Friday, April 29, 2011

Flashback Friday - Here Comes the Bride

What is the earliest family wedding you remember attending? Did your family attend many weddings when you were growing up? What do you remember of them? What was typical of weddings you attended? Were you ever in a wedding as a child? As you became a young adult were you in lots of weddings? What roles did you have? Did you catch the bouquet (or garter)? What "royal" or newsmaking weddings do you remember and how old were you? For the gals, were you one who planned your wedding repeatedly as you werer growing up or was it not a big deal to you? What have you noticed that is different about weddings today, and do you consider it for better or for worse?

A cousin got married when I was pretty little - maybe five or six? It's funny; I don't remember anything about it except for her wedding dress hanging on the closet door at their house. It's one of those "snapshot" memories of my childhood.

I loved, loved, loved weddings when I was little. It seems like there were quite a few of them at our church. My daddy always let me sit on the aisle so I could see better. Our church didn't have a center aisle, so the bride went up one aisle with her dad and then after the wedding, the bride and groom went down the other aisle. So the left aisle was for friends of the bride and the right aisle for the groom's side. Of course, if you knew both, it didn't really matter, and it was always a bit of a conundrum whether it was better to watch her walk in or watch their happy recessional!

I was always "collecting ideas" for my own wedding. I've always been a romantic. I loved bridal gowns with long trains that trailed down the steps and knew I wanted one like that. I knew I did not want a flower girl. Of course, growing up in the 70's there were all sorts of different styles of bridesmaid dresses and color combinations that went in and out of fashion!

When I was ten my brother got married. I was really excited about that. My sisters and I were in the house party. They cut the wedding cake and I got to help the best man's wife cut the groom's cake. I thought that was such a big deal! I really wanted to catch the bouquet but of course I was too young, and my new sister-in-law's sister gave me the long-stemmed rose she carried as a bridesmaid instead.

From the time I was a sophomore in college until just after I graduated, I was in umpteen weddings. I eventually lost count, but it was probably close to twenty. I was a bridesmaid in about half of them and in the house party in about half. And I was maid of honor for my best friend from high school/church. (I would have been in at least one more wedding, but two friends got married on the same day in two different cities!) It was so much fun and I loved it, but it was hard at times because I wondered if I was destined to be "always a bridesmaid, never a bride," in spite of catching my share of bouquets.

I am just a few weeks younger than Princess Diana was, so I vividly remember that royal wedding and I was entranced by it. I wasn't one to buy souvenirs and go nuts over it, but I did get up early and watch it on TV; I loved the pageantry and the beauty and romance. She represented every little girl's dream - a beautiful girl marrying her prince. Three decades later, today's royal wedding just doesn't have quite the same appeal to this old married woman!

Or to my teenage girl! Knowing what a morning person she is (NOT!), I asked her if she was going to get up and watch the wedding at 5:00 am and this conversation ensued:
My Girl: "Tell me there are not people who will do that!"
Me: "Oh yes, there are!"
My Girl: "Why? It's just a wedding!"
Me: "Ah, but it's a royal wedding."
My Girl: "So they'll be wearing crowns. You can get one at the Dollar Store."

Suffice it to say we'll be getting up at the regular time this morning!

I had not been to a wedding in quite a few years until relatively recently, but now the children of our friends are starting to marry off. Several the trends of weddings today are so different and interesting to me--and I don't mean interesting in that slightly negative way we sometimes mean it! I really do find it fascinating how everyone does the same thing! One is the fact that there are no house parties any more. Everyone has "professionals" cut the cake and serve the punch. House parties were a great way to involve friends in your wedding! Especially ones that were good friends but not close enough to be a bridesmaid - or if you couldn't afford or want a really big wedding.

The other interesting thing is how all the weddings are monotone now - all the bridesmaids are in slate or gray or taupe. Does anyone choose colors for bridesmaid dresses anymore? I'm not talking about the rainbow pastels of the 70's - I don't even see a dark blue or green; but then I guess those are considered jewel tones of the 90's.

The last thing that is new is the "pre-invitation invitation" or the "save the date" card. I'm glad I didn't have to do that; it was challenging enough getting my invitations ordered, addressed and mailed. Having a whole 'nother set to do (and most of these that we receive are postcards with photo collages!) would have really stressed me out!

Now it's your turn! Share memories of weddings from your childhood on your blog and link up here!


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Kathy said...

I tend to agree with your daughter's view of the Royal Wedding :)

I learned a new term from your post today--"house party". Is that the same as a wedding reception?

Mocha with Linda said...


Maybe the term "house party" is a Southern thing. The house party referred to the friends of the bride who served in roles other than bridesmaids: one or two might stand by the bride's book and greet folks as they arrived and signed the guest page, others would cut and serve (put on plates) the wedding cake, the groom's cake, the punch, the coffee. They would wear their own nice dresses (Sunday morning church style) and would all have a corsage.

bp said...

I hadn't thought of the whole house party thing being different now!
I agree with you on the save the date card. That's a funny one to me!

Susan said...

Thanks for explaining the "house party" term. I didn't know what that meant either. Weddings do seem more elaborate these days. Thanks for hosting, and have a blessed day.

Nel said...

Enjoyed your post, sorry I did not get around to joining in, but I really do not remember many weddings, I guess maybe because I did not grow up in church. The house party thing I had never heard it called that, different. And I am sorry I am with your daughter, I did not watch the wedding and not planning on watching the whole thing, I have looked at a picture or two, but as far as really getting into, sorry. lol.
We will be out of town next weekend so I may not join in again but I promise i will be back.
until next time... nel

Kathy said...

Thanks for explaining what a house party is. To my knowledge, here in Georgia, we don't have a term for the bride's helpers other than calling them "servers". Very interesting. "House party" has a nicer ring to it, I think.

quilly said...

This is the first I ever heard of a "house party". I think the wedding trends are different for different parts of the country. Here there seems to be a lot of "casual" outdoor weddings. The daughter of one of my friends even had her reception as a "bring your own basket" picnic. Instead of coordinating food she coordinated lawn games.

sara said...

I had no idea what a "house party" was. We had all those people in our wedding, they just didn't have a fun name like that!!! And I got married in Texas!!!

I stayed up to watch Diana's wedding, but to be honest don't remember a lot about today, I got all I needed to know from the recaps!!!

Zoanna said...

Hadn't heard of house parties till just now. Great writing prompt today!

Maude Lynn said...

That conversation with your daughter cracked me up!

Susan said...

Oh I missed this one! Ok, I'm going to do it now!!

Susan said...

*giggles* dollar store crowns... haa haa.... your girl is too funny!