WITH the royal wedding just around the corner a special selection of wedding dresses will be on display at the Willis museum.

The I Do! Exhibition will run at the Top of The Town museum until July 7 and will showcase various wedding gowns from across the last three centuries.

Weddings have always fascinated attendance and guests, with the bride’s dress so often the focus of attention.

When Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles in 1981, the designers of her dress, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, became household names and stars in their own right.

With this year’s two royal weddings providing a new focus, the Hampshire Cultural Trust team – which runs the Willis Museum - has searched the extensive collections it cares for to find over 20 remarkable wedding dresses, representing 250 years of changing styles, fashions and tastes.

Cultural experience manager at Hampshire Cultural Trust, Ioannis Ioannidis said: “We’ve selected wedding dresses from the 1770s to the present day, plus shoes, headdresses, bonnets, veils and some items tying in with the royal theme, such as samples of the fabric used for Princess Marina’s wedding in 1932 to the Duke of Kent.

“Some of the dresses have very personal – and very touching – stories to tell. One from the 1940s is made entirely from parachute silk using a pattern saved from before the war and there is a beautiful black gown worn by a bride in mourning.

“I Do! takes visitors down a virtual aisle of history, from the extravagance of the 18th century to the elegance of 2018’s designs. It’s an exquisite exhibition that tells the stories behind the fashion choices made by brides-to be as they prepared to say, ‘I do’.”

The exhibition explores recurrent themes and traditions that are only found at weddings and explains the stories behind these enduring practices.

Admission to the exhibition is free, for more information visit hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/event/i-do.