Saturday, June 20, 2009

Memories of a June Wedding

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.

Don't we look scared?

Ah -- much better now!

We decided to be married in Nevada because it was so much easier: no blood tests, and no wait for the licenses -- they have a drive-through window for marriage licenses in nearby Reno!

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.

Videotaping weddings was "the new thing" -- we actually rented this camcorder!

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.

The irises in my bouquet were my "something blue."

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...)


Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Beautiful dress. Beautiful couple. Beautiful YOU! Happy anniversary and best wishes for many many more.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What a beautiful day! My bridesmaid wore Jessica and our color was lavender too.

Micki said...

What a wonderful, romantic story...Many more years together, and you were a lovely bride!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Oh how sweet! I loved your whole wedding story! What a beautiful bride and beautiful couple you two were/are! Happy anniversary!!!

Allidink said...

Aw! Very sweet :) If I end up marrying my boyfriend we might do something "unconventional" too lol. As our families also have religious differences but I won't let it weigh my mind too much, as I read from your story no big deal and everything was fine lol :) Great photos! Happy Anniversary!

All the best,

Christine said...


Spotted Sparrow said...

You are both too cute! Thank you so much for sharing.

Sandra said...

Congratulations, Happy Anniversary! You were a beautiful bride! I loved your sweet romantic story, thank you for sharing it. I hope you both, will always stay as happy as you are today.

Joy said...

Happy Anniversary Laurie!

Viola said...

How sweet! Happy Anniversaray, Laurie! You were really a beautiful bride! :-)