As soon as I got engaged, I couldn’t stop asking my parents (or Derek’s parents!) questions about their own weddings. I’m a bit of a history buff – scratch that, I’m a bit of a personal history buff – and love hearing stories from the past. I could flip through old photo albums for hours and hear about the way things used to be.
Derek and I plan on incorporating some of my parents’ wedding items (as well as some of his parents’ wedding items) into our big day, but before we get to that, I wanted to share what went into my parents’ wedding day so many years (they celebrate 30 years together this November!).
Here’s their story…
My parents met their junior year of high school in Mr. Heil’s American History class (I actually had the same teacher for the same class 20 years later). Back then, my mom thought my dad was nerd, but that didn’t stop her from saying yes when he asked her on their first date.
That first date led to several more and a year later (in December of 1981, when they were both seniors in high school), my dad proposed to my mom with a chicken puppet. You can actually see her wearing the engagement ring in their senior prom photo below.
Their engagement lasted 11 months. They were both barely 18 at the time (well, my mom didn’t turn 18 until that September) and had a low budget to work with, but they made it work.
My parents were married on November 13, 1982 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Titusville.
It’s the same church I had my first communion in and the same church my friend April was married in just two years ago.
My mom found her dress at the local bridal shop in town (that has since burned down). She had originally found a photo of the dress she wanted in a magazine and brought it to the shop. The dress + veil came to a whopping $250 and was one of the highest price points in their budget.
My Uncle Al did my mom’s hair and make-up for free. There were no hair trials, just a quick tuck and pull the morning of the wedding.
The flowers were all silk and done by hand by mom in the weeks leading up to the wedding. My mom’s bouquet still sits on top of the precious moments cabinet to this day.
The photographer they hired was an up and comer. Back then he took their photos for next to nothing, today he’s one of the the most expensive and most sought after in Titusville. (Gregory Daniels <- I went to high school with his daughter.)
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you who half of my mom’s bridal party was just by looking at the photo. I recognize two aunts and a former great-aunt (who has since divorced my great-uncle), but the other two girls are mysteries. I believe I’ve met them at random times in my life – at the grocery store or doctor’s office – but it was a quick hello followed by my mom casually mentioning that this stranger was a bridesmaid in her wedding once upon a time.
I recognize all of my dad’s groomsmen – they’re all my uncles – minus the skinny guy behind my dad. Who is that?
The flower girls were my cousins.
The reception that followed the ceremony was held at the country club down the road from the church. They were able to rent the space for free since my grandparents lived in the community and they saved money by only serving hors d’oeuvre and having just a champagne toast instead of an open bar.
The cake came from the local grocery store (I think?) and, sadly, the Precious Moments topper has seen better days. It fell from it’s shelf a few years ago and had to be superglued together. I think the groom may be missing a piece of his eye at this point in his life.
My aunt and uncle (who caught the bouquet and garter belt) eloped later that year.
Then divorced 10 years later.
Remember what we did to Ben and Ashley’s getaway car when they were married? Well.. that was NOTHING compared to what my parents had waiting for them.
Can you make out the cinder blocks my uncles jacked the car on to?
My dad was the baby of seven boys and the last to be married. Obviously they went a little overboard knowing this was their last hurrah to get it right.
It did make for good stories. Especially considering the fact that I still hear my uncles brag how bad they got my dad 30 years later.
That’s the story behind my parents’ wedding.
They were broke. They were young. And they had no idea where life was going to take them, but here they are still in love almost 30 years later and I think they’re doing alright.
In the end it’s not about how big or fancy the wedding is, it’s about the marriage, and my parents have had a pretty inspirational one.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being great relationship role models to us. If Derek and I are even halfway near as happy as you guys are 30 years from now, we’ll be the luckiest “old married couple” in the world.
Love you guys!