Fitzhead Village

Six decades of wedding finery on show

A recent wedding exhibition in Fitzhead’s 15th century village church raised over £1,000, and saw nearly 200 visitors thronging to view bridal dresses that spanned six decades from the war years and after.
The exhibition, in aid of St James’ Church and the medieval Tithe Barn next door, was held over Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th, and displayed 30 wedding dresses, plus accessories and photographs, all lent by local people.
It proved immensely popular, as did delicious homemade cakes and teas served in the Tithe Barn, where volunteers worked non-stop throughout the days.

The event was organised by villager Sue Webber, who used to design and make wedding dresses
professionally. “It’s been so interesting seeing a snapshot of wedding dresses for every decade, with
different ones from 1940 to the early 2000s,” said Sue. “Visitors of all ages have enjoyed it, from young girls for whom it was like a visual history lesson, to older people who got so much joy remembering their weddings and getting out the photograph albums.”
The church was also decked in flowers, with bridal bouquets and buttonholes donated by villager Sue Sturman, who does wedding floristry.
One of the most unusual bridal creations was a long, conical skirt inspired by designer Alexander McQueen, which Juliet Middleton, a singer in the Fitzhead choir, put together in 1999 entirely out of paper doilies.
Materials on show ranged from silk to satin, velvet to lace, and most of the dresses up to the Sixties were made by family members or the brides themselves.
“I love all the detail people include to make their wedding outfits and accessories of such sentimental value,” said Sue, pointing out a bouquet of paper flowers made from a prayer book, for a display belonging to three generations of the family of local vicar Helene Stainer.

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