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Gypsies

"My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding" Returns!

02/26/2014

MBFAGW-new-300x400
David Warren/DCL


They’re ba-ack! The over-the-top gowns and out of this world weddings of “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” return for an all new season with more bling than ever before.

In the premiere episode, you’ll meet a pair of star-crossed lovers from two feuding Gypsy clans who are determined to marry despite the fact that both of their mothers would rather they have nothing to do with each other. And oh, did we mention the 16-year-old groom is an aspiring jiu-jitsu champ? 

Each week “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” will introduce a new couple, including a Gypsy couple who met online and will meet for the first time on their wedding day; a young Gypsy woman who wants to become the first Romney supermodel; and a Gypsy teen who hopes to become a successful Gypsy rapper. This season also features a double wedding with a pair of Gypsy sisters marrying non-Gypsy fiancés—against their parent’s wishes.  

Don’t miss a single minute of it—“My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” returns April 3 at 9|8 c. 

Irish Travellers Show off True Gypsy Style in Luck of the Irish

12/18/2013

Wedding-dress-400x300On Thursday, Dec. 26, after an all-new Gypsy Sisters, get ready for a special episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding that's luckier than most. In My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding: Luck of the Irish, follow brides, babies and brawling revelers for a taste of Irish Traveller culture.

Sixteen-year-old Lully was born and raised in England in a very strict Irish Traveller community. Even though she's never been to Ireland, Lully speaks with a thick Irish accent because she stays in the company of other Irish Travellers. Now that she's engaged to her true love, Martin, Lully is looking forward to planning a traditional wedding. But her path down the aisle is put to the test when wedding stress and family drama takes over. Will Lully make it to the altar?

In Ireland, the fearsome Joyce family is preparing for baby Alice's christening. Alice was born into strong Traveller stock; her grandfather Joe was a former bare-knuckle boxer known as "The King of the Travellers." The Joyces are determined to celebrate St. Patrick's Day before the christening, but they've been banned from almost every pub in town. The men take their partying to the streets, where festive drinking activities and disorderly chaos ensues. Will their conduct get them into trouble at a time when their family needs them the most?

Back in England, Irish Traveller Brendan, who's a distant relative of the Joyce family, is determined to visit Ireland for the first time and take a proper part in St. Patrick's Day festivities. He can't wait to head to his motherland for the most important day of the year, but will the experience be all that he's imagined?

Famous gypsy dressmaker Thelma Madine is also en route to Ireland to attend the wedding of Irish Traveller, Nan. Nan has enlisted Thelma's help in creating an incredible 200-pound dress to wear on her big day. But Nan hasn't anticipated just how difficult it will be to move around in a huge, bone-crushing gown like this. Can she physically make it through her wedding day?

Watch My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding: Luck of the Irish on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 10|9c.

Lully is all smiles as she prepares to say "I do," despite the family drama. (Credit: DCL)

It's a Very Merry Gypsy Christmas!

12/16/2013

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with A Very Merry Gypsy Christmas? Watch on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 10|9c as the gypsies trade their bling for twinkling holiday lights.

In Queensferry, Irish Traveller Paddy Doherty is gearing up for his favorite time of year: Christmas. He's decked out the family trailer with lights and Santa statues. But not everyone in the Doherty family shares the same holiday spirit. Paddy’s wife, Roseanne, finds this time of year especially difficult to get through; after losing her son in a tragic car accident, Christmas brings up bittersweet memories. Paddy is on a mission to get his wife back into the Christmas spirit, no matter what it takes.

In Belfast, 17-year-old Thomasina is preparing for the festive season with a special winter wonderland-themed 18th birthday party. She's taking her long-term boyfriend as her date, and her family suspects that she may be ready for marriage. At the bash, Thomasina’s single lifestyle is put under the microscope, though she insists she's not tying the knot any time soon. Will she have a change of heart?  

And of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a Traveler wedding. Barbara McFadyen has already been a bridesmaid for her sister Josie and brother John; now, it's her turn to step into the limelight. Watch as she tries on her spectacular dress for the first time, books a swanky venue and orders a wedding cake the size of a car!

See a sneak peek of the special below.

Ask Sondra Celli: What Are Your Inspirations?

04/29/2013

Sondra_200_033013We're excited to have My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding designer extraordinaire Sondra Celli answering all of our most urgent bling fashion questions. Sondra is the queen of bling -- and knows how to take a look from so-so to sparkle-tastic. That's why she's the go-to designer for gypsy brides looking to make a bold statement. Sondra's motto is "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that bling" and her award-winning work has been seen in publications such as Harpers Bazaar, New York Magazine and Vogue.

Got a style question for Sondra? Email us and we'll pass along your query. And don't forget to catch up with Sondra and her outrageous brides every Sunday at 9/8 c. 


Q: Where do you come up with the ideas for some of these elaborate creations? What are your

design inspirations?

Continue reading >

Ask Sondra Celli: What's The Most Surprising Thing You've Learned About Gypsies?

04/22/2013

Sondra_200_033013We're excited to have My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding designer extraordinaire Sondra Celli answering all of our most urgent bling fashion questions. Sondra is the queen of bling -- and knows how to take a look from so-so to sparkle-tastic. That's why she's the go-to designer for gypsy brides looking to make a bold statement. Sondra's motto is "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that bling" and her award-winning work has been seen in publications such as Harpers Bazaar, New York Magazine and Vogue.

Got a style question for Sondra? Email us and we'll pass along your query. And don't forget to catch up with Sondra and her outrageous brides every Sunday at 9/8 c. 


Q: What's the most surprising thing you've learned about gypsies through working with them?

That the gypsies are extremely family-oriented with strong and loyal family ties.

Continue reading >

Ask Sondra Celli: How Can I Bring Bling Into My Wardrobe?

04/01/2013

Sondra_200_033013We're excited to have My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding designer extraordinaire Sondra Celli answering all of our most urgent bling fashion questions. Sondra is the queen of bling -- and knows how to take a look from so-so to sparkle-tastic. That's why she's the go-to designer for gypsy brides looking to make a bold statement. Sondra's motto is "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that bling" and her award-winning work has been seen in publications such as Harpers Bazaar, New York Magazine and Vogue.

Got a style question for Sondra? Email us and we'll pass along your query. And don't forget to catch up with Sondra and her outrageous brides every Sunday at 9/8 c. 

 

Q: I'm new to bling fashion. What's an easy way to bring bling into my wardrobe?

Sondra says: An easy way to get started is to look for jewelry accent pieces to add to your wardrobe. You can find crystal jewelry at stores in the mall, second hand clothing stores, flea markets and yard sales, etc. You can add a brooch to secure a scarf or use as a closure for a bolero jacket or simple sweater. If it's a small brooch or pin, add it to a headband for some hair bling. You can even find some bling buttons and switch them out to sparkle up a dress or blouse. I have clients that are new to bling and for them instead of packing an item with Swarovski crystals, I merely sprinkle a few on the bodice of a dress or lightly trim a pair of heels. It never fails, the next time they want to place an order, they always want to add more bling!

Want some examples? Check out what we've found:

Bling_033013

  1. Noir Rhinestone Cluster Earrings, $34.30
  2. Bee Charming Suede and Studded Rhinestone Friendship Bracelet, $38
  3. RJ Graziano Rhinestone Brooch, $45
  4. Rhinestone Cone Ring, $18
  5. 3-Row Stretch Rhinestone Bracelet, $14
––Julie Gerstein

Sondra Celli's Crystal Dressing Room Brings the Bling

03/22/2013

Sondra-dressing-room-400x300Your favorite gypsy designer is back for an all-new season of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, premiering Sunday, March 24 9|8c. Sondra Celli will wow you with more unbelievable dresses -- topping even some of her most memorable designs from season one. Who could forget Priscilla's Queen of Hearts dress and party outfit? Or Annie's illuminated Snow Queen wedding gown? (See some of the best bling in this photo gallery!)

But something you won't see in the show is Sondra's one-of-a-kind dressing room at her studio in Waltham, Massachusetts. For Sondra, a day without Swarovski crystals is like a day without sunshine. To heighten her customers' experience at the studio, Sondra commissioned four of her "Blingettes" to apply more than 200,000 Swarovski crystals to a dressing room. Informally dubbed "the world's most expensive dressing room," it also features a curtain of cascading crystals in various sizes that hangs at the entrance to the room. Sondra estimates the cost of the space at $100,000.

See even more pictures of the dazzling space and other shots of Sondra's studio here. And be sure to catch the queen of bling in action when My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding premieres Sunday 9|8c!

Photo courtesy Sondra Celli Designs

Travellers Fall in Love Quickly on "My Big Fat Gypsy Valentine"

03/18/2013

Gypsy-valentine-blog-400x300In My Big Fat Gypsy Valentine, two very young brides prepare to say “I do” to the boys who stole their hearts.

Ina is 16, and she’s determined to keep the details of her big day under wraps. In fact, she’s so concerned about spoilers that she blindfolds her wedding party as they attend dress fittings! As for her own dress, it’s a phenomenal creation by burlesque costume designer Katie Birrell. For the perfect shape and effects, Katie has constructed it out of fabric typically reserved for wallpaper. That’s 180 feet of gritty, skin-stabbing fabric -– and as a precaution, Katie has built in safety devices to protect the bride’s delicate skin. But when the dress sends Ina into paroxysms of agony, will she even make it to the altar?

Danielle will be the youngest bride her priest has ever married. She’s busy making wedding preparations even though she’s not legally old enough to tie the knot –- she’ll be doing that the day after she turns 16. In the meantime, her biggest worry isn’t the dress or the party; it’s whether her groom will be sent to prison after the wedding. Danielle is crazy about Brendan (“He was my first boyfriend, and he’ll be my last,” she says contentedly), but she’s not prepared for the consequences if he’s sentenced to jail time. A gypsy wife with a husband behind bars is virtually on house arrest herself since it’s not proper for her to be out in public without him.

Will the brides get their fairytale endings? Watch My Big Fat Gypsy Valentine Sunday, March 24 8|7c and flip through pictures from the special!

--Candace Keener

Photo: DCL

"Little Shop of Gypsies" Is Risky Business

10/08/2012

Thelmas-gypsy-girls-400x300Thelma Madine is the unforgettable, platinum blonde dressmaker from My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. With her outrageous gowns in high demand in UK and Irish traveler communities, she could barely keep up with the orders. Then, she had a brilliant idea.

Why not thank the clientele that popularized her designs with a totally innovative apprentice-to-employee program? Many gypsy women want to work, but cultural stereotypes make it difficult for them to get jobs. People assume gypsies are unreliable, unpredictable and uneducated. But, Thelma reasoned, if the women had a goal to work toward -- and actual training -- their futures could be quite different.

She set out to recruit 10 talented, interested candidates who would be schooled in every element of dressmaking. The challenge? They'd have to show up. Learn. Get along with their colleagues. Many doubted Thelma -- at times, she even doubted herself. But with her heart and hard-earned money invested in these gypsies, it simply had to work.

Watch Thelma's experiment play out when Little Shop of Gypsies premieres Thursday, Oct. 11 @ 10|9c.

And see a sneak peek of the all-new show below!

About the Blog

This is the place for the scoop on TLC shows and talent, the latest story we're captivated by, the viral video we just had to share. The new things we're talking about now.
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