A Tale of Two Weddings

June is the wedding month and rightly so. June has much to offer (around here anyway) with its mild temps, cool breezes, fresh blooming flowers and promise of relaxed summer months to come. On a side note, for my own wedding Dear Hubby and I chose December, the exact opposite month from June. I wonder what this says about me…

In this post, I’d like to share a tale of two weddings. One of them took place over sixty years ago and one took place just this past weekend.

Here’s a bit about the first…

Over half a century ago, my parents met in a tiny town in North Dakota where they were both busy getting their teaching careers off the ground. My mother was teaching first grade and my dad was in the same building teaching history to high school kids who weren’t that much younger than he was. The two young teachers met in that rural school (I think there’s an interesting love story in there…they’ve always been very hush hush), fell in love and soon after began building a life together.

My mother and father were married in a small intimate ceremony at the home of my grandparents in Park River, North Dakota on June 8, 1950. Here’s a photo of them and the rest of the wedding party which included my dad’s brother and my mom’s best friend from college. Not much fanfare at that wedding, but lots of love.

Really, what else do you need?

I enjoy looking at all old photos, but old wedding photos like this one are even more intriguing to me. No matter who the people in the photos were or when or where they were taken, the special occasion filled with so much love and promise stays captured forever.

When I look at this old photo of my parents on their wedding day, I’m filled with awe. They look incredibly young, of course, but as with most photos of young couples on their wedding day, what strikes me is how they appear so unscathed and untarnished by life.

My parents probably weren’t thinking about mortgages and bills to pay, kids they would soon need to feed and clothe or growing old. They certainly weren’t thinking about breast cancer or one of them someday living without the other.

And that’s as it should have been.

There’s a beautiful innocence to wedding day photos. Perhaps that’s why they draw us in.

Wedding days are days for dreaming about and planning for the future.

Part of that future for my family turned out to be another wedding in June…

Sixty-two years later on that exact date in June, another special wedding took place.

June 8, 2012 was the wedding day of my daughter and new son-in-law.

When daughter and then fiancé announced this was to be their chosen date, I knew it would be extra emotional for me and it was. You see June 8th was not only my parents’ wedding anniversary; it was also my mother’s birthday.

So many memories wrapped up in a single day in June.

My mother would have been so excited, proud and pleased about her first granddaughter’s wedding no matter what day it had been on. She would have felt honored and humbled had she known the date was the same one she had chosen.

In a sense, it was almost as if my mother was there.

Daughter’s wedding was a lovely and intimate ceremony attended by only a few family members and friends. And of course, that big black and white mutt Ace was there looking dapper in his ready-made tuxedo, drool and all.

Like the wedding long ago, this one was also a wedding without great fanfare, but once again, with an abundance of love. It was small, relaxed, elegantly simple and held outdoors in a lovely park setting which seemed fitting for this young couple that loves the outdoors so much.

Vows and rings were exchanged, as were many hugs and good wishes. A delicious tasting meal was served and wedding cake was devoured by all. Photos were taken capturing yet another young couple’s day of promises.

And of course, a few tears were shed. What’s a wedding without a few tears?

Weddings are filled with joy, but also mixed in is a touch of sadness and nostalgia, and that’s as it should be as well. People shed tears at weddings for countless personal reasons.

Some tears are shed by parents who marvel at their grown-up children taking this giant step into marriage. Some tears are shed by friends and other loved ones who ponder about the relationship they have with the one they know so well saying I do. Some tears are shed for people we have loved and lost, like my mother and Dear Hubby’s father, among others. Some tears are shed for the sheer joy and beauty of such a day. And some are shed for reasons those shedding them don’t even fully understand.

I shed a few of those myself.

It was a lovely wedding rich with memories, dreams for the future and plenty of love.

What more could a mother ask for?

So there you have it; my tale of two weddings separated by some sixty-two years, but forever connected by a day in June, family ties and of course love.

A Tale of Two Weddings

If you are (or ever have been) married, what wedding date did you choose and why did you choose it? 

Do you cry at weddings?

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31 thoughts to “A Tale of Two Weddings”

  1. Beautiful and sentimental post. Thank you for sharing.

    I am no longer married but when I did get married in 1979 we chose December 15th. It was a practical decision. My husband was being ordained to the priesthood in the Epsicopal chruch on January 18th and we joiked that we didn’t want him to be an unwed “Father”! I was till in graduate school (actually two graduate schools at two different universities at the same time) and it was semsester break for me. I took my final exam and then went to my wedding rehearsal. We were wed in the chapel at Yale Divinity School in New Have, CT. My name is Holly so I carried white roses with sprigs of holly bright with red berries tucked into the bouquet. The flowers were easy – scarlet pointsettias bedecked the church and the club were we later shared dancing and feast with friends and family. My attendants wore full length coats with fur trimmed hoods over their matching gowns – matron of honor was red and the other were deep forest green. I loved my wedding day and never felt the need for another!

    1. Holly, Well, you chose the month of December too! It is a beautiful month for a wedding isn’t it? Of course with your name being Holly it was even more fitting. It sounds like your wedding was quite lovely. Thanks so much for sharing about it.

  2. Very thoughtful post and interesting picture. My husband was born in Ryder, ND, southwest of Minot. We met in Denver and have lived here every since.

    I guess we all look at our own wedding picture and see sheer innocence. But if you are lucky enough to live a long time and stay happily married, pictures show peace, contentment and joy, no matter how rough the journey has been. We are exceedingly grateful.

    Yesterday I posted on my blog about it being the 65th anniversary of our first date. If you are interested, see http://www.loishjelmstad.com. I have a Father’s Day post up today, but you can go to the right and click on “The First Time I Saw You.”

    1. Lois, I’m not sure if I have ever been in Ryder, ND. I don’t believe I have. It is a small world isn’t it? Congratulations on your long and successful marriage. I will check out your post soon. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Lois.

    1. Lindsay, That photo is actually one of my favorite ones of the wedding. It was special to have Ace there wasn’t it? Congrats again on your marriage!

  3. This is a beautiful post, Nancy. The innocence and hope of the wedding day – I love the sweetness you give to this moment in life. It’s all about the love, and that’s what carried us forward.

    (I don’t cry at weddings, but this post had me rather misty eyed!)

  4. Aw, such a sweet post–and how lovely that she chose such a special date for her own wedding. 🙂

    I always cry at weddings, and now that I’m planning my own, I also cry at wedding blog posts. hahaha!

    Congrats to your lovely girl and her husband, lady. <3

    1. Wendy, Well, time to break out the tissues I guess! Seriously though, enjoy this special time in your life. Looking forward to hearing more about it. And thanks so much for the congrats!

  5. I have only cried at one wedding, and that was the wedding of a friend last fall. Her brother had recently passed away and could not be there for her special day and I just felt so sad about that as she and her dad walked down the isle.

  6. Nancy,

    Thank you for sharing this part of your and your family’s life. Your daughter looks stunning, and I felt a bit misty as I read this post. I love, love, love the picture of your parents on their wedding day.

    I was married on April 20. Though the marriage didn’t work out, I have to say that it was a glorious day. Beautiful blue skies and in the 70s. I don’t know why I chose that date. I wanted a Sept. wedding originally.

    Anyway, congrats again to you and your family.

    1. Beth, Thanks so much for reading. Old photos are really something aren’t they? Thanks for saying you loved the one of my parents. It took some doing to find one as they didn’t have many taken. My brother actually came up with this one from an old slide he dug out from somewhere. I’m sorry your marriage didn’t work out, but it sounds like you did have a lovely wedding day. Hope those memories are good ones. Thanks so much for commenting, Beth, and for the congrats too.

  7. Oh Nancy, I kept meaning to get back to you on Facebook to say how beautiful the pics of your daughter’s wedding were and to congratulate you. In the midst of all my grief and despair over my mother’s death, I hold on to the one most cherished memory I possess – how happy she was on my wedding day four years ago, and I am filled with gratitude that I had her there beside me. On another side note..I got married in December too .. whatever that says about me…. xxxx

    1. Marie, I’m so glad you have that special memory of having your mom with you on your wedding day. You can cherish that one forever. I imagine she was pretty happy for you that day and so proud. Thanks for sharing that. So you got married in December too? That’s great. It is a lovely month for a wedding don’t you agree? Thanks for commenting, Marie.

  8. Nancy, what a poignant post, very eloquently written. Your mother and daughter look so radiant, so pretty. How proud you must have felt as you witnessed this exchanging of vows. You are right on: there’s a certain innocence to the bride and groom, who are forging their way into an unknown future, connected by their unwavering love for each other.

    I have been married, but unfortunately, the memories are too painful to express at this point. I don’t remember why we chose our October date, maybe because my birthday’s also in October. But I’m making new memories and hope to see at least one of my sons get married and have a long life with his wife, where only death (and not disillusionment) will separate them.

    I always cry at weddings. Something about the intimacy of the ceremony, the richness of the vows, the promise of new beginnings. I haven’t been to a wedding in decades, so I’m looking forward to a time when I can witness one again and shed a tear or two.

    Congratulations to you, your husband and your daughter and new son-in-law. May you all be blessed with many years of joy.

    1. Jan, Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. It was a lovely day and a wonderful milestone to witness. I’m sorry about all of your painful memories, but so glad you are forging ahead making new ones. You have much to look forward to. Glad to hear I’m not the only crier at weddings! I just find them to be so emotional… Thanks so much for your good wishes and kind words.

  9. What a beautiful post! I adore the bride & dog photo. The pic of your parents’ wedding is a gem, too, and they do look so young! Thanks for sharing this special post.

    1. Pinkunderbelly, I adore that photo too! It’s one of my favorites of the whole day. And yes, the oldie is a gem isn’t it? Thanks so much for reading and commenting. It was a fun post to share.

  10. I was married years ago that did not work out.Now here I am planning a second wedding for September 1st. I should have done this long ago we dated years ago, but who knows maybe then as they say timing is everything He says our time is now! ….My biggest obstacle was getting over the issues that not all marriages end up in divorce. Or not every partner cheats. Whew!!Marrying this man is the Rightest(is there such a word haha)? thing I have or will do. I resisted marriage with such a fervor there was no way…..I am so caught up in these marriage plans Everything he has done for me over these past months. Knowing I have Breast Cancer never played a part..Or not having Breasts.. His support his kindness , his unending words of encouragement. Love..I never believed there was such a thing as unconditional love, being the skeptic…Was I wrong!
    He’s never been married , he’s so excited, I want him to have the best day.. Getting married in Paris is a dream! I am in a complete state of “HAPPY” Do I cry? You bet but these tears are happy tears.

    1. Alli, I am simply thrilled for you! I can feel your happiness coming through in your words. September 1st will be a perfect day for your wedding. I wish you much much happiness. You deserve it! Thanks for sharing. And go ahead and cry. Tears of happiness are the wonderful kind!

  11. Nancy I was going to comment on how lovely your daughter looked on her wedding..I submitted my comment before I did. *blushing* There are so many beautiful days ahead. I love their idea of an outdoor wedding.. Perfect… The dog what a great idea.. I wish them many years of love & happiness…. Alli xx

    1. Alli, Thank you, Alli. She did look lovely! It was really special to have Ace there and having it outdoors turned out to be better than I could have imagined. Thanks for your good wishes!

  12. Lovely post Nancy, congratulations to your daughter and her new husband.

    We got married in June and this month are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary by repeating our honeymoon … a cycling holiday!


    1. Lily, Thank you so much. It’s great to “hear” from you, Lily. Congratulations on your own special anniversary, 25 years of marriage and a cycling holiday, both impressive! My best.

  13. For me, it is Thanksgiving. It was the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving that my GP told me the CT showed likely metastatic breast cancer. I thank God every night for keeping me and my family safe each day. It was so hard to be grateful that weekend waiting for a biopsy to be scheduled to confirm the suspicions. It really was a difficult time spiritually… I guess it still is some days.

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