TLC invites you to “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding”

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 — 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 “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” 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) — and even a massive mixer intended to flush out a future fiancé for a 14-year-old girl.

In Madine’s role as the American travellers’ mega-dress and micro-outfit maker of choice is Boston-based Sondra Celli (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 — ladies included! — 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  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 — she’ll be decked out in a crystal-encrusted  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 SundayApril 29 on TLC

Images and Video: ©2012 Discovery Communications

About Lori Acken

Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.
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4 Responses to TLC invites you to “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding”

  1. I understand I guess why the families do this, its just another way to earn money I do feel like it is degrading the way the females are portrayed like prize heffers only being raised for a few good things I think it makes the traveling community look very bad and adds to the prejudice in peoples minds already Travelers, Romanis all over the world have it tough and seeing this I think just makes it so much worse not so much here in America but think of the people in towns were travelers are not welcome.

  2. rena lee says:

    i find the people on the show quite interesting….in an odd way, like margaret mead in samoa. i just can’t believe people act like this….it’s nuts. and just from a genetic, scientific standpoint, i’m interested in who they are, how they got here. luckily for us, they tend to be, mostly, a very pretty group of women. but why are they so insecure? laying on every bit of whore clothing and strip pole move they can think of….then they say “don’t think of us as sluts” HUH? hey, if it looks like a slut, dances like a slut and dresses like a slut….uh, maybe, it’s a slut. why do they want to demean themselves in this way? there is no need; they are beautiful. and how does nettie have 7 (or 9) kids? how come here uterus is not swinging between her knees? how come her stomach and boobs are not flapping in the wind also? are they adopted a la Angelina? and how do they sustain this rather expensive lifestyle? the parties, the custom clothing, the trips….the homes (some quite fancy) this all adds up and i want to know how they do it? something isfish sfishy

  3. romanymom says:

    I agree with “Irish Traveler”, “gypsy” is a bad word, comparible to “nigger” it is horrible, and was given to us by people who hated us…this show is a disgrace to the romany and traveler communities in America. The ones who agreed to do this show were not in anyway concerned about how this would be portrayed, and agreed to put on a show and act, for money. This is not even close to how I was raised as a romany girl, nor have i seen a wedding dress like these in my entire life. AS a matter of fact, the majority of romany girls elope. I have only seen one episode, and where in the world did these people come from??? and the previews for the upcoming shows are just a disgrace. It is in the same way “Jersey shore”, does not reflect how the majority of New Jersey residents live, This is NOT the way most “gypsies” live. Please do not give heed to this ridiclous behavior!!!

  4. Irish traveler from the us says:

    Gypsy is a racel slur and is the same as calling the
    -show my big fat n#%^er wedding and that wouldn’t be
    Right and nether is the name of the show

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