'The perfect day': Ellen DeGeneres helps N.S. family surprise military bride-to-be
A Nova Scotia bride-to-be living in California recently got the surprise of a lifetime, thanks to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
Sarah Knickle is originally from Lunenburg County but lives in Camarillo with her fiancé, Will, who is a navy pilot, and their 15-month-old daughter, Ellie.
Sarah has been trying to plan a wedding back home in Nova Scotia, but it’s been difficult, given the distance and difference in time zones, and without friends or family nearby to help.
She even put off wedding dress shopping so, realizing she only had two months until her wedding, and no dress to wear down the aisle, she decided to write "The Ellen Show."
“My dream scenario of wedding dress shopping would be having my mom and my sister and my closest friends with me, but if that can’t happen, I would love to go with Jeannie. I think we would have a great time,” Sarah told "The Ellen Show."
“Sarah started planning for her wedding and she realized she was in a unique situation of not having family and friends to help her, and she’s so far away from home, so she wrote to the Ellen website, not thinking that anything would become of, and sure enough, something did,” her mother, Nancy Knickle, told CTV Atlantic.
Touched by the story of a military bride-to-be without a dress, and any family to help her, Ellen and her team answered Sarah’s plea and sent on-air correspondent Jeannie Klisiewicz -- who hosts a segment called “Life’s First Evers with Jeannie” on the show – to her home to surprise her.
Sarah was taken to the Claire Pettibone bridal boutique in Los Angeles to try on dresses, but the surprises didn’t stop there.
The bride-to-be was stunned when her mother and sister came around the corner and wrapped her in a hug.
“I was floored. I was already so excited to be here and to do this and then when they popped out around the corner, it just felt like it was going to be the perfect day,” said Sarah while being interviewed by "The Ellen Show."
The show arranged for Sarah’s mother and sister to fly from Nova Scotia to California and surprise her. After a few preliminary calls and interviews from the production team, they were shocked when they finally received confirmation that they would be surprising Sarah.
“It was nerve-wracking. It was an emotional rollercoaster for weeks. It was weeks it went on and we had no idea for sure if we were going to be going,” recalled her sister, Krisanne Tanner-McLain. “Well this is Hollywood, we’re not going to be going to Hollywood. That’s not even in our wildest dreams, but then we finally got the call.”
They say keeping the surprise a secret from Sarah was the hardest part.
“We were excited and we wanted to share the joy with her, but we couldn’t because it may not have happened if we found that out,” said Nancy. “It was fabulous. I mean, as a mom to be there with your daughter, it was the best.”
The pair even left a piece of home – a book about Nova Scotia’s beloved schooner, the Bluenose – in California as a thank you to Ellen, Jeannie, and their team.
“I felt I had to take a touch of home out with me,” said Nancy.
With the help of her family, Sarah selected a white, lace Claire Pettibone wedding dress.
The next step is the wedding, which will take place in Nova Scotia next month.