Heritage Society bridal fashion show & luncheon

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Eva Dempster, Clayton Ridge Drill Team member, models a wedding gown worn on Oct. 6, 2018 for the wedding of Crystal Krapfl Bailey. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

The Guttenberg Heritage Society requests the honor of your presence at "Her Story," a bridal fashion show and luncheon featuring bridal gowns throughout the decades. 

The event is set for Sunday, Oct. 3, at 2 p.m., in the Guttenberg Municipal building third floor auditorium and will include fun, fashion, music and refreshments. Museum board member Sara Pattison will prepare the luncheon, which will feature chicken salad served on a croissant, grapes, coffee, tea and a cupcake for dessert. A free will offering will be accepted at the door. Masks are recommended.

"Our bridal show will include a variety of beautiful wedding gowns representing each decade from 1915 through the present," said Karilyn McArthur, a museum volunteer and spokeswoman for the group.

Ann Fariello, museum volunteer, will accompany the bridal extravaganza on the piano, performing music that coincides with each decade. "Ann has put a lot of effort into her musical selections to make sure each decade is well represented," McArthur commented. 

Dave Poggenklass will emcee the event and also provide musical selections, and Augie Petsche, whose own mother's wedding gown will be featured in the show, will usher the models off the stage. "Gown owner's daughters, granddaughters, neighbors and Clayton Ridge Drill team members will model the gowns, and gentlemen from the Clayton Ridge Swing Choir will escort the young ladies," said McArthur. "I can't say enough about the cooperation of these young women and men and their coach, Kaitlyn Kuehl-Berns."  

Wendy Shea, museum volunteer, has worked tirelessly to make sure the event is historically accurate and runs smoothly. "Wendy has done unbelievable work!" noted McArthur. "She has procured several gowns from the Elkader Opera House, and other people from the community have stepped forward and offered their bridal gowns for the show. She has fitted the gowns to each model and wrote a history and personalized story to be narrated with each wedding dress."

Many hands make light work. "Pat Krapfl, also a museum volunteer, is writing the program which will include a $10 gift voucher from Esser's Shoe and Clothing. She has also been coordinating and planning the event," McArthur said with gratitude. 

Ray Black, museum board president, and his wife, Beverly, look forward to attending the event. "Beverly's gown will also be modeled during the show by her neighbor, Teresa Hyde," she said with a smile. 

The tables will be set formally for the afternoon affair. "Karen George has done tremendous work setting the mood for the event," she said with admiration. "The tables will be dressed in linens, and the refreshments will be served on china. Each table will be decorated to represent a different decade with a framed wedding photo from that era."

Heritage Society members will use money raised from the event for updating the HVAC system at the Lockmaster House Museum. "Our current heating and cooling system needs to be updated to keep the museum artifacts properly preserved and provide a comfortable environment for our visitors and staff," she explained. "In the process we hope our one-day event will gather together women and men from all generations to celebrate bridal wear and our community's rich historical heritage." 

McArthur's total collaboration style has benefitted the fundraising event. "When I came up with this idea at 3 a.m. back in May, I thought the pandemic was a thing of the past. It has been a real challenge to gather everyone together safely to organize this show, but I am ecstatic with the results thus far," she concluded.

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