Winnipeg Sun – An Old Hand at 18

The Winnipeg Sun, January 19, 1998
An old hand at 18

Designing Woman

By Tammy Marlowe,
Staff reporter

Marie Routhier, 19, is an old hand at weddings.

The teenage designer took the plunge last April and opened Down The Aisle Bridal Consulting, a custom wedding gown business she runs out of her home.

The teenager has been sewing clothes since her mother bought her a foam- and-yarn sewing machine when Routhier was just three or four years old.

“Even then, I’d be trying to sew with the big machine,” she said.

Barbie clothes used to be Routhier’s specialty. She eventually moved on to skating outfits, graduation dresses, and finally wedding gowns, something she has quite a flair for.

So last year, with a little creative financing from her family, she set up shop- a custom formalwear and theme wedding business.

Routhier’s designs are not the traditional lacy white gowns many women wear on their special day.

Her designs are inspired by medieval and Egyptian styles- some are blue with intricate beading, others have wide sleeves and gold trim. One of her dresses even exposes most of the bride’s midriff.

There’s nothing better than seeing the look on her clients’ faces when they see themselves in their unique wedding gown for the first time, Routhier said.

“I love when people actually get their dress and they fall in love with it.”

While most of her clients, so far, have been family and friends, Routhier says she has made plenty of contacts with her booth at this weekend’s Wonderful Wedding Show.

Four of her creations even made it into the fashion show- an important accomplishment for Routhier.

“I almost cried when I saw (my dresses). This is really my debut.”

The teenager hope to make enough money making bridalwear and co-ordinating weddings to go to medical school and become a virologist.

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