Ruth was seventeen and about to graduate from high school. He was twenty-four and had a beautiful little girl already from a previous marriage. Charles never really proposed, it was a foregone conclusion that they would marry. Since they’d dated a year and a half that was the natural next step. Ruth’s mother, Annie, would have preferred she wait, something wasn’t quite right. Though she disagreed with the decision she thought it best to support Ruth and her new husband. It was April and Ruth and Charles wanted to have a June wedding, so time was short.
Annie made it a special mother/daughter time for she and Ruth. She took Ruth dress shopping and put no limit on what Ruth could spend, though Ruth was always aware there was a budget. Together they found a beautiful dress and it just so happened it was one that had been discontinued, so it was on sale at a nice price and it fit right off the rack. No alterations necessary. Annie was a professional seamstress so she took Ruth fabric shopping and they picked out some beautiful fabric for bridesmaid’s dresses which Annie made herself. They were exquisite tea length dresses of chintz fabric with a muted pastel floral pattern, so nineties. Annie also made a dress for Ruth to change into at the reception and wear on the get-away.
It was a quaint wedding in Ruth’s home church – a small country church in a rural town in the south. The flowers were understated, but elegant. One large spray of pastel spring flowers that looked quite a bit like the floral pattern in the bridesmaid’s dresses. Lush greenery framed the spray of spring flowers and candlelight glowed in the dimly lit sanctuary. Ruth’s sisters, step-sister, aunt, sister-in-law to be, a new step-cousin and her soon to be five year old step-daughter made up her attendants . Her little brother was the ring-bearer. Charles’ friends and brother-in-law rounded out the groomsmen. Ruth’s step-father was there to give her away and then took his place as best man. The most popular song for a wedding in the nineties was sung by a friend with an angelic voice, “You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings”.
By the time the wedding was over Annie and Ruth were exhausted. Annie was eight months pregnant with her fifth child. They had both worked way into the wee hours of the morning before the wedding scooping out melon balls, cooking heavy horderves – meatballs and teriyaki wings, spinach dip and preparing punch for the self-catered reception. Only the wedding cake and the groom’s cake were made by an outside party. A grand affair for a family on a shoe string budget.
During the get-away the guests lined up outside the local garden club making a pathway for Charles and Ruth to their rented sapphire blue Pontiac Grand-Am which had been decorated with shoe polish adorning the back window reading “Just Married”, toilet paper, and streamers, cans tied to the bumper for that finishing touch. The guests pelted Charles and Ruth with birdseed, because rice was..so…yesterday. The groomsmen chased the bride and groom trying to catch them and fill their clothes with birdseed. Apparently Ruth was faster than Charles. They chased them around the car, Ruth hopping into the driver’s seat, slamming the door behind. Charles was captured and his trousers were loaded down with a bucket of birdseed. Finally he managed to get into the passenger’s seat. And Ruth drove away.
Charles and Ruth had been so busy at the reception and so nervous that neither of them had eaten and now they were starving. Annie had prepared gallon sized freezer bags with the reception food and hidden them in the car. Thank goodness for Annie. She thought of everything. Charles and Ruth drove merrily down the road to their island honeymoon leaving a trail of chicken bones along the way. Ruth was happily on her way to married life, 2.5 kids(though she was in no rush for them), and a house with a picket fence.
Sounds just like the stuff fairy tales are made of, doesn’t it? Stay tuned for part 2…..
*This is a true story. Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.