Annabelle came into Strutt design studio for her bridal appointment full of excitement as she embarked on her journey of planning her wedding.
She came to Strutt after having so many of her friends recommend Rhonda, our bridal specialist and the boutique owner. Not only did they love their dresses, but they also raved about the service they received from Rhonda and the Strutt team. So, Annabelle was determined to find her dream dress and allow us to guide her through the process of the most important gown of her life.
Rhonda's frank and easy going nature allowed Annabelle to feel at ease and comfortable, and even after seeing pictures of Annabelle's thoughts on what dress she might like, Rhonda already had envisioned the perfect dress for her.
So after trying on just four dresses, the gown was found!!
With everything now organised and ready including the flowers, venue, hair and makeup, and dresses ordered (of which Chloe made Annabelle's mum cry with the dress she chose for her that had just arrived, tears of happiness as it reminded her of her own mother, Annabelle's grandmother) it was all sorted!
So as the invitations were sent out both here and to interstate family and friends, the news bulletins on COVID-19 started flooding across all media outlets. We were determined to keep our wedding date the same; and had good faith that everything would pan out.
Shortly after, the restrictions were implemented in Australia that weddings were to have no more than 5 people present, including the bride, groom, celebrant and witnesses.
There is no other word to describe the feeling. Devastated.
Family is at the core of Annabelle's heart, and the knowledge of not being able to have family and loved ones there to witness this momentous and special occasion that she had been planning and dreaming of her whole life was just unfathomable.
With panic setting in, Annabelle and her fiance made the gut wrenching decision to bring the date of their wedding forward, in the anxiety that the future of weddings was hanging in the balance.
With this decision, another problem arose.
With the original wedding dress that she had chosen which was in their wedding budget wouldn't arrive in time, this meant choosing another dress.
But, in every awful situation there is also opportunity to look for a silver lining. And this silver lining was in the form of Annabelle's dream dress. The one she adored right from the start but didn't fit wit the wedding budget.
With scaling back their wedding so dramatically, there was more give in the wedding purse, and enough to purchase the most stunning gown that was fit for a princess. Never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned herself being able to wear this dress down the aisle, but here she was.
The dress is the Kenley by Morilee, #3232 from the Julietta collection designed specifically for plus size gowns. Rhonda went above and beyond. With so many other wedding scheduled for the same weekend as Annabelle's new date, Rhonda worked like a machine getting the dress ready in time. With all of the alterations Annabelle desired and needed being done to perfection.
The date Annabelle married her fiancé was April 5th. Falling perfectly in between her own parents wedding anniversary on the 4th, and her grandparents on the 6th.
With the strict social restrictions in place, Annabelle chose her Father as her witness so she could have him walking her down the aisle. An almost impossible task to choose, but the little girl inside her needed her Dad there to hold her arm. Brodie chose his Mother as his witness.
Technology can be a blessing, and a blessing it was. With friends and family virtually attended the wedding via Zoom video call. The marvels of the modern world.
Their wedding wasn't what they were expecting, but what an amazing story and a reminder to us all that love really does conquer all. Where there is a will, there is a way. Having their wedding this way allowed Annabelle to have the dress she wasn't able to beforehand. Her father was still able to walk her down the aisle, and now Annabelle and Brodie will celebrate their wedding anniversary surrounded by the dates of her parents and grandparents, so even though they may not have had their family physically present on their special day, they will be forever protected and surrounded by family ties.