18:23 EST, 15 May 2012
18:25 EST, 15 May 2012
She is the mastermind seamstress behind My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding’s extravagant wedding gowns.
But Sondra Celli, the Boston-based designer who handcrafts the TLC series’ trademark frocks, has admitted that the gypsy population’s over-the-top bridal taste even shocks her.
The designer, who has been creating wedding gowns for America’s traveling communities for 33-years, told MailOnline that some days she just ‘sits there, shaking her head’ as the wacky requests roll in.
Princess: Sondra Celli, the wedding designer behind My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, admits that even she is shocked by its bridal requests. She designed the above frock, worn by 14-year-old Priscilla
The straight-talking woman said: ‘[Gypsies] are very materialistic and competitive. When they’re not happy, [it means] there’s not enough bling.’
She added that the success of the U.S. series, which was adapted from the British one titled My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, has increased her work load significantly.
Since the series debut on April 29, Ms Celli has received ’300 emails in two weekends… so many more requests’.
She said that both gypsy fans of the show and non-gypsy fans have reached out to her and requested similar designs to many of the ones featured on the reality series.
Talent: Sondra Celli, pictured, has even been asked to recreate designs seen on the British series
One of those designs include the frothy Barbie pink gown worn by 14-year-old Priscilla in an episode.
‘People also want her rhinestone boots,’ the designer says. ‘But her gown is popular. It was packed with crystals and piped in neon pink because she loves Barbie pink.’
Ms Celli revealed that Priscilla’s gown had been valued at around $10,000.
‘We have people that want exactly that so they’ll pay that also,’ she said.
She also added the show’s creations can be even more costly if a gypsy fiance or father suddenly receives a work payment right before a wedding.
‘The average gypsy will spent between $5,000 to $9,000 but if a husband receives more money, they will add more to the dress,’ she explained.
Another popular gown among American gypsies has proved to be the enormous creation worn by British gypsy Cheyenne Pidgley of Surrey.
While Ms Celli did not design the gown herself, she is currently catering to U.S. copycat requests.
‘It was a white dress with a white giant-sized big bow,’ she said. ‘Gypsies love the dress, the giant sized skirt, they all love her.’
She adds that the travelers are a competitive bunch who can’t get enough ‘bling’ stitched into their gowns in an attempt to outshine one another.
‘They’re very materialistic and competitive,’ she said. ‘They’re picking out pictures out of Vogue, they’re fashion mavens, they know every possible magazine including everything on the internet in terms of bridal wear.’
Coveted style: While she did not design Cheyanne Pidgley’s gown (above), Ms Celli has been asked to design copycat wedding gowns. Ms Pidgley’s enormous gown was featured in the British version of the series
She added that the younger gypsy brides, who are barely teenagers, are especially savvy.
‘They send ideas from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, asking “can you change this, can you involve that?” Gypsies will call me on Christmas, they call at 11 o’clock at night, they don’t care.’
While they are all gypsies, the British have a very different sense of style when compared to the American folk.
Diverse: Her frocks come in all shapes and sizes, like the tiny designs above that once sat in her studio
Work: The designer’s studio (above), which is full of neon, reflects the work she has produced for the series
Despite the popularity of Ms Pidgley’s gown, the designer said American gypsies ‘love colour here.’
‘I stock so much colour,’ she added. ‘Neons are really big this year, lime and highlighter yellow and that kind of thing.’
She added that 75per cent of the orders that are placed are communicated over the phone.
Ms Celli said it is a process that she enjoys.
‘It’s always new, everything I do,’ she said. We have a really good time. I’m not saying we’re not stressed most of the time but I love working for gypsies because they have such freedom.’