Brendon + Ellke in the Francis

A romantic country wedding, featuring our utterly unique Francis gown.


GLL: Congratulations on your recent wedding, you looked stunning! Tell us how and why you chose your GLL gown?

I had my heart set on quality detailed French lace and wanted a dress that had a romantic traditional feel with a unique bohemian influence that was light and easy to wear while frolicking around the farm. My eye was immediately drawn to the Francis Dress; it was unlike any dress I’d seen during my countless hours and months of searching. As soon as I slipped into the sample at the Gold Coast studio, I fell in love! It was clear that the Francis Dress was ‘me’ all over, and my Mum and best friend had no hesitations in exclaiming “that’s the one” when I burst out of the curtains beaming ear to ear with my hands in the air. I loved the unique silhouette of the bell sleeves and the way it felt both romantic and whimsical while being comfortable to wear. The Francis dress seemed to balance being elegant, yet young and slightly wild… dramatic, yet subtle. With no zips or buttons, this beauty was the most comfortable dress I’d ever worn…ever, and if I could, I would bust it out more often.


GLL: So tell us, how did you both meet?

Brendon and I met through mutual friends when I was just 17. He was a school friend of some of my girlfriends and we all went to the movies.


GLL: Was it love at first sight or was it a slow burn kinda situation?

It was a slow burn kinda situation, we were friends for some time before we decided we were wasting our time acting awkward and vying for each other’s attention in group situations. A fun friendship turned into young love and I’m sure glad fate had it that way!


GLL: What first attracted you to your partner?

Brendon is the most loyal person I have ever met! It was immediately evident that he would do everything and anything for his family, friends or even someone he had only just met. He was that guy that was everyone’s personal removalist, taxi, and fix-it man. For me, it was his hard work ethic, kind-loving nature and huge heart that I found most endearing.


GLL: And the proposal? How did that go down?

Brendon had quite an elaborate day planned which involved a day spa with my best friend, lunch in Noosa, a shopping spree at my favourite boutique fashion store and had booked out our favourite restaurant to be candlelit for a private dinner where he would eventually get down on one knee and propose. Members of our family had also travelled far and wide to be there to surprise me and celebrate with us soon after…. I was under the impression he was away for work for 4 days but instead he was having sneaky wine tastings with my best friend and planning the day’s fine details… Here’s where it gets funny (and not so funny at the time) I made it to the day spa with my best friend, when i started to feel ill… that’s right about where the elaborate plan came to a grinding halt and despite my friends best efforts, I went home to sleep for the day so I could ‘perk up’ when Brendon “arrived home” that night. Family flew home and poor Brendon had to pick up the pieces while I remained blissfully unaware of the drama I had caused! 2 weeks later we went on a date to the drive-in-movies where Brendon had a burst of courage and decided he didn’t want to wait any longer so he popped the question as I stuffed my face with popcorn. As fate would have it, after hearing of his failed first attempt, I was so glad he proposed the way he did… just us, being us! While his original plan was amazing and thoughtful I loved that we got to spend the night celebrating alone together with an intimate dinner without being whisked away by other people.


GLL: How did you feel on your day and how did you style your GLL look?

I felt like my heart could burst with love, excitement, joy and thankfulness every second of our day. I felt so comfortable and myself in my dress, accompanied with comfortable sued heels, Salita Matthews pearl earrings and a lush green and white flower crown.


GLL: Where did you get inspiration from for your wedding?

Ever since watching the film ‘Letters to Juliette’ I had been fascinated with Tuscany’s beautiful scenery and the Italian’s family orientated and food loving way of life. For this reason, we decided to follow a Tuscan theme, from olive trees, to lanterns, to hand-made cotton rag paper, tubs of fresh herbs and shared table feasting. We wanted our wedding to have an elegant yet relaxed vibe which would encourage mingling and ultimately end in an all-in dance party. I had always had my heart set on getting married on my parent’s farm. Being a place that Brendon and I would go away camping with our friends, or visit together for weekend getaways to clear our heads, the farm holds a special place in both of our hearts. It’s so special to know we can always visit the two fig trees we married beneath.


When we got engaged, my Dad and brother were in the process of building a farm house with an old Georgian style feel aimed at looking 100 years old, including an underground cellar and authentic finishings. Soon after getting engaged we decided we wanted to marry at the farm, my parents and brother had 9 short months to get the house finished. While they were unable to complete one wing of the house on time, they did an amazing job to bring a work site to life for our wedding day and I think it helped bring our Tuscan farm theme together.


GLL: Describe your wedding in 3 words…

Love, Laughter, Happily-ever-after (counts as 1 word right?)


GLL: What was your most memorable moment?

Oh I have a few… it’s too hard to choose

  • My brother wrote and performed the song I walked down the aisle to. Brendon worked with him on the lyrics to portray our story. Listening to our personalised love song as I walked towards Brendon helped me to block out all other distractions and focus solely on the Man I love!
  • After 7 years together I had only ever seen Brendon get teary on one occasion. As I approached the aisle and spotted him getting emotional my heart burst, I don’t think that’s something I will ever forget.
  • Our reception dinner was held outside, under festoon lights, and I will never forget the view from our table. It was the most beautiful sight to see everyone we love, chatting, laughing and celebrating our love
  • Brendon’s Best Man belted out a tune during his speech which is now referred to as the ‘rain dance’, he quite literally brought the rain and with that everyone grabbed their chair and bolted for the wet weather option marquee.
  • There was a moment following the reception where every guest was on the dance floor (dirt in our case) belting out ‘Summer Lovin’ from Grease the musical. It was one of those moments where your heart swells with joy and you have to remind yourself to pause and capture it in your mind to remember forever.

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GLL: What was your wedding song / playlist?

We really struggled to find one song that summed us up. That’s where the song my brother prepared with help from Brendon came in. Our playlist consisted of sweet acoustic tunes we have loved over the years.


GLL: Tell us about the food, most importantly the cake…

We chose Sunshine Coast caterers The Canape Project to cater the day. They were amazing and created a Tuscan-style menu just for us! We opted for afternoon canapes and a cheese, fruit and nut grazing table during the afternoon accompanied by Moet and Italian beers.


GLL: And where are you honeymooning?

We had our honeymoon in the Maldives with a few days in Singapore also. We stayed at Per Aquum Niyama and it was even more beautiful than we had imagined. We stayed in both an over-water villa and beach bungalow, took a private dongi sunset cruise, went jet skiing and snorkelling.


GLL: What did you find the easiest and hardest thing about planning a wedding?

We were engaged for 9 sweet, fun, busy months. At first this seemed like a lifetime but during the last three months of preparation I was especially thankful for the time we had to plan. I think the easiest part was choosing all the fun details for the day, the hardest was definitely deciding on a number of guests and sticking to it, in a perfect world you would have everyone, but unfortunately it’s not always possible.


GLL: Any top tips or advice you can give fellow GLL brides (beauty, health & wellness, planning etc)?

Enjoy every part of the planning and don’t sweat the small stuff. When the day comes, literally nothing can upset you. Marrying the person you love, calling them your husband for the first time and being surrounded by everyone that makes up your world even turns the dreaded rain you stressed about into one of the best memories from your day.  Also, I’m really glad we acted like guests at our own wedding. I remember receiving the same piece of advice over and over again during the lead up to the wedding – “don’t forget to take it all in”. I can honestly say we savoured every moment of our day and were oblivious to any mishaps, which are always bound to occur. We laughed, danced and sang absurdly out of tune with the best of them.


GLL: Describe your GLL experience…

My experience at Grace Loves Lace was unlike any other bridal store I had visited. A significant step away from the tacky red velvet curtains, carpet boxes, make-up stained dresses and uninterested sales assistants. My Mum, maid-of-honour and I were welcomed to Grace Loves Lace for a private fitting with a rose iced tea and delicious homemade almond biscuits. You feel special just walking into the GLL studio and it’s a truly tailored experience. The girls were so lovely, helpful and always provided honest opinions and advice.


GLL: What does marriage mean to you?

Marriage to me is the greatest gift you can receive. Marriage is work but the best kind of work; building a life together and a loving foundation for a family. Marriage means loving, trusting, giving and forgiving; it means you’re part of a team where you are encouraged to be your best and are a cheerleader for the person you love most. Marriage includes laughing about nonsense, discussing big topics and planning for a bright future. Marriage guarantees you a permanent sing-along, dance-along and adventure-along partner in crime. I’m in love with Brendon, I’m in love with the life we are building together and I’m in love with our marriage because of what it means to both of us.


Shop the Francis gown.

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