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


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!


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.

The 12 Dresses of Christmas


Red-sash-bride-200x300Some brides like to put the "merry" in "I'm getting married!" For those of you planning or thinking about a holiday wedding, this Friday's Say Yes to the Dress: The 12 Dresses of Christmas is a can't-miss special event.

Join Randy Fenoli as he recounts brides from Christmases past, present and future who say "yes" to holiday-inspired style. Whether your holiday taste is traditional red and green, sophisticated silver chic or winter white, Randy has ideas for snow queen brides in the making.

December is one of the coldest and most romantic months of the year. It takes a bride with great courage and gusto to claim this month for her big day! You'll be lobbying for space on very busy family and friends' calendars, and as you cross off the final to-dos before the "I dos," you may find yourself missing out on annual traditions and activities. But if the thought of a church filled with poinsettias or a reception hall's entrance flanked by fragrant pine trees gives you goosebumps, then you, friend, are destined for a Christmas wedding.

Watch Friday, Dec. 13 at 9|8c for Randy's time-honored and most festive tips!

Condolences to a Remarkable First Lady in "Letters to Jackie"


Letters-to-jackie-book-200x300This November will mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. To commemorate the event that shocked a nation -- and really, the world -- TLC will debut the exclusive television event Letters to Jackie.

Letters to Jackie is based on the book "Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation" by Ellen Fitzpatrick. For two months after the President's assassination, the White House received more than 800,000 letters for the first lady, who lost her husband and the father of her children. Letters poured in from all over the United States and from several nations around the world, and the writers represented all ages, races, religions and political persuasions. The writers included a 13-year-old suffering from polio, who wrote words of strength for Jackie; a Peace Corps volunteer who'd heard the news from his post in Ethiopia; and an African-American woman who wrote to tell the first lady how her husband's efforts in the Civil Rights Movement had affected her life.

The letters are read by some of today's most recognizable celebrity voices, including:

Bérénice Bejo
Demian Bichir
Jessica Chastain
Chris Cooper
Viola Davis
Zooey Deschanel
Kirsten Dunst
Anne Hathaway
Allison Janney
John Krasinski
Melissa Leo
Laura Linney
Frances McDormand
Chloë Grace Moretz
Mark Ruffalo
Octavia Spencer
Hailee Steinfeld
Channing Tatum
Betty White
Michelle Williams

Letters to Jackie premieres in November on TLC.

Image courtesy Harper Collins

Beehives and Camouflage on All-New "DC Cupcakes" Special


Dc-cupcakes-get-tanked-300Heard of HonFest? It's an annual festival in Baltimore that celebrates over-the-top retro style and encourages attendees to don beehives, boas, bold '50s and '60s patterns and cat eye glasses. You don't have to be an old-fashioned housewife to be a Hon -- you just have to love a good time and the color pink! Katherine and Sophie fit the demographic and received a special invitation to participate in the HonFest pageant.

For the talent portion of the competition, they created a 6' cupcake Hon flamingo.The challenge wasn't easy, though. The sisters struggled to find the perfect shade of pink for their bird, and creating its feathers led to a heated discussion in the Georgetown Cupcake lab. Getting the bird from D.C. to Baltimore was another struggle. As the creation melted in the truck, Sophie, Katherine and Mommy had to get Hon makeovers. (Check out their beehives in this slideshow!) Did they sweep the competition with their new looks and impressive confection?

In typical Katherine/Sophie style, the busy sisters couldn't turn down a request for a big build -- especially when the client was the U.S. Army! The sisters committed to HonFest and a birthday celebration at the Pentagon just days apart. Besides the flamingo build, they dreamed up a giant cupcake tank for the Army's 237th birthday. This wouldn't be any ordinary cupcake tank (if there is such a thing!): It would be built to scale and would shoot cupcakes!

With mad genius Steve working on the tank's structure and firing mechanism, Katherine and Sophie were tasked with preparing camouflage fondant and more than 5,000 cupcakes to cover the tank. When the job seemed impossible, they called in the troops -- literally! But could Georgetown Cupcake and the U.S. Army finish this huge project in time?

Find out when DC Cupcakes: Get Tanked premieres Friday, June 14 at 7|6c!

Watch some of the best DC Cupcakes videos right here!

Photo credit: DCL

The "DC Cupcakes" Family Is Growing!


Dc-cupcakes-special-blog-400x300There's a new baby in town!

In the upcoming DC Cupcakes special on March 12, the busy sisters are opening a new bakery on the West Coast, building a giant globe for the grand opening of a children's museum on the East Coast, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Katherine's baby. This is Mommy's first grandchild, so while she's incredibly excited, she also wants to make sure Katherine is prepared. You won't believe how she schools Katherine in the art of motherhood! Let's just say this is the first time we've seen a robot in the bakery. (No, the temperamental fondant sheeter doesn't count.)

As Katherine struggles to do her bakery work with a baby bump slowing her down, Sophie is tasked with double-duty! What's more, she's also trying to surprise Katherine with the best baby shower ever. Katherine has a surprise of her own, though. She wants to bake gender-reveal cupcakes to announce the gender to all her friends and family. But how can she pull off a surprise like that without discovering the gender herself?

Warmest congratulations to Katherine! See all the fun when the special airs Tuesday, March 12 10|9c.

Photo courtesy DCL

Whose "Big Day" Is It?


Syttd-big-day-autumn-400x300If you've been watching the Say Yes to the Dress: The Big Day specials, then you're a fan of over-the-top, amazing weddings. We've seen Kelly's Marie Antoinette nuptials and Tiffany's perfectly pink ceremony and reception. The bridal spotlight hits Autumn Levine on February 1.

An attorney from Staten Island, Autumn describes her taste as "bling[y], over-the-top and sexy." She's marrying her college sweetheart, Sonny. They've been madly in love for years, but Autumn does admit to one aspect of Sonny's personality that drives her batty: He talks about himself in third person.

"I'm not most grooms," Sonny explains. He's the one who chose the couple's venue -- the second-largest castle in America -- and he sums up the theme as "super spectacular, bigger than anything." The couple is having a Jewish ceremony to honor Autumn's heritage and a Hindu ceremony to honor Sonny's. Of course, this means some pretty awesome wardrobe changes. Autumn will be wearing three incredible dresses on her wedding day.

But no matter what kind of budget you're working with, every girl gets the bridal blues. There's guest list drama. Worries about wedding-day weather. Trouble finding a dress that suits every bridesmaid. What's more, Sonny's attention to detail has Autumn questioning whose wedding it really is!

The way this savvy bride handles these problems is going to teach you a thing or two -- and you won't want to miss it. Watch Friday, Feb. 1 10|9c as Autumn and Sonny say "I do."

Autumn and Sonny attend a cake-tasting. Credit: DCL

UPDATE: Check out this special sneak peek of Autumn's Big Day

Best Funeral Ever: Is This A Funeral Or A Christmas Pageant?


Not to get all morbid, but when you pass away, do you want your loved ones to feel sad and depressed, or do you want them to celebrate your life? For customers at the Golden Gate Funeral Home, there's only one answer to that question: death is the perfect occasion to throw a party. On the new TLC special Best Funeral Ever, Golden Gate opens its doors and shows exactly how their signature homegoings go down.

Homegoings are a popular tradition in many African American communities, and are considered a celebratory alternative to traditional funerals. Instead of a somber service, homegoings offer a festive way to send off relatives and friends, as guests rejoice that their loved ones are going "home" to heaven.

Of course, the folks at Golden Gate don't just throw average parties. Take the homegoing they're planning for a man named Charles, whose favorite holiday was Christmas:

(Nice half-gloves, by the way).

The homegoing itself comes complete with pallbearers dressed as elves, and a custom-built sleigh to carry the casket. But that's not all: there's also a giant (very giant) Gingerbread Man.


If all this seems a bit out there, well, homegoing celebrations aren't for everyone. But for family members who want their loved ones to go out with a party, Best Funeral Ever is the perfect way to say goodbye.

Don't miss Best Funeral Ever, Monday, January 6 at 10/9 c.

--Julie Gerstein

A Toast to Tiffany's Big Day


Say-yes-the-big-day-tiffany-1Tiffany Young, owner of Pink Pastry Parlor, is a girly-girl through and through. "I've been a princess my entire life, but at my wedding, I'll be a queen," she explains.

Her big day is the realization of a dream she's had since she was a little girl. Growing up in the projects of Louisiana, Tiffany wanted to run her own business -- and she's doing exactly that! The successful bride is planning a $40,000 wedding for 250 guests, and she has high expectations for her venue, vendors and even her friends and family.

She's keeping her business running while missing a brother who's been in Afghanistan for three years, trying to forge a relationship with her future mother-in-law, and planning every last detail of her ceremony and reception. What's more, she's got a bridesmaid who doesn't want to wear pink...Tiffany's signature color!

As Tiffany puts it, "Everybody needs to be on their top game today," but will they get their act together in time for the bride to enjoy a picture-perfect wedding day?

Find out on Say Yes to the Dress: The Big Day, Dec. 20 10|9c. And don't forget to enter for your chance to win a trip to Paris when Say Yes to the Dress celebrates the toast of the year! Cheers to Tiffany -- and cheers to your chances for an unforgettable prize!

Watch a sneak peek of the special below!

Don't Miss -- "My Crazy Obsession: Christmas Collection"


Everyone takes a different approach to decorating for the holiday season. In a special edition of My Crazy Obsession: Christmas Collection, TLC goes inside the lives and homes of extreme collectors
who have taken holiday decorating to the next level. See the length people will go to for the ultimate
Christmas decorations. From a man who strives to cover his entire property in one million Christmas
lights, to a women who covers every inch of her house with over 120 fully decorated Christmas trees.

Kick off the holiday season with some inspiring and obsessive holiday decorating traditions. Don't miss My Crazy Obsession: Christmas Collection, premiering December 1 at 9/8 c. Also check out Holiday ER right after, on December 1 at 10/9 c.  

-- Alex Zuckerman

And tell us: What's your favorite holiday decoration or collectible?

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