Like most big moments that happen in life, this too started out as something simple. Jennifer Green, a stylist at Hair Pros in Chester received an exciting phone call in early January. “I got a phone call from a client of mine asking if I could do hair and makeup for a wedding party and would it be alright if it was filmed [for a reality TV show], of course I said okay,”
Green says laughing. From there the women of Hair Pros had a guessing game of what show would be filming in their salon. Rosemary Scott, owner of Hair Pros, says “We went through a list of all of the bridal shows that we could think of that would be filming in Chester.” She adds, “ Oh I thought it’s probably David Tuterra or some other bridal show but never did I guess that it would be TLC’s ‘My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding’.”
The bride, Shyanne, featured in the show is a local, living in the Tri-Cities area and is unable to talk with us currently due to contracts with TLC. She and her family have been clients of Green’s for over ten years. “ I was surprised by the show’s title, I have been around the family for ten years and didn’t know anything about their culture,” Green says. She adds, “ But I will tell you while we were filming and styling their hair I learned a lot about them and their superstitions. According to them if you drop a comb on the floor you have to step on it before you pick it up or it’s bad luck, well now if I drop a comb, I always step on it before picking it up!”
The day of filming was an event at Hair Pros. Scott says she blocked out her personal schedule along with another stylists so that they could help Green with the bridal party, which consisted of the bride and two bridesmaids. As the production crew arrived they miked up Green who would be doing all of the styling and makeup and set the tapes to rolling. “It was a little weird at first, having a microphone pinned on your shirt. I didn’t know what to say, you don’t want to say anything that sounds stupid,” Green says. Adding, “ You know it’s not quite what you would expect, not real reality. It’s 50/50, they feed you questions to ask or if they are across the room filming and hear you say something good in their mike they rush back over to you and ask you to say it again, but by then it’s not natural.”
According to the ladies at Hair Pros it took three and a half hours to get the bridal party all gussied up. “Stressful and exhausting don’t even begin to describe it; you are on such a time crunch,” says Green. She playfully adds, “ I am not ready for Hollywood, I will not be moving.” According to Scott, the time crunch was unbelievable, “It was a lot of pressure, the producers don’t tell you that but they just start looking at their watches.”
Hair Pros was not the only business involved in the production of “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding,” D’Lish Bakery and Café was asked to do the wedding cake. According to co-owners Melissa Tribble and Drew Thomasson they had only one weeks notice to make a rather extravagant wedding cake. “I received a call from the bride to be asking if I would be willing to do a cake on such short notice, she gave me a brief description of the theme and mentioned TLC, of course we said yes” says Thomasson, pastry chef at D’Lish. He adds happily, “ How could we say no to that; we are a new business and we could not buy that kind of exposure.”
TLC did not film at the bakery, however the D’Lish crew felt the pressure just like those next door at Hair Pros. “ The producer kept coming over and kind of looking over my shoulder but it worked out in the end and she loved the cake, but I will admit I was a little nervous. I wanted to live up to the expectations of the show which is quite extravagant and that is not usually my style,” says Thomasson. The cake was filmed at the reception and can be seen when the episode airs in May.
Both Hair Pros and D’Lish agree that this was a wonderful opportunity for their businesses and for Chester. According to Scott, “ It’s the ultimate accomplishment to have your work on TV. We have all been doing this for over 20 years and to have the opportunity to display your work to the nation is pretty exciting.” Melissa Tribble of D’Lish can’t get over the fact that they were chosen to be a part of something so special after being in business for just a few months. “ The opportunity was so amazing, that and the fact that Drew’s reputation as a pastry chef is so good that they trusted us to do this very special cake after only having our doors open for two months,” Tribble says smiling.
You can catch “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” Sunday’s at 10 p.m. on TLC. The episode featuring our local bride and Hair Pros and D’Lish Bakery and Café is scheduled to re- air on May 2 at 8 p.m. and May 6, at 1 p.m.