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Fundraising show to feature dresses from Wellesley weddings past and present

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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