Ellis Bridals love hearing back from our brides, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing the pure joy and happiness that our Ellis Bridals wedding dresses get to be a part of. Recent bride, Megan, got in touch to tell us about her special day in her Ellis Bridals soft tulle A-Line dress. A vintage inspired dress for a contemporary bride, this gown is softly versatile. Hand-beadwork is interwoven through ornate lace and placed over a sheer illusion bodice carried through to the back married with a deep statement V-back. The final flourish to this gown is its layered soft tulle skirt falling elegantly from the waist to the floor.
When and where did you meet your husband?
Oli and I met in September 2009, I was 15 and he was 20. We met at an 18th Birthday Party in Barwick-In-Elmet, Leeds of a mutual friend and became close friends. Our relationship started in the Winter of 2012.
How did you know he was the one?
Oli completely understands every side of my personality and can detect my different moods so easily; he has told me before that he loves every version of myself. We challenge each other and yet always find a way to make it through the challenges that relationships get into. Knowing each other for almost a decade and from such a young age has helped us to grow together as individuals but also as a couple.
How did he propose?
It was two days before our two-year anniversary and Oli told me that we were going to Paris the next day and to pack a bag for three nights.
I was ecstatic and when we arrived in Paris, we had planned to go up the Eiffel Tower late at night, however, the weather had different ideas as a huge storm blew in. Alas, the tower was shut for the evening. We were sitting in a beautiful bar next to our hotel when Oli excused himself needing to nip to our room. He returned with a parcel wrapped in brown paper and a purple ribbon, my favourite colour. I opened the parcel and found a book, ‘Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince’ to be exact, and now is probably the perfect time to tell you I am obsessed with Harry Potter. I was confused having already read the book numerous times and owning several copies, which is when I noticed the pages of the book were glued together. I opened the book to find a secret compartment which Oli had made with my engagement ring attached to the page ‘The Unbreakable Vow’. As you can imagine I was completely speechless. Oli took over, removing the ring from the page, taking my hand and saying seven little words that changed my life forever: “Megan Emily Gale… Will you marry me?” Of course my answer was yes and we spent the rest of our time away sightseeing and exploring Paris. Perfection.
When and where did the big day take place?
Ever since I was a little girl I had dreamed of a spring wedding so we decided Easter would be the perfect time. We knew we going to have a long engagement, needing to move house, I needed to finish my studies at the University of Leeds and get a full time job. It took a long time to find the perfect venue, bickering about the carpets of all things. As soon as we stepped foot into Wentbridge House Hotel in the late October of 2016, we knew it was perfect. However, when we sat down with our Wedding Coordinator, the Easter Saturday for 2018 had already been reserved so it was either Good Friday or Easter Sunday, which just so happened to be Sunday 1st April 2018, April Fool’s Day no less. We spoke to our families and decided that however many jokes we would get, Oli would never be able to forget our anniversary and 1st April 2018 became our wedding day.
When did you start planning?
We reserved Wentbridge House Hotel on Bonfire Night, 5th November 2016, which is my Mum and Stepdads Wedding Anniversary and the planning started from there, although I had started my Pinterest page and a scrap book from the day we came home from Paris. The planning process was a difficult one for me with Oli working away a lot and my Mum and Stepdad going away for 14 months leading up to a month before the wedding to do Charity Work in Africa and Thailand but with the support network of my Nana and Oli’s input on the most important factors I was able to organise everything beautifully, with only a few scheduling issues here and there.
Where did you get your dress?
My stunning Ellis Bridals gown is from Precious Bridal, Garforth, Leeds. Donna is the best companion to find you your perfect dress.
Is that the sort of dress you thought you would go for or was it a surprise?
I always knew I would want an A-Line style wedding dress, however I tried on lots of different styles before finding my Ellis gown, the second Donna zipped it up, I knew it was the one and it being Blush suited my skin tone amazingly and I never wanted to take it off.
Who came dress shopping with you?
I put a lot of pressure on myself to try and find my dress before my Mum went to do charity work in January 2017, however after going to many different bridal shops with my Mum and with my maid of honour I couldn’t find the perfect one. I took only my Nana to Precious Bridal and she was absolutely fantastic and reassured me throughout that I didn’t have to make a decision there and then but as I’ve said above, I knew as soon as my gown was zipped up, it was the one. Donna knew it too, giving away her little telltale sign that when women find the one, they stroke the gown and I couldn’t keep my hands off it. The detail in the bodice, the beading, the soft sparkle and the way the skirt flows is just simply stunning.
Where did you get your bridesmaid dresses?
Having different aged Bridesmaids, with the youngest being 12 and the eldest 23, I knew I needed a style to suit all of them which is why when I found the ‘Infinity’ style dresses on Etsy I knew they would be perfect. Trying so many different styles to get the perfect combination to suit all of them, giving them the freedom to change the style for the Evening Reception if they wished, which a couple of them did.
What style of maids and groomsmen did you go for?
We were extremely determined throughout the planning process that we would have a Wedding that was for us and what we wanted not what we thought was expected of us so we went very untraditional with our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. I had two Maids of Honour, not wanting or feeling the need to choose between my two life-long best friends and two bridesmaids, who are my younger cousins. Oli didn’t have a best man and instead opted for three groomsmen who each played a different role in the Wedding proceedings with my brother, Matthew, giving a speech during the Wedding Breakfast and Phil and Paul organising the Stag Do. We also had two ushers who are my younger cousins, they helped the guests find their seats and greeted everyone upon arrival and Oli’s cousin was the Ring Bearer, having asked to do the job the first time he met me when Oli and I had been dating for 6 months. We felt it was only right to keep our promise.
How did you arrive at the ceremony?
We had an intimate Rehearsal Dinner the night before our Wedding at Wentbridge House Hotel so both Oli and I stayed in the hotel the night before our Wedding, in separate suites of course. When the time came to get married – half an hour late – naturally – my bridesmaids and I simply walked through the hotel and down to the Crystal Suite where our guests and my very nervous fiancé were waiting.
Did you have anything unusual during the ceremony?
After quite a lot of persuasion from myself, Oli and I wrote our own vows, deciding this would add a personal edge to the ceremony as well as giving us both the opportunity to show how much we mean to each other in front of our closest friends and family. As well as, both my Dad and my Stepdad giving me away at the ceremony with a resounding: “We Do!” when the officiant asked who gave me away.
How did you accessorise to make your wedding day look unique?
It was very important to me to keep some traditional aspects in the Wedding as well as adding a few modern twists. In regards to the former I had Something Old: my Great Auntie Dorothy’s bracelet which my Nana wore when she married my Grandpop and my Mum wore when she married my Stepdad. Something New: were the earrings gifted to me by my godmother, Jackie just two weeks before the wedding, Jackie was also a witness at the ceremony. Something Borrowed: was a little silver elephant charm which my mum sewed onto the belt of my gown the morning of the wedding, which she brought home from her travels in Thailand. Something Blue: was the ribbon on my garter. The latter, more modern aspect, was the bold deep purple lipstick I wore which threw out the traditional nude lip for a bride in favour of who I am and what I know suits me best.
What was the inspiration or colour theme for your wedding?
My favourite colour is purple so I knew I wanted hints of different shades of purple within different aspects of the day, from the bridesmaids dresses, to the Wedding Stationary and the flowers we carried. I didn’t particularly stick to a theme, I just looked at different ideas that I liked and being a creative person I could see whether it all worked together and what aspects needed to be changed. I made a floral frame for the seating chart which took so long but was absolutely worth it. I also included a few Harry Potter references, with the confetti for the tables being made out of pages of Harry Potter books and the table names being places from the franchise. Everyone loved these personal touches.
What kind of food did you have?
We changed the menu a little bit to integrate our favourite foods but also something that would be a crowd pleaser for our 90 guests. All the food at Wentbridge House Hotel is stunning and we chose Chicken for the main course which everyone commented was beautiful. Of course we agreed. As well as having a sit down Wedding Breakfast, we also had canapés to keep our guests happy whilst Oli and I had pictures taken after the ceremony. These were also delicious with staff bringing some out to us in between shots.
It took a while for us to decide on a cake, we finally saw a beautiful topsy-turvy cake at a Wedding Fair and loved it instantly, with the lady making it customizing it to our colours, portion size and flavours. We had a four tier, red velvet, chocolate and vanilla array of sponge cakes in alternating lilac and white icing.
What tips do you have for new brides picking their wedding dress?
Trust the professionals around you. Try on as many dresses as you possibly can – hopefully you’ll only do it once! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colours. I was adamant I wanted a crisp white dress and ended up loving my Blush gown more than any other. Also, trust your seamstress or whoever is doing your alterations, I wanted to wear a strapless bra underneath my gown, but put my trust into Betty, who made sure my gown fit perfectly and one wasn’t needed, which was totally alien to me until my final fitting.
Where were your photos taken?
Our photos were taken in the grounds and inside Wentbridge House Hotel. Our fantastic photographer, Antoni Wigley, understood perfectly that we wanted more candid, natural photos which showed our love for one another rather than posed photos and the rig morale of endless family pictures.
What was your favourite moment from the day?
This is such a tough question to answer as of course every bride will say every second of it but I think the moment that Oli turned around as I was walking down the aisle physically, mentally and emotionally calmed me and I knew he was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with.
We would love to hear from all of our Ellis Brides! If you would like to share your story please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org