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Published: Thursday, 7/17/2003

`Today' bride to wear gown by Anne Barge

BY VANESSA WINANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Anne Barge gown was the most traditional of the four choices.

Nearly half a million people played fairy godmother to Seneca Bowers, choosing a gown that will make the Erie, Mich., resident look like a princess on her wedding day.

In a record vote for the Today show, more than 487,000 people went online to make one of the biggest decisions for the winners of the NBC morning show's annual wedding contest.

Ms. Bowers and Chris Janowicz of Toledo will be married Sept. 3 during a live broadcast of Today.

Forty-two percent chose a white satin ball gown with cap sleeves and a full skirt by Atlanta designer Anne Barge for Ms. Bowers.

Of the four dresses voters could pick, the Anne Barge gown appears the most traditional and formal. The bodice, sewn with silver thread, features pearls, Swarovski crystals, and glass beads, while the floor-length skirt has double box pleats for extra fullness.

“It's great,” Mr. Janowicz said during yesterday's broadcast. And four of Ms. Bowers' close friends, known as the Ya-Yas, loved the chosen gown, calling it perfect for the bride in a taped segment shown before the choice was revealed.

The gown was not Ms. Bowers' first - or even second - choice, though. Her favorite gown, designed by Badgley Mischka, “looked very comfortable and flowing,” she said, adding that she also liked the two-piece ensemble by Priscilla of Boston. Ms. Bowers was traveling back home yesterday and could not be reached for further comment.

This week, online voters will choose attire for Ms. Bowers' attendants at www.today.msnbc.com.

The choices: a pale pink long gown with deep Vs in the front and back from Vera Wang, a short strapless dress in pale green from Jenny Yoo, a two-piece, strapless, taupe taffeta gown from Amsale, and a light blue A-line gown with spaghetti straps and a wide, dark brown sash from Kathlin Argiro.



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