For the past few months I’ve been reading Autumn Ashbough’s blog, When West Dates East, keeping up on all the details of her wedding preparations, and laughing my head off. Autumn is an excellent writer; plus, her life and her family supply lots of good material. Last week, perhaps feeling a little writer-ly jealousy of all the drama in her life, I commented that my wedding was nice … and also boring. I could sum it up one short post, I said. She’d already written dozens, and we still hadn’t arrived at the main event.
Autumn’s response: “I would like to see the post from your wedding, Nicki. With pictures!”
Sooo … here goes.
The year Eugene and I got married, 1967, was a simpler time. People said their vows (probably in a church), had a simple reception (probably in the church basement), and drove away for a simple honeymoon. (We drove to San Francisco.)
Like many couples then and now our first impulse was to make the wedding small. But when we sat down to write a list, every name seemed to lead to two more names, people who couldn’t possibly be excluded without hurting their feeling. I don’t remember how many people we invited, but when we were done, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church was full.
Most of our wedding guests lived nearby. Eugene’s brother and sister were the only people who arrived by plane. Eugene’s parents, who lived in Singapore, wished us well but weren’t able to come halfway around the world for the wedding, so Eugene’s boss, Sid McIntyre, offered to stand in for his father.
Despite the fact that Eugene was born in China and moved to town only five years earlier while I lived there most of my life, he contributed more names to our guest list than I did. Five years was more than enough time for an extrovert like him to make plenty of friends.
Our wedding was typical for a Sedro-Woolley WA wedding. In 1967 no one had catered dinners and videographers, and certainly not a mountaintop wedding or a Hawaiian beach wedding. In fact, as far as I know, people didn’t even plan fancy rehearsal dinners in those days.
Beautiful wedding gowns, however, are timeless. I’ve always adored beautiful dresses. So I can’t explain why I didn’t go on a search for the most elegant wedding dress in the land. For some reason, though, I decided to make my own. In the 1960s, women knew how to sew. Even young women. We were required to take two years of cooking and sewing in Home Ec classes if we wanted to graduate from high school.
I made my dress, but I didn’t make my veil. I used the old saying of something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue as an excuse, and borrowed one from a friend.
I see that I was wrong to say I could sum up my wedding in one short post. Come back next week and I’ll tell you more. In the meantime, check out Autumn’s blog for a modern-day tale of wedding planning.