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Our Real Bridal Blogger Pam Finds Her Dream Dress

Image via Style Me Pretty

weddingsonline Editor Pam is marrying fiancé Paul on May 31st 2014 and is sharing her journey along the way, the highs and the lows! In the third of her blog posts, she talks about finding her dream dress…

Read about Pam’s quest to find the perfect venue here!

The One

The funny thing about getting married is the lingo you pick up along the way – to me ‘the one’ was always the boy, but once the ring had made itself at home, the phrase takes on a new meaning and it’s all about the dress of course. This dress isn’t like every other dress, and not just because the fairy tales have bigged it up. Not only should it make you feel your most amazing, but it can leave your mam teary eyed, and your OH floored (I hope) not to mention the countless photos of it that will adorn your wall for years to come! Aaah the pressure…

The Shopping

When it came to shopping, I enlisted the help of my mam, who was only dying to hit the shops, and my sister who says it as it is – her reaction when I got engaged was ‘we’ll have to get you a communion dress’ referring to my height – so I’d know with just one glance at her whether it was a worthy contender.

I started shopping just under a year before the wedding but was glad I did as it took me awhile. The shopping experience is such a surreal one, from sitting in the waiting area surrounded by wedding magazines knowing you’re actually going to be stepping in to one of these creations, to the reality of seeing yourself kitted out, all white and frothy and sooo grown up. I’ll say it again, surreal!

It’s as you picture, walls filled with cream and ivory beauties, little tags to hang on your chosen ones, the cutesy pedestal boxes you’ve seen in the movies which you step on to in all your wedding gowned glory, so that the dress drapes properly and your fan club can have a proper gawk, snazzy changing rooms that would put BT to shame (velvet curtains, often a chair fit for Kate Middleton and a line of sparkly Cinderella style shoes) and lots of twirling (or lurching in my case) when you do make it to the box. Oh and I have never seen anything quite like the pinning by the way, it was amazing how a few pins can transform a dress! Granted there was no champagne (damn you Disney) but it is a lovely and fun experience all the same, and so nice to share with those closest to you.

The Hunt Continued…

As much as I had a vision of the style of dress I wanted, I was open to trying on anything for my first foray in to the wedding dress world – mermaid, column, ball gown for the hell of it… (I was surprised by how lovely a dress can look, even though you might be your usual type, so would definitely advocate trying all sorts on). But ultimately for me, it was so important to feel comfortable, to feel like a more scrubbed up version of me.

Fellow brides I knew were leaving their first or second bridal shop with a beaming smile, clutching the deposit slip for their ‘one’. So I was a bit put out to say the least that my own hunt was being a little more awkward. I kept waiting for this feeling to take a hold of me as I stepped in to each dress but nada. Not the one. Close, but not quite there. I’d been to a good seven shops before I got there and was really questioning my Bridezilla levels, was I being overly fussy??

Shop eight was de Stafford Bridal. I wasn’t entirely expecting to find my dress that day but I did my little hook thingy, popping them on dresses that caught my eye. When I got to the changing room, there were a few dresses hanging in my cubicle that another bride had tried on so my lovely sales assistant helped me flick through them just in case. SO glad I did.

There it was! I stepped in to it, tottered out on to my box, did my twirly thing and fell in love. And that’s ultimately what it comes down to, how you feel. In my experience, the one does exist – it is worth those tired feet, trawling through rails (let’s be honest, of gorgeousness but all the same…) and rebuking the ones that are almost right. Because when you know, you know!

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Pamela Mahon

Pamela Mahon

Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.


  1. Siobhain O Brien says:

    Oh Pam, you caught the essence so well… although I did find my dress in the first shop, I was only going to have a look…. so when I stood on the box and, as you said, the Veil went on, the Mam welled up and the Sis came out of her hungover stupor to gush at how perfect and beautiful it was, I couldn’t help but realise this WAS the ONE!!! With me and my purse a little lighter as I floated on cloud 9! It is a very special time, and I for one am loving it. Hope you are too!

  2. Pamela Mahon Pamela Mahon says:

    Aw thank you for your comment Siobhain – I am loving it but haha definitely with you on the lighter purse 🙂

  3. Catrina says:

    So relieved to hear that someone didn’t find ‘the one’ in the 1st shop! After 10 shops and trying on way too many dresses I found ‘the one’ which was the last dress in the last shop on a cold wet day in December and yes, when you know you know, so glad I kept going rather than settling for something that I knew wasn’t ‘the one’ in my own heart 🙂

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