Picking Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Picking Your Perfect Wedding Dress

Never settle.

Of course you can apply the above to anything in life but I’m going to be superficial this week and apply it to my wedding dress. Finding your dream dress can be one of the best experiences of a wedding. You do need to be prepared for challenges though and the fact that it might not come together as easily as you would expect.


Bespoke Bolero from Ivory & Co – I think that this is the one. Couldn’t get a picture of it’s on it’s own.
The original Aurora dress. The lace top and bow was removed and replaced with the bolero.

From the beginning I had an idea of what I wanted. I always had a certain image in my head of how I would look. You would think that this made it easier to find? Wrong. I went to a selection of different shops trying to find the replica of what my mind had conjured but to no avail. When I couldn’t find it someone suggested that I attempt a few different style dresses to see if they would suffice but no, they wouldn’t. I couldn’t be deterred. It had to be the image in my head. Nothing else would do.

A major issue I found with a lot of stores was that they offered limited imagination. The dress would be beautiful but with little vision for adjustments or alteration. For some brides this is perfectly fine. Had I found my dress off the rail then I would have been one of them. But that was it, mine wasn’t there.

I suppose I should mention that I’m also the issue here in that as much as a shop may lack imagination, I lack it ten times more. While I could envision how my dress should look, I had no idea how to get it from A to B. I needed someone who knew what they were doing to help me and the biggest problem I was having was that nobody really wanted to come on my dress making journey with me.

That was until Frilly Frocks.

It was a few weeks into my search and dejection had started to creep in. Dress shopping is so much fun until it’s not. There’s only so many times you can go into those stores and come out with nothing before it starts to get a little boring. I hadn’t quite reached my limit yet but I was close. I could sense it. After the recommendation of Frilly’s by a friend I rounded up the posse, (my mother and sister) and we set off with guarded anticipation- each secretly hoping that this would be it but not wanting to get our hopes up. Little did we know that the stunning little store hidden in the heart of Drogheda would end up being exactly what we needed.

I couldn’t describe in enough detail just how helpful there were. Upon telling them what I wanted they instantly set out to bring my idea to life. It took us a while to get there but finally we hit the jackpot when by taking one dress from the Aurora collection and combining it with a bespoke bolero from Ivory & Co my dream dress was born.

Of course this wasn’t going to be a simple operation. The lace had to be removed in it’s entirety from the original dress before the bolero would be stitched on. Also because the buttons on the dress were daintier than the buttons on the bolero I wanted to swap them over (it’s possible I was more of a bridezilla then I give myself credit for). To finish it all off, I wanted the bow removed too… because I hate bows. So where was I going to find someone with enough ability (and patience) to take my demands and turn them into a finished product.

Enter Seven Stitches.

A local alteration company that Frillys work closely with and highly recommended. After collecting my dress and bolero they arranged for me to head on over to Tanya who would then spend the best part of six weeks taking the dress apart and putting it back together for me. Some people thought I was mad and maybe I was. In the hands of a less capable person this could have been a car crash but thankfully Tanya knew exactly what she was doing. Seeing it all come together was thrilling to say the least. It was my dress, my creation (obviously I hadn’t done any of the actual work but whatevs, I still came up with it).

The final result was perfect. It was exactly what I wanted. I’ve included some pictures below but basically my vision hadn’t changed much from when I was about 5 – I wanted to go full on fairy princess. I could have gone for a different style – god knows we went to enough shops and maybe I’d have liked it but it wouldn’t have been “my dress”. Going for the biggest cliche ever, when you know you know – I could apply that to anything in life but again, I’m going to be superficial 🙂








Top Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping:

  1. Try not to eat too much – or at least don’t eat anything too heavy. Nothing worse than feeling bloated and full before trying on a dozen dresses. You want to look and feel your best.
  2. Have a budget – it doesn’t have to be exact but have a rough estimate of how much you’re willing to spend so that you don’t end up disappointed after trying on the perfect dress only to realise it’s 2 grand out of your price range.
  3. Keep the viewing party small – it’s such a lovely idea to bring lots of people to fittings especially if you’ve a big bridal party. But remember, with lots of people comes lots of different opinions and what’s gorgeous in your mind might be spoiled by someone who doesn’t share your same fashion sense. I brought my two sisters and my mothers with me when I was dress shopping but only my mother to the alterations as I wanted the final outcome to be a surprise.
  4. When you know, you know – it’s not a silly saying. So many people said it to me while I was on my search and although I rolled my eyes at the idea it definitely is true. Trust your instincts and don’t settle for less. No matter how long it takes, you will find it.

Photos by the wonderful Annie Kheffache.

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