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Williamsport Retirement Village hosts bridal show

June 10, 1999

Bridal ShowBy ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer

photo: MARLA BROSE / staff photographer




WILLIAMSPORT - Celia Staley no longer has the use of her legs, but a nursing home bridal show on Thursday rekindled the 103-year-old woman's memories of walking down the aisle.

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"I was so nervous," Staley said.

Other Williamsport Retirement Village residents recalled their wedding days in anticipation of the first-ever bridal fashion show at the nursing home.

Donald May, 74, said he was scared.

"I was raised on a farm, and I didn't have time for women," May said. "But she talked me into it."

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He said he was trying to figure a way out of the wedding as he waited for his bride at the altar.

Helen Blosser, 87, remembered the 50 years she spent with her husband, Luther, after being married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown in the early 1930s.

Fran Rupp vaguely recalled her 1947 betrothal to James, but a vivid recollection of her honeymoon sparked a smile.

"The wedding trip was the highlight. He took me to Pennsylvania to meet friends from his first marriage," Rupp said.

"He wanted to show them the improvement."

About 50 retirement village residents and staff members crowded a room adorned with crepe paper wedding bells, balloons and flowers for the bridal show, the precursor to a wedding planned at the nursing home on June 19.

Mike Guessford, the home's activities director, will wed fellow staffer Jane Houpt, a certified medicine aide, on the grounds where the couple met.

Guessford said he and his bride-to-be wanted to share the excitement of their upcoming nuptials with the residents.

"I can't get over this. It's wonderful," resident Betty Moore said.

An adjoining hallway featured a month-long display of residents' and staffers' wedding memorabilia.

Mannequins were draped in dresses ranging from the conservative navy blue dress past resident Margaret Paulsgrove wore for her 1937 wedding, to staff member Heather Corgard's modern white gown.

Ring pillows, dried bouquets and wedding gifts shared table space with wedding portraits dating from the early 1930s to the present.

That hallway echoed with "Oohs" and "Aahs" as the first bride stepped under an ivy-covered archway.

A triple-tiered cake stood in one corner and wedding music played in the background as nursing home staffers modeled wedding fashions from Marsha's Closet.

The Williamsport store's owner, Marsha E. Hose, provided the bridal attire and volunteered to help plan and emcee the show, Guessford said.

Hose described the attire as models dressed in gowns ranging from the traditional to the extravagant crossed the floor.

There was the ruffled gown with the "Scarlett O'Hara hoop;" the more simple silk-polyester gown trimmed in pearls; and the purple and peacock colored "cha-cha-cha dress with the Carmen Miranda flair."

There were modern sheaths of silk and sequins, and satin and tulle gowns with cathedral trains.

Several models donned the dresses they wore on their wedding days. One newlywed, Heather Stovall, was moved to tears when her husband, Michael, entered the room in his tuxedo.

The groom's surprise appearance prompted a smattering of audience applause, which erupted as he handed his bride a bouquet of long-stemmed roses.

At the end of the show, Michael Stovall and the nine brides lined the aisle.

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