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. Claire wore a stunning Ellis Bridals ballgown from the 2016 collection with a scalloped lace V-neck with embellished slim belt and pleated tulle skirt completed by a striking V-back and buttons down the train.
Ellis Bridals asked Claire a couple of questions about her Big Day:
When and where did you meet your husband?
I wish I had a romantic story to tell about how my husband and I met! But the truth is, he added me on Facebook as we had a lot of friends in common and we got talking from there! Our mutual friends told us good things about each other and after a first date (which he was late for by the way!) we knew that it was the start of something special!
How did you know he was the one?
I knew he was the one from pretty early on in the relationship – we had a strong connection. Aside from looking after me and making me laugh – he certainly keeps me on my toes!
How did he propose?
My husband and I absolutely love Christmas time – our Christmas tree is usually up in a November! So it was only right that we got engaged Christmas time! I was completely unaware on Christmas Eve 2015 that he would propose to me that day. We were enjoying a romantic walk along the Swansea Marina. He had a padlock engraved with our initials and locked it on to the bridge overlooking the marina and we had 1 key each to keep. As far as I was concerned, this was just a romantic gesture and we continued on to our favourite restaurant overlooking the boats! While sitting there enjoying our drinks and our view he pulled out the ring and popped the question! He cried! Then I cried! He denies that though when I tell the story!
When and where did the big day take place?
We got married 1 year later on 10th December 2016 (again, Christmas time!) at Carreg Cennen Castle, Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire.
When did you start planning?
We said as soon as we got engaged that we did not want a long engagement and started planning immediately in order to pull off our wedding by the following Christmas! We wanted nothing other than a winter wedding.
Where did you get your dress?
I had my dress from a local independent bridal shop called Pleser, which means ‘to please’ or ‘pleasure’ in English.
Is that the sort of dress you thought you would go for or was it a surprise?
I did try to keep my options open when shopping for a wedding dress but knew I wanted something that would wow and a dress that resembled a style that you wouldn’t wear on any other day other than my wedding day. In my opinion a simple fitted dress can be worn at anytime – how often do you get to wear a ballgown?! Turns out my dream dress was the first I tried on! I knew it was the one but tried on various others to be sure!
Who came dress shopping with you?
My twin sister Kim and my mother Janet came dress shopping with me – they were brutally honest!
What style of maids and groomsmen did you go for?
We knew we wanted a Christmas/winter colour theme at our wedding that wasn’t red and green so we went for silver which worked really well with the grey in the men’s suits.
How did you arrive at the ceremony?
We stayed in luxury cottages near the castle as the venue was a bit off road, to ensure that I got there even in what could have been difficult winter weather conditions! It was only a 5 minute drive but I arrived with my father, mother and twin sister in a classic Daimler car! As the whole wedding, ceremony and reception was held at the castle, I didn’t get to travel in the car for any longer than those 5 minutes which was disappointing!
Did you have anything unusual during the ceremony?
During the ceremony we had music from our favourite films. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of my favourite song from “Twilight” and during the signing of the register we had the instrumental music from the Christmas film “The Holiday”. While walking out my husband insisted we had music from “Harry Potter” so we used the Christmas music from the first film which was magical! Both my sister and my sister-in-law recited poems during the ceremony.
How did you accessorise to make your wedding day look unique?
We were not getting married at a traditional time of year, nor in a traditional venue so we decided to mix winter glamour with the rustic feel of the venue as the reception was held in the adjacent barn to the castle itself, varying from fairy lights to twine and candles with greenery and acorns while maintaining a classy silver and frosty theme. Our table names were Christmas or winter flowers slotted in to silver wine bottles and our table plan and menus were accessorised with snowflakes. There was a Christmas tree up in the barn with silver decorations and decorations we had personalised ourselves. We also hung mistletoe above the door which made for great photos! The favours were slate hearts engraved with the guests’ names and the meaning of their names on the back. We had personalised advice cards for the guests to complete, rolled up in to scrolls with silver ribbon. A nice touch of ours were toiletries in wicker baskets in the bathrooms for the guests to use.
What was the inspiration or colour theme for your wedding?
We knew we wanted a Christmas/winter colour theme at our wedding that wasn’t red and green so we went for silver – we tried creating a classy yet frosty feel.
What kind of food did you have? Cake?
We started off with appetisers which were heart shaped welsh cakes. The 3 course meal consisted of a starter of smoked salmon or cawl (welsh soup) and the main course was a self-carving roast dinner – each table was provided with a joint of beef (using the venues cows who were also farmers) and 1 person from each table was nominated to carve for the rest of the table and provided with an apron! Good fun and a real icebreaker for the guests who didn’t know each other! There were a variety of desserts. Our wedding cake consisted of 3 tiers, 1 being the traditional fruit cake, 1 chocolate orange and everyone’s favourite, champagne and raspberry!
What tips do you have for new brides picking their wedding dress?
Go for a style of dress that you wouldn’t wear any other day! And try on at least 1 of each style. I always thought I’d look good in a fishtail dress but it didn’t suit me – so make sure you’ve given all dresses a chance!
Where were your photos taken?
All our photos were taken at the lovely carreg cennen castle. Limited photos were taken outside as it rained but the photographer ensured we had outside pictures taken when the rain stopped and that the indoor photos were in areas where you had windows and therefore plenty of scenery in the background.
What was your favourite moment from the day?
I’d say my favourite moment were the maid of honour and best man speeches, best I’d ever heard at a wedding! – heart warming and funny and painted a lovely picture of mine and my husband’s relationship!
I now have a 6 month old who was born on New Year’s Eve 2017 – making Christmas time even more special for us!
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