Bride of the Week: Jessica Merel


Our beautiful GLbride of the week is: Jessica Merel. She wore the incredible Isabella gown from the Empress Collection and looked more than stunning and here is her story!

Shaun and Jessica met for the first time she was 3 and he was 9 years old (what? this is just starting with an incredible note). They are both originally from South Africa and when Shaun immigrated to the US, he befriended Jessica’s older brother. One day, Jessica’s mom took the three of them to Disneyland and that was truly the first time they met (well you know what they say: Disneyland is a magic place). They all went to different schools so they drifted apart, but years later their dad met paying gold and became friends. Shaun occasionally played golf with Jessica’s dad, but they still didn’t meet again. It wasn’t until their families were together, at the same place in the same time that they met as adults and that is when everything changed… FOREVER!

Last December, Shaun and Jessica planned a trip to South Africa with another couple. In addition, her mom, his best friend and his sister all also planned to be there at the same time. Since both of their families are from South Africa, they were all excited to travel together and meet everyone. Shaun had never gone to Table Mountain and it was Jessica’s favorite place, so after a lot of careful planning because it is a very windy place where you can’t take the cable car up, they decided to go and it was a really warm and wind-free day. They went up to the mountain and they started to take photos. Then, Shaun told Jessica to climb to another place here he pulled out of his bag a tourism map. He handed her the map and asked her to tell him what they were looking at. When she opened the map, she was completely stunned. It was a map of their entire lives and relationship! Starting from childhood, meeting when they were young, going their separate ways, finally meeting and ended at Table Mountain. Then suddenly, he got on one knee and asked Jessica to marry him! Jessica just started to give him a thousand kisses and he asked if that was a yes (LOL, of course, it is a yes multiplied by a thousand). After that, their friends came and brought champagne and they toasted, laughed and cried and suddenly Shaun told her he had one more surprise for her. She looked at the place Shaun was pointing and saw her mom and Shaun’s parents who flew there as a surprise and of course Jessica burst into tears (again). Fortunately, Shaun hired a photographer to capture the whole event and Jessica described it as the most magical and surreal day, followed by many engagement parties what they will treasure for the rest of their lives!

Later, she went back home to find the perfect wedding dress. She always knew she had to try on a Galia Lahav dress. She went with her mom to the White Dress in Corona del Mar and immediately asked if she could try one of our dresses. Her dress, the #Isabella, was the first dress she tried on and it was absolutely PERFECT! They were a little worried to buy the first dress Jessica tried on so they went to other stores and looked for more, but it was obvious that was her wedding dress (when you know, you just know).

Jessica’s wedding was a magical one with a beautiful outdoor ceremony and dinner and she told us it was better than what she had dreamed of! Her favorite parts of the night were saying the vows, having their first dance together and when they actually sang a song together from Frozen “love is an open door” which she says they love singing it together at home and it was something that they had to do!! Jessica says she couldn’t imagine a more perfect man to spend her life with and she told us that: “wedding days never go totally to plan, mistakes happen, but when you walk down the aisle and you marry your best friend, in the most beautiful dress you’ve every worn, surrounded by family and friends, all that you feel is the excitement and love around you!”