My December Wedding

by Betty Owens

Why June Weddings?

flowers-1193840_1280It’s a well-known fact June is the most popular month for weddings. By now, you’ve probably read the top reasons for that, if you’ve kept up with our other bloggers here at Writing Prompts. Those have to do with (1) Roman history, and (2) hygiene. A third, possibly more important reason revolved around the fact that children born in the spring had a better survival rate. Farmers would understand that reasoning, since they have historically used similar tactics with their livestock. Kind of puts things in perspective, huh?

BobnBetty1974-PolaroidBWI didn’t put a lot of thought into my wedding. I was on my own. My job as a bank teller didn’t pay all that well. My dad had recently been laid off from his job. I would not ask for their help. Bob, my fiancé, wanted to get married before Christmas so we could spend the holiday together. Made perfect sense to me. We could go to church and stand up with a few of our closest friends and family. It wouldn’t cost a thing, except a small fee to the pastor. Oh, and rings. We must have rings.

Bob’s mother had other ideas about what the wedding would look like. She sewed my dress, rented a tux for Bob, and made arrangements with a friend for flowers. A few of our church friends added their help, which included a wedding cake, and before you knew it, I had an actual wedding.

Oh, did I mention we did this in six weeks?

wedding-571069_1280Just so you’ll know, I never even dreamed of a big wedding. I was actually surprised that anyone wanted to marry me (I had a very low self-esteem). And growing up in a financially stressed household, a big, fancy wedding (like the one in this photograph) was clearly not in my future. So when I found myself on Dad’s arm, sauntering up the aisle of my church, outfitted in a beautiful lacy dress with a long train…well, it didn’t seem quite real.

In those last few moments before that walk down the aisle—I was terrified Bob wouldn’t show up!

Why would a thought like that even enter my mind? Possibly because I didn’t know him all that well. We’d only dated for just over three months. And just in case you’re wondering—no—it wasn’t a shotgun wedding, though we did live in Kentucky. And I wasn’t in the family way. Our first child came along two years later.

Then why on earth would I get married after only knowing a guy for three months? Well, technically, I’d known him longer. We attended the same high school, lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same church. But we ran with different crowds. I was a Jesus freak, and he was a…a redneck. Redneck had a slightly different meaning back in the day–sort of like a hood–like Danny and friends in Grease.

So why did I say yes? What he said to me when he proposed made me believe we were on the right track.

proposal“I believe God wants us to marry.” So why wait? He didn’t say that last part, but his eyes did. I’d gotten pretty good at the “eye read” thing.

Did I take his word for it? No, I spent time in prayer and really gave it some thought. I was still at this point: actually surprised someone wanted to marry me. And flattered. Really, really flattered.

With such a low opinion of myself, it will come as no surprise to you that I didn’t date much. For the most part, I was shy and introverted. My opinion of my outward appearance? I believed I must be homely, because guys weren’t busting down the door. What else could it be?

I was never cool. But I had friends, most of whom dated a lot, and were married before I was. So what was wrong with me? (Besides having a huge, muscular dad with a piercing stare, and a pit bull of an older brother–I think big brother threatened potential boyfriends behind my back).

By the age of twenty-one, I had decided I was headed for spinsterhood. So I was genuinely surprised by Bob’s proposal.

My December wedding happened forty-one years ago. A lot of water has “run through the creek” in the intervening years. We had three sons, who now have families of their own. We’ve been empty-nesters for quite some time. My life didn’t take the path I expected. I always figured God chuckled a little when He saw the look on my face as Bob proposed.

I suppose it’s a good thing I never had overblown dreams about an extravagant wedding. I was pleasantly surprised by the small, but beautiful one I was given. And grateful. Very, very grateful.

Betty O's Wedding collage

Writing Prompt: Judy waited where her boyfriend Blake told her to, while he strode back to the car and opened the trunk. Out popped a single helium-filled balloon–a rather large one. Blake gripped the ribbon as he approached.

What was he doing? Judy’s breath caught in her throat as he let go of the balloon then aimed a pistol at it.

Finish the prompt in the comment section…

7 thoughts on “My December Wedding

  1. Love your wedding story! 😃 As for the prompt? …A stream of water from the weapon pushed it higher and higher until it was far overhead. “That’s the signal.” Some one called out. Family and friends poured out from the brush. Blake walked toward her, knelt and took her hand…

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