Marriage is a core value within the Traveller community. It is woven into Traveller’s social lives. It is a very important occasion for both the couple and the two families as it links and connects different families together. Weddings are big family occasions, with relatives and friends travelling long distances to be there for the day. It is a good opportunity for the extended family to gather and spend time with one another, especially if they have not seen each other for some time.
The marriage is celebrated in a church and in this way it is blessed and has taken place in the ‘eyes of God’. This is very important for Traveller families and for the couple themselves.
Getting married is an important step in our lives. Mostly we marry young, the age varies in different families. The custom of match-making has changed over the years. Now there are different ways the marriage can come about. Some families agree that match making is a good custom while others feel it is a custom of the past and do not agree with it. First cousin marriage is still common enough among the Traveller Community. It requires a dispensation from the Bishop for such a marriage to take place.
The married themselves worship God through their generosity in serving each other… and through the hospitality offered by the Christian family to “outsiders” in need.
The New Dictionary of Theology, 1987