Brides re­live aisle mo­ments

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

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.’’

PHOTO: GRANT MATTHEWS/FAIR­FAX NZ

Som­er­set Kinder­garten Bride of the Year 2015, a beam­ing Court­ney Dyason.

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