More Wedding Memories

Original Wedding Plans Fell Through 

Widowed after 27 happy years of marriage, it was remarkable to me that by joining a square dancing class, I would meet a wonderful man and fall in love again. But that’s what happened.

When Nathan proposed, we set a date to get married. I talked to the pastor of my church about reserving his services, and he cheerfully marked the date on his calendar. Then I ordered and sent out the invitations.

A few weeks later, the pastor told me he would not be able to officiate at our wedding. When I told Nathan about it, he suggested an alternative plan, which worked out perfectly.

We contacted everyone we had invited and let them know of the cancellation, telling them we were going to Las Vegas to be married. Our friends and family loved the idea, and many of them were excited about joining us there for the nuptials.

My two sons were Nathan’s groomsmen, and their wives were my bridesmaids. The beautiful service brought tears to my eyes.

My eldest son’s mother-in-law insisted on treating our small wedding party to a dinner. Afterwards, Nathan and I bid them all goodbye for their return trip home. My new husband and I enjoyed the remainder of the week – and our honeymoon – in Las Vegas.

Hellen-Fay – San Diego, California

Groom Planned Secret Getaway 

From across the table, I nodded at Scott. He nodded back, then rose from his chair and excused himself from the table. I turned around in my chair and nodded at Tom, sitting at another table. He returned the nod, then excused himself as well. I waited a minute, then I, too, excused myself from the table.

Thirty seconds later, we three college roommates met up in the men’s room. I asked if our other college roommate – and the groom – had noticed us leaving, but Scott assured me he hadn’t. Quickly we departed the men’s room and exited the VFW Hall. Each of us ran to our vehicle and retrieved a bag, then met up again at Bill’s Cadillac. Parked directly in front of the hall, Bill’s Cadillac was his pride and joy. Well, after his Kawasaki 750 motorcycle, that is.

“Let’s do it,” I said.

I scribbled messages with white shoe polish, Tom attached the requisite string of cans to the rear bumper, and Scott filled the inside of the car with balloons. Last but not least, we scrawled “Just Married” across the rear window – and just in time. A moment later, everyone began exiting the VFW Hall and formed a gauntlet on the sidewalk leading to the Cadillac.

Then we waited … and waited … and waited. I looked at Scott, and he just shrugged.

Suddenly, a roar sounded from the side of the VFW Hall, and a moment later we all watched as Bill’s Kawasaki 750 emerged, turned the corner, sped by the Cadillac and raced off into the sunset – with the bride hanging on for dear life.

John – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

A Little White Lie 

Our wedding was set for Sunday, May 9, 1954, and the Minnesota state requirement at that time was that the license must be applied for at least three days before the wedding. However, at age 20, I didn’t realize – and nobody explained to me – that it could be done long before then. So, there I was on Thursday morning, May 6, right on time, or so I thought, to get the license taken care of.

“How may I help you, young lady?” asked the friendly clerk.

“I want to get my marriage license,” I said timidly.

“OK. First things first,” she said. “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”

I said I did, and then she said, “Well, then, let’s get down to the basics. Just when is this wedding taking place?

“This Sunday,” I replied with a big grin.

“That’s impossible!” she exclaimed.

“What do you mean it’s impossible?” I asked, my voice quivering.

“It’s not three days before the wedding,” she replied. “We’re not open on Saturdays, so you can’t pick up the license then.”

By this time, I was thoroughly alarmed.

“But it’s three days before the wedding,” I said, as tears began rolling down my cheeks. I looked at her pleadingly and said, “Everything is ready for my wedding, and lots of people will be coming. It has to be this Sunday.”

“I think I can fix the problem,” she said. “I’ll just back-date the license, and you can pick it up tomorrow. Everything will be fine.”

I thanked her profusely and almost skipped out the door.

The wedding went off without a hitch, and this year we’ll celebrate 57 years together. But I grin when I think back to the day I swore to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, and then the clerk fibbed by back-dating the license.

Roma – Hesston, Kansas

Wedding Was Simply Perfect 

My wedding took place just three months after I met Dale, the man of my dreams.

I had always wanted to be married in a long, white dress, so my mother and I went shopping. We came home with a long, white dress that had long sleeves, a square neckline and a full skirt. A friend of my mother’s made me a long, white veil out of netting to go with the dress. The whole outfit cost me $17.

The night before my wedding, my mother gave me a white Bible to carry. In it, she had placed a note requesting that my future daughters carry it at their wedding as well. The only problem was that all four of my children were boys. However, each daughter-in-law carried the Bible on their wedding day, as well as each of my granddaughters and granddaughters-in-law.

The wedding was simple. The preacher’s wife played the organ and sang “I Love You Truly,” only close relatives and friends were in attendance, and my sister baked the wedding cake for the reception.

We parked our car in the preacher’s garage so nobody could decorate it with cans. However, while the wedding ceremony was taking place, Dale’s friends managed to get into the garage and have their fun. We drove out of town with cans rattling and horns honking behind us as we left after the reception. We took just a three-day honeymoon, because Dale had to get back to the farm and put up hay.

Our friends were not done having their fun with us, though. After we got home, we were ordered out of the house one night and taken to town, where we were loaded into a wagon that had a hog crate in it that we were to ride in. When we got to town, my husband wheeled me up and down the main street in a wheelbarrow.

The long, white dress was carefully folded, put in a cloth bag and stored in my cedar chest for 60 years. During those years, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren began arriving. All who are married carried the white Bible on their wedding day, but it wasn’t until five years ago that the dress was worn again.

When my granddaughter Carrie, who was going to college in California, mentioned to me that her folks were giving her money for her birthday to either splurge on a big wedding or to use for furniture and such, a quick thought came to mind. Certain that the dress would fit her, I asked if she would like to wear my $17 wedding dress. She responded with, “Oh, Grandma, could I?”

I got the dress out of the cedar chest, ironed it and sent it to her. She wore it at her wedding and has now put it away to hopefully be used again when her daughter, who is due soon, gets married.

That simple wedding in 1945 was the start of 53 years of marriage for Dale and me.

Maxine – Exira, Iowa

Daughter’s Wedding Reception Was Unusual 

My daughter’s was the most unusual wedding reception I have ever attended.

Robin and her groom, Bob, came back to their hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from Seattle to be wed on May 7, 2006. They did all the planning, and it was a surprise to all of us.

They had their wedding at an old courthouse that has been beautifully restored. The ceremony was in a room that is now a museum.

Rather than having a maid of honor, Robin asked her best friend, Kyle, to be her friend of honor, and she also had two bridesmaids. Bob had two groomsmen and his brother, Terry, as best man. They had two flower girls and two ring bearers. The littlest ring bearer was Robin’s 2-year-old nephew, and he was dressed as Yoda. With the exception of the friend of honor and Yoda, the rest of the ceremony was traditional.

The reception, however, was far from traditional.

It was held at Shriners, and the whole room was decorated with palm trees, parrots, monkeys and treasure chests. They had pirate hats, eye patches, mustaches and candy for their guests, and they hired a singing Bingo caller from Seattle to entertain their guests with Bingo.

A variety of pizzas, vegetables and salads were served. In addition, there was a wedding cake with a monkey bride and groom topper that Robin had made out of clay. The groom’s cake was decorated to look like a large Lego block.

We all had a great time at the most unusual wedding reception ever.

Judy – Sioux Falls, South Dakota