“I know in the moment it can feel like the worlds against you, but love always wins.” Ellie of Ellie Rose Bridal on tying the knot during lockdown
Back in May I launched Bridal Editor’s WFH Diary series as a way of supporting brands in the wedding industry (both big and small) during lockdown. Not only did I discover an entire haul of vendors and creatives that inspire me endlessly, but the daily updates and diary entries made me feel less alone in the way I was feeling (you know, the panic, disbelief that it was actually happening, the confusion over the toilet roll craze…remember that?).
Ellie Rose Bridal – run by chief bridal consultant Ellie and her business partner Ollie – is a beautiful bridal boutique set in the historical city of Bath and submitted their WFH diary entry back in June. Since then, quite a bit’s changed, including Ellie’s own wedding day plans. I caught up – digitally as always – with Ellie to talk about how she and her now-husband Ollie tied the knot during lockdown…
#1 When I spoke with you last – for Bridal Editor’s WFH Diary series – you mentioned that, due to lockdown, you had had to postpone your own wedding day. What’s changed since then?
“So much has changed since we last spoke. With some of the Covid rules relaxed we have been able to open Ellie Rose Bridal again and welcome all of our lovely brides back and even made a few new Ellie Rose Brides. It’s been great to be back in the shop and have a routine in place. I’m also very pleased to say that on the 28thJuly Oliver and I were able to have a small registry office wedding in Bath.”
#2 What complications and challenges did you face when having to, essentially, re-plan your new, intimate wedding day?
“The process was fairly easy for us because we had so much help and support from our families. It made the whole thing quite enjoyable and really exciting. My wonderful sister-in-law did all the flowers for the day and our original photographers were available. The biggest constant that was playing on our minds was keeping our family safe and comfortable. The registry office had safety procedures in place that were easy to follow. We all had to wash and sanitise our hands upon entering the building and keep our distance between households. During the ceremony we weren’t allowed a ring bearer or singing and if we wanted music to be played it had to be from our own electronic device via Bluetooth. Very modern for Bath! Our witnesses had to wear gloves to sign the register. But in all honestly with all that said, we didn’t feel as though it compromised our day at all.”
#3 How many did you have with you at the registry office? What would you say to brides planning the same? What are the benefits of this intimate, very special moment?
Oliver and I decided to only invite our parents, siblings and two gorgeous nieces. With the room we had booked we could have had up to 23 people, but we didn’t feel that this many people was necessary. Plus as all engaged couples know, it can be hard to find that cut off point on your guest list.
With the ceremony being so intimate it made it all so much more personal. We didn’t know what to expect from a registry office wedding and I think because of that we set our expectations fairly low, but we were so wrong! Our celebrant Kelly was amazing, so sweet and had a genuine love and respect for what the day meant for us. We would honestly feel happy and fulfilled with the day even if we didn’t have the big day next year already booked.”
#4 With a new date set in the diary – what did this mean for all of your wedding suppliers?
“Working in the wedding industry we have seen how it has affected so many suppliers this year. Thankfully it hasn’t affected the shop as much as some vendors. With this in mind we didn’t want to cancel on them. Instead we postponed to 25th August 2021. Looking back, making this decision was extremely hard for both of us as we had been planning it for so long… but by making that decision we definitely felt such a sense of relief and also as if we were in control again. The constant will it/ wont it happen was draining and not something I’d wish anyone to go through. The next step was finding a new date that would work with everyone’s diary. All of our suppliers where so helpful and understanding when moving the date, we really couldn’t ask for better vendors and highly recommend all of them.”
#5 Are you saving some bigger celebrations for later? What are your plans regarding these?
“We are definitely planning a bigger celebration and this will happen at our postponed wedding next year. As much as we loved our little intimate ceremony this year, it will be so wonderful to be able to celebrate with our extended family and friends in a much bigger capacity next year!”
#6 Talk to us about your dress? We spy a very beautifully embellished corset top and feather skirt!
“My dress was by a fabulous designer called Allison Webb who I had the pleasure of getting to know over the years on our visits to New York. I fell in love with the ‘Hadley’ gown the moment I saw it. The embellished bodice was like a work of art with appliqué flowers and a little sparkle. So fun, flirty and unlike anything I had seen before. The dress lent itself to the day perfectly. No picking up a big skirt around Bath or tripping on a hem on the cobbled streets.”
#7 Talk us through your accessories?
What is an outfit without the right accessories, right?! My veil was a custom piece Rebecca Anne and I designed. I wanted to go for a ‘story board’ feel, with all the images representing something important to Oliver and I. Among the embroidery there were pictures of our Dachshund, the Brooklyn bridge, our house number and the beach hut where Oliver proposed in Langland, Wales. I loved my veil so much I didn’t take it off all day!
I also had the most amazing garter by Sarah of La Gartier. It had an art deco feel and was another great way to add some glamour. We added one of my grandma’s pearls from her headpiece that she wore on her wedding day to have a bit of her there as she couldn’t be there due to Covid.
My shoes were Steve Madden (another New York designer) and made me feel like Cinderella!
All of the florals for the day were done by Emily my sister-in-law. Emily usually does the flowers for her local church in Kent, but has recently moved to Surrey. We went for quite a natural feel and she even put luxury silk flowing ribbons around the bouquet.”
#8 In terms of preparation – things must have been a little strange. Were you able to have someone style your hair? Or did you do everything yourself? Did this make you feel any differently about your day – or what you had had in mind for your wedding day?
“Thankfully by the date of our registry wedding, bridal hair services where up and running again, providing the proper PPE was worn. I have booked Abi to do my hair on the big day next year and have worked with her on photoshoots before. Abi did a marvellous job of styling my normally boring hair and used a stunning ‘Untamed Petals’ headpiece to jazz it up. Unfortunately, facial treatments are newly approved, and I had to do my make-up myself. I was so afraid of over doing it that in all honesty I think I went the other way and under did it. I wish I had been braver on the day.”
#9 What was the most special moment of this day? Where was it set? Talk us through your beautiful photography session post-registry office…
“Probably the most special moment was the ‘first look’ we did at the Royal crescent. With everything that’s happened this year it’s been an extremely emotional journey and I think in that moment, both Ollie and I felt that it was a moment just for us and we could really enjoy it with each other without anything getting in the way.
With restrictions preventing us from having a reception, we decided that we would plan a bit of a walking tour through Bath, picking a selection of stunning locations throughout the city as the backdrop to our photos. Bath lent itself beautifully to this as it is as beautiful as any stately home wedding venue.”
#10 Will you wear the same gown for your bigger celebrations later? Or will you wear something else and mix it up?
“I have something very exciting and special planned for next year. Whilst in New York last October for NYBFW I got to catch up with my favourite bridal designer, Hayley Paige. Hayley had let me borrow one of her gorgeous red carpet gowns for our engagement shoot a few months prior. It was at the runway show that we met up again and she offered to design a custom gown for my wedding!! A couple of days later we caught up at the JLM Couture showroom to talk ideas. As you could imagine I had quite a few as I love all things Hayley. Some of my ideas were all over the place and it was so lovely to have the help of the JLM Couture team. Without them this wouldn’t of been possible.”
#11 Has your intimate wedding day – lockdown-style – inspired brides coming into your boutique?
“We’ve been receiving a lot of congratulations from my brides and other bridal shops which has been lovely. I’m not sure if I have inspired anyone else to have a lockdown wedding as I think most don’t want to miss out on the big day. And I can’t blame them!!”
#12 What advice would you give to bride’s currently having to postpone their weddings or change and adjust plans?
“It does get better; your day will happen, and it will be everything you dreamed of or more. I know in the moment it can feel like the worlds against you, but love always wins. Even if it’s not what you originally had planned you’ll have a great appreciation for each other.”
A big thank you to Ellie for taking the time to share her beautiful – and truly unique – wedding day with us.
To discover more about Ellie Rose Bridal, click here.
Photography – @whitestagweddings
Dress – @allisonwebbnyc @ellierosebridal @jlm_couture
Suit – @ted_baker
Flowers – @flowersbyemilyalice
Garter – @lagartier
Veil – @rebeccaannedesigns
Hair – @abigailconstanzahair
Headpiece – @untamedpetals
Rings – @lamoredesign @goldsmiths_uk
Shoes – @stevemadden
Future Dress – @misshayleypaige