A Tythe Summer in Six Dresses: How Bride Eloise found her Essense of Australia Gown

Essense of Australia wedding dress Tythe Barn

High impact statement dressing redefined bridal for Eloise Lyall’s wedding to George on 13th June at Tythe .

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‘I felt a lot of pressure to be like a bride. I was constantly asking, is this dress bridal enough?

I love the boho look and was initially drawn to the Elora dress by Madi Lane. It’s off the shoulder, very slim fitting with a nude underlay and lace over the top. It’s a beautiful dress but I knew as soon as I tried it on that it wasn’t right for me. I felt like I was wearing a little beach dress.

Pure Couture in Beaconsfield was the only boutique I visited and where I tried seven different looks in total. I realised that I loved the off-the-shoulder neckline of the Essence of Australia Lucine dress. It has a dipped sweetheart neckline and a full box-pleated skirt. My husband’s mum and the two bridesmaids I took with me cried when I tried it on and then I cried.

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It wasn’t until I got home, I realised this dress was so similar to the one my mum wore on her wedding day. We sadly lost her a few years ago but it’s what made this dress even more special, even if it wasn’t intentional. My eight-year-old sister was a flower girl and she wore something that was a combination of both mum’s and my dress. 

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‘We saw Tythe’s Avenue of Birch trees and George said, imagine if we got married there …

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It was his one input to the wedding planning. Originally the backdrop was going to be the open countryside but then we flipped it, so guests were facing the beautiful old barn. There are some steps that we stood on so everyone could see us, and I was able to have the train of the dress trailing down the steps.

I wanted that impact for everyone. We could hear the wind rustling in the trees which was lovely, there was never a silence. The sheep were baaing in the field behind us. I took the small country path that runs alongside the church grounds so that none of the seated guests saw me in advance of the ceremony.

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Later our photographer took us to some black farm buildings that are out of sight and we had some really impactful images shot there. I wanted all the cute photos and we have those, but I also wanted something more alternative with a bit more attitude and at a venue like Tythe you can achieve that.’ 

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People assumed my main dress would be black or very short. . . 

I may be heavily tattooed – I have them everywhere except my stomach and feet – but I love everything girly. I like to make an impact but not in a gothic way. That’s not me at all.

I wanted to be a princess for the day, and I worried the tattoos meant I was going to lose that. Whenever you see images of brides they are very classically pretty, and you lose that the second you’re covered in tattoos.

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I considered going for long sleeves and keeping as covered as possible, but I couldn’t find anything I liked and started to worry that in June it would be too hot anyway. In the end I really liked the contrast of the ivory Lucine dress against my tattoos.

They complement each other so well. But I still felt like a princess because of the tight bodice and the very full ballgown skirt and train.’


The Label

Essence of Australia offers a broad collection of gowns encompassing many traditional silhouettes with modern detailing, embellishment and fabric choices plus a degree of customisation.

Expect vintage style laces, soft cap sleeves, delicate illusion necklines, crystal beading and textured skirts with many styles available in white, ivory, blush and champagne with detachable sashes in satin or grosgrain ribbon. The label is part of the group that also owns the Stella York, All Who Wander and Martina Liana wedding dress collections and the Sorella Vita bridesmaid line.

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‘George has never cried in the five years we’ve been together… 

. . . and he said to me before the wedding, if ever there’s going to be a moment when I cry, it will be when I see you walk down the aisle. That was a pressure and a half. I knew I had to go for major impact with the dress. He didn’t cry! His voice kept cracking and he said he could feel inside that he wanted to cry but there were no tears. George is a man of few words. He said I looked amazing.

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We watched Married At First Sight together in the run up to the wedding and I would constantly ask what he thought of the dresses, if he would expect to see me in something like that.

The only thing he said was not to buy anything too weird, to keep it normal, nothing ridiculous. He was expecting to see a white wedding dress. He has said a lot since that he loved the one I chose.’


My favourite image of the dress is…

. . . the same one everyone loves, the two of us taken against the natural wood of Tythe’s Shepherd’s hut on the farmhouse lawns. I also love the one of us on George’s BMW and another when I am wearing the evening dress.

We’re leaning against the wall, George has his blazer off, braces on and I’m looking off camera.’  

Eloise wearing Essense of Australia wedding dress Tythe Barn Launton

‘I needed more impact from the accessories…

Originally, I ordered some delicate pearl earrings, but my hair was always going to be back in a tight, slick bun, a style I felt has a bit more attitude and edge to it, so I realised the jewellery had to be more of a statement too. I switched to larger clusters of pearls for the earrings, a last minute buy a week before the wedding.

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The heart necklace with our wedding date engraved on the reverse was a present from George the morning of the wedding, a thank you for organising everything. I also wore a blusher length veil over my face for the walk down the aisle. Everyone says it’s a religious thing to do but for me it was more of a fashion statement. George lifted it for me which was a lovely moment.’

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After the first dance, the bridesmaids and I went back to Tythe’s beautiful farmhouse. They all got changed into little black dresses and I changed into my little white dress.

I tried on a lot of dresses for this second look, at least ten, so more than the main dress. Two days before the wedding, I was still trying on more dresses before I settled on the Gwyneth dress from Meshki with a statement off the shoulder bow neckline.’


More About Tythe…

Tythe is a collection of beautifully restored Cotswold stone barns and a 17th Century farmhouse set at the heart of Tythe’s Manor Farm – the working farm of the Deeley family for over 500 years, all peacefully tucked away from the bustle of the neighbouring market town.

As one of the most established barn venues in the country, Tythe sets a high standard and offers guests expert planning. Its selection of restored barns, farmhouse accommodation and pretty manicured gardens are hired exclusively, for the perfect adult playground. The newly renovated farmhouse is your luxury rural retreat with space for everyone.

Enjoy seven double ensuite bedrooms including a master wedding suite, plus a dedicated pampering space with your own Champagne station. On the ground floor you’ll find charming rooms, including a dedicated space for the groom and outside a tennis court, the wood-fuelled hot tub and a Shepherd’s Hut for two.

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Jade Beer

Jade Beer View all Jade's articles

Jade Beer is the former editor of Conde Nast Brides, a role she held for eight years, keeping it at the number one spot for the duration of her editorship. Today, she is the editor of the Mayfair Wedding Guide; editor-at-large for The Wedding Edition and she writes about fashion and lifestyle for the national press and women's magazines. She is the author of three published novels including her latest The Last Dress from Paris.