To Have and To Hold

By Tammy Trail

I find weddings a wonderful tradition. A chance for families to join and celebrate Tim and Tammy weddingtwo people starting a life together. With this months’ topic being weddings, I had the tendency to think of my own. Ours was a simple affair. I think our whole budget was a whopping $2000.00.

Two years later my cousin Christine was planning her wedding. She was a very fortunate girl. The whole family pitched in with her nuptials. One aunt made her cake. With help from the ladies of the church, her grandmother made all of the buffet food. I did all her flowers, and she found her dress for $100.00 at an estate sale.Christine's wedding 1

My daughter had grand ideas for her wedding. We were constantly reeling her back to reality to stay on budget. Even with all the reminders, there were last minute items like candles that needed to be purchased.Amanda's Picture

Wedding trends change from year to year. According to a few internet sites, this year’s bride will opt for bolder colors; gone are neutrals and pastels. Family style dinners serving comfort foods with no formal seating gives a more laid back atmosphere. The emphasis is having your guest enjoy the celebration.

I recently heard of an unusual event the bride performed for her guests. Instead of throwing her bouquet to a group of unmarried female guests, she gave each of them a single flower from her bouquet. Along with the flower, the bride prayed with each of the women, asking God’s guidance in finding a husband. I thought this was a lovely new tradition, and the bride was a very sweet woman to have been so thoughtful.wedding bouquet

Here are some interesting facts about weddings:

Queen Victoria began the tradition of wearing white for her wedding. Before that time, women wore their Sunday best.

The bodice of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress was made from 125-year-old lace.

The marriage of Sheik Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum’s son to Princess Salama in Dubai in 1981 was the most expensive. How much, you ask? A grand total of $44 million dollars.

Diamond ringPriscilla Presley’s engagement ring was a whopping 3.5 carat rock surrounded by a detachable row of smaller diamonds.

One of history’s earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time.

Weddings are a rite of passage. It’s a way to define a family’s course through time. First we celebrate birth, then baptisms, graduations, then finally a wedding. Children grow up, get married to make homes for themselves and begin to follow the same journey. It’s not an easy one. Those of us who have traveled the path must be available to mentor beginners. The trends, words spoken, and symbols may change. The purpose never will. Love must win, every time.

My husband and I are going to be empty-nesters next year. I have no idea what I will do with all my spare time. Maybe finish a novel or two. You might ask, “What will she write about?”  Romance, of course!

Do you have a funny moment you could share from your own wedding? I would love to hear about it!

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…