The Crankee Yankee and I have been married 12 years this month. It was the second go-round for us both, and neither of us wanted a big to-do of a wedding. We had both had nice first weddings; not elaborate, but certainly fancier than our second wedding. By the time we decided to marry, it was all about wanting to spend our lives with each other, not the wedding trappings. We still talk about what a great day we had and how relaxed and fun it all was. We wanted to marry in my parents’ back yard, which was perfect: a large berm tapers down to a level spot in front of a lovely stone wall with a white wooden trellis in front. On that day, there was a pot of gorgeous white flowers hanging from it, and all the lily of the valley and lilacs (my two favorite flowers) were in full and fragrant bloom.
Back in the 50s when I was growing up, it was common practice for little girls to make a wedding book containing ideas for the wedding dress, flowers, bridesmaids, cake, location, and so on. Some went so far as to perform practice weddings with their Barbie dolls. This never appealed to me; it just seemed, well–boring. I was a tomboy, and liked climbing trees, catching frogs, reading and collecting shells and rocks.
On the weeks leading up to our wedding, Mom and I had a wonderful time buying up mismatched champagne glasses from Goodwill (what a deal–no more than .25 a glass!). For the cake table, we covered a folding table with a white sheet. In the morning of the wedding, we cut bouquets of fresh lilacs for myself and my best friend to carry, and Mom made boutonnieres of lily of the valley for the men. Mom also made the wedding cake; a family favorite–lemon crunch cake. Dad bought a case of champagne, and it flowed liberally throughout the day. The weather was perfect, all guests were seated in chairs on the berm facing the trellis. As an added bonus to a wonderful day, the Crankee Yankee’s younger brother stood up with us as well as my best friend. They began dating shortly afterward, and three years later, they too married!
We look back on that day, and recognize that things happen at the right time. There is no feeling of, ‘oh, if I’d married you first,’ because that would have changed everything. We married our first spouses for good reasons, and although those marriages did not last, they were still important. You have to look back at where you were to understand where you’re going. The time was right for us, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
All in all, including my dress (and excepting the champagne!), our wonderful cheap-o wedding cost about $150. Which just goes to show that, when it comes to weddings, sometimes cheaper is better. And sometimes, the second time around is the best time around.