From the day we set the date, I knew August 28, 1959 would be no ordinary day. I would have prefered a June wedding but that was impossible. My student fiance had to work a summer job to pay our first bills. It would have helped if I had a summer job, too. However, that was impossible. I lived six miles from the nearest town with no transpertation. And, there were no jobs available in that rural community, anyway. So, we set the date late in summer, just before the 1959-60 school year began.
We planned to meet at a chapel in the Wichita Mountains, about halfway between our family homes. From there, we planned to spend our wedding night in our new home (the house-trailer in the college town where Dan would finish his last year of college). That’s all we could affort.
Our wedding was planned to be VERY simple. Dan and I thought it would be just our immedite family and the preacher… nothing out of the ordinary. But, it didn’t turn out that way. (Did I mention that MY MOTHER was five months pregnant with her thrid child?)
The extended family on both sides wanted to attend. So we had uncles and aunts and cousins galore. I had three cousins, two attended… but Dan had… ah… more. So, here’s how it went:
They all traveled to the middle of nowhere without the promise of cake and punch.
My mother refused to wear maturnity clothes until after the wedding. Consequently, she was way more concerned about what the mother-of-the-bride would wear than the bride’s dress. Daddy was a farmer with little use for a suit… so of course, he had to have a new suit to replace the one worn to the last funeral. My fourteen-year-old brother… well, he’d probably outgrown his last suit.
And the bride – my aunt and I were about the same size so she offered to loan me a dress. She had a pink one and two white ones that would have been suitable. But, a borrowed dress for my wedding? I said my heart was set on a blue dress so Mama gave in, and I helped her make a blue dress after she made her adjustable waisted mother-of-the-bride dress.
And, there’s more:
My brother had a minor motor scooter accident that day and came to the wedding with a few bruises and some scrapes.
Dan’s brother, Buford was the best man and he got yellow paint on his suit coat while decorating the newlywed getaway car.
Dan’s sister, Sarah was my maid of honor and as far as I know she wasn’t involved with yellow paint. No paint on her dress.
My Auntie Dorothy took the photos but her camera malfunctioned and we only got a few.
(Did I mention that my dad refused to give me away?)
None of this mattered. All I could see was Dan, the love of my life. And all I could think about was our new beginning. Over the years there have been times that I wished Dan could have seen me in a beautiful gown, standing at the back of a beautiful church, on my father’s arm. And I could have seen him waiting for me at the alter.
It didn’t matter. Dan and I joined hands outside the chaple door. By the time we came down the aisle together, we were committed to sharing our life together. That ceremony, without any trimmings, bound us together with strong ties. Ties that will last until… (I can’t even say those words).