The Beauty of Small Weddings: Eleganza Real Bride Larissa wears Essense of Austrailia

Larissa went through a tough blow when her dream church wedding had to be postponed, however, her intimate celebration in South Africa was worth waiting for! Read about how she found her perfect off-shoulder, lace gown with the help of the most important man in her life… yes, her father!

How would you describe your Eleganza Experience?

Eleganza was the last of three bridal stores I went to and I loved everything about it! Everyone was so friendly and the store just makes you feel like you are in a fairytale already. I had brought my mum and dad and I just loved how everyone made such a cute fuss about my dad choosing dresses and all (he clearly loved it!). I found my dream gown that same day and came back the next day, just to make sure it was the right one, and no one pressured me or made me feel awkward about that. When the dress arrived, way earlier than expected, they were able to store it for me and when I picked it up the ladies did such a great job wrapping it and packing it into a travel box for flying for me. I would not have known how to do that! All in all, wonderful service, big smiles and absolutely recommendable!

What made Eleganza stand out as a store?

Everything was beyond expectation. From making my parents and I feel special when we came in the first time, to giving me the time to think about the dress, to packing it so wonderfully that it survived two years in a box and now, after all that time, still caring about how the wedding went.

Tell us all about your Essense of Australia gown!

My Eloisa gown was actually chosen by one of the stylists at Eleganza who seemed to know exactly what I was looking for. In the previous three stores, I had tried on every possible style but had not been able to find the one. My mum loved the more quirky dresses, my dad picked very elegant and royal ones. All I knew was that I wanted off-shoulder and lace. When I put this gown on, I did not recognise myself because this was a princess dress and it looked so beautiful and that was exactly how I wanted to feel. I think the dress is just absolutely perfect.

Would you like to share with us your proposal moment?

Long story short, I am German, born and raised, but was doing my Masters in Glasgow at the time, after working in South Africa for a year. My husband is South African through and through and we had met during my time there. He flew to Glasgow to surprise me but for just a weekend because he couldn’t get any more leave. We went to Tantrum Donuts and bought donuts and hot chocolate and then went to Kelvingrove Park to watch the sunset (in ice-cold November!) from one of the benches at the Lord Roberts statue. And that’s where he went on one knee and proposed!

What was your inspiration for your wedding? Did you follow a specific theme or colour palette?

Since I wore this dress to our church wedding in South Africa, the colours and decor were inspired by South African Proteas, I also had them in my bouquet, and we hosted a relaxed afternoon barbecue with our closest friends and family at our local church.

Tell us more about your Big Day!

Although we had already been to the city hall in Germany to sign the register in 2017, our church wedding was still outstanding. We initially had to postpone it from April 2018 to September 2019 which was tough. When the big day had finally come, everything was just perfect. We had the most emotional service and everyone was crying, even our pastor who is a good friend of ours. The choir sang beautifully and they all stayed for the reception because I sing in the choir as well. It was just amazing to have so many people care about our big day. The wedding barbeque was just lovely, the band was awesome and everyone had a good time. That is the beauty of small weddings: we were actually able to talk and dance with everyone and really spend time with our guests. I was so worried about walking and dancing with my big dress but I did not even notice it on the day and it was super comfortable.

What was the most memorable moment?

When I walked down the aisle and everyone was crying, most of all my husband.

Do you have a favourite picture from your wedding day? Why is this image so special to you?

It is the photo in which my husband Nick and I are dancing. We did not have the time to take lessons before the wedding and had actually scrapped the dance and then changed our mind again, last minute! So we freestyle slow-danced our way through the song and it was actually the most beautiful moment ever.

Sounds like such a beautiful moment! Finally, do you have any advice for future brides visiting Eleganza Sposa?

For visiting Eleganza Sposa: Definitely let one of the stylists choose at least one dress for you! To all brides: Take your dad along! Forget about aunties, cousins and bridesmaids, seriously, take your mum and dad. Maybe granny.

Photographer: Our good friend Johann Schramm

Florist: DIY talent and good friend Michaela Fröhling

Venue 1: Johannesgemeinde in Pretoria, South Africa

Caterer: Nyama Spitbraai

Makeup: I did that myself as I am obsessed with make-up!

Shoes: Kelso

Cake: We had a cake buffet with some homemade cakes and some cakes from the local confectionary.

Music: The Padeon Project