Brides relive aisle moments
Thirteen proved to be a lucky number for Courtney Dyason. 30 brides wore their wedding finery for the annual Somerset Kindergarten Bride of the Year pageant in the Regent on Broadway on Monday night. Amongst the exclusively white trains and veils, crystals and lace, Courtney paraded as contestant 13, wearing a gown from Churchwood Bridal in New Plymouth.
For the panel of six judges, which included last year’s Bride of the Year Hayley Groombridge, Courtney’s combination of gown, pose, demeanour and style, earned her the 2015 Bride of the Year sash.
The competition was open to anyone with Manawatu links and connections married between August 1, 2014, and July 31, 2015. Courtney, who works at NZX Agri in Feilding, and is mother to 16-month-old Sienna, married Adrian in January at Sileni Wine Estate in Hawkes Bay.
First runner-up was Megan Williams, with Cara Hesselin second runner-up.
None of the the three thought they would be the ones to catch the eye of the judges, and none envied the judging panel their task. Having 30 brides together in the theatre was quite an overwhelming experience.
‘‘There were lots of beautiful girls in beautiful gowns,’’ Courtney says.
Cara says she did enjoy being able to wear her gown with all the trimmings one more time. For several of the contestants, the opportunity to again relive the aisle moment was a leading reason for entering.
Winner of the audience vote was Jess Long and the Brides’ Choice was Amanda Gordon.
Compered by Dean McKerras, the relaxed evening had plenty of audience participation with auctions, raffles and spot prizes. Entertainment was provided by several troupes of Dean’s dancers, and there was the cute-factor appearance of kindergarten age fairies and page boys.
From the audience, the best advice on how to have a long happy marriage came from a woman who was married 58 years ago in 1956. It was simply ‘‘Be nice to each other’’.
Also from the audience, the best pre-nuptial advice given by a mother of the bride to her daughter was ‘‘Love passionately’’, though one mother reported saying to her future son-in-law ‘‘There’s no returns’’.
Somerset Kindergarten has run the pageant since 1969. Its major fundraiser for the year, proceeds from Monday evening’s event are going to develop and upgrade the kindergarten’s inside environment.
‘‘For the panel of six judges, which included last year’s Bride of the Year Hayley Groombridge, Courtney’s combination of gown, pose, demeanour and style, earned her the 2015 Bride of the Year sash.’’
Somerset Kindergarten Bride of the Year 2015, a beaming Courtney Dyason.