MTSU helps fashion ‘Wedding Dresses Through the Ag...

MTSU helps fashion ‘Wedding Dresses Through the Ages’ exhibit

When Chloe Calhoun was choosing her wedding gown, she said she had no idea it would become part of an award-winning annual exhibit.

The MTSU admissions coordinator, who married Colin Calhoun in October 2013, is one of several women whose bridal fashions are on display through Sunday, March 2, in “Wedding Dresses Through the Decades” at Oaklands Historic House Museum, located at 900 N. Maney Ave. in Murfreesboro.

Chloe Calhoun’s dress, which is on exhibit at Oaklands, is a traditional Amsale gown accented with French Alencon lace and seed pearls.

Van Westmoreland, an MTSU sophomore textiles, merchandising and design major from Nashville, stands in front of a wedding gown display she created in the Ellington Human Sciences Building. (Photo submitted)

Also on display is the veil, a cathedral-length lace mantilla also accented with French Alencon lace. The veil was made by her mother, Teresa King, an MTSU professor of fashion merchandising, who wore the veil at her own wedding.

King’s wedding dress and the military tuxedo worn by her groom, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Michael King, are on exhibit in the McWherter Learning Resources Center, along with the emerald dress King wore to her daughter’s wedding.

“This is the third year for the exhibit, and we are exceptionally pleased with the partnership,” said Deborah Belcher, chair of MTSU’s Department of Human Sciences.

Van Westmoreland, a sophomore textiles, merchandising and design major from Nashville, designed the display on view in the Ellington Human Sciences Building.

That window features Belcher’s wedding dress, which she describes as a “mermaid” style with a sweetheart bodice, pearls and lace overlays, as well as her travel dress. The professor wed Roy Hoffman in 2008 at Cedars of Lebanon State Park.

The dress worn by Belcher’s mother, Patsy Hockett Belcher, when she married Robert William Belcher in 1961 is on view at Oaklands. It is a knee-length design indicative of the changing styles of the time.

Collaborators in the partnership that created the 2014 “Wedding Dresses Through the Ages” exhibit are, from left, Deborah Belcher, chair of MTSU’s Human Sciences Department; Chloe Calhoun, MTSU admissions coordinator and a dress donor; Dr. Sharon Whiteside, MTSU nursing professor and dress donor; James W. Manning Jr., executive director of Oaklands Historic House Museum; and Mary Beth Nevills, educational director, Oaklands Historic House Museum. They are standing in front of a display in MTSU’s Ellington Human Sciences Building. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Dr. Sharon Whiteside, an MTSU nursing professor, and Dr. Harold “Terry” Whiteside, dean of MTSU’s College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, renewed their vows in 2013 after 30 years of marriage.

Dr. Sharon Whiteside wore a strapless sweetheart corset with pickup, swagged skirt and chapel train in a traditional organic pattern with beads and crystals. She also wore a hat with a veil, made by an Italian designer, which she said she knew she had to have the moment she saw it in an Indianapolis store.

Whiteside’s dress and veil are on view in the Oaklands exhibit, which features fashions from the mid-1800s to the present day.

“We borrowed half of the dress forms and some of the sign holders from the Department of Human Sciences this year,” said Oaklands Educational Director Mary Beth Nevills.

“Wedding Dresses Through the Decades” will be open at Oaklands 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays through March 2. Admission is $5 per person.

For more information, contact Oaklands at 615-893-0022 or

— Gina K. Logue (

The wedding gown worn by Chloe Calhoun, an MTSU admissions coordinator, is on display at Murfreesboro’s Oaklands Historic House Museum as part of the “Wedding Dresses Through the Ages” exhibit.

The military tuxedo worn by retired U.S. Air Force Col. Michael King, right, and the gown worn by his bride, Teresa King, an MTSU fashion merchandising professor, are shown on either side of their wedding portrait in a display in the university’s McWherter Learning Resources Center.