Erin Wahler's was not the first bride to get her dress from Margaret Ellen Bridal, but she was the first bride to marry. The feeling of knowing that someone is wearing such a special piece of clothing that came from your bridal boutique is one of the best feelings in the world. This dress is something that will be cherished forever. To know that I was part of that makes my heart swell 1,000,000x. So, thank you again for letting me be a part of your process and helping you in such a special way. Erin and I instantly connected on both being Mississippi girls. She has since made her home along the Emerald Coast as I have, but Mississippi is still in our blood. I am forever thankful that Erin chose to find her dress at Margaret Ellen Bridal. She couldn't have been anymore beautiful. Congrats to Erin and Ryan. Wishing you nothing but happiness in all of your years together!
Erin sat down and answered questions and told her "love story" for our blog. So, CHEERS to our first bride, Erin!
How did you meet your groom?
Ryan and I met through mutual friends.Ryan and I have some very good friends at Harbor Lights to thank for introducing us...a few times. It took Ray, Diane, Stephanie and Enzo about three chance introductions before we actually went on our first date. After trying to obtain my number, Ryan decided to friend request me on Facebook. Since I don't 'friend' strangers, he sat in Facebook purgatory for a week or so until I went to the opening night of Star Wars with Enzo and Stephanie where they told me to just go on a date with this handsome and smart man. How was I supposed to ignore that? A few messages later, Ryan and I had our first date on Friday, December 30th. After hours of conversation (or interrogation) we shut down Harbor Docks. Ryan definitely put me through the ringer with the questions but the conversation was worth a second date. Two days later on New Year's Day, we decided to do something a bit more active. The dreary day led us to choose bowling. I think it caught Ryan and I both off-guard when I won the first game. I was even more surprised when I won the second game (I kicked some major booty). He still decided to take me to dinner afterwards despite the loss. During dinner I realized his beloved Packers were in the division playoffs...that night! He said some things were more important. Yep, I was pretty smitten.This inevitably led to more dates testing our athletic prowess (putt-putt of course) and more chances to slowly get to know one another a week or so every month as Ryan flew down to work. We've squeezed as much as we can into our two weeks a month and look forward to living in the same house...eventually. One day maybe he'll even take me fishing on his boat.
Tell us about your engagement story
Ryan and I had been discussing getting married since Thanksgiving of 2017. We had thought about venues on the panhandle the following fall. After work on February 8th, Ryan asked to check out Eden Gardens State Park. It was a beautiful day for the trip. I was worried about making it before it closed; he assured me we would make it. I was worried about the tuna steak dinner we had planned at home; he said it would keep and proposed a nice dinner on 30A. Since we never get out there for a date night, that did the trick! We walked around the venue and made it to the dock overlooking the bay right around sunset. We were enjoying the view and he said, "if this is where we think we want to get married, I guess there's only one question left to ask." I turned around and he was down on one knee. Yes! We went to dinner at Surfing Deer and decided to text a picture of the two of us to our parents. We didn't say we were engaged but wanted to see who would notice the ring first. His mom responded within 5 minutes. After 30-40 minutes with no response from my mom, I tried to message her. No response. Then I realized my phone was notifying me of several Facebook posts and messages. I open Facebook only to realize my mother had posted the picture to social media. She was too excited and said she was crying the entire time she posted. Ryan and I enjoyed the last few moments of our dinner before answering all of the incoming messages and phone calls. We've since requested all major public announcements be left for Ryan and I to post on social media in the future. We love our family's enthusiasm though!
What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?
Everything! Hidden River Events made the process completely stress free. They took care of everything! We were given access to their website and Grace helped us through the selection of all the details. Their flowers are grown on-site and the caterer also owns an amazing restaurant a few miles away. I cannot say enough about how the venue created our perfect day! I showed up with the perfect dress, they took care of the rest!
What is your favorite memory from the wedding day?
Saying our vows in front of our friends and family. We felt our vows were unique and captured our lives in the present and the wish we have for our future together.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone preparing for their wedding day?
Do not stress over the details. At the end of the day, your guests will not know what you had envisioned and they'll love everything.
What made you choose Margaret Ellen Bridal? How did you know your dress was "the one"?
I was looking for a more personal dress buying experience. I had recently heard of Margaret Ellen Bridal and decided to make an appointment. Maggie truly went out of her way to ensure she could get me the dress of my dreams in such a short timeframe. She took note of my dress desires over the phone and recommended I send her a few dresses from the designers that caught my eye. She got it right on the first dress. Yes, I tried on others but went back to the first one in my mind every time. It was very classic, simple and elegant (my Audrey Hepburn moment). I felt like it reflected me and what I wanted for my wedding day.
Venue/Florist: Hidden River Events
Photographer: Jesse Kitt Photography
Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Grace Giles
Caterer: Native Kitchen and Social Pub, Asheville, NC
Hair: Hayley Gregory
Cake: Anne's Custom Catering
Ceremony Musicians/Reception DJ: Erik Mattox
Officiant: Jeanne Sommer
Seamstress: Kathleen Cooper/Southern Simplicity Gulf Coast