Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for...Marriage

True stories or at least stories with some basis in truth are the best stories.  Events happen and years after in the retelling, people ask, “Did that really happen?”  I say, “Well, yes.”

One wedding story told in our family was about a family who moved into the community in the 1930s.  Not part of the town’s gene registry, the ‘Windsor’ family felt a strong need to prove themselves to the small rural town that they were a cut above the locals. 

This did not help their cause any, let me tell you. 

Oldest daughter, 'Renora' was engaged to young man from their previous state.  All the friends and relatives drove hundreds of miles to this small town.  Mrs. Windsor had something to prove to the family, friends, and the local rubes:  The Windsors were a classy family, and don’t you forget it.

Mrs. W. spent almost two years planning the wedding.  Renora was graduating from the University right before the wedding, so Mrs. W. had poured herself into every detail.  The whole house had been remodeled and the garden had been replanted, because the formal reception was to be held there.

Now this! will show those locals who has class...

Most people of the town held the reception in the church basement or the American Legion Hall.  It was a potluck, and one of the townspeople made the wedding cake.  The bride’s mother made the wedding dress and the two bridesmaids’ dresses.  Period. This was how weddings were in this town.

The Windsor wedding was not to be like that, no.  The bride’s gown was made in the city.  The five bridesmaids’ gowns were designed by Mrs. W. and created by a professional seamstress who was fitting the gowns at their previous town of residence.

No detail left to chance

In fact, a caterer from the next county over was providing the luncheon, while the wedding cake was
being transported from their previous hometown.

Well, then, fine. 

The day of the wedding was a fine warm June day, with sun and a nice breeze.  It was lucky, because there had been tremendous humidity the week before.  Hot, oh it was hot, and muggy, oh it was muggy.

The men folk from out-of-town wore black tuxedoes.  The women wore tea length chiffon gowns and hats.  The bride and five bridesmaids entered to Trumpet Voluntary , since one of the friends could play the heck out of the organ. 

Nothing was notable about the wedding. 

No air conditioning for this church!  No-siree-bob.
Then the organist lit up with the recessional, and the congregation stood.  At least the locals stood.
The out-of-towners tried to stand, but seemed to be stuck to the pews.  After some effort, they rose en mass, revealing that the varnish on the pews had suffered mightily in the humidity; the backs of the visitors were covered with varnish.

In truth, so were the locals, but they weren’t concerned about their cotton clothes.  A little kerosene or lighter fluid would take care of that.

With her jaw and nose elevated, Mr. and Mrs. W. made their way down the aisle, nodding and smiling aloofly.  This would not ruin their day, dang it.

The limousine entourage led the way to the reception and the locals strolled there, since it was only two blocks away.

This is what the Windsor friends drove.

They all arrived pretty much at the same time.  The caterer was pacing the porch, while the guests arrived.  He pulled Mrs. W. over and whispered to her as the wedding party moved on to the garden.

As the guests stared at the cake, Mrs. W.’s scream could be heard.

You see, in the sunny warm day, the wedding cake had melted, completely slipped off the layers and plopped on the grass.  Surviving the journey had been enough, the cake gave up its frosted glory on a June day. 

Well, yes.  It is true.  Only some details have been changed.  As you know, it is wise to change some details.


  1. Oh man - this is why flexibility and humor are the key to a long and happy life. Sure hope Renora and her groom were easier going than Ma-Ma.

    1. I don't know for sure, but I think they moved to the other side of the country, away from the mother.

  2. Well, we knew it would all end in tears, but oh dear! My children have all chosen different types of wedding, from the beach in Barbados to a knees-up in the village hall. All of them are still married!

  3. Simple is always best, making it some huge you don't know half the people kind of loses the point.

  4. Great story! The details, as they were written, were just perfect.

  5. That is a hilarious wedding story! :) I love that the varnish got on their backs, lol.

  6. My wedding in 2007 cost about $1200 total. I got my wedding dress for $100. And of course it didn't go as planned. I went to the reception site to make sure everything looked good. I was there with some friends, none of whom had cars. The person who gave me a ride there left, assuming I had another way to get to the park, where the wedding was. I had to walk down main street in a small town in a full wedding gown and high heels to get to my own wedding in time. Boy did we get some strange looks. Then my mom dislocated her elbow getting out of the car. She sat through the ceremony, and my dad took her to the ER immediately afterwards. Sometimes all you can do is have a good sense of humor and take life as it comes.

    1. Memorable weddings are the best!! Hope your mom healed alright. A sense of humor always comes in handy.

  7. Very good, in fact, so good, I felt stuck to my chair reading it :)

  8. To all who read this: My late father told me about this long ago. He was an animated story-teller. His voice, rhythm, and words were used here. It must have been one heck of a wedding story to survive 70 years.

    1. You've got his gift of story telling. I loved the varnish detail.

  9. Oh my - I'd be sad about the cake, too. :)

  10. M is for marriage, and for mourning. Snobs never prosper.

  11. What a wonderful story. It has everything: drama, comedy, tragedy and just plain pig-headedness. I loved it.

  12. Great wedding story for "M"! I feel sorry for the snobs of the world, as when you think you're high and mighty, the only path left is down!

    Give me an old fashioned simple wedding any day. Actually, that goes for pretty much any event worth celebrating. Keeping it simple is the way to go!

  13. HAHA, that just goes to show it doesn't pay to be too snooty! ;)

  14. Great story! Something always happens at a wedding. A sense of humor is so important. The poor cake!

  15. The saying, "Pride goeth before a fall..." comes to mind. Of all the things that went wrong for Mrs. W., I think that I mourn the cake most of all.


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