'Gypsies live, live, live for bling': Rivalry, vodka and cleavage in excess in first look at My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
They're proud, excessive, obsessed with bling and love fast cars – yet they live keeping their family origins in almost total secrecy.
Now, American Gypsies prove they are alive and well, starring in their very own show, soon to be aired on TLC.
Where the UK's secretive and much-maligned Traveller culture fascinated over 45 million when documented on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding last year, their Stateside cousins are set to take to the stage, delivering a Gypsy wedding in American style that will rival anything the hidden communities in England have ever seen.
Bling, breasts and bangles: Gypsies bare their assets and show outsiders how its done in the new TLC series
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding introduces us to the oft-misunderstood community's U.S. culture, where family bonds are strong and inter-family rivalry runs deep – especially when it comes to spectacle.
A trailer for the show, which does not
yet have a premiere date, shows a woman explaining that 'Gypsies live,
live, live for more bling, more materialism, better cars, better life,
Audiences will meet 23-year-old Bill,
who is preparing to marry 18-year-old Tamara, a non-Gypsy who needs to
prove herself before being accepted by her new family.
And, judging by the size of the bride's dress, the extent of taffeta on display and the men's bravado, the forecast of excessive flashiness seems to be spot on.
Never too over-the-top! Weddings among gypsies in the U.S. rival those in the UK's biggest gypsy and traveller communities. There are around a million Gypsies living in America
Production teams currently filming the eight-episode series
are focusing on several Romani, Romanichal – hailing from the UK – and
Irish Traveller families, a network spokesman told MailOnline.
There are said to be around a million Gypsies living in the U.S., though little is known about their culture in the mainstream.
Irish, English and Spanish groups are going strong, the majority of
American Gypsies come from the Rom and Ludar groups, hailing from
Eastern Europe and Russia.
'Most people know Gypsies as fortune
tellers, living in campers,' says one of the many brunettes. 'But no,
that's not our truth.'
A touch of the meringue: The bigger, the better, when it comes to nuptials between America's secret travellers
White 'n' gold: From the special couple to the scores of bridal party ladies, groomsmen and children, all are clad in matching taffeta
Rather, the Maryland, West Virginia
and Georgia families are keen to show, as one man says, that 'Gypsy
culture is stronger [with] more family values,' than that of
Indeed, as a teenage girl makes
clear: 'Gypsy girls may show cleavage and skin, but you don't see us all
over the boys, unless you're a dirty girl.'
Traditional values elsewhere are core – Gypsy women are not expected to find a paid job, but instead stay at home.
Love and marriage: It goes without saying that a 'traditional' horse and carriage is a part of an American Gypsy wedding. The bride is given a hand as she negotiates acres of fabric
There's a baby in there somewhere! Even the babies are given voluminous bridal gowns to wear on the big day
'Gypsy women don't work, they don't have to work,' says one young man. 'They're housewives!' chimes in another.
And, besides strong, somewhat old-fashioned family life, it's all about modern extravagance.
couple, Nettie and JR, are keen to finally renew their vows in
typically extravagant style after they married in secret as teenagers.
Pulling moves: While Gypsy girls may show cleavage, they say, they are not all over the boys
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding: The show features families from Romani, Romanichal and Irish Traveller communities
'Instead of Jersey Shore, it's gonna be something else. Gypsy Shore,' says a man in the run-up to a family celebration.
father is shown introducing his daughter to possible future husbands –
though Priscilla is just 14-years-old, he deems her old enough to meet
potential gypsy suitors at a special party.
But while the focus is on nuptials, a baptism also features. Proud parents Chris and Amanda commission a glitzy Swarovski-encrusted pacifier for the over-the-top ceremony for their four children.
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding will be shown on TLC, premiere date not yet known.