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17th Jul 2016

Bridesmaids planned a beautiful wedding dress shopping surprise for their Irish pal in Australia


Planning a wedding is a huge task. When you’re living thousands of miles from home, it’s extra tricky.

Hilary De Pris is originally from Athlone, but has been living in Perth, Australia, for the last four years with her fiancé Stephen, also from Athlone.

The couple are getting married in Ireland next April, and all the wedding plans are being co-ordinated across continents and time zones: all of Hilary’s bridesmaids and her family still live in Ireland, so it’s a bit of an operation.

Hilary and Stephen got engaged last October at a beach in Perth named ‘Hillary’s beach’. “I can always say I was proposed to on my very own beach now!” Hilary told


It was a bittersweet moment for Hilary when she got to the point where she’d picked her wedding dress and was planning her first fitting.

As she wrote on Facebook: “All a girl ever wants is for her mam to be with her when shopping for the perfect wedding dress, but with me living in Perth and Mam in Ireland this isn’t possible…”

This is where her amazing friends and fiancé stepped in to help her out.


Hilary, on the right, with two of her bridesmaid friends (Picture supplied).

Hilary recently came home from work one evening to find a large package had arrived from Ireland. Inside there was a letter from her three bridesmaids back in Ireland, Aoife, Erica and Susan – attached to a dark wig.

Her fiance Stephen recorded her reaction, and in the video you can see a baffled Hilary reading the letter aloud:

“We were very upset that your mum Fionnuala couldn’t be with you for your first fitting of your wedding dress,” the letter said.

“We know it’s very hard to show your mum your style of dress on a mobile phone via Skype or Facetime. So we thoughts we’d send over a very special present to help you make a decision during your wedding dress shopping!”

Still confused about the meaning of the wig, Hilary then gets the surprise of her life when her mam Fionnuala comes into the room, declaring, in true Irish mammy style: “Surprise! How’s my girl?! Ah, Fionnuala’s here!”

(The wig was meant to remind Hilary of her mum’s hair, FYI!).

The three bridesmaids and Stephen had pitched in to pay for Hilary’s parents to come out to Oz for the occasion.


Hilary can barely keep it together as they have a massive hug – and then she notices that her dad Joe has arrived in tow.

“Once my dad heard Mam was going he had to come along for the trip!” Hilary told “Stephen and my bridesmaids, who are all back in Ireland, knew how emotional I was not having mam, but I never in my life expected to see her and be able to share this beautiful mother-daughter experience with her.”

“My friends here in Oz had the bridal shops booked for that Saturday too. They’re so busy over here you’ve to book a few weeks in advance or we wouldn’t have been able to get in last minute. The whole trip was all booked in the space of three weeks. My parents had come to visit us last September, so they were here before, but I never expected them to be here twice in a year.

“It was the most thoughtful, amazing, caring and loving thing anyone could have ever done for me. I’m so lucky to have these amazing friends and fiance. I am so grateful for every one of them.”

Hilary added that planning an Irish wedding from Australia is “easy enough”, and, most importantly, that she said yes to the dress.

You can watch the full video here:

The accompanying Facebook message reads:

“Get the tissues out. What can I say only that I have the most amazing, caring, thoughtful fiancé & bridesmaids in the world. All a girl ever wants is for her Mam to be with her when shopping for the perfect wedding dress, but with me living in Perth and Mam in Eire this is not possible. After my school winter concert on a late week night, I came home to open a parcel that was sent to Australia from Ireland from my bridesmaids Susan, Aoife and Erica. Stephen was given orders to record it all, so I will leave the rest for you to watch and see what happened….. You have to WATCH TO THE END!!! Money could not buy this amazing feeling that my bridesmaids and fiancé have given me.. Thank you all so so so much…Love Ye all to bits.

Cheers to Hilary for sending this our way. If you have a story to share with us, email us [email protected], or message us on Facebook.