The Ghinda Beauty Project: Bride Paula Gallagher Gives Lace a Modern Twist
All photos credited to Alevtina Photography
When Paula Gallagher came into the Ghinda studio, it didn't take long for us to realize how special she was. Her love of family and tradition tied into the design of her wedding gown, which still had an air of modern sophistication about it. We love everything about Paula, from her whimsical, romantic style, to her outlook on beauty, and we know you will too.
CW: What was it that brought you to Ghinda, what about your experience with us made you choose to go custom?
PG: I found Ghinda through a search on TheKnot.com. Ghinda was actually my first stop on the bridal gown search. I visited with Jen and tried on dresses from her collection to find a silhouette that worked for me. I knew from that day on that I was going to have my dress made by Ghinda. I did end up visiting other bridal shops, because I felt that I had to. I felt that I had to do the traditional thing of going with my mom and girls to try on wedding dresses. The visits to other bridal shops further solidified my desire to have a custom made gown by Ghinda.
CW: Your relationship with your mother is so special, and we loved seeing the two of you come in together for appointments. How involved was your mother in the design process of your wedding gown? Did her style in any way influence the design of your gown?
PG: My mom is my best friend; so naturally, she was involved with every step of the wedding planning process. My mom loves all things vintage; vintage wrapping paper, vintage cups and plates, vintage clothing. My dress had that vintage feel while still being modern, hence why we went with an all lace dress. I trusted her judgment on what looked best on me. She even came up with the idea of using my grandmothers wedding headpiece and turning it into a clip I could use in my hair for the reception.
CW: How was it designing a bridal gown from start to finish? You are one of the first brides we've had design a gown entirely out of lace, how was that process, was the end result what you envisioned?
PG: Designing a bridal gown is something that not many brides get to experience. It was different because you never get that feeling of “saying yes to the dress”. It isn’t like TV shows. You are involved in every element of design. It is YOUR dress. I am so very picky, so designing my dress was exactly what I needed. I also wanted a backless dress, so having a custom dress built for my body made me feel confident and comfortable.
CW: As a dietitian, how does this influence your perception of beauty? Do you often find that beauty starts with what you nourish your body with? What advice do you have for women from this point of view?
PG: Absolutely. I believe that you are what you eat. I love making things from scratch; I love knowing exactly what ingredients are in my food. Nourishing my body with wholesome ingredients is where beauty begins. I think that for most women, the perception of beauty and their weight go hand in hand. I think that rather than focusing on a number on the scale, we should focus on how what we eat makes us feel. I think we need to focus on eating more of the foods that make us feel healthful and limiting the foods that make us feel guilty. We need to remember our body is a temple and we should eat to nourish it.
CW: What was your relationship with Jen like as you were designing, how was this different or special in comparison to your other bridal shopping experiences?
PG: Is there even a comparison to Jen? I don’t know of bridal shop where you get the attention like you get from Jen. You would never even know that Jen was working on other brides gowns because she makes you feel like you are the most important bride in her world. Jen ordered lace after lace for me to see and feel, she sewed a seam, and then undid the seam to make it perfect; she sewed on buttons just to realize they weren’t perfectly in line and she would start over again, she hemmed the bottom and then had to hem it more when we realized I couldn’t walk. While I may have never gotten to “say yes to the dress” in a regular bridal shop, I got to work with Jen for a full year creating my dream gown.
CW: What makes you feel confident?
PG: I think that physical activity makes me feel more confident; yes, sweat and all. Health really is a relationship between you and your body. After an hour spin or HIIT class, I feel like I am on cloud 9. As the years have passed, I think I have come to enjoy exercising because I have finally realized that I do it to be strong and fit, not skinny. It is amazing that once you convince your mind that you can do something, your body will follow suit. I like to push myself to the limits and see what I am truly capable of doing.
CW: We heard your dad wrote the song for your father/daughter dance?! How unique and special is that?! Are there any lyrics from it you'd like to share that were especially meaningful and important to you?
PG: This was a complete surprise to me. My dad had told me that he contacted the DJ and had chosen a song for our dance but it was a surprise. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that he wrote, sang, and produced it. It is honestly a moment in time that I will never forget; it was one of the most special moments of my life. It is so difficult to pinpoint my favorite lyrics since I love them all, but if I have to, I would start from the first lyrics I heard…which in turn, made me cry like a big bridal baby.
"I remember the day you came into my world,
Daddy’s got himself a little girl
The simple joys that you would bring
Watching you do little things
Like catching fireflies on a summer night"
(If you want to hear the full song, click here.)