Having featured teen brides, virgin brides, non-gypsy brides, brawling brides, lesbian brides and more, TLC’s My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding ends its first season in Hagerstown, Md., with a bride who actually tied the knot 14 years back.
Sweet-natured gypsy beauty Nettie, 30, and her handsome husband JR, 31, eloped as teens after JR convinced Nettie to climb out her bedroom window and run off with him. Still madly in love after many years and three children, Nettie and JR are finally in a financial position to throw themselves the wedding of their dreams.
For Nettie, this entails a dress that will render her a real-life Romanichal Cinderella — so she gathers her bridesmaids and heads to Boston to confer with Sondra Celli, who has been working on Nettie’s white and gold gown nearly around-the-clock for 6 days and considers it a masterpiece of her 30 years as a designer.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, Ludar gypsy couple Amanda and Chris are planning a no-expenses-spared baptism for their four children, Christopher, Priscilla, Gavin and baby Bella. Ludar gypsies are an extremely religious sect that originated in Bosnia, so the event is of the utmost importance to the children’s parents, and Celli has been tapped to create a dazzling outfit for each.
This time the designer and a staff member make the trip to Georgia to hand-deliver the goods, including a pacifier for little Bella encrusted with 1,440 crystals.
With the church ceremony complete, Amanda, Chris and their guests head off to the reception hall, where they must wait to imbibe until the local sheriff arrives to monitor for underage drinking. But it appears that Chris didn’t read that part of his contract and a tussle ensues on the sidewalk.
Back in Maryland, Nettie and JR head out for their respective pre-wedding celebrations. Gypsy men forbid their women to drink for fear that the alcohol will cause them to break the strict gypsy code of behavior, but Nettie and the girls indulge in a little champagne anyway before she heads home to rest up, don her hundred-pound dress and remarry the man of her dreams.
Meanwhile, at a bar across town, JR and his companions prove popular with the local ladies — and unpopular with the local gents. Despite Nettie bending the rules a bit and calling her husband to remind him to behave, the fists still fly.
Will both celebrations go off without a hitch — or will Chris’ and JR’s macho ways put a damper on their big days?
Find out when the season finale of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding airs Sunday night at 10/9CT on TLC. The show has been renewed for a second season and two hourlong specials will air in July.
Photo credit: TLC