Fundrais­ing show to fea­ture dresses from Welles­ley wed­dings past and present

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - ALI WIL­SON

WELLES­LEY MOD­ELS OF ALL ages will be hit­ting the stage next Thurs­day to show­case wed­ding at­tire straight from lo­cal women’s clos­ets.

The sec­ond it­er­a­tion of the Wed­ding Dress Show – Gen­er­a­tions and Com­bi­na­tions is again or­ga­nized by Wendy Richard­son as a fundraiser for the Welles­ley Town­ship Fall Fair and the lo­cal youth coun­cil.

“It was a real hit, so this time we just made it Wed­ding Dress Show II,” said Richard­son.

She says she’s a big fan of the cul­ture around wed­ding dresses.

“That is a pas­sion of mine. The first one I did was be­cause I wanted to see ev­ery­body’s (dresses). I didn’t want to see what was on (the tele­vi­sion show) Say Yes to the Dress, although I like that too, but I wanted to just see what peo­ple wore and that’s why it came out of their clos­ets. So many peo­ple are of­fer­ing their dresses and their skills, lo­cal peo­ple do­ing desserts it’s won­der­ful,” she said of re­sponse to the show.

For Richard­son it was im­por­tant to have lo­cal wed­ding dresses, vin­tage through to the present, taken right out of peo­ple’s own clos­ets and mod­elled by lo­cal ladies and youth. Gen­er­a­tions and Com­bi­na­tions, the name of the show, speaks to the true theme of what Richard­son hoped the dresses would em­u­late on stage.

“The Gen­er­a­tions and Com­bi­na­tions came be­cause some peo­ple have four or five dresses that they have saved up through the years in gen­er­a­tions – great grand­mother, grand­mother, and up to the present and com­bi­na­tions it could be wed­ding and brides­maid dress or flower girl dress – [it] re­ally en­com­passes every­thing,” said Richard­son.

The 30 mod­els ages 8 to 68 will be show­cas­ing 70 dresses through­out the course of the night. Wed­ding, brides­maid, and flower girl dresses are from a range of time pe­ri­ods. She says the event is re­ally spe­cial for the com­mu­nity be­cause it is en­tirely lo­cal.

“It is so neat the whole thing is lo­cal be­cause the dresses do come out of peo­ple’s clos­ets and peo­ple are still of­fer­ing their dresses at this point, but I’ve had to start turning down about a month ago al­ready be­cause we just have too many dresses,” said Richard­son.” And the mod­els are all lo­cal.”

The old­est dress show­cased in the evening is from the 1850s.

“It has iri­des­cent colours of bronze and brown that turns pur­ple is cer­tain light­ing. It is hand-stitched with fine de­tail and the col­lar is padded,” said Richard­son. “We are put­ting that one on a dress form be­cause it is too brit­tle to show on a model, so it should be on the stage.”

Although it won’t be part of the show this time around, for Richard­son see­ing her own dress on stage last time around brought back mem­o­ries and made her ap­pre­ci­ate why it was the one for her.

“It is re­ally nice to see it on some­one else, be­cause it just kind of brings back mem­o­ries. It shows up on some­body else so then you think, ‘I re­mem­ber, oh I re­ally like that dress’ and you re­mem­ber why you liked it.”

As of now the event is com­pletely sold out, all 200 tick­ets hav­ing been claimed.

All funds from the show will go to­wards the Welles­ley-NEH Agri­cul­ture So­ci­ety and Welles­ley Youth Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil.

“We just need it (the funds) broadly over every­thing. For the fair, we have prize money we have to pay out, there are fire­works, there is the chil­dren’s pro­gram­ing so wher­ever its needed we will use it,” said Richard­son. “The Youth Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil uses some of their money raised to aid with se­nior pro­grams and the food bank in Welles­ley Town­ship. They are a great bunch of young adults to work with and have been very de­pend­able.”

The Wed­ding Dress Show will take place the Welles­ley Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on May 18 at 7 p.m. with the fire­fight­ers from the Welles­ley sta­tion vol­un­teer­ing their ser­vices to serve the dessert, tea and cof­fee and help with the take-down af­ter the show.

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