Monday, June 10, 2024

Pondering Weddings Now and Weddings Then

We made a quick trip to Baltimore over the weekend to attend a nephew's wedding.  While waiting for my son to finish last minute packing, I strolled around his yard to see what was blooming.  The previous evening's raindrops were still clinging to the calla lilies.  Gazing at them conjured up thoughts of my own wedding nearly 43 years ago.  Prior to the wedding I had seen a magazine photo of a bride holding a simple bouquet of calla lilies.  To me it was a very beautiful and elegant look.  One I hoped to copy for my own wedding someday.  When that day came along and my mom and I were talking about wedding plans, she suggested using silk flowers instead.  Her thought was that real flowers were a waste of money.  All the money spent only to throw them in the trash a few days later.
Go the silk route and you and the bridesmaids can have them for years to come she said.  I could see her point and somewhat reluctantly gave up on my calla lily bouquet.

June 27, 1981

Here you see the beautiful silk candleholders the girls carried.  Pretty safe to say none of them kept them for long.
I, myself, carried a lace fan embellished with silk flowers.
I held onto that fan until we moved six years ago.  It had been sitting in a trunk all those years.  I did love my wedding gown.  Being a sentimental sort, I had visions of a future daughter wearing it one day.  Since there are no daughters, I took a closer look at it when I moved and decided there was no need to keep it either.  Although I could scarcely believe I would ever part with it, it felt good to let it go.

My nephew's bride has been involved in dance and drama since she was a little girl.  When they planned their wedding they wanted all of the most important people in their lives in attendance and they said being on the dance floor at least once was mandatory.
I don't think I have been to a wedding with so many young people in attendance.  Many of them were also dancers.

My brother (father of the groom) danced with his granddaughter.
She is only 2 and a half years old and was on the dance floor most of the evening.  With all of the dancers she was surrounded by, she will most likely grow up with a love of dancing.

At some point the bride changed from her wedding gown to this mini length fringed dress.  Her 88 year old grandmother is behind her in this picture.  Grandmother was also on the dance floor most of the evening.  
My brother and I were sitting at the table remembering how much our dad loved to dance.  We were commenting on how he would have loved to see his grandchildren and a great grand having so much fun on the dance floor.  Right about then the DJ announced that he was fulfilling a request for grandmother.  Proud Mary was the song she chose.  It is also the song my dad loved dancing to.  It prompted my brother and I to get out there and join the crowd.

Dancing with Dad.
June 27, 1981

Reflecting back on my own wedding, it seems like we followed all of the traditions of the time:  church wedding, layered wedding cake, bouquet and garter toss, etc.  I remember my mom telling me that it was important to get around to each table to say hello to each of the guests.  Although I loved every minute of my wedding, I felt like by the time I fulfilled all of the obligations, the band was performing their last number and the guests were dwindling out the door.
I did, however, cherish that dance with my dear dad.

Back to the weekend wedding, the wedding took place in an outdoor garden just outside an art museum.  We migrated indoors for the reception.  The garter (do they even wear those anymore?) and bouquet were never tossed and cookies and brownies replaced the cake.  To me it seems like the weddings I have been to in recent years are more a reflection of the bride and groom's interests, talents and shared dreams.  I kind of like how they express their individuality more now rather than being tied to those traditions.

Just comparing notes on weddings here today.
Mine was everything I wanted it to be at that time.  I don't regret a thing.  Well, if I'm being honest I might have regretted those silk flowers just a tad.  :-D


  1. There's such a lot of organisation for a wedding, no matter how small, and the day is gone in a flash. The years (and years and years) that follow are so much more important.

  2. Our 43rd anniversary is coming up soon, so we had many of the same traditions. I also had silk flowers and they weren't displayed for long. I remember talking to everyone too. We were just talking at work about the fact that we were all so busy at our weddings that we could hardly enjoy them. But like you, mine was what I wanted at that time.
    Fun post with the comparisons!

  3. Your wedding dress is lovely and you were a beautiful bride.

  4. Your wedding dress was beautiful and you were a beautiful bride!! I've long given my dress away too ( or maybe it got lost on one of our moves). This young couple had the wedding they wanted and that's good. I hope they have a very happy life together💗💗💗.

  5. Hi Kim! We just had our wedding anniversary, too. I agree about the traditions and I'm okay with all that stuff changing. You were a cute bride!

  6. What a lovely post tying together the wedding you just attended with your own wedding in the past. I love the photo of you and your Dad dancing. A treasure! Your dress is gorgeous and what a pretty bride! I had real flowers, but one thing I would have changed is the cake. It was a tiered affair of fruitcake - traditional in Canadian weddings. I despise fruitcake. My choice would have been chocolate, but that was unheard of back then.
    Wishing your nephew and his bride a very happy marriage.

  7. I love this post remembering your wedding and comparing it to the wedding you just attended. I agree that weddings (and showers!) have changed a lot since the 1980's. We were married in 1984 and had the traditional wedding also. Though we were married in an outdoor garden area (by my dad! - he was a lay minister through our church) and then we had a light reception (just hors d'oeuvres and wine) in the restaurant on the grounds afterwards. I am glad we splurged on real flowers and not silk ones though. ;-)

    Your nephew's wedding looked absolutely lovely. I love that everyone was on the dance floor. I am super shy and self-conscious about dancing in front of anyone, but maybe if everyone else was doing in and I kind of blended in, I would do it.

    We'll be going to a wedding in Sept. It'll be interesting to see how this one goes!

  8. Yes. Yes. Yes! Steve and I talk about this all the time! We loved our wedding! We were so young, however, and it was 1991 and we did all the things just as you listed. Many of the guests were our parent's friends, and I couldn't even tell you what we ate! If we were to do it over again, I think we would go much smaller and less structured day! I still have my dress. I think it is time to let it go! Your father looks like an amazing man, and you? A beautiful bride!


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