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Memories of Marriage

Patricia is a bridesmaid in friend Gena’s Wedding, 1975

In 1975, I was in my friend Gena’s wedding, serving as one of thirteen bridesmaids paired with thirteen groomsmen. We girls were all decked out in poufy mauve and green flowered dresses and big floppy hats. You gotta love the seventies! I’ll never forget the fashion statement we made that day!

Amanda recalled a moment in her garden wedding where the flower girl got chased by a bee in the middle of the ceremony. Thankfully, the bee moved on quickly, after a few fearful squeals from Amanda’s niece.

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

-Mignon McLaughlin

Think of a wedding you have either been a part of or attended. This wedding might have been years ago or last weekend.

•    Whose wedding was it?

•    When and where did it take place? Describe the setting.

•    Were you part of the ceremony or a guest?

•    What made this wedding so memorable?

•    Were there any unique elements of this particular wedding?

Include other details such as décor, attire, food, music, or guests. Weave in those specifics as well.

All posts in response to our writing prompts in March will be entered into our drawing to win a free online coaching video—that’s a $20 value! Judi Graham won the prize last month, and it looks like she’ll be a repeat winner this month unless you post a response on the website. Go for it! Your odds of winning are good.


  • Kathie Schulz
    Posted March 23, 2019 at 12:46 am

    I will never forget the high society wedding I was a bridesmaid in an all white wedding on August 2, 1959.
    My prep school friend, Glo Osborn, was getting married that summer after our Pine Crest Prep School graduation.
    We classmates were to spend ten days at the bride’s home before the wedding for fittings, luncheons, a night seeing Louie Armstrong perform at Buckeye Lake and such. It was a lot of fun despite some disturbing incidences.

    The father was a big burly man who made his money in real estate. His mother was the matriarch and ran the family through and through. Gram had the big bucks and needed respect! The mother consequently ended up being an alcoholic as Daddy ran home to his Mommy every time they had a fight which was often.

    My close friend who I shared a room with and I had never seen such behavior. There was one ham dinner made the whole time we were there for us. No breakfast, no lunch or dinner unless we went someplace. Liquor flowed freely. We girls were starving.

    Glo and her husband-to-be were off making out while I drove her convertible with all the girls to White Tower for hamburgers in the wee hours of the morning. I only had a permit but had been driving at our zoo for years. The other girls did not drive. We stuffed ourselves in hopes it would hold us until the next opportunity came to buy food.

    Meanwhile tens of thousands of dollars worth of sterling silver arrived daily amongst tons of other gifts for the bride and groom.

    The mother got so drunk one night she tried to make out with one of the groomsmen who she cornered in a bathroom. We were horrified!

    Long story short 350 guests arrived at the country club on a beastly hot August afternoon while we had to stand for three and a half hours in a receiving line greeting strangers. We had no food that day but the groomsmen kept bringing us champagne to drink.

    By the time we got to sit down my head was spinning. We had done the photo shots too beforehand. As the meal finally arrived I needed some air. I sat down on the round fountain with my attentive escort and promptly passed out falling backwards into the fountain. Someone drove me back to the house wet from the waist up. As I sobered up I realized I lost my retainer and was bemoaning that Dr. King would be furious! Luckily someone found it.

    It was a wedding nightmare and I could not wait to board the plane home. This was high society?

    • Post Author
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 7:59 pm

      Kathie, that sounds like a pretty horrible wedding experience! I cannot imagine being in that environment for ten days, plus the wedding day. Your description of it being “beastly hot” was so vivid. I hope you got some good meals and rest after you returned home. And I’ll bet you came away with some lessons of what not to do when your own wedding rolled around! I did wonder in what state the wedding took place and where you were flying home to.
      Thanks for sharing about this memorable wedding. It’s no wonder you haven’t forgotten it!

  • Judi
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    It was unusual, back in that day, for anyone in our family to get married out of town. I’m from the old school, so I was shocked. There was no printed invitation, just word of mouth that I was invited to attend the wedding of my belated girlfriend Debbie’s daughter, Jessie. The fact that it was being held on Islamorada in the Florida Keys was a surprise to me. I knew I didn’t have the money to make the trip and stay overnight, so I would have to reply, not able to attend.
    That item had been covered, it seems. The bride and groom had rented a motel consisting of small cabins where close relatives would stay and I was invited to stay with her grandmother, who was a friend also.
    I rode down on Friday with Jessie’s uncle and grandmother. The wedding was on Saturday with all kinds of exciting things included. My cabin was quite nice, beach themed, soft beach colors, praise God, a coffee pot of our own. Friday night there was a picnic for the bridal party, four groomsmen, four bridesmaids, maid of honor and best man. The Maid of Honor had been the bride’s best friend since kindergarten, the Best Man, the groom’s brother. The groom’s uncle had just been ordained a minister and he would perform the ceremony. These two were the only representatives of the groom, who was from the mid-west.
    The area was beautiful. perfect for a beach wedding. The weather cooperated, in the low 80’s. There were white chairs for the guests, shoes left before entering, a table for gifts decorated with a fishing net, shells, and a treasure chest for monetary gifts, palm trees tied with white ribbons with white bows, as well as a small table, covered in white with a clear empty jar that would hold the joining of the colored sand of the bride and the groom. The bride’s step-father gave her away. It was all so perfect. Ah, but the reception, that was something else.
    The reception was redneck. There was pulled pork, corn on the cob, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, green beans with bacon, etc.
    The next day there were celebrations as well – a breakfast together with the happy couple, a boat ride in a glass bottom boat and a buffet lunch as a nearby hotel. The next morning we checked out and all met at a nearby restaurant for brunch before the 8 hour drive home. This had been my fist trip to the keys, but it would not be my last. Islamorada was love at first sight!

    • Post Author
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:25 am

      Thanks for sharing about your experience with a beach wedding in the Keys, Judi. It sounds simple yet beautiful. I did have some questions about the setting of your story. When was “back in that day?” What town were you in at that time that Islamorada was “out of town?”
      There are definitely some unusual elements to this wedding: the word-of-mouth invitations, getting married out of town, a ceremony on the beach, shoeless guests, and a barbecue-themed reception. I also see some traditional aspects, too. The bonus was your being introduced to the lovely Islamorada. Have you visited there much since that wedding?

  • Linda Thompson
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Some weddings are very traditional and formal in their presentation of tuxedos and flower girls and ring bearers. Mine was a whole lot different but wonderful just the same.

    The decision to be married in Elizabeth City, North Carolina was determined by the fact the groom had to be back at work on Monday. His new boss was not a very giving guy and extra time off for marriage was not going to be allowed.

    July 1, 1961, was a sunny hot Saturday. I was the bride and living in Norfolk, Virginia. The groom, Robert Thompson lived in St. Augustine, Florida. Bob drove from Florida to Virginia, on Friday night. On the morning of the 1st, we drove to Elizabeth City with my parents.

    Now the law in North Carolina allowed the purchase of license and marriage in one day. Then there are a few other items that are needed to be accomplished. Blood test. Mental evaluation. Line them up.

    I wore a white sleeveless summer dress with a matching bolero jacket with three-quarter sleeves. Getting the blood test should have been easy, you would think. I was not so lucky. The technician was his first day on the job. It took four tries before they replaced him with a new tech. One more try and they got the vial they need. Now I am bleeding and they do not seem to be able to stop the drip, drip drip. It took about an hour to get the bleeding under control and both arms were bandaged. Moving on to the mental evaluation.

    We were ushered into a strange room, not joking here. The room was poorly lite and even at eleven o’clock on a Saturday not much light seem to illuminate the area. The room was lined with bookshelves from the floor to ceiling. On the shelves were a scattering of book. Among the few books were large, very large jars. Each jar held a biological specimen of some sort. Now I tried not to look, but what do you think, I looked. Ick. Icky. Ickiness. Are those real words? I don’t care it was all of those and more.
    I guess we passed the mental evaluation, because after a couple of question we were sent on our way.

    At precisely noon on the 1 July 1961 we were married by Judge Roland P. Sawyer in his office. No air conditioning in the Judge’s office, so the two windows were open. The city bells were ringing the hour as we said our final vows. Dad and Mon signed our license as witness and for me that just makes the document even more cherished.

    As we were leaving the courthouse Mom became a lot sentimental about all the things that we had not had for our wedding. As we walked across the town square there was bake sale on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse. Mom bought a cake. A lovely chocolate layer cake on a very old plate. Mom held that plate all the way back to Norfolk on her lap.

    Several hours after our wedding we had loaded the car and were leaving for Florida. We never got a piece of that cake. Family enjoyed chocolate cake after we were gone. Years later Mom gave me that old chipped plate and it hung on my kitchen wall for over thirty years before it finally broke.

    • Post Author
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:36 am

      Linda, that sounds like a wonderful, yet long and exhausting day! I cannot believe you did all of that in one Saturday. Your inclusion of the many details and information about the setting are woven into your story so well. I can picture it all, especially that errie, or icky, room with the weird specimen jars. The cake plate, from which you never enjoyed a piece of that chocolate layer cake bought out of sentiment, is such a tender symbol of your mother wanting your day to be special. Thank you for sharing about your wedding memories, Linda.

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