SUMMERSIDE — A room of brides-to-be and wedding enthusiasts sat around in a semi-circle and cheered, smiled and gasped as models strolled down the runway.
© Ryan Cooke/Journal Pioneer
A young couple takes to the runway, showcasing a vintage dress and a fresh tux during the Welcome Wagon Bridal Showcase on Sunday afternoon in Summerside.
The Welcome Wagon Bridal Showcase brought them together to view a collection of wedding dresses ranging from the early 1900s to today.
It’s a great way to prep for an upcoming wedding, said event co-ordinator Carole MacFarlane.
“People come in to see what’s new for weddings — the fashions and decorations, to see what the new trends are,” she said. “It takes a long time to plan a wedding so this is a good first step for them.”
With her own wedding getting closer by the day, Courtney Adams was eager to take in the show.
With tables set up around the dining hall of the Shipyard Market, local vendors displayed their wedding-related goods for all to see.
“It’s great because it’s all local,” Adams said. “It’s an easy way to see what’s out there in your own community, so you don’t have to go far.”
Darcia Burnett, who owns the Shipyard with her husband, has seen herself become somewhat of a wedding aficionado in the last couple years.
“We were so excited when we were approached to host this event,” she said. “We’ve been doing weddings here now for two years, my husband and I.”
In the past year, Burnett has hosted 13 weddings at the Shipyard, with more than 20 already booked for the upcoming year.
“It’s becoming wedding central here,” she laughed.
Among the vendors around the room, some offered jewelry, others offered hair and makeup services. Sticking out like a sore thumb in a room full of women, two young men from Sun Life Financial set up their table to tell people about the advantages of financial planning.
“It’s 100 per cent something people overlook when they first get married,” said Sun Life advisor Morgan MacLean. “So, that’s why we’re here today, to kind of put friendly local faces to a big named company.”
“And to let people know this is something they should be looking into,” added his partner, John Corbin.
After an absence of more than five years, the Welcome Wagon show returned to Summerside at MacFarlane’s urging.
MacFarlane, who runs her own business out of her home, wanted to bring the show back to create not only an opportunity for local brides and business, but also for herself.
“I love meeting people at these events,” she said. “I figure if you can’t find a job, make one for yourself.”
The event was the last of its kind of P.E.I. for this year, with another two Welcome Wagon shows coming to the Island next year.