Hale village church vintage wedding dress exhibition

Joan Sears
Image caption Joan Sears was married in St Mary's, Hale Village in 1957

A church in Halton is marking the royal wedding with an exhibition of vintage wedding dresses worn by women who were married there.

More than 35 dresses, from the 1930s to the present, are on display at St Mary's Church, Hale, for three days following the royal wedding.

The exhibition includes the dress worn by local resident Joan Sears who was married at the church in 1957.

"I was baptised, confirmed and married at this church," she said.

"My cream dress was made by my godmother who was a court dress maker.

"I remember my wedding day very well. It was quite sunny but quite breezy but it was an absolutely lovely day," she said.

The exhibition, which includes a dress made from material bought with clothing coupons collected during World War II, was organised by parish secretary Naomi Hadden who said the event had captured the imagination of the village.

"We have had a phenomenal response. From people loaning us their wedding dresses to people baking cakes for the exhibition.

"People have shared their wedding photographs and their parents' wedding photographs so you can see how the church has changed over the years.

"It is important to display the history of the church and the history of local people. It's a great reason for people to come together, share nice things and meet up with other people."

Rev Janice Collier, vicar at St Mary's, is also hoping the event will encourage couple to get married in church.

"A wedding in your local church can be really beautiful, as quiet and small or as big as you like.

"Most people can have a church service or blessing to mark their wedding day, so we are encouraging couples not to be afraid to ask. We like to say yes!"

The exhibition opens on Saturday at 1030BST.

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