A Big Old Knees-Up: Eleganza Real Bride Claire Wears Essense of Australia

Claire’s relaxed and rustic barn wedding was made even better by her wedding dress – described by her friends as the most ‘Claire’ dress they had ever seen!

If you love Claire’s dress style, you can get a first look of the designer’s newest collection at our Essense of Australia Trunk Show.  Our trunk shows are the ultimate personal bridal shopping experience. We showcase the newest wedding dresses from Essense of Australia, giving you a chance to try on gowns that are not ordinarily carried in store.

Read more about the party of her dreams…

How would you describe your Eleganza Experience?

My experience was absolutely amazing! I knew I had to visit Eleganza after my sister had bought her dress from here a couple of years previously and it did not disappoint. We had the exact same stylist Lisa – who is just the loveliest person – and even the same fitting room… it was fate! I really just went for a look as my wedding wasn’t for nearly another 2 years but I ended up saying yes to the dress to one of the first ones I tried on! The girls are all so attentive and you can tell that they are genuinely so excited for you. Lisa was absolutely brilliant – so friendly, knows her stuff inside out and made me feel right at ease which was so important to me!

Tell us all about your Essense of Australia dress!

My wedding dress, Louisa by Essense of Australia, was just absolutely perfect! I had a rough idea of what I wanted when I went in to the shop – I knew I wanted something very fitted and with lace detail but had always pictured myself in sleeves! Lisa had me try on a range of styles, including bigger princess style dresses which didn’t suit my frame but it was good to rule them out. When I put on my dress I just knew straight away and all my bridesmaids were crying so knew it was the one! I believe the exact words of so many of my guests were “that is the most ‘you’ dress I’ve ever seen” which is exactly what I wanted!

How did your now-husband propose?

Ross and I had been together for 8 years when he proposed to me on a weekend away glamping in the Peak District. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I’m glad there was no one else around (except a few chickens walking about) as I was absolutely hysterical when he did it!

What was your favourite part of planning your wedding?

The best part of planning is most definitely going dress shopping! The experience I had at Eleganza was just first class. From walking through the beautiful entrance to being greeted with a glass of champagne – it was just what every bride should experience and be made to feel like a princess on the lead up to her big day!

Did you stick to a specific theme for your wedding?

We both really liked the idea of a ‘rustic’ barn wedding so after going to visit the Barn at Dalduff Farm, we instantly fell in love with it! I loved the laidback feel to the venue and the fact we were able to put our own stamp on it with our decorations. We had lots of wild flowers with pinks, purples, mauve and foliage. All of my Pinterest boards definitely came in handy for helping with themes!

Tell us more about your big day!

I can’t even begin to put into words just how amazing our day was! We wanted a really relaxed atmosphere and basically just a big old knees-up which is absolutely what we got. It was two amazing sets of families & friends (who both love a party!) coming together so it was bound to be epic! We are both big foodies so the sharing platters for the meal were absolutely ideal followed by a homemade dessert table and pizza van at night. We had also brought all our own booze so had put on a free bar which no one knew about in advance so it was so great seeing the look on everyone’s faces when they realised! It really was everything we had ever dreamed of and more and we are both still so buzzing and overwhelmed by it all.

What was the most memorable moment?

There are so many magical moments from the day but my most memorable moment was probably when half way through the evening reception, myself & Ross ended up on stage with the band performing a small Oasis tribute act – it was so random and hilarious and our guests were some crowd to perform to!

Your wedding photography is beautiful! Do you have a favourite picture from the day?

My favourite picture is probably when we are walking out of the barn after the ceremony. I have never been so happy in all my life and my face 100% shows it. I genuinely felt like the only person to have ever gotten married in the world ever!

How did you honeymoon?

We went on a 2 week cruise straight after the wedding visiting the Greek islands, Croatia, Montenegro & Italy. It was exactly what we needed after the wedding and the best feeling ever.

Sounds amazing! Finally, do you have any advice to future brides visiting Eleganza?

I would definitely recommend trying on lots of different styles of dresses, even those you don’t think you’ll like as it will either confirm your feelings or might even surprise you!

Photographer: Ross Alexander Photography

Venue: The Barn at Dalduff Farm

Florist: The Black Orchid

Cake: Aoife Gateaux

Music: Ceremony – Lee McDowall (piano), Drinks reception – Lee McDowall (guitar), Evening – Ernest (band)

Makeup: Louise Ballantine

Hair: Eilidh Jamison

Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Kilts: Macgregor & Macduff