The wedding dress wasn’t what mattered anyway, she admits. “I just picked one; I don’t remember going through a lot. I picked a good one, anyway – lots of material.”
It seems it really was a good dress as, over the next four years following Patsy and Billy Gavin’s marriage ceremony at St. Simon & St. Jude Church in Tignish it was used by four more brides.
“They just put it on, no alterations or anything,” she recalls. In between weddings and thereafter the wedding dress just stayed in a bag in her closet.
It was used in a “mock wedding” during the 25th wedding anniversary celebration for Donna and Phil LeClair in 2001.
Around the time of the LeClairs’ silver anniversary, she and Donna both tried on the dress and found it still fit.
All that material came in handy when Patsy decided to cut into the dress and make a miniature dress for each of the brides.
Mary Shea was the first to borrow Patsy’s dress. It was for her July 19, 1975 wedding to Clarence Gallant.
Donna’s wedding to Phil was just over a year later, on July 24. Sylvia Gallant wore the dress for her March 11, 1978 wedding to Gerard Ellsworth, and Lois Rayner was wearing it when she exchanged vows with Rodney Gaudet on Nov. 25, 1978.
So that’s two summer weddings, two late fall weddings and a late winter wedding, all in a dress with long, puffed sleeves and a high neckline.
The bridal dolls Patsy Gavin created from a wedding dress five Tignish area brides wore in the 1970s.