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Wedding: A look back at my parents’ wedding day

by Meghann on April 25, 2012

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.

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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.

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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.

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My parents were married on November 13, 1982 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Titusville.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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I recognize all of my dad’s groomsmen – they’re all my uncles – minus the skinny guy behind my dad. Who is that?

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The flower girls were my cousins.

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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.

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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.

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My aunt and uncle (who caught the bouquet and garter belt) eloped later that year.

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Then divorced 10 years later.

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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.

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Can you make out the cinder blocks my uncles jacked the car on to?

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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.

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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. ;)

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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.

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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!

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 hannah April 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Awwww this is precious and such a good idea to ask your parents about their special day! Congrats to 30 years! My parents are at the 27 yr mark. So exciting!

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2 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm

That is an amazing story!!! What gorgeous photos, and it’s funny to think how we are so obsessed with every detail of weddings nowadays and they were usually so much simpler back then! Thanks for sharing!
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3 Amber April 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm

This was such a sweet love story! So adorable. I love the look on your dad’s face when he’s taking the garter belt off. Seriously awesome!

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4 Colleen April 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

great story! how awesome to have parents with such a great relationship – and one that you can look to for inspiration. not everyone is so lucky! :)

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5 Caitlin@ This Bride's Joyride April 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I love this story! I can’t agree more, the wedding is about the people and celebrating what will hopefully be a wonderful marriage – ultimately the rest won’t matter that much years down the line!
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6 Jessica April 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I love this post! The pictures are awesome!
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7 clare @ fittingitallin April 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm

SO FUN! I love hearing about my parents’ wedding too. No manicures, no real flowers! My mom even made her own dress!
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8 laura April 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm

i LOVE your parents (and your whole family, haha). what a great story!!

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9 Hillary April 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I love, love, love this. It makes me a little (ok, a lot) sad that both my parents and my boyfriend’s parents are divorced. Hearing stories like this always make me happy, though.

And, it has to be said, Kelly looks SO much like your mom, and your twin brother looks SO much like your dad! Crazy!

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10 Allison April 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Love this post! So very true.
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11 Krissy @ Shiawase Life April 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

What a fun post!

Fun fact…I paid the SAME amount that my mom did for her wedding dress!
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12 Beverly Aragon April 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

LOVE this post! So heartwarming and such an inspiration for married (both soon-to-be and veteran) couples. Your parents are absolutely adorable!

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13 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope April 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm

This is such a sweet and romantic story. I love hearing stories like this. :) It’s such an inspiration.
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14 Megan @ Megan's Munchies April 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!! So sweet and I love the cake topper!
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15 Jessica April 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm

What a great story, Meghann! I also enjoyed all the retro-Sherwood photos!

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16 Sarah @Blonde Bostonian April 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

This is the sweetest post ever – such a cute love story. I love looking at old photos of my parents’ wedding day. Thanks for sharing!
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17 kalli April 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm

you are trully one lucky girl to have parents like that. they are certainly awesome role models for relationships that work. i totally agree that it does not matter how, when ane where. i had a beautiful wedding the first time and got divorced and then my second time around i went to the courthouse and have the best marriage ever. thank goodness for do-overs!

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18 Alaina April 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm

What a sweet story!! My parents are celebrating their 30th this July. I’ll have to dig up some of their photos too! :-)
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19 Sana April 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

So sweet :)

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20 Jules April 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm

What a lovely story! I looked at those wedding photos and even without you saying anything I just knew they would still be together after all these years because they just look so happy and so in love :)
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21 Katie April 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm

This was so precious. Thanks to you and your parents for sharing it! :)

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22 Cait's Plate April 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

So cute! Kelly looks SO much like your mom!!
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23 Ashley @ Sweat for Sweets April 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm

This is freaking adorable! I bet your parents are so proud of you! It’s so refreshing how everything was so simple and really about the love and the meaning of the marriage as opposed to the “fringe” issues, such as decor, etc. Love this!
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24 Caroline Calcote April 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Aw, this is adorable. AND, I graduated in 1987, so I’m only 6 years younger than your parents? Yikes. Well, they were young when they got started and I was old when I got started.
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25 Steph @ 321delish April 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Awww what an awesome story!
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26 Jess April 26, 2012 at 2:39 am

WOW your mom looks just like Kelly in the one with her hair back. Lovely photos and story!

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27 Rachel Wilkerson April 26, 2012 at 9:34 am

Love this! I’ve also been dying to hear more about my parents’ and Eric’s parents’ weddings! I love that they just did a simple reception…such a good reminder that weddings can be simple, inexpensive, and still lovely!
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28 Army Amy* April 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I love the bridesmaids dresses and the getaway clothes your parents changed into!*
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29 Stace April 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm

My parents will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this year in October also! They met in high school in their junior year as well! Then I came the year following their wedding. Love seeing the old photos. I just got engaged in March so I am all about asking everyone’s proposal and wedding stories as well. What is strange though is that I don’t think there is one couple from my graduating class that stayed together. What happened to high school sweethearts????

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30 Meghann April 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I was actually surprised with just how many couples from my high school graduating class got married. I can think of 5 off the top of my head. :)

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31 Stace April 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Wow! Really? I do love a good love story must be my high school ( from delaware).

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32 Liz April 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I am amazed at how much Josh looks like your dad from those pictures! Wow! Also it’s cool to hear about Titusville from back in the day :)
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33 Rachel May 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm

This was such a great post. I absolutely LOVE how your parents just got engaged in high school, married and are doing amazing after so many years!

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