When TLC introduced American audiences to the eye-popping U.K. series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding last spring, more than 45 million viewers (me! me!) tuned in â€” making international celebrities of fearless dressmaker Thelma Madine, proud Irish Traveller daddy Paddy Doherty, and a bevy of young beauties trundling down the aisle in supersized, one-of-a-kind gowns.
Now the network invites you into the homes and celebrations of some of the estimated 1 million Roma and Travellers who live right here in the U.S., with the eight-episode series My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. Filmed in West Virginia, Georgia and Maryland, and narrated by â€śOn Air With Ryan Seacrestâ€ť radio personality Ellen K, the series will also spotlight over-the-top festivities that go beyond weddings, including a boisterous family reunion, an extravagant vow renewal, a blinged-out baptism (featuring a specially commissioned Swarovski-crystal pacifier) â€” and even a massive mixer intended to flush out a future fiancĂ© for a 14-year-old girl.
In Madine’s role as the American travellers’ mega-dress and micro-outfit maker of choice isÂ Boston-based Sondra CelliÂ (whose web site is currently curiously void of the flamboyant creations).
Like the U.K. original, the gowns are ginormous, the outfits over-the-top and the dance moves enough to make your mama cry. But the American tempers â€” ladies included! â€” make Paddy D. and his Irish bare-knuckle brawlers look like veritable pussycats.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect:
In the April 29 premiere, West Virginia teen Hope is prepping an extravagant party for her 15th birthday, while Â in Virginia, 17-year-old Shyanne is preparing to wed the boy she agreed to marry the second time they met.
In the second episode, Georgia gypsy “Pat Baby” is working around-the-clock on a Halloween party for more than 300 guests in the hopes of finding a suitor for his daughter, the afore-mentioned 14-year-old Priscilla. But there will be no ordinary costume for Priscilla â€” she’ll be decked out in a crystal-encrusted Â dream creation in the hopes of catching the eye of the perfect man.
Season 2 of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding airs Fridays at 9pm ET on TLC
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding premieres Sunday,Â April 29 on TLC
Images and Video: Â©2012 Discovery Communications