Getting Married and Just Married

by Elouise

The Best and the Worst of Getting/Just Married:

  • The Best: You already know, so I won’t bore you!
  • The Worst: Knowing you already know what we did our wedding night.

Seriously, I don’t remember much about our double wedding with Sister #2 and her beloved. Here’s what I do remember:

  • It happened 11 September 1965I was nearly 22 years old; D was 22.
  • I got up the morning of our wedding and happily told myself ‘This is my last day as a single woman living in my parents’ house.’ A few weeks before, I quit my full-time post-college job with My First Boss. Grateful for the saved money; relieved to be moving on.
  • We received gifts and cards galore before and at the wedding. Small items from old friends, including one white pillowcase with a hand-embroidered edging in shades of blue. I still have it. An old hobnail, fluted light blue serving bowl from a friend who gave it from her own collection of dishes. I still have it. And from my piano teacher, Mrs. Hanks, a gorgeous, large hand-painted Chinese platter to hang on the wall. Yes, I still have it.
  • I loved walking down the aisle with my California GrandpaHis happiness about D, and his confidence in me were priceless. So was the proud look on his face! My father was on the platform, officiating along with the pastor of the church my family attended.
  • I felt self-conscious on the platform when I said my vows and when D and I kissed each other. One of our wedding photos shows us kissing, with my father standing just behind me. He’s taking it in with a rather somber look on his face. No smiles.
  • I felt happy and relieved when the ceremony was over. In wedding photos I see a somewhat serious, happy but not super-happy young woman who rarely looks straight into the camera. In some photos I look like I’m in a daze. The happiest photo shows David and me walking hand-in-hand, smiling, down the aisle at the end of the ceremony.
  • I felt overwhelmed by the number of people who attended the wedding. We stood for hours in the receiving line. So many hugs and smiles. Even a few tears of happiness for us. I felt overwhelmed with kindness, good wishes and generosity of heart.
  • I was happy when Sister #3 (Diane) caught my bouquet! She didn’t yet have a special friend. But so what? She seemed to know she would have one someday.
  • We left the church to a deluge of rice, got into our outrageously painted up and tin-canned new red Volkswagen squareback, and drove away. I had on a gorgeous new ‘going away’ outfit–including a hat! It was very complicated back then. So it now seems.

Most of all I remember my sense of total relief when we got on the highway leading to our honeymoon digs in a friend’s beautiful new house right on Hilton Head Island beach.

During our week-long honeymoon we drove back to Savannah one day to go to a movie. That may sound tame, but it was my Very First Movie, one of several Very Firsts that week. We went to a major downtown Savannah theater where The Sound of Music was showing.

I was nervous about going to Savannah, even though I wanted to go to a movie. What if someone who knew my family saw us going into the theater? What would they think? Would they report me to my parents? But once the movie began, I was hooked! I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing all these years.

When our week of blissful irresponsibility was up, we packed our bright red Volkswagen squareback to the gills and drove north to Boston. D was to begin a graduate program in sociology that very month (September).

We hadn’t even seen pictures of the flat we’d agreed to rent. We knew one of us (guess who) would need a full-time job, but had absolutely no leads. We also knew we didn’t want children just yet, so I had plenty of birth control pills.

Finally on our own, ‘real’ adults!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 March 2015