Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Weddings

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.

37 comments:

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

And I thought my father's friend, Fred, was the only person in the world who'd left his own wedding early so as to get back to milk the cows! I expect Harry won't have to do that.

Gwil W said...

I think they deserve a chance. Living next door to brother Will should help make things go smoothly for Harry. I hope the paparazzi don't give them a hard time. I understand guests are not to wear their medals because David Beckham wore his medal on the wrong side last time.

Rachel Phillips said...

It is in their hands is all I can say. I don't suppose Meghan knows much about farming.

Sue said...

I don't understand why youngsters spend so much on elaborate weddings instead of putting the money towards a deposit for a house of their own.

Derek Faulkner said...

Difficult to ignore the cost when we the public are probably paying for a lot of it. For me, the best thing about this particular wedding is that in Harry's choice of bride (divorcee/mixed race) and style of wedding/buffet (stand up and pick 'n mix), we have at last found someone who has been able to break free of the awful Victorian legacy that his father seems so determined to hang on to. All praise to Harry, he and Wills are the only two stars in the awful royal family.

Marion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terra said...

I loved your comment on my blog today about your two marriages and how happy and different your marriages were. I don't understand spending lots of cash on weddings, ours was very low key and festive. I do understand the Royals wedding as a kind of celebration for the nation and for the world, where ever your royal family is admired, which includes me.

Bonnie said...

How wonderful to hear about your weddings Weaver! They each sound just perfect and they must have been since you have such good memories.

Mac n' Janet said...

My parents paid for or wedding, my2 sisters were my bridesmaids, I bought my dress and evil. No honeymoon, we married on Friday night and Mac had to report in for his Army physical on Monday.
It was Pete, we've been married for 52 years.

donna baker said...

Pat, what beautiful weddings you had and marriages. You have been blessed. I don't know if I can get up at 4 am to watch Harry's wedding, but I can't wait. So happy for him.

jinxxxygirl said...

Absolutely LOVED reading about your weddings Pat...My two yr old daughter and i flew to Germany and there met my soon to be hubby at the airport.. He was in the Army and stationed there for 3 years.. Coming off the plane i couldn't miss him.. A Texan through and through he was standing head and shoulders above nearly every one else with his cowboy hat on and a dozen roses.. We then drove to Copenhagen , Denmark.... long story short.. We got married in front of the Justice of the Peace...in Lyngby ... a small town outside of Copenhagen.. Didn't understand a word that was said during the ceremony and just said 'I do" when they nodded... Our marriage certificate is in multiple languages and we will celebrate our 29 yr next month.. And yes.. it was and still is bliss... Hugs! deb

angryparsnip said...

Oh Pat, such beautiful weddings and such wonderful marriages.

cheers, parsnip

Fairtrader said...

Hello Pat!
Sadly enough that Royal wedding has passed me by, that's what comes with the swedish mood of minding my own business.
Im happy to know that there are bright days ahead. I also hope that you are doing well, its been ages since I looked into your page here!!! I'm hoping for myself to be more active in the future and take part of things happening in my blogfriends lives!!!

I was very touched by your lovely description of your two weddings, and I couldnt help laughing when you got to the one with your Farmer, cows needed milking, yes indeed. How lovely. I wish you all the best in the month of maying!!!

Joanne Noragon said...

To as much happiness for these royals as for you!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

What lovely weddings you had. To find love twice in a life is truly a blessing.

Amanda said...

I've some friends who have a favorite comment - "The longevity of the marriage is inversely proportional to the cost of the wedding." They know what they're talking about. They spent maybe $200 on their wedding, mostly for their rings, nearly 50 years ago, and are still each others' biggest fans.

Cro Magnon said...

When Charles married Camilla, I seem to remember that her dress was 'off-white'; slightly greyish. As a fellow divorcee, I'm wondering if Markle will follow with tradition, and also not wear white?

Beachcomber said...

I enjoyed reading about your weddings and am so grateful that you shared them with us.
The power of the advertising media is such that today's brides are convinced that they
need to spend thousands on their wedding for it to be a success.
Pouring over bride magazines seems to take precedent over making sure that they have
made the right choice of bridegroom!
So many of them start off married life with huge debts caused by the cost of their wedding
and honeymoon that it's no wonder that their marriages struggle to survive.
I'm not sure that the husbands to be are too interested in lavish weddings but peer pressure
seems to sweep them along too.
You have had two wonderful marriages. I hope that you get great pleasure from your memories.
The courage that you have shown over the last few months would make both your husbands very
proud of you. Sue

Penhill said...

What lovely memories for you, two wonderful marriages.Not being a Royalist I am not really interested in the event on Saturday.I wish them well as I would wish any couple.

Librarian said...

The description of your two weddings make a lovely read, thank you for sharing them! I've been married twice, too, and both times it was all rather low key and just with the closest family and friends. No bridal dresses for me on either occasion, as there were no church ceremonies; I was still dressed nicely, though. Both honeymoons were just as low key and not costly - the money simply wasn't there, and we did not see the point in spending more than what we could easily manage. Both times I was already living with the man I then married, so there were no surprises after the wedding.
I'd love to marry again - one last time... and I know I would not regret it, as with O.K., it feels like I have won the lottery where men are concerned!

Gwil W said...

As well as an absence of medals due to the Beckham faux-pas I mentioned earlier there will be a period of 2 hours when guests will not be allowed to answer the call of nature.

Frances said...

Both your weddings sound delightful. I agree with Amanda that often the bigger the wedding the shorter the marriage. My wedding dress, in 1974, was a 2 piece white cotton , and I am sure it only cost £22 ! I still have it somewhere in a suitcase, but wouldn't be able to get into it now as I am nearly 2 stone heavier than the 8St.5 I was then!!

Heather said...

Each of your weddings sounds delightful, as was mine which seems very similar. I borrowed my cousin's wedding dress, my mother and aunts catered for our afternoon tea reception which was held in a marquee (scouts' tent) on Granny's back lawn. We had a self-catering honeymoon in my mother's friend's flat as she was away on holiday. I think the simple DIY weddings are the least stressful and most delightful - unless of course you can go the whole hog and get experts in to do the lot. Every good wish for Harry and Meghan for a long and happy marriage.

Virginia said...

I married in 1976, aged 24, when it was still accepted that the bride's parents paid for most of the wedding. The full White (cream) dress, church thing. 42 years later we are still happily married. But how the world has changed. I went to the wedding of our close friends' daughter a few weeks ago. She is 37 (first marriage for both of them) but they chose the venue (a restaurant) celebrant (not a full church wedding that her parents would have wanted) and limited the guest list to chosen members of the family they were personally close to, no extras, no 'obliged-to-ask's, and as they paid for the wedding, it was their call. However, they earn more than their parents do, and have waited til mid-life to get to this point. And their generation ended up with huge student loans, which we didn't have to cope with, and enormous mortgages when they bought their home. Our first house cost less that twice my husband's annual wage - now it's likely to be 7 or 8 times a young person's annual income!

I think we had it easy.

Tom Stephenson said...

How funny to think of you as a young bride in 1952! I was one year old...

Derek Faulkner said...

I agree with Virginia, in some ways we had it easy, but as many have commented here, that's because we kept it fairly simple and managed a lot of the costs by making things ourselves. Having said that, I can recall that in the early 1990's we were paying a mortgage interest rate of around 15%, none of the minute percentage rate that is the case today.

Minigranny said...

Both your weddings sound to have been absolutely perfect! The amount off money that people spend now is crazy.

Rachel Phillips said...

I think it is all relative. Nobody ever has it easy. I can remember waiting lists for mortgages and word spreading that such and such a building society was releasing funds. £60 per month mortgage repayments were easily crippling on a small salaries of £1000 per annum for men if they were lucky and less for women which were common in the early 1970s.

Derek Faulkner said...

My first house in 1972 cost £3,500 and I was taking home around £20 a week. Haven't a clue what the interest rate was. Four years later in 1976, my second house cost £10,000. Ten years later in 1986, my current house cost £42,000.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel and Derek - interesting comparisons money-wise. I had forgotten about having to join a qqueue waiting for a mortgage.
Tom - you could have been my page boy!
Gwil - do you think all of the oldies will be able to last that long for the call of nature?
Cro - wearing white doesn't seem to bother folk now. When my grand daughter got married a few years agoa in a Registry Office in Newcastle, the wedding before theirs was a couple with four children, who were all bridesmaids/page boys - the bride was in full white regalia.

Thanks everyone - such an interesting read.

Eleanor said...

I was married in 1969 and my parents paid for the reception. My dress was £15 (my going away shoes cost more), and the veil was borrowed from a friend who had married a few months earlier. We honeymooned in Torquay, a lovely apartment in a big house, which cost the princely sum of 3 1/2 guineas for the week. My cousin married on the same date as us, but 6 years previously. It was held in the village hall and I can remember the night before making curls of butter with the old ribbed wooden butter pats and tying coloured thread round the cutlery, different colour for everyone who had loaned it. Things are so much different today, everything has to match and be perfect.

Bea said...

I think my parents had a wee church wedding back in '68. I was always told that my dad sold his stamp collection to pay for mom's wedding ring. -flush with cash they weren't.

Rachel Phillips said...

Add into the equation in the 1970s that women normally stopped working when they had children, and became stay at home mothers, and there were no maternity benefits payable, these did not come in until the 1980s, and it was not unusual for women to be sacked when they became pregnant and not illegal. No, it was not any easier back then, we just expected less.

Barbara Womack said...

I loved reading about your weddings, Pat. They were both so lovely in such different ways.
But, the comments are what really captured my attention. So very interesting.

carolyn said...

I would love to see some pictures of your lovely weddings.

saraband said...

In 1966 my Dad drove us to my wedding in his Morris Minor. We got there early and waited down the road from the church until the bridegroom arrived.

Lilbitbrit said...

You are a very fortunate person to have two happy marriages, or just you are wise and know how to pick a good husband. Maybe you could be a matchmaker a shadshan. I will probably watch some snippets of the royal wedding.