August 27, 2012
So hard to believe that tomorrow will be our 30th wedding anniversary. I asked Dave a while ago if he wanted to do anything special for this anniversary. His response was, “like what?” I said we could renew our vows and he asked what that would involve and the minute I said just a Justice of the P (didn’t even finish the word), he said, “NO”. I then asked if he would like to go away for the weekend, another “no”. I finally asked him if he would like new wedding bands as we have our original gold bands from when we were 19 and 20 and again he said, “No”. Well that made it easy and was sweet in a way that he still wanted to keep his well-worn, stuck on his finger for good, wedding band. He is such a sweet, funny man and not cheap in the least.
But I want to go back to our wedding day as it was a lot of fun and made for great memories. We were paying for everything ourselves, so we kept the guest list to 130 people, which was difficult as Dave has a LARGE family (go into Brookline, MA, where he was born and say the name Mulvey or Farrell and someone will know one!) My family was a lot smaller, but together we had so many friends from school, college, jobs, etc. that we ended up inviting 160 people going by the rule that 20% usually are not able to make it. Well, 150 people replied that they WERE coming. This was a problem as the reception was at a beautiful banquet hall called Savini’s in Easton, MA where you needed 250 people to use the upstairs all-glass, cascading waterfall and huge dance floor hall. Unbelievable! As we couldn’t afford it, we were going to be downstairs, which was charming with its brick walls and lighting. This space could comfortably hold 125-140 people. The upstairs was where I really wanted it, but it was not in the budget.
Being Scottish, I found my beautiful wedding gown for $40 – yes, $40 and then bought different lace and new buttons for the back of the dress and so the train could be buttoned up and off the floor at the reception. I spent more money on my headpiece as I went into Windsor Button in Boston and bought a beautiful wreath and then enough veil material for two lengths and beading for the hems. That was $120 in 1980! I also decided to keep my wedding party to just my younger sister, Donna, as I wanted my friends to enjoy themselves and I did not want to have seven bridesmaids that I had to find the right dress to fit them all nicely. So, Donna was my maid of honor and just a teen herself, but she did a great job. Dave was happy with not having a large bridal party, so his younger brother, Billy, was his best man. Billy is a comedian by nature and had my poor sister beet red as he kept whispering to her during the ceremony!
I then went on to make all of the immediate family part of the wedding (except for my older sister, Anne and her husband, Larry, as their first-born, Jessica, was only ten months old and I thought they should just be able to enjoy the day. Dave’s older sister, Ellen, was the photographer as she had studied it in high school and was always taking pictures. His younger sister, Doris, who is the same age as Donna, was in charge of the Guest Book and making sure everyone signed it. Dave’s two other younger brothers, Tom and Pat, got to roll the paper down the church aisle and then just look adorable in their tuxes!
Now for some back history; we were originally going to get married in February of 1981 and I was going to wear my Nana Kerr’s winter wedding gown from the 1930’s as I did not like the heat, so I thought a winter wedding would be pretty and hopefully the weather would agree. Then as Dave and I kept talking about it, we decided we didn’t want to wait, so we planned for a September 1980 wedding instead. When we asked Dave’s Mom about a date in the middle of September, she said they already had a wedding to go to on that day. Really???? So I quickly figured it out and moved the date up to Labor Day weekend. Rose replied that no one would come as it was a long weekend. Hmmm, sounds like she doesn’t want us getting married yet. So then I said, “OK, it’s settled, we will get married on August 28th!” At this point Rose was realizing that I was just going to keep moving the date up, so she said that would be perfect! Pa was fine with whatever we said.
Then I decided to tell my Mom that we had changed the date and what does she do? She counts on her fingers to try and figure out if I’m pregnant. Thanks Mom, glad to know nothing ever changes with you! Once I convinced her that this was what we wanted, she was all in with giving me advice, telling me what to do and when to do it and I basically let it fall on deaf ears. We were paying for this wedding ourselves and would handle it. Of course, the biggest deal in the whole world was what she was going to wear and that she had to buy my sister Donna a long dress! Rose, on the other hand, was hemming her gown on the eve of our wedding. Talk about night and day!
Two weeks before our wedding, I call Savini’s to give them the exact count and Mr. Savini tells me that no one has booked the upstairs room, so I can have it if I want it for the same price. Hell yeah, I wanted it!!! I was ecstatic. I would have beautiful natural light, plenty of space for everyone and the big dance floor! Now I believe it was meant to be because I cannot believe the room was available on August 28th – aren’t summer weddings the big thing?
My flowers were all yellow roses as Dave had always given me yellow roses (and he still does for no special reason). Donna also had yellow roses (just a smaller version of mine). Our cake was made at Dorothy Jean’s bakery and was a three-tiered, lemon-filled cake. The hardest part was finding a man and woman for the top that I liked. I didn’t think I was picky until I saw them and had to choose. My friends and I made the centerpieces for each table at the reception hall and I had ribbon bows on the front pews at the church and beautiful floral arrangements at the front near the altar.
The morning of August 28, 1982: 5:30 am, Dave throw a rock at my window. He has a gift for me. I sneak downstairs to meet him and he gave me a beautiful pair of pearl earrings to wear that day. I certainly wasn’t dressed in my gown, so I didn’t think of it as bad luck at all. I remember everything except what I gave him! I should ask him and see if he remembers – ha ha! Well, I went back to bed wearing my new earrings as the wedding wasn’t until 2 o’clock (it was a Sunday). I eventually got up, ate, showered, did my own hair and makeup and then tried to stay cool until the limo showed up. My mother was complaining about her hair, her dress, how uncomfortable her all-in-one shape wear she bought (I did not tell her to buy it!) and then she finally calls upstairs and I’m just wearing a long shirt and my veil. She freaks – why aren’t you dressed yet? Because it’s too hot and what am I going to do once I put on my gown with the hoop under it. The worst part was I was wearing heels that I did not want to as ballerina slippers would have been perfect with my gown as Dave is only 5’7” and I’m 5’4”. I did not want to be the same height and I wanted to be very comfortable as I planned on dancing A LOT! Mom won out and I still had marks on my feet the next day from the straps! So I didn’t really care that she was uncomfortable in her “shape wear” and told her to take it off as she looked fine without it. Nope, she was going to suffer…..
More? OK. I am dressed in plenty of time for the limo, the heat is not helping my bangs hold the slight curl I put in them, but out the door I go. Donna looks beautiful in her light blue gown and is so nervous, I feel bad. We arrive at the church about five minutes late, which I guess they do on purpose to give the guests extra time to get there. Now I’m a little nervous as I am waiting for the music to start for the parents, Donna and Billy and finally my Dad and I to go down the aisle. It begins! Everything is perfect until I start down the aisle lined with paper and trip (damn heels). My Dad has me tightly by the arm so no one really notices. There’s Dave at the end of the aisle looking so damned handsome in his light grey tux with the yellow rose boutonnière and gorgeous smile. Billy looks just as handsome standing next to him. Dad lifts my veil, kisses me and gives me over to Dave. Donna adjusts my train and takes my flowers. The service was long because this priest is always long-winded and his sermon had nothing to do with marriage! This was the time that Billy chose to joke with Donna and she just turned a brilliant hue of red. The real problem was that Donna is deaf in her left ear and that was the side Billy was sitting on so she couldn’t really hear him and didn’t know how to respond.
Finally Dave and I are asked to kneel and the priest had our vows written out for us so we could just read them without repeating the priest line for line. Well, I had Dave’s card and he had mine, so we had to switch them, which didn’t go totally unnoticed! “I now pronounce you man and wife, you may kiss the bride” and everyone started clapping! It was surreal. Now we proceed down the aisle as a married couple and I have another problem – my blue garter belt is sliding down my leg and is at my ankle. If you know me, you know that this is just me. So I’m trying to ignore it till we get through the doors and then I just pull it off over my shoe.
Well, that’s more than enough of the story for now. Tomorrow is our anniversary and I will write about the reception and the adventures of a honeymoon without any money!!! Kathi