O.M.Gypsy Facts and Stories From ‘Gypsy Wedding’s’ Sondra Celli

posted: 08/07/16
by: Rebecca Goldberg

On average, we use over 50,000 Swarovski crystals per gypsy wedding dress however, because every dress is unique, the number of crystals always varies.

We use more than 500,000 genuine Swarovski stones per month at the shop.

One of our biggest designs required 12 people blinging out a dress while it is spread out on a worktable.Blingettes will add the crystals by hand, one stone at a time!

Gypsy blinged out dress
Sondra Celli
Gypsy style dresses are usually made with a tulle skirt which can take over 500 yards of tulle per dress that's longer than 5 football fields!

There are also occasions when a client wants lights and we actually hire an electrician to help with the wiring
Gypsy Wedding light up wings
Sondra Celli

Men like bling, too! We once used almost 65,000 stones to just to decorate a man's suit jacket!

Gypsy Wedding Blinged Out Mens Jackets
Sondra Celli

The longest dress train we created for a bride was over 50 yards long.

Gypsy Wedding long train
Sondra Celli

It takes your breath away. Blazing with light and sparkling like a galaxy of stars, it is the world's most expensive dressing room! Thousands of genuine Swarovski crystals adorn the dressing room walls of my shop. At a price tag of over one hundred thousand dollars, there's nothing like it anywhere. Over 200,000 Swarovski stones were applied by hand in a free form pattern by four members of my team. It took them 2 weeks to create it. Additional strands of large crystals hang in front of the walls at different levels.

My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
Sondra Celli

A lot of people ask me what my gypsy clients do after wearing the dresses I make for them. Most of the time, the dresses are sold to other gypsies. Sometimes, believe it or not, the gypsies will sit at home and remove every one of the stones by hand to reuse them on other outfits. And yes, there are times when you will find a custom "Sondra Celli" for sale on e-bay!

We were working on an elaborate gypsy wedding dress due Monday morning. It was now Friday and the staff and I had to work all weekend long to get it made. It was the dead of winter and suddenly, the heat in the shop went out. We had no choice but to continue working in a frigid workroom as we couldn't get a mechanic to fix it until Monday. I brought in 5 space heaters and bought fingerless gloves for everyone so that they could still work. We all wore our heavy winter coats, hats and boots and looked like we belonged at Santa's workshop at the North Pole! Everyone was cranky, tired, and freezing but we did manage to finish in time!

One of my Blingettes was blinging out the bodice of a dress and accidentally spilled her drink all over it! The bodice was completely packed with crystals and she had been working on it for days. The dress was due to ship out the next day. Unfortunately, it couldn't be saved and had to be thrown out. We had to start all over again and I had to put 2 more Blingettes on it to work around the clock to make the deadline. It was a very expensive accident. Now, drinks are no longer allowed in the work area. (Valuable lesson learned!)

Gypsy Wedding bodice

I was in the middle of a fitting with a newborn who was getting a custom christening outfit. The mother of the baby was holding him while I helped get him dressed. Once he was in the outfit his mother wanted to take a photo of him. She sat the baby up on the couch in my shop and just as she took the photo, the baby spit up all over the front of his brand new outfit! It took a bit of scrubbing, but somehow I did manage to get the stain out and the mom was elated!

The very first gypsy dress I ever made for TV was so big that I couldn't get it into a box to ship it to the bride! Unfortunately, I had built all of the petticoats into the dress as one piece. This meant that I couldn't remove all of the petticoats from the dress to fold everything up and neatly fit it into a box. (I now make all of my custom petticoats separately from the dresses!). To get the dress to the bride we had to hire a truck to drive it there. It cost $1,800 to deliver that dress to the bride. My most expensive delivery ever!

Gypsy Wedding
Sondra Celli