‘Gypsy Wedding’ back, and bigger than ever
The Queen of Bling, Sondra Celli, is back with more of “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” and all the tulle, trains, tiaras and drama that TLC can pack into Season 4 of the off-the-wall reality hit.
“It’s the best season ever,” Celli, the Waltham dressmaker to the blinged out, told the Track. “It’s all about the dresses, but they’ve pulled some really good stories this season as well.”
And Episode 1 of the new season, which airs tonight on TLC, has a whale of a dress — a 100-pound behemoth with 50,000 hand-sewn Swarovski crystals that Celli swears is the biggest gown she’s ever made.
“It fills up my office,” she said. “It is so big we didn’t know how we were going to get her to the church. She didn’t fit in a car. And it is so heavy, I had her practicing with weights so she would be able to hold it up.”
The bride, Greek gypsy Tatiana Xenos, who married Kurd Shivan Zewki, came to Celli with a simple request.
“She said she wanted the biggest dress I have ever made,” Celli said.
And with three seasons of waaaaay over-the-top dresses to top, it was a tall order.
picture: vintage style bridesmaid dresses
Celli said she bought 300 yards of fabric, used it all, bought another 100 yards, used all that, and went out and bought 100 more.
“I kept buying and it kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger,” she said.
So much so, that the dress began to collapse. So Celli went to Home Depot to buy tubing and framing to put under the dress to hold it up and out.
“I had to build this huge frame,” she said. “They had to get a drone camera to take aerial shots in order to get it all, the dress is so big.”
Celli said the dress took 19 sewers six days to create and it would retail for between $35,000 and $40,000.
Celli, whose mom, Yolanda Cellucci, is a local bridal-design legend, said she does plenty of other work besides her gypsy wedding gowns, including swimsuits for a synchronized swim team in Cambridge, Irish step dance dresses, first Communion and baptism gowns and simpler wedding designs. But she is best known for her bling — the thousands of Swarovski crystals she attaches to dresses, shoes, veils, trains, headpieces and floral arrangements.
One gypsy family even asked her to bling out the first sheet in a roll of toilet paper with their initials in crystal to put on display during an open house.
“I said sure,” she laughed. “If you want to flush money down the toilet, I’ll take it.”
File Under: Here Comes the Dress.
“My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” airs at 9 tonight on TLC.
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