Last night’s My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding was all about coming back home. Eden is planning to remarry her bad-boy husband Elvis, and teenage Savannah must choose whether to make her home in Hawaii with her free-spirit mother or return to Chicago to her minister dad.
Eden is a 20-year-old gorger and former cheerleader/pageant girl who gave up her All-American, good-girl life to marry Elvis Boswell, a 23-year-old, alarmingly tattooed Romanichal gypsy. Eden says she was drawn to Elvis’ dark and dangerous charms and the gypsy penchant for living in the moment. The pair had a daughter, Arial, and Eden did her best to blend into the gypsy way of life, but having Elvis on the road working five days a week — and then complaining about her lack of homemaking when he was home — caused the pair to throw in the towel not long after. Much to the delight of Elvis’ glamour-puss mom, Tammy, who looks like a cross between Lisa Welchel and Christie Brinkley.
Tammy’s delight was short-lived, however, because even though reconciliation is not the gypsy way, Elvis took Eden back. Much to the delight of Eden’s gorger mom, Melissa, who says that even though she’s pretty sure her daughter could do better, the pair just go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Since he already gave Eden a ring the first time around, Elvis presents her with something equally impressive for betrothal No. 2 — a shiny dark grey sports car. He says he can afford it because he is:
And apparently impervious to pain. Owie, eyelid tattoos. Owie.
Even Tammy is impressed with the gift and she hops in with her former-and-future daughter-in-law to go for a spin.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, Pastor Anthony Lee, a Roma gypsy minister, is planning a blowout bash for his 15-year-old daughter Savannah to lure her back into his household after she ran away a year ago to live with her mom, Sherry, in Hawaii. Savannah says she wanted to have gorger friends but her dad refused to allow it. Pastor Anthony says his ex-wife — who looks about the same age as their daughter — drinks and smokes and dances and does fortune-telling and doesn’t lead a Godly life. And now he fears that Sherry will lure Savannah into the same.
Savannah agrees to come home for the party and Sherry tags along on the trip, even though Roma culture says that a divorced couple should never speak again. Sherry says she wishes she had the resources to throw the party for her daughter, so she wasn’t put in the position to possibly lose her daughter to her ex again. Savannah feels like no matter what she decides to do, no one really wins.
Meanwhile, Eden and Arial are off to Sondra Celli’s Boston compound to see Eden’s sky blue bridal gown and Arial’s matching mini-bride dress for the first time. Celli says if Eden has her heart set on becoming a gypsy girl for good, this is the dress to make it happen.
With three days to go before the wedding, Elvis decides to renege on his vow to not have any sort of bachelor celebration. Eden says he needs to stay home and be a husband. Elvis says he’s a gypsy first and foremost and he’ll go out if he wants to. And he does, raising the front wheel of his motorcycle high into the air as he roars off with his cousins.
Back in Chicago, Savannah, Pastor Anthony and Savannah’s stepmom Gina are checking out the Paris-themed party’s venue with the Roma’s event planner of choice, Harpo. Savannah says she going to take advantage of her dad’s generosity and have as blinged-out a party as she can possibly manage. Pastor Anthony says he has an additional ulterior motive for the celebration beyond luring his daughter back home from Hawaii: he wants to attract a nice gypsy boy from a nice gypsy family to marry his girl.
Pastor Rick has also decided he will heed the word of God and allow Savannah to invite her mother to the party if she wants to. But Sherry’s current husband won’t permit her to attend the event without the requisite married-ladies chaperone, no matter how much his missus pleads.
Back in West Virginia, Tammy is headed to Eden and Elvis’ house to give Eden some remedial lessons in being a proper gypsy housewife. Like never, ever put $100 t-shirts in the dryer. You line-dry them. And then you iron them. Period. Or you do not remarry her boy. To shake off Tammy’s irritating visit, Eden and Arial go to visit Eden’s mother at her nail salon. Melissa tells Eden it’s up to her if her marriage works out the second time around — she needs to stay home and cook and clean and not question what happens when Elvis leaves the building. Eden says she’s already doing that, so it shouldn’t be too hard.
In Chicago, Savannah’s dress will also be made by Sondra Celli. She wants it pink, black, silver, Paris-y and unlike anything anyone has ever seen. Celli plans to run a blinged out Eiffel tower right across the girl’s body.
Meanwhile, Eden reveals that she is not quite five months pregnant and the family troops off to find out the sex of Arial’s impending sibling. Elvis is hoping for a boy to make his birthday extra-special. He gets his wish. There will be a Boswell prince.
Days before the Sweet Sixteen soiree, Sondra Celli decides to hand deliver the Eiffel Tower dress to Savannah.
It’s a doozy, and Pastor Anthony says so, too. Then he says it’s also too short and wild for a proper Roma girl. Celli says she has never had anyone refuse a dress before, and Pastor Anthony says that’s because she usually deals with Romanichals and they’re impostor gypsies who don’t even know the language. Celli says he may not appreciate the dress, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Seeing his daughter’s crestfallen face, Pastor Anthony says they will get another, more proper dress that she can change into after making her grand entrance in the Eiffel Tower dress. And we have compromise.
On the day of the party, Pastor Anthony has a proper gypsy marriage on his mind, but Savannah just wants to make it to the party with her ginormous dress intact. The party is packed with guests and the girl’s dress is a smash-hit. Given the response, Pastor Anthony decides that he may have overreacted to the gown and lets her keep it on a while longer.
Savannah keeps her eyes peeled for her mom, but Sherry’s husband is holding firm on his refusal to let her attend the party. Meanwhile, Savannah dances with the elders in the Roma community, because dancing with boys her own age is a no-no. Finally, Sherry walks in with her dad as a chaperone. Pastor Anthony moves to the back of the room and lets his ex-wife have some time with their daughter.
At dinner, white boxes are passed around in order for male party guests to contribute to Savannah’s future dowry. Meanwhile, Sherry pulls Savannah aside and asks her if she has decided where she is going to stay. Savannah says she has. She will stay in Chicago where she has more friends and a (reasonably) normal teenage life. Sherry says it is like giving her baby up all over again, but she wants her daughter to be happy. Then she glides away.
Pastor Anthony is pleased with his victory. He gets to work introducing Savannah to the most prominent Roma families with potential-husband sons.
In West Virginia, it’s Elvis and Eden’s wedding day. Elvis shows up at Eden’s mom’s to fetch the cake, sending Eden scurrying out of view. Then it’s time to load her into her dress. Which is a splendid undertaking. So is trying to figure out a way to get her 8-foot-wide skirt out of the house and into the limo.
Arial takes her flower-girl job seriously. Tammy says Eden looks like a proper Rumney girl and she will be proud to accept her back in the family again. The wedding goes off without a hitch.
And then it’s time to party. Except that Eden’s dress weighs 95 pounds, which makes it hard to do much of anything. Mercifully, the massive skirt comes off and can be replaced with a miniskirt.
While Eden is altering her attire, a festive gypsy tradition called “cake fighting” has begun in the reception hall, and Elvis is the primary target. But that’s not the only sugar flying around the room. Both the bride’s and groom’s beaming mothers predict that this time, the marriage will be happily ever after. Looks like the second time’s the charm for Eden and Elvis.
New episodes of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding premiere Sunday nights at 9/8CT on TLC.