June 21 is the first day of summer, and in 1991 it was the first day of the rest of my life, when I married Dennis Jackson. What a huge, life-changing decision. Looking back, I think I took it a bit too lightly. I'll always be thankful that it has worked out, and that Dennis was the right man for me. We've been happy together all these years.
A little over 3 months before, Dennis proposed over dinner at our favorite little Italian restaurant.I wasn't surprised by the proposal, as we'd already been to chose my ring, but I was surprised when he suggested a June wedding -- I'd been thinking September. We didn't have a lot of time to plan the wedding, but since it would be small that wasn't a problem.
We were married on a Friday, and that wasn't the only "unconventional" thing about our wedding. I don't like to be the center of attention, and so I just was not into having a wedding in a church in front of a lot of people. (There were also religious differences between our two families, so I felt that if I couldn't get married in my Catholic church, I didn't want to get married in a church at all.) We decided to get married in Crystal Bay, Nevada, about a 4 hour drive from each of our homes, at a famous hotel on the shore of the bay. Here's Dennis having cold feet on the balcony (not really, he's smoking, a habit he kicked in our first year of marriage) -- can you see the blue of the huge Lake Tahoe just outside the window?
We held our wedding in a secluded corner suite of rooms, where the minister came to us! Originally, we planned to have no guests at all! But, Dennis' mother was heartbroken at the idea so I relented and invited them as well as my parents -- but no one else, not even siblings!
I loved my dress -- it was designed by Jessica McClintock and it was the only gown I saw that I could even imagine wearing. She was well-known at the time for her over-the-top lace, and had a new line of wedding gowns that were famously affordable. My dress cost $200. I wish I had a photo of my beautiful shoes, also by McClintock. They were double damask pumps.
If we had wanted a California wedding, all we had to do was go downstairs with the minister into a room in the lobby of the hotel which was on the state line between CA and NV and have him pronounce us man and wife on the CA side! The swimming pool at that hotel is famous for having a dividing line through it so you can swim in both states.
After the ceremony we had champagne and snacks with our parents; then, they went to dinner and a show together while Dennis and I went for a romantic seafood dinner at the area's nicest restaurant.
The following day, Saturday, we drove home leisurely, and rested. We got up early the next day, had our photos taken (like the one at the top of this post), and went to a lovely new Senior Center facility we had rented and for a Sunday brunch reception! We served champagne, coffee, tea, orange juice, and all the usual brunch buffet stuff. We had a pianist playing background music. It was lovely. My color was theme was lavender, and I had pots of New Guinea Pink Impatiens on each table. We had about 50 people attend.
I can hardly believe it's been 18 years. We did it our way, and I wouldn't change a thing! (...with the possible exception of my uninspired veil and headpiece...)