I know this will surprise many, but when we got married in December 1963, the theme of our wedding was – are you ready? — the wedding!
We, Alex and I, were the stars of the show. Yes, it’s true, that was our only theme. In fact, for all couples, that’s the way it was it then. Really.
Ushers, bridesmaids, junior bridesmaid, and flower girl were the co-stars. Our parents were our honourable guests and they all chose their own outfits.
Cabrini Hall in Creighton Mine was our venue and the decorations were minimal, just a few streamers here and there. Candles and flowers brightened up the head table. It was lovely.
I did not spend much money on my large wedding bouquet. It consisted of red roses and white carnations and I loved it!
My unique wedding gown was beautiful. Our best friend, Dennis Taus, who had hoped to be Alex’s best man, could not come as he was in Cyprus with the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces. We really missed having him there.
Unexpectedly early in December, I received a large package from Dennis. I was so excited wondering what gift he had sent us. When I opened the box, I couldn’t believe my eyes. After all the tissue paper and packing paper was opened, I found 12 meters of absolutely beautiful Egyptian brocade. He had enclosed a letter, as well. He asked if I would consider having my wedding gown made of this material.
Of course my answer was yes. I wrote to Dennis immediately to tell him his beautiful gift had arrived safely and that of course it would be used to make my wedding gown. I was so proud of it.
Long-time friend, Mrs. Mary Ostashek, sewed my wedding gown and also commented on the lovely material and suggested we choose a simple pattern to show the beauty of the material. She charged me the magnificent sum of $25 (I know I lucked out here!).
The music for dancing was provided by two friends who played records — no band, not even a DJ. And you know what? Our 150 guests enjoyed dancing all afternoon. Yes, afternoon, no evening reception at our wedding.
Favours for the guests? Why? The gifts they brought were for us – the bride and groom, as it should have been. Do bridal couples today give little presents as rewards for attending the wedding? Our family and friends came because they wanted to – not to receive tokens to be thrown into a drawer or perhaps the garbage can.
See how much simpler it was then? And do you know what? Our marriage has lasted 51 years, so it is working – so far anyway.
Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher.