Celebrating Marriage

As part of their Spring Festival the Four Churches of Strathearn (Fowlis Wester,
Madderty, Monzie and Gask) held a Celebration of Marriage at Fowlis Wester last
weekend. The celebration included a display of wedding dresses, offered from
across the parishes, in the village hall. The expectation had been that a small
number of dresses, to illustrate the theme of marriage, would be on display in
the kirk as part of the overall festival. However, organiser Isobel Robertson,
planned big. Assembling a host of loaned tailor’s dummies from shops, tailors
and households to support the venture and assisted by a motivated team, Isobel
tapped into the pride and concealed elegance of households across the Strath.
Brides from across the generations brought out their wedding dresses, and a
photo of their big day, to be part of the phenomenal display. Isobel said:
‘Having expected a small number I was so pleased to receive so many generous
offers of such beautiful dresses’.


'The ephemeral spectacle, lasting just the weekend, attracted 37 dresses and 4 page
boys or girls’ costumes and a christening gown. The effect of the unprecedented
event, part of the sequence of planned festival events throughout March, will
be far longer lasting. It has brought people together, in this instance to
admire the dresses, and more significantly to share in a free flowing awareness
of the strength of community.

'Refreshment needs of the visitors and contributors were met with a copious choice of
locally baked, wonderful biscuits and cakes served in the hall. Visitors of all
ages came and viewed the display from as far as Elgin and included, by
coincidence, a seamstress who explained the intricacy of the hand sewn
embroidery and the concealed cut of dresses to appreciative others. Parish
Interim Minister David Denniston, whose wife’s own dress formed part of the
display, freely admitted that he had not expected to be so impressed by their
collective beauty. Another visitor said how they recognised the positive,
mutual understanding that the fun of such an event engendered amongst church
folk and wider society, regardless of age or background.'

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