Real Essense of Australia Bride Michelle + Matt

A 12-year courtship and a super-sweet, surprise proposal all lead up to the day of real bride Michelle’s dreams! She stayed true to her personal style while playing up some romantic vintage vibes in her lace and crepe gown – the perfect complement to her regal mansion setting! Read on to hear more of her sweet love story with husband Matt.

From the bride: You would think that after being together for 12 years I would have known his every sneaky move… but funny enough I had absolutely NO idea about the proposal!

So every year we always plan a little vacation (usually somewhere hot or to see our favourite sports team “GO COLTS!”) but this year Matt wanted to do something special and go back to the first place we’ve ever been together (at the prime age of 16)… JAMAICA! I remember walking on the beach and seeing a couple having a candlelit dinner, flowers everywhere, ocean breeze.. it was seriously out of a movie!! I told Matt “omg I will love you forever if you do that for me”. So I waited.. and waited.. and waited some more until August 22nd, 2015 (7 freaking years later) that handsome hunk of mine… purposed to me during our candlelit dinner on the beach, with flowers everywhere and the most beautiful ocean breeze (yeah he planned that too LOL). For someone who is a little bit “romantically challenged,” he blew me away… I still can’t get over it!

My goal for my wedding day was to just be myself and feel beautiful, MY kind of beautiful… I always hear these crazy stories of brides changing so many aspects of themselves just for their wedding day and I’d be lying if I didn’t feel that way too.

I remember one night I was sitting in my P.J’s, hair a mess, smelling NOT like roses and Matt looked at me, gave me the BIGGEST kiss and told me how beautiful he thought I was.. and like any normal girl I laughed out loud.. like you’ve got to be joking me… but it just dawned on me… you can get so caught up in all of the wedding craziness that you sometimes forget that this day is about the US, me and Matt, Matt and I, and he loves me just the way I am.. why would I want to look anything different than who I am, you know?

So I decided I wanted to look and feel relaxed, romantic & vintage (since I was getting married in a freaking mansion.. no big deal).

My wedding dress experience was honestly PERFECT! I found the cutest little boutique in Toronto (Blu Ivory Bridal) and they took such good care of me, they were such a pleasure to be around.. I miss them 🙁 I’ve always known that I wanted to be an Essense Bride… I love everything about you guys.. not just your dresses (even though yeah.. they’re freaking awesome) I love your message and the community you’ve built! It’s so different seeing dresses on a model vs. seeing them on REAL girls who definitely “got it from their mama (insert Fergie voice)” Anyhoo when I first saw D2124 online I honestly wasn’t sure if it would look good on me because yes… I am one of those girls who “got it from ma mama” but nevertheless I decided to give it a try and BAM.. first dress ever tried on I PURCHASED! I think I maybe tried on 3 or 4 more but just nothing compared to the feeling I had wearing that dress!

Oh, my goodness.. how do I pick one special moment!?! Every single second of that day was just so special!!! But to be honest, I would have to say that my favourite moment (that I am so grateful to have experienced) was when I had that “one split second” (where I wasn’t being pulled in 1000 directions) and I took a step back and actually took it ALL in. Everyone in the room was there to celebrate us, our love and the relationship we’ve built. You see, Matt (my husband.. ah still so weird to say!) and I have been together since we were 13 years old and throughout the past 12 years we’ve seen friendships dissipate and families lose touch with one another. So in that moment, I felt so incredibly thankful to have over 130 people who truly loves and supports us. I’ve just never had that type of overwhelming feeling come over me; my heart was just so full!

Photography by Deanne MacRae