The courtship and marriage of a North Augusta couple will be the subject of an upcoming episode of a new TLC network show later this month.
The series, My Big, Fat American Gypsy Wedding, premiered at 10 p.m. Sunday. According to a news release, each episode “will explore the tight-knit Gypsy community, offering up unprecedented access to their lives.”
The episode featuring Bill and Tamara McKown will air on May 27, TLC spokesman Dustin Smith said. The couple lives in the insular Murphy Village community of Irish Travelers, which straddles the Aiken and Edgefield county lines.
The McKowns spent about six months living in front of a camera crew for the episode, which will feature their extravagant Dec. 10 wedding in front of Bill McKown’s home on Kerry Court.
Tamara McKown said the crew was from Firecracker Films, known for the TLC show My Big, Fat Gypsy Wedding, which focused on the lives of British gypsies. The film crew arrived last May and began documenting everything in their lives, including the birth of their son, Jackson, who is 9 months old.
Despite the show’s title, Irish Travelers are a distinct group from the Romani people often referred to as gypsies – a label that most Travelers disdain.
TLC General Manager Amy Winter said the new show is “a remarkable look at a way of life that is extremely hidden from mainstream America, despite customs and celebrations that can be extravagantly elaborate – this is a culture where bigger is always better.”