My husband and I were engaged to be married for 2 years. I met him when I was a Sophomore in college, he asked me to marry him on our third date (my response then: "You don't know me that well"), and engaged to be married within 3 months of our first date. So a longish engagement made sense. But it was long mostly because of my dad. He was not in favor of me going to college and said I was going just to meet a future husband. Well, that is in fact what happened, but I was determined to graduate first. No getting married and dropping out of college for me.
Our wedding was small and simple: a short ceremony at our local church and a buffet lunch at a popular event location. We had about 75 guests. The was no limos to take us from one place to another, no music beyond what was piped in by the restaurant, and no dancing. I don't remember throwing the bouquet or the garter. There was no open bar. We did have a wedding cake, we did do the "cut the cake" thingy and feed each other. I think a few toasts were made.
This first picture shows me with my dad at home before we left for the church. This is about 18 months before he died from a fall at work. I remember he was nervous and was struggling to resist having a drink to settle his nerves. I don't ever remember him in a suit. So when I saw him dressed up in a white Tux I remember thinking how handsome he looked. It is a picture that I like a lot. I am glad he lived long enough to take part in one of life's joys of being the Father of the Bride. It is how I like to remember him.
After the procession down the isle my dad handed me off to my future husband. There was a near catastrophe just moments after this picture was taken. You see my dad had poor vision with big coke-bottle lenses in his glasses. Visually he was limited. Just as I took my fiance's hand and stepped toward the alter, my dad stepped behind me heading for the pew. Apparently he missed stepping on the short train of my dress by a fraction of an inch. I heard some people gasp as we walked forward, but I never turned around to see what caused the concern. Some things are better not known.
Here we are in the reception line. Clearly we were both glad to have gotten past the ceremony.
I was very thin then. I bought the size 6 dress off the rack and had it altered down to a size 4. That was the last time I saw a size 4 on this body!! Most brides lose some weight before the wedding, either intentionally or due to nerves. Neither was the case for me. I was just terribly thin growing up. I really didn't gain any normal weight until after I was married and had left the stress of living at home behind me.
The photography was a gift from the Best Man. We were thrilled because it was an expense we didn't need to incur. Unfortunately, the photographer sent a colleague on the day of the event and this colleague was not as experienced or skilled. Many of the pictures were terribly done or over exposed. Most of the best shots came from the guests who brought their own cameras. So we never had a traditional wedding album. But we have enough pictures to remember the event. Obviously wedding pictures don't insure a successful marriage. It is what happens after that day that makes or breaks the relationship.
Our honeymoon was modest as well. We spent 4 days in Williamsburg, Virginia. It still is one of our favorite places to visit.
In this day and age of elaborate, expensive weddings and honeymoons to far off, exotic locations, our experience was tame. I think it was tame by the standards of that time as well.
I kind of feel that the mega sized weddings of today are more a sign of our culture than anything else ... like the jumbo houses that people buy but really can't afford, super sized restaurant meals that no can eat all of, rental storage units to house all the stuff we bought but can't fit into our house ... it is that kind of thinking has permeated the process of getting married. Bigger is better. More is better.
If I had it to do all over again, I would pick the same kind of wedding I had 42 years ago. I wouldn't change thing.
Oh ... I might change one thing - no high heel shoes!!