Bride: Edel McCaul-Gill
Groom: Declan Gill
Wedding gown style: Gemma Gown
Wedding date: 31st December 2012
Boutique purchased: Vera Wang at Brown’s Bride, London
Location: Ceremony: St Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry, Ireland.
Reception: Solis Lough Eske Castle, County Donegal, Ireland
Photographer: Lisa McConalogue
First things first, where did you meet your husband? How did you know he was the one?
I met Declan in 2006 when a mutual friend thought we might make a good match. She was right, we clicked instantly and our first date was at Declan’s birthday party and thereafter we became engrossed and happy in each other’s company.
How did he propose? Tell us the story!
In August 2010, after four and half years together, we went on holiday to New York. On our second day, Declan surprised me with a picnic in Central Park. He walked me around the park until he found the perfect spot and as I lay back, overlooking a stunning lake, Declan placed an item into my hand; a Love Heart confectionery which read ‘Say Yes’. As my eyes adjusted to the sun and before my mind could register what it said, Declan was down on one knee with a beautiful diamond ring asking me to be his wife. The answer was of course an emphatic yes! He topped the day off by organising a beautiful dinner cruise on the Hudson River before we visited the top of the Empire State Building at 1.00am. It was a truly perfect way to celebrate before continuing our celebrations in Las Vegas.
Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown?
Like all discerning women I dreamed of wearing a Vera Wang wedding gown. For me, Vera Wang is the epitome of romance and elegance. I diligently maintained an inspirational scrapbook throughout my engagement within which I kept magazine extracts and the very first image I added was a ‘cut out’ of a Vera Wang gown (Hilary Duff in her Gemma Gown); it was almost providential that this would prove to be the exact gown I would go on wear on my wedding day. When the time came for me to begin the search I planned a trip to London to visit the Vera Wang store. The moment I entered Vera Wang with my mother and three sister-in-laws, who were my bridesmaids, I was certain that I would find my dress. The experience was spectacular. The first gown I tried on was Gemma and I knew before even seeing myself in front of a mirror that it was my gown. People say ‘you know when you know’ when it comes to the gown. I now fully understand that phrase and my heart connected with the gown that instant I stepped into it. Gemma was perfect for me as it was elegant, glamorous and sophisticated with a modern twist. It was spectacularly made in terms of the fabric and texture and created the perfect silhouette. The blizzard beading on the skirt created a beautiful yet subtle sparkle that was perfect for my winter wedding.
How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique?
I accessorized my gown with an embellished Vera Wang belt and stunning full-length veil to wear during the day, along with Jimmy Choo ‘Vamp’ sandals and jewelry by SAKS at Fifth Avenue. At night, I added a black Vera Wang belt for the party.
What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?
I wanted give our guests an experience outside of the normal wedding therefore we decided to set our date for New Years Eve 2012, with a winter wonderland theme. We both adore the Christmas festive period with the trees, the music and we planned the double celebration of our marriage and the coming of a new year, with our closest family and friends. Once we decided on a date, Solis Lough Eske Castle was the obvious location for the reception. It is a stunning castle hotel with beautiful landscape grounds and was perfect for the atmosphere and ambiance we wanted to create. The day was romantic and fairytale-like, filled with candlelight, flowers, soft music and great food and drink.
Did you incorporate any other Vera Wang products into your wedding? If so how?
We used the Vera Wang stationary which included the Save the Date, Wedding Invitation, Order of Ceremony, Place Cards and Thank-You Cards. I felt that the selection available in this range was fantastic and, after much consideration, I choose a very simple elegant style which reflected the wedding theme. We received so many compliments on the quality of the stationary which was clearly obvious to our guests who were ever so complementary. We also used Vera Wang champagne flutes for our top table and the Vera Wang knife set to cut our wedding cake.
Did you stay true to the Old English wedding rhyme: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. If so, what were yours?
Something old – a broach which was previously pinned to my baby blanket was attached to my gown.
Something new – my Vera Wang gown
Something borrowed and Something Blue – my garter was borrowed from my sister-in-law
What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress?
It can be overwhelming trying to select a gown and I personally spent a great deal of time browsing online and in Bridal Magazines for inspiration on what styles were available. I found the Vera Wang website and the Real Wedding blog to be crucial in my research and my thought process was forever drawn to the elegance and sheer class of Vera Wang dresses. I also had my ‘second opinion’ entourage comprising of my mum and three sister-in-laws / bridesmaids who were consistent in terms of feedback and could engage in comparisons with me. I found this extremely useful and their facial expressions and body language when they first saw me in my Gemma gown sealed my decision without equivocation. Finally, I would recommend that all brides enjoy the process of selecting their Vera Wang gown. It is a magical time which you will never get back so do not allow any stress to over-shine.
What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share?
On the morning of the wedding my Father told me that as the day can go so quickly that it was important for me to deliberately delay for a precious few seconds to absorb everything that was going on. Whilst reflecting on this, a particularly touching moment for me was during the ceremony, after we said our vows, when the string quartet performed my favourite Christmas song ‘Oh Holy Night’. I recall sitting on the alter and looking out at all of our guests whilst holding my husband’s hand and feeling an overwhelming sense of complete happiness.