In 2020 when the pandemic hit, like so many businesses we had to close our doors. Whilst we were unable to see brides we thought about how we could give something back to the community and our key workers and after chatting over a few ideas we came up with our ‘local hero’ competition. The idea was for people to nominate a key worker who was already engaged but had not yet chosen a wedding dress, to win one – completely free.

The competition was launched on the 12th May 2020 and we had an amazing response. We had so many inspiring stories of how both the general public and key workers were going extra length to help people and make a difference in what was the most challenging time of many of our lives. After the closing date, we spent a couple of weeks reading through the nominations and finally chose a winner – local nurse practitioner Paula McNeil.

Paula’s nomination was similar in so many ways to many others, a busy nurse who was pushed to the limits, working her own hours and covering many other hours when we were in the depths of Covid. Making out of hours house calls to vulnerable patients and ensuring the practice was serving their community as best as they could. It was also the other side to Paula that struck a chord with us, for many years a busy single, working Mum, she was always putting herself at the bottom of the list for ‘special things’ and putting her sons first. Dealing with the pandemic prompted her partner Richard to propose and a date was set, but Paula would often find other things that their funds were more needed for than herself and her wedding. We thought if Paula could win her dress – the rest would fall into place.

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In July 2020 when we were open after the first lockdown, Paula came in with her friends and narrowed her choice down to two dresses, then we had another lockdown and sadly Paula and Richard postponed to 2021. In April 2021 when we opened up after lockdown 3 she finally got to say YES to a dress she absolutely loved and her wedding date was set for 4th September. As the wedding date approached, our seamstress Katharine worked on the alterations to Paula’s dress to ensure the fit and length were perfect.

On Saturday 4th September 2021, Paula said I DO to Richard at Goosedale and she looked absolutely perfect.

Congratulations to you both.