And the bride wore white ... all 400 of them
MAKING up the numbers for the longest wedding dress parade proved to be a stretch for some yesterday.
In fact, it took several stretches -- of many dresses -- in order for 400 brides to gather in Sligo.
A significant number admitted they had extra panels fitted to their dresses, which they last wore many years ago, so they could wear them again.
Brides still blushing with the joy of recent marriages teamed with mothers and even some grandmothers at the parade.
The charity event was staged to raise funds for the North West Hospice, which provides palliative care for patients from Sligo, Leitrim and south Donegal.
"I was determined to be one of the 400 but I couldn't fit into my wedding dress," one of the organisers, Norma McGowan, said.
"I had to have a five-inch panel inserted to get into it."
Sligo Mayor Rosaleen O'Grady opted for her mother-of-the-groom outfit, which she wore at the wedding three years ago of her son Conor, a former Sligo Rovers captain.
Ms O'Grady said: "I daren't say how many extra panels my bridal dress would have needed, so I decided to join the parade in my mother-of-the-groom dress."
Brides who lost or gave away their own dresses were still able to participate when Enable Ireland, a charity for the disabled, shipped dozens of dresses to its local Sligo shop. They were snapped up at prices from €30 to €60 by women anxious to join the parade.
Flower-girls also joined in. One grandmother who was a flower-girl at the age of five passed on her dress to her granddaughter, who is now also five.
The big bridal parade marked the 25th anniversary of the North West Hospice.
The charity theme was chosen to coincide with the celebration this year of Sligo receiving its charter 400 years ago.