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, Michaela, got in touch to tell us about her special day in her Ellis Bridals satin ballgown. This grand ballgown is a perfect blend of demure and striking. Giving you the opportunity to wear it how you feel, the pleated straps can be worn on or off the shoulder with ease. In a luxury satin this wedding dress will subtly shimmer in the sun alongside a heavily crystallised belt – a stunning little detail that will certainly catch the eye. This dress is perfect for keeping your vows at hand or your favourite lip gloss in the added side pockets.
When and where did you meet your husband?
I met my husband seven years ago, he was the first person I met when I moved to Australia in 2012. We were friends for five years before I finally saw him for the amazing man he is.
How did you know he was the one?
Every week end we used to ride our bikes around the local Uni campus (just as friends of course!). I have an Alaskan Malamute who needed a lot of exercise and Andrew would accompany my dog and I. One day in early 2017 we were sitting on a park bench and I looked over at him. I know this will sound silly but the way the sunlight was shining through the trees around us and hitting Andrew’s face, something just clicked. We rode our separate ways home and I remember thinking “I’m going to marry that man.” I found out a few months later as Andrew was riding home he was thinking the same thing!
How did he propose?
We both love skiing. Only issue is Andrew loves water skiing and I love snow skiing. We have a small rivalry about which is better! I managed to convince Andrew to give snow skiing a go and it turns out on our fifth day skiing I accidentally took him down a black diamond run which he definitely wasn’t ready for! We came to a stop and he took off his bindings. The next thing I knew he was down on one knee, with snow falling around us and not a soul in sight and he asked “Michaela, will you marry me.” It was just so perfect. Our friends, Tiff and Scott were at the lodge down the bottom of the mountain and were apparently about to call ski patrol worried about us. When we found them they joked about us making out on a trail or getting engaged. When I revealed the ring under my gloves they flipped out!
When and where did the big day take place?
8th of July 2018, in the middle of winter a year after he proposed. We had the wedding on my cousin’s estate, in Martinsville, NSW Australia. The moment we stepped foot on the estate we knew that it was where we were going to say “I do”.
When did you start planning?
We were dreaming and planning our wedding a few months after we started dating. Side note I found out later that two months after Andrew asked me to be his girlfriend he bought the engagement ring. The day after we got engaged one the 20th of July 2017 we were on a plane to New Zealand where my grandparents’ parents live. The planning started in earnest on the plane.
Where did you get your dress?
Brides of Beecroft in Sydney. On a whim after a Bridal Expo in Sydney my Maid of Honour decided to call the nearest bridal store and see if they had a spare appointment for bridesmaids dresses. We walked in, I saw the dress and 40 minutes later I asked to try it on. The lady helping my bridesmaids said “I thought you’d never ask!” and the rest is history!
Is that the sort of dress you thought you would go for or was it a surprise?
It was 100% not the dress I thought I would go for! I always wanted a dress with lace and beadwork but when I saw the beautiful simplicity of the dress I ended up with I knew it was meant for me. The sample size fit like a glove and it just seemed to somehow become a part of me in a way no other dress had done. Of course it met my one requirement in a dress… it has pockets! As everyone who was with me that day said “we can’t imagine you in any other dress.”
Who came dress shopping with you?
I was lucky enough to have my mother, Mother-In-Law, and three of my bridesmaids (one of whom is my beautiful Sister-In-Law) with me while we were shopping. We even had my father, Father-In-Law, my brother and groom having lunch next door while we shopped. One of my favourite moments was leaving the store after buying the dress and announcing to the guys shocked faces I had found the dress – when they thought we were looking for bridesmaids dresses!
Where did you get your bridesmaid dresses?
I ended up having a local dressmaker create all the bridesmaids dresses. I really enjoyed the experience of having the dresses custom designed to each bridesmaid and working with such a beautiful lady. She even designed and made my Mother-In-Law’s dress and did all the alterations for everyone else involved in the wedding.
What style of maids and groomsmen did you go for?
We decided for skirts and shirts for the bridesmaids because when we were trying to decide on dresses it was the one design they all felt comfortable wearing. For the groomsmen we went with navy suits which the groom picked out and a dark purple tie to match the orchids in my bouquet.
How did you arrive at the ceremony?
The bridesmaids and I slept in the barn on the estate. We woke up at 5am the morning of the wedding and all got ready together, including my mother, Mother-In-Law and flower girls and their mothers.
It was really special being surrounded by so many beautiful and supportive women when I was so nervous. Andrew and I had a first look near the barn before the wedding and then when it came time for the ceremony my dad walked me from the barn across the estate to the field were we had the ceremony.
Did you have anything unusual during the ceremony?
We didn’t have anything too unusual during the ceremony. My one requirement was that the ceremony would be short and sweet. Both our dad’s officiated which made it really special. It was one of my favourite parts of the day having both fathers there to make the ceremony tailored to Andrew and I as a couple, they did take the opportunity to share a few embarrassing stories though!
After the ceremony one of my cousins said to me, “that was a breath of fresh air, just how I like it, short and to the point without the fluff!”
How did you accessorise to make your wedding day look unique?
All of the decorations were done by both sets of parents. My mum designed everything for the ceremony and my dad and father-in-law did any of the handy work. The coffee hour was designed by Andrew and myself and we had outdoor games, bonfires, coffee tables and live music. The key idea was just to relax and spend time with family between the ceremony and reception. The reception was a joint effort with everyone decorating the marquee and the flowers I left up to one of my bridesmaid’s mum. She was just starting up a floristry business (@erde_blume) and I gave her a few key ideas and she went wild with the flowers. It was honestly so beautiful to walk into the marquee with all the flowers boxes. It smelt amazing too! At the end of the day everything came together and just looked amazing!
What was the inspiration or colour theme for your wedding?
Since I was a flower girl in my aunty and uncle’s wedding I have always dreamed of incorporating purple somehow in my wedding. What was really special is both my aunty and uncle’s children were in my bridal party!
I let Andrew pick out what he wanted for himself and the groomsmen which ended up working really well with the bridesmaids. The rest of the theme was based around Australian flowers, trees and landscape which came through in our bouquets (@bellaforalboutique), flowers at the reception and the venue which was home to beautiful gumtrees.
What kind of food did you have? Cake?
Food is our favourite part of any day so Andrew and I picked our favourite foods to serve at the wedding. Before the ceremony, instead of a cocktail hour we had a coffee hour. Our favourite part of any day is when coffee is involved! That whole hour was full of outdoor cafe vibes with coffees and hot chocolates, cheese platters, s’mores you name it!
At the reception We had a local Pizza company (The pizza guys) serve cheese and garlic bread for the entree and then a buffet of 7 varieties of pizzas and our favourite types of salads (made by my Mother-In-Law) were served for the mains.
An amazing lady in Sydney (@sugarpot4me) made our cake which was to die for! There were two flavours, chocolate and vanilla raspberry.
Along with the cake we had chocolate mousse, fruit salad and pavlova, all of which were made by my Mother-In-Law who is an amazing cook. Let’s just say we left very full!
What tips do you have for new brides picking their wedding dress?
If you’re going with bridesmaids, family or anyone else let them pick out dresses they would like to see you in. It might not fit your vision but it could surprise you. Before I visited the store in Sydney I had visited many other boutiques where two of my bridesmaids picked out dresses they knew I didn’t like. Turns out I actually didn’t mind them which prepared me for when I found the dress!
Where were your photos taken?
Our photos were all taken on the estate where we got married. It allowed us to get back to our guests quickly after the ceremony.
We actually ended up with a spare 30min between when our photos ended and when the reception started. We ended up joining the guests in the coffee hour, I sang a song to my husband and of course I was handed a coffee!
What was your favourite moment from the day?
Of course I have many favourite moments, from the first look with my dad and husband, mum helping me get into my dress and my grandmother (who has dementia) holding the train of my dress and smiling because she was helping the bride!
There is one moment that stands out on my mind; as we were doing the couples photo shoot after the ceremony my best friend from childhood was singing for the coffee hour and we could hear her from where we were. Andrew and I started dancing as she was signing “Lullaby of Birdland” by Ella Fitzgerald. That moment of listening to our guests laughing, my friend singing, and the evening breeze moving in the trees created a magical moment in time, even now as I think back to it I start to tear up.
Photography credit: Cassie & Co Photography
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