Woman wedding dress shopping

The Vow

How to Say Yes to The Dress...without the drama

Wedding dress shopping should be one of the most exciting and joyful times in a bride-to-be’s life.

It’s a great day out for herself, close family and friends. I got engaged at New Years, and I’m half excited and terrified at the thoughts of conducting a choir of voices into harmony, while I parade in front of them seeking indulgence or worse, approval on my own wedding dress.

There’s a lot of emotion naturally, when trying on gowns for the first time. It’s the next step in your wedding journey and something you probably have envisioned [secretly Pinned] for quite some time.  It can be a touch overwhelming for the bride and somewhere between Chapel and Cathedral length veils, she can end up having a fit...in her fit and flair.


We got the inside scoop from two of Ireland’s best bridal boutiques on some of the meltdowns they’ve witnessed and how to avoid any dress drama on the day.

Meghann Mills O’Riordan and her mother Marina run one of Dublin’s best-know bridal boutiques Myrtle Ivory (Amy Huberman and Aoife Cogan both bought their gowns there).

Meghann Mills O'Riordan, Myrtle Ivory

The story: "We had a lovely bride who came into us with her mother on her first visit. She absolutely fell head over heels with a gown and booked another appointment with us for her second viewing. This time, she brought eight friends with her. There were eight very different opinions and the poor bride ended up in floods of tears. In the end, she went with her heart and she was absolutely delighted she did. We got a card later from her to say her groom loved it, and sure he is the only person in the room you want to blow away’."

Their advice?  "We would always suggest bringing no more than three guests with you and only people whose opinion you really value. How many people do you bring to the hairdressers?"

The temptation to bring all your gal-pals along for a fun-filled afternoon of prosecco and dress shopping may sound like the dream, however, Meghann reminds us that a little independence can go a long way saying. "Don't be afraid to come alone, we're here to not only dress you but we want to find you your dream dress, so use our knowledge to benefit you finding 'the one'. We're the experts after all.’"

As far as doing your homework on Pinterest goes, Meghann suggests an element of caution before Pinning your dream dress. "Try not to! Pinterest is fabulous for décor, hair styles, flower arrangements... but when it comes to the dress, it can leave brides overwhelmed. I've had brides come in with their Pinterest wedding boards that consist of every dress style available. It really can over-saturate and overwhelm brides, try limit yourself & have no expectations as you'll be blown away when you find it.’’


Rachel Morgan, The White Gallery


Rachel Morgan owner of the super stylish and contemporary The White Galler in Co. Down shares her experience of one bride who shut down her entire store for the morning, so her glam squad could get to work.

The story: "Occasionally we have experienced bridezilla moments. Earlier this year we had a particular bride who asked if she could use one of our fitting rooms for a hair trial with her award-winning, Belfast-based hairdresser. She could have had her hair trials at the salon, however, she wanted the moment of finding her dress here at the boutique!

"This bride-to-be wanted to have the opportunity to wear her wedding dress and use it as inspiration for the hairstyles that her hairdresser would create. Fortunately, we have two fitting rooms and in a position to offer a room for the full morning to our bride and her hairdresser…just as well! Numerous tins of hairspray and five different hairstyles later the bride and her hairdresser left the boutique after four hours…still unsure about which hairstyle to go with."

Her advice? As tough as it can be to reach each client’s expectations, Rachel prides her boutique’s ability to please the most picky of perfectionists telling us ‘’We endeavour to meet most of the Bridezilla requests from our brides, as we do pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service as it’s one of the most special occasions in a bride’s life.’’

Running one of the country’s most glamourous wedding stores, Rachel knows how stressful fittings can be for the brides coming through her doors.  Her advice is to enjoy the initial dress viewing with your mum and mates, but take a more streamlined approach to your girl gang for the second fitting. 

"Our advice is that when you are going back to see your favourite dress/es for a second time, bring only one or two people whose opinion really matters to you," she explains.

Some practical advice pre-visit is to research designers you love and make appointments with the boutiques that stock them. Rachel also notes to "arrive on time to get the most out of your appointment and so that you’re not flustered on arrival; wear nude, seam-free lingerie and most importantly have fun!"

For more on both boutiques, visit http://www.myrtleivory.com and http://www.thewhitegalleryboutique.co.uk