See three traveller families on their big day...

Every bride dreams of the perfect wedding dress and a new Channel 4 documentary shows just how extraordinary some gowns can be.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding follows three traveller women getting hitched and showcases the jaw-dropping frocks they wear for their nuptials. Our gallery gives an eye-opening preview of what’s in store.

Joan Furey, 22, is a second-generation Irish traveller and her wedding is a large ostentatious affair involving months of planning.

Her huge gypsy wedding dress features 7 net underskirts and is trimmed with heart-shaped Swarovski crystals. There is a final layer of satin, covered in yet more crystals.

Joan’s lengthy frock has a 20ft train, making it difficult for both her and her bridesmaids to handle as she makes her way to the church to marry boyfriend Patrick.

There’s a lot of competition between traveller brides to have the biggest gown. Our pictures show newlywed 16-year-old Bridget being swamped by her enormous gypsy wedding dress after tying the knot.

Bridget’s bridesmaids wear equally striking outfits. The girls don bright green and blue frocks as they pose for photos with Bridget and her new husband Patrick.

The bride might be young but it’s common for traveller women to marry early. They’re expected to be virgins when they wed and by the age of 20 are considered ‘on the shelf’.

Another newly married woman in our gallery is Jolene Doran. She wears a typically flamboyant white gypsy wedding dress and ensures her bridesmaids are equally outrageous.

The girls are kitted out in circus-like top hats and colourful pink and black outfits. They complement their vivid dresses with luminous fake tans.

See more amazing dresses in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on Channel 4 at 9pm on Thursday 18 February.