Vintage bridal show hits the runway in Yarrow

Two Centuries of Bridal Fashion features 40 wedding gowns and is a fundraiser which takes place this Saturday at Yarrow Community Hall.

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It’s like planning for a wedding.

There’s the organizing of the food, the decorations, the note-prepping for the emcee, and the fitting of the dresses — all 40 of them.

It’s all part of Two Centuries of Bridal Fashion, a vintage fashion show and luncheon, hosted by the Yarrow Volunteer Society this Saturday.

“We thought it would be a different event to bring to Yarrow,” says Cheryl Tarbet, YVS member and one of the organizers. “A lot of people are into vintage, and it seems to be quite popular.”

She first had the idea to bring a vintage bridal show to the area after seeing one a few years ago by Karin Edberg-Lee of Mission.

Edberg-Lee, a professional seamstress, has been collecting the dresses since 2000. She owns about 80 gowns, half of which will be in this weekend’s show. The dresses will be worn by 12 models and will feature mostly bridal gowns, but also mother-of-the-bride dresses, and bridesmaid dresses.

Fellow organizer and YVS member, Carol Bell, also has fond memories of attending a vintage fashion show a number of years ago.

“Back when I was a teen in Ontario, I remember my church putting one on. I remember the oohs and ahs quite vividly,” she recalls. “There was a flapper gown, and everyone’s jaw hit the floor” when it was shown.

Two Centuries of Bridal Fashion will feature dresses from as far back as 1900, and as new as 2000. All the gowns are true vintage with no reproductions.

“I think the most special one to date is the 1923 wedding dress,” says Edberg-Lee. “It was tailored in Norway and came to Canada with the family. It came with the groom’s hand-tailored suit, shirt and tie. No one in the family wanted them and so they came to me because they would be appreciated and used in the shows.”

The event is something completely new to YVS. Typically, they’re known for organizing Yarrow Days, plant sales, and the Christmas Craft Fair.

This will be more of a social event — and an educational one and a historical one, explains Tarbet.

They have been planning the fashion show for nearly a year.

There will be tea and sandwiches, “with the crusts cut off” emphasizes Bell, prepared and served by her fellow YVS members. Simply Savoury Valley Catering in Yarrow will be making desserts.

Ann McColl, Abbotsford event planner with Everything That Glitters, will be doing the vintage decorations. There will be Mason jars covered in lace with broaches, bottles holding single flowers, six archways decorated differently for each era, and Kleenex flowers.

They all agree that weddings were once a simple do-it-yourself event that didn’t burn a hole in one’s pocket. It wasn’t until Lady Diana and Prince Charles got married in 1981 that intricate details in weddings came about.

Edberg-Lee will be emceeing the event and giving everyone a fun history lesson on each of the gowns as they are modelled. She’s done about 40 or 50 shows.

“Most of all I enjoy meeting all the generous people involved in every event. They are invariably all volunteers who are committed to their cause and their community,” says Edberg-Lee. “It’s amazing how much most of us women of all ages still love to play dress up.”

Two Centuries of Bridal Fashion is a fundraiser for Yarrow Community Hall.

The event takes place this Saturday, March 22, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the hall (4670 Community St.). Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Amethyst Books (8989 Young Rd.), Yarrow Deli (42300 Yarrow Central Rd.), and Inspired Arts and Gifts (42333 Yarrow Central Rd.).

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