With that all important wedding coming up at the week-end I got to thinking about how weddings have changed for the likes of you and me. We can only ignore the cost of the forthcoming wedding on Saturday - that is a different thing altogether. But I look back on my first marriage in 1952 - a long and happy marriage of thirty nine years- and I think of the lack of money (it wasn't long after the war and some things were still rationed) - a real make do and mend affair, paid for entirely by my parents, who didn#t have a lot of spare cash.
I played the organ in the Methodist Chapel in the village in Lincolnshire where we lived. The Minister therefore conducted the ceremony without a fee - and the organist played because he was a friend.
I borrowed a white dress (and yes, I was a virgin) from my sister's friend who had married a few weeks earlier, bought a veil and head dress and carried a bouquet of white carnations and blue iris.
My two little nieces were bridesmaids in dresses made by a lady in the village. They carried posies of anemones from my father's garden, each posy wrapped round with a silver doyley.
My mother and my Aunt Kate did the catering in the Methodist Hall next to the chapel. We had our own pig so there was plenty of home cured ham and plenty of salad from the garden.
The lady who lived opposite made the wedding cake.
We spent the first night of our honeymoon in a hotel in Sheffield (the first time I had ever stayed in a hotel) - quite daunting for a nineteen year old, as I was at the time (my new husband was twenty seven and had been abroad as a prisoner of war, so was much more sophisticated). Then we spent a few days at my Aunt's house in Yorkshire. And that was it - and it was all bliss.
My second marriage in 1993 to the farmer was in the village where the farm was. I paid for the wedding myself. I spent more on the dress than I have ever spent on a dress - just because I liked it. My Grand daughter (aged 7) was bridesmaid and we both carried posies of yellow roses.
Two ladies in the village catered for a reception for the family in the village hall and the next Saturday the farmer and I gave a big party in the farm house for all our friends. The farmer's sister,
who is a professional cake baker, made our cake for us. There was no honeymoon - there were cows to milk. That wedding too was bliss.
I have just been very lucky to have had two such happy marriages. Let's hope the Royal couple's turns out well too.