Dressmaker Thelma Madine, 59, is behind the outlandish creations and has become such a star she has her own spin-off show in the pipeline.
Dubbed the Elizabeth Emanuel of the gypsy world, she is the only designer for traveller brides who want to make a show-stopping entrance.
There is little doubt Thelma is now making a fortune. She began dressmaking 16 years ago after a divorce.
She sold christening outfits at a Liverpool market while claiming benefits and was jailed after being convicted of false accounting in 2001.
The judge accused her of using the money to fund her ‘lavish lifestyle, expensive flat and BMW car’.
‘I did four months but it was the making of me,’ she has insisted. ‘I’m not proud of what I did but I learned when I was inside not to judge. That’s why I’m supportive of travellers.’
After her release, her work became popular with traveller families and eventually she was asked to make a wedding dress with a 200ft train.
Her business took off and she opened her Liverpool shop, Nico’s, now the favoured destination for young gypsy brides-to-be.
‘They all want something better than anyone else’s dress,’ says Thelma.
Wedded to fantasy: Thelma Madine puts the finishing touches to bride Bridget's lavish dress
Big and bold: The girls take great pride in their lavish wedding dresses
Most of the weight of the dresses is borne by the girls’ hips, which are scarred as a result of the boning cutting into their flesh.
Most brides wrap themselves in bandages to make the dresses less painful to wear, but the series has spawned the catchphrase ‘The more bleeds, the better the dress’.