Welcome to the
Here Comes the Bride Edition
of Flashback Friday.

Flashback Friday is the brain child of Linda from Mocha With Linda. This is the meme that takes us back in time to the days of our youth. Linda says, This meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been! This week Linda wants to know:

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 news-making weddings do you remember and how old were you? For the gals, were you one who planned your wedding repeatedly as you were 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?

Kate Middleton Wedding Dress

My sister Jean got married when I was nine years old. She wasn’t marrying royalty but you would never have known it by the way she carried on.   I was very excited about my new dress and I drug her into my bedroom to show it to her.  It was a pretty blue,  “grown up” straight sheath with a detachable flower print neck scarf.  I thought it was lovely.  Jean pointed out that her dress was much prettier and as the bride all eyes would be on her and no one would care what I was wearing.  I knew that.  That’s why I wanted to show her the dress before the wedding.  Oh well.  I still loved my dress best and thought it prettier than her fussy, lacy, frilly, impractical gown.

Shortly thereafter Jean had further reason to be annoyed.  Somehow a fire started in our back yard — it was an accident, honest! — and threatened the house.  I tried to convince Jean to come outside and she declared, “Don’t be silly, the house can’t burn down.  I am getting married tomorrow!”

Unfortunately, those are the only two things I remember about Jean’s wedding!  I remember even less about my sister Caryl’s wedding — in fact, I don’t even know if I attended it!  My cousin Tommy married when I was a teenager and I remember quite a bit about that ceremony.

Tommy’s brothers — Jimmy and Scotty — wrote “help” on the bottom of one of  Tommy’s shoes and “me” on the other, so the entire congregation giggled every time the couple knelt at the altar.   Karen, Tommy’s bride, had the most incredible wedding dress I have ever seen.  There was lace and lace and more lace with an impossibly long lace train trimmed with lace daisies.    It had a detachable train and another ring of lace daisies circled the flowing skirt.  Plus, the skirt lifted and the daisy trim hooked on the bottom of the pearled  bodice converting the gown from floor length to knee length.

I also recall that when we stepped out of the church there was a gorgeous sunset.  I took a photo of Tommy and Karen kissing on the church steps before they descended to the limousine.   I caught the couple in their bridal finery against that gorgeous crimson sunset and despite there being a professional photographer at the wedding, Tommy declared my shot his favorite.

I have never been a wedding attendant.  That’s probably for the best.  When my childhood friend Lorii married I cried black mascara all over her and I look absolutely horrid in the photos!

Despite being female, I have never had the big fancy wedding dream.  I haven’t bothered to watch any celebrity weddings on TV, though I do recall Gram watching and sniffling through Tiny Tim’s.  Personally I think a couple’s energy should be more focused on their marriage than their wedding.


Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com. Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.


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About the author

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.

27 Comments

  • Rinkly RimesNo Gravatar says:

    http://rinklyrimes.blogspot.com/2011/04/getting-wed.html

    Don’t be put-off by my main poem. The second one recalls my own ‘ancient wedding’ experience.

    • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

      Rinky — your appreciation of what I wrote here has completely underwhelmed me. Of course I will rush right over to your blog and hang on your every word. Hold your breath until I get there. (I really should delete this comment as spam since it is clearly nothing but a self-serving ad).

  • KathyNo Gravatar says:

    Quilly, I laughed out loud about Tommy’s shoes! That was so funny! You have the most interesting tales to tell 🙂

    It’s a pleasure to meet someone who shares my thoughts on less wedding, more marriage, too.

    Have a great weekend.

  • JimNo Gravatar says:

    .
    This is refreshing, Quilly. Did you burn the house down or was it only a good scare. 🙂

    It is hard for me to appreciate the feelings of a girl having her older sisters marry. Little sisters that I know always sort of looked up to their older ones. And to not get the attention over your dress that you so much wanted from her must have almost broken you heart. For sure it is one thing that you remember about her still today.

    One thing on celebrety weddings. When everyone in the home is female except the one guy it grows on him to appreciate some of the tender things like love, ‘chick flicks,’ and weddings. (Even the cat and our two dogs are ladies. I suppose Goldie, the goldfish was a girl also.)
    ..

    • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

      Jim — if you want to know about the house burning click on the link and read the story!

      • JimNo Gravatar says:

        .
        Oops, the links don’t speed read! Sorry, 🙂
        Actually though, I have read it before. Just that
        I couldn’t remember what all happened.
        ..

  • BevNo Gravatar says:

    I have been known to personalize an old saying “Always a bride; never a bridesmaid” since I’ve been married three times and was never a bridesmaid. That flippant remark was designed to disguise the pain from some very tough early years. In spite of my record, as a young girl I never had the girly wedding dreams either. My first two were small church and family reception-at-home weddings when I was eighteen and twenty-one.

    When Rich and I got married twenty-five years ago I did not want even those simple details repeated. He was forty-two, sweetly naive, and had never been married; I was thirty-six and had way too much life experience. So, we got married early in the evening by a judge after a day of skiing on the slopes in Aspen, CO. Not even my two kids were there. We wore sweaters and jeans; our rings were simple matching bands. And I was radiantly happy, as was he. We were taking enormous leaps of faith and both risking everything we had. We had met working on a project six years earlier and both still worked for the same company…he in L.A. and me in Jacksonville, IL. Even though we talked on the phone A. LOT. as time went on and we became better friends, we had only seen each other a few times when he came to our plant for system implementations. After our wedding, we each returned to our respective homes. He bought us a family home near L.A.; I sold my home; got the kids ready for the move to California; and tied up my career.

    To cut this fairy tale short, we are still the best of friends and deeply in love. He afforded my kids opportunities that no one I had ever known would even dream about. The odds against us ever even meeting were astronomical considering where we both originated from as children, let alone building a beautiful relationship while living halfway across the continent from each other. That makes me the luckiest woman alive; I’m still living a fairy tale!

    • This is so wonderful. Congratulations on your well placed leap of faith!

    • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

      Bev — you and I have much more in common then we knew! I spent 14 years married to an alcoholic, and 10 years happily single and wanting nothing to do with men. Amoeba and I met online — right here on my blog (well, actually on Doug’s blog) — 4 years ago. We spent almost a year getting to know each other in emails, IMs, and phone calls. He lived in Maine & I lived in Las Vegas.

      One day Amoeba called me and said he’d bought a plane ticket to Vegas and would I met him at the airport when I got there? Most of our story actually plays out on my blog — and his though it is now closed — and we were quite the romantic sensation, especially when I decided to chuck my career and run off to Hawaii with him!

      I think all the talking we did before we met cemented our friendship and gave a firm foundation to our love. I think I am the luckiest woman alive. Amoeba is my Prince Charming.

      • BevNo Gravatar says:

        Hopefully the next time Rich and I meander to your part of the country we can arm wrestle or something equally weird to determine who is actually the luckiest woman alive…teehee

        Seriously though, with all we seem to have in common, I do hope that we meet someday.

        For now though I have to somehow find the time to read the last FIVE years of your blog??? Honestly??? I did go back to July 2007 (picked that month at random because it’s my birthday month), what a lucky place to start because now I’m hooked. To catch the beginning though I have to go back about a year before that, right?

  • musingsNo Gravatar says:

    So true about focusing on the marriage than the wedding. I know several people who spent a TON on the elegant wedding with all the details and then divorced two years later. Art and I spent about $1,200 for 225 guests in Hawaii and have been married for 38 years.

  • Big sisters can be so mean sometimes! Shame on your sister for not being nice about your dress!

    It’s always fun reading your memories.

    • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

      Linda — she really didn’t hurt my feelings. I think she was trying to prepare me so I wouldn’t be hurt when I wasn’t the center of attention, but Gram and I had already had that talk.

  • Tiny Tim, eh? That was a bit anti-climatic! LOL! Love ya, girl!

  • I was the flower girl for my uncle’s wedding when I was 7. Unlike you, I was convinced that every one would really be looking at me! My aunt was very gracious though!

    My husband I went to Denmark to get married. Just the two of us and the judge in an 800 year old courthouse in a city (Copenhagen) where everyone was kind and cheerful. It was Christmas time. Sheesh, the Danes even had a little heart on their money! No flower girls, no drama. Lovely. We talk about it enough that our daughter is very aware that if she wants the big hoopla wedding, she will need to have a very good job!

    • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

      Kelley — I think a wedding should be personal and intimate and allow the couple to focus on each other and their future.

  • Stacy LynnNo Gravatar says:

    LOL had to laugh at Tommy’s shoes. I can imagine Tim’s friends would have done something like that if they’d thought of it.

    I remember my sister-in-law’s wedding better than any other (possibly including my own). She got married in the church we attended because she did have one of her own. She had an evening candlelight service and all of her attendants were her nieces. The groom’s son was bestman and the nephews were the groomsmen. I think the oldes was 12 or 13 at the time. Anyway, I was sort of in charge of a lot of things since it was our church and Tim and I were officers so I panicked when I heard a big thud coming from the alter area during the service. I couldn’t see what happened but all I could imagine was that one of the kids had knocked over one of the candle stands. Turned out the groom’s son, so shy and miserable in his suit, passed out and dropped like a rock. Got him out of the wedding and out of the suit…so it was a good thing in his eyes.

    • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

      I’ve heard of people passing out at weddings but I have never seen anyone do so. That seems to be an embarrassing way to avoid being embarrassed. LOL!

      • JimNo Gravatar says:

        .
        My son, Tim, passed out in his brother’s wedding. Tim was a groomsman. I can’t remember how he was revived.

        Now his daughter, my grand-daughter Megan, is getting married in September. Megan is all worried that her dad will pass out again there. Mrs. Jim asked her if he wasn’t sitting down for this one. She smiled. We all think several of the kids should have been Aggies. Perhaps me too except I went to a much better school. Meg is a U/Texas grad with a BA and an MBA.
        ..

  • Barbara H.No Gravatar says:

    Hopefully Jean has matured and become less self-centered since that time!

    LOL about Tommy’s shoes.

    I don’t remember attending any weddings until my late teens years and I was only in one, so I skipped answering this week.

    • QuillyNo Gravatar says:

      Barbara — I guess I was a cute baby. My sisters tell tales of me stealing the show as a child. I think Jean was trying to warn me that I wouldn’t be the center of attention — or probably moving to prevent me from trying to be the center of attention — but Gram had already covered that base.

  • Mama ZenNo Gravatar says:

    I eloped. That pretty much sums up how I feel about weddings!

    • JimNo Gravatar says:

      .
      I eloped once too. Just had my XXth anniversary last week. Of course that marriage only lasted thirteen years. Eloping was fun (you won’t read about that wedding on my blog). The second full blown wedding was even more fun. I do tell about it and so far it has lasted for 38 years.
      ..

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