Passing on dress ‘part of amazing adventure’


PRINCESS TREATMENT: Ciara Sholayan, who was gifted her beautiful wedding dress, also wants to pass it on to a deserving bride-to-be. Picture: SUPPLIED

Ciara Sholayan always dreamt of getting married to the love of her life in the perfect wedding dress, however, due to financial constraints, that dream threatened to fade.

This was until she came across a Facebook post calling on  brides-to-be who were in need of a dress to submit a short motivational on why they needed assistance to make their dream a reality.

“I wrote about the challenges I had been facing.

“Things were not great for us financially, my mother was sick and I was the one taking care of her. Wedding dresses are expensive and I didn’t know how I was going to afford mine.

“I had never won anything in my life, but I sent my letter in any way,” said Sholayan.

After a few weeks, she received a call informing her that she had won, and arrangements were made for her to collect her dress.

A few months later, she had her fairytale wedding when she married her husband Damien, in August this year.

The beautiful white dress from Lady Marmalade Bridal, had belonged to Claudia Smith, who purchased it in the early 2000s.

It is a sweetheart dress with detailed beading on the bodice and a flared and flattering skirt.

It has a laced-up back which makes it easily adjustable.

Smith said she had owned the dress for a long time and she had felt ready to pass it on.

“The dress had already served its purpose and I was contemplating whether I should sell it or find someone deserving to give it to.

“I decided to put a post on Facebook. I received quite a few responses and after going through all of them, I found Ciara’s story to be the most touching. I knew I was taking a risk because not everyone on social media can be trusted.

“Ciara kept in touch and showed me photos of her wedding day,” said Smith.

Sholayan is now on a mission to continue the tradition.

“I want to pass on the dress and let someone else have it.

“I want someone else to look and feel beautiful on their special day. This could be the start of an amazing adventure for the dress,” said Sholayan.

“Maybe in 50 years we will look back on this moment and it will be a great memory.”

Sholayan will post the offer on Facebook, including the specifications of the dress, and how to enter. All entries will be sent to, and Sholayan will then decide who gets the dress.

Ciara’s Facebook Post:


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