A CORK shop which offers First Communion girls a pink throne to sit on while choosing their dress is already snowed under with appointments by people seeking the perfect dress for next year’s Communion season.
Parents of First Communion children are whisking their daughters to Cork for an “experience weekend” in which girls are treated “exactly like a bride”, often spending the night in hotels after choosing their daughter’s dream dress.
Cinderella’s Closet in North Point Business Park has goodie bags ready for each little girl who buys a dress.
The bags have a bracelet, vouchers for hot chocolate at a local business, vouchers for McDonalds, sweets and a specially commissioned ruler.
Owner Claire Dilworth said families coming from other parts of the country are making a weekend out of the excursion and added that two families from Jersey have booked appointments at the shop.
Parents are also bringing their children from the UK to purchase in Cork.
Ms Dilworth said social media has resulted in the foreign interest. She added: “We treat the girls exactly like a bride. They have their own consultation room and their own consultant. It is a family experience.”
First Communion dress fever has gotten underway in recent years in Cork during the mid-term break at the end of October.
Some parents are spending up to €1,000 on Communion dresses, despite warnings from charities and religious bodies about the need to curb spending to remove the pressure on parents and to focus on the religious significance of the sacrament.
Jane Young of Godsil’s on Castle Street said their shop has appointments booked already.
She said the shop has been open for more than 100 years and that young girls are accompanied in some cases by their grandmothers, whose First Communion dresses were also bought in Godsils.
The cost of First Communion dresses in Cork’s boutiques are typically from €180 to €550, depending on the style.
However, prices for the entire outfit can climb to more than €600 when shoes, umbrella, head dress and cardigan or shrug are included.
And parents have already booked hairdresser and beautician appointments for their children, as well as bouncy castles and other entertainment for the big day.
And in other cases, parents are looking to designers to create a special one-off dress for their daughters for their First Communion, with some costing more than €1,000.