we wanted to achieve, and who trusted us to look after their valuable stock (and in some cases one-off, irreplaceable pieces) and to create something worthwhile. We would happily recommend any of them to brides and grooms planning their wedding.
Gypsy Shoot 13 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

While bringing together the many different articles of original vintage clothing and props, we also had to set about finding 2 models. For us, despite many creative shoots being only ‘bridal’, we knew we always wanted to go the ‘whole hog’ and have both a model bride and groom to complete our picture. For the bride to be in-keeping with the Romany look we needed somebody with dark hair and a light complexion, whilst for the groom, our main criterion was for hair not cropped too short. This actually proved quite difficult as the majority of male models we came across had short hair cropped in a very modern style that would’ve been difficult to create something convincing with on the day.

Gypsy Shoot 1 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

We eventually found two amazing models who were perfect for our theme. The only problem we came across was trying to find vintage clothing to fit a male model standing 6ft 3″ tall…most vintage clothing is of fairly small proportions, but Denise at Vintage Whistles was great at finding what we needed!

Gypsy Shoot 14 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

Flo and Percy designed and created original pieces to match the vintage dresses that Helena from Heavenly Vintage Brides had kindly agreed to supply us with, and once our shoot team was complete with make-up and hair stylists, we set about a styling session to bring together every item and decide on the final ‘looks’ that we’d be using on the day.

The day of the shoot finally came and we could not have asked for better weather. It was a pretty cold day in March but with gorgeous early Spring light and we all worked together brilliantly as a team…definitely a day to remember!

Gypsy Shoot 20 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

And if you lovelies have been admiring the Flo and Percy headpieces here are the finer details should you fancy making a purchase for W-day:

details1 A Real Gypsy Wedding.

Authentic gypsy wagon – adzlee@btinternet.com

Vintage Wedding Dresses – Heavenly Vintage Brides

Vintage Headpieces – Flo and Percy

Crockery – Felicity’s Vintage Tea Party

Blooms – The Blossom Tree

Make-up Artist – Gemma Lees

Hair Stylist - Emma Buck

Boutonnieres – D C Bouquets

Cakes – Rachel Edwards

Vintage Suitcases – Fountain Pen Emporium

Bridal Knitwear – Makepiece at Evangeline Rose

Groom’s Vintage Suits - Vintage Whistles

Stationery – Tim Ward Design

Wedding Favours – Vintage Twee

Models – Cirila Zorenc and Charles Durnian at Model Mayhem

Photography and Styling – Christian and Erica at Christian Ward Photography

That lace and pearl headband rocks my world…. and the knitwear? so delicate and feminine.

This is a truly beautifully styled shoot and I would love to see a W-day with similar design aspects and muted colour scheme grace these pages one day.

So if you’re planning on a gypsy-esque affair make sure you send it in ok?

Big Romany Love

Charlotte xxx

P.S I know I’m married and all but I’m allowed to say how much the groom has (ahem) brightened up my Monday afternoon right?

icon wink A Real Gypsy Wedding.

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24 Responses to A Real Gypsy Wedding.

  1. Sam says:

    Just beautiful x

  2. Sarah says:

    I love all of the accessories! and the groom is hot :)

  3. What a fabulous shoot, I love how you have totally blown all those preconceptions out of the water and focused on the true gypsy style which is more countryfied, laid-back and romantic. brilliant work xx

  4. Alex K says:

    Gorgeous shoot. Love Flo and Percy, wish I had a slightly bigger budget! Sigh!! Xxxx

  5. mrsrecyclenow says:

    so we all love a bride in a cardi right, but a groom in a cardi too?

    and those headbands are totally rocking my world, you could get away with one in morrisons yes?

    I am also a little bit in love with the ‘going away’ outfits, complete with matching cases

    to quote a certain lady ‘le sigh’

    mrs r.now x x x

  6. Emily says:

    Right, I NEED the lace and pearl headband! Why is it not on their website? I have not been able to find a headband which is not blingy and this one matched my dress perfectly!!! Help!

  7. Emily says:

    ooh ive just emailed and they have replied very fast, saying its in their next collection launching september yay!

  8. Shirley says:

    @Emily I’m in love with the lace&pearls headband too … GORG!

  9. Julie says:

    Hi there
    You won’t see some of the accessories used in this shoot on our website. Email us and we can give you more info! Info@floandpercy.com

    thks all
    xx
    Flo & Percy

  10. We were very happy to provide the grooms attire : )

    The images are stunning!!! xxx

    Denise @ Vintage Whistles

  11. So very very pretty! x Love the table shot with cushions.

  12. @Emily @ Shirley…. oooh lovely! That ones my favourite ;-)

    Charlotte xxx

  13. Anna says:

    I fell completely in love with Flo & Percy’s necklace so I’ve already contacted Julie and bought that bad boy! I cannot wait to receive it! I wasn’t about to let that beauty get away from me!

    The rest of the shoot is gorgeous too!

    Anna x

  14. Rebecca says:

    Headbands don’t really go with our look so I’m just going to buy one for wearing to Tesco. Is that allowed? Or are they more worthy of an Ocado delivery?

  15. Annie says:

    My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding features Irish Travellers, not Ramany gypsies.

  16. Abby Grace says:

    WOW. This is amazing! We don’t have gypsies over here in the US, so it’s a completely foreign concept to me. When I was visiting the UK a couple of years ago, I saw my first ever gypsy wagon and was totally floored that gypsies aren’t just fictional characters. What a gorgeous shoot, and a fascinating look into the style shoot process. Love it!

  17. Sabs says:

    Rock My Wedding – You have just Rocked My World! I am soo in Love with the forehead bands – pretty! AND Kim K has just worn one for her wedding (did you find any pics?) – but these are even more fabulicious, methinks! Please, roll on May 27th I wanna be wearing mine NOW!

  18. Tina Ashley says:

    Such a romantic feel to this shoot. I love the headbands and particularly the pearl combs!

  19. Jenny says:

    Ooo such delicious amounts of pretty! This is such a gorgeous shoot! What an amazing concept and so gorgeously done! I’m so missing all the RMW pretty on my honeymoon, this has definitely filled that gap!

    xXx

  20. Absolutely gorgeous! I love the gypsy wagon!

  21. Gorgeous shoot. I’d love to design a batch of cookies using this shoot as inspiration.

  22. Elle says:

    Great photo shot. Would live to know where the brides shoes comes from. They. are. awesome.

  23. Josephine says:

    Charlotte,

    This article brought a tear to my eye, because for the first time since that horrid and disrespectful drool appeared on our tv, my people and I have had nothing but nasty and horrible things said about us. This article is very close to what a real Gypsy wedding used to look like back in the day and for many true Romany Gypsies still is.

    As President of the Romany Women’s Union I am pleased to say that you have certainly hit the spot with this and well done and a big thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

    Big Gypsy Love

    Josephine x

  24. Giselle says:

    abby grace, there are many gypsies in the US….

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