Pam was the mother of the groom. She had found the bride’s mother loud and offensive. She had tried to be polite in the weeks leading up to the wedding but she might as well have been talking to a brick wall.
“The bridesmaids will be wearing pale blue. Try to wear something to match colour-wise. And try to be a little fashionable. The shoes you wore to Denise’s wedding were abominable. This is my daughter’s wedding; try not to spoil it.”
Pam smiled politely, but the bride’s mother’s remarks had cut her to the quick. It was after all her son’s wedding too. Of course she wanted to look her best. Pam planned her outfit meticulously. She didn’t want to upstage the bride and she wasn’t exactly made of money.
The wedding day came. The bride’s mother arrived looking like she was a transgender heading for a strip show at a children’s library. Pam arrived in a simple dark green skirt with a pale cream blouse and with gold-painted wooden Swedish clogs and a straw sunhat. It was different and stuck out a mile, and yet she looked stunning. It was exactly right.
A few talked about the bride. No one talked about the bride’s mother. Everyone was gobsmacked by the simplicity and sheer beauty of the groom’s mother. When an inebriated bride’s mother accidentally spilled red wine all over her daughter’s wedding dress, the bride’s mother declared: “Don’t fret. Ask Pam if she’s got a spare set of gardening clothes.” No one laughed. Pam never viewed the wedding as a competition, but the bride’s mother knew that Pam had won the day.
Look at all these people strutting around like they own the place. That woman over there, dancing on her own. I can quite see why. She can’t move with grace. She can’t dress with grace. Clearly she’s on a diet of fat.
And look at that man in that corner. He has one thing on his mind. I can tell. He’s been smooching that woman for half an hour now. And before that he was smooching someone else.
Half those girls over there look like they’re wearing petticoats on top of a dress. It looks disgusting. I suppose it’s the fashion. I would imagine they’re the type of loose women who dye their hair fluorescent blue and have piercings and tattoos all over the place.
And see that man wearing jeans at a formal occasion. He can’t dance either. He looks like he’s got the shakes or something. As for the bride and groom. Really! She looks like they might use her as a sandbag in the event of a flood. I can see why the groom is casting his eye hither and thither around the room. Mind you, his father is not much better. I hear he’s a bit of a lecherous rake.
Oh! I wish someone would ask me for a dance. I have no idea why no one seems to like me.
A very pretty wedding was celebrated at the Presbyterian Church on Wednesday when William Harold, third son of Mr. and Mrs. G.V. Gilbert was married to Olive Maud, the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Stevenson.
The bride, who entered the church attended by her father, was daintily attired in a frock of ivory georgette with pearl trimmings over shell pink crepe de chine with a beautiful lace veil forming a train.
Following the ceremony, the reception was held at the Carlton dining rooms, where the bride’s mother, Mrs. Stevenson, was stunningly gowned in navy blue georgette over sateen and carried a bouquet to tone. In comparison, the groom’s mother, Mrs. Gilbert, looked quite dumpy in her ruby coloured crepe de chine with bronze trimmings, and hat and shoes that didn’t really match. You’d think she had just come in from weeding the garden. Why people without taste don’t get proper advice in style is beyond me. Honestly, it doesn’t auger well for the bride and groom when their respective mothers’ sense of fashion is so widely incongruent.
The newlyweds left by train for the south where the honeymoon will be spent. But honest to goodness, given the fashion disparity, I can’t see the marriage lasting longer than four months.
When Ryan left for war Anna, his fiancée, was devastated. Every day she would wait for a tragic phone call or a knock on the door. He was a pilot on an aircraft carrier. Although he had not told her much of where he was or what he was doing, the letters were always warm and good humoured. He was, she guessed, based somewhere off the coast of Scotland.
They had talked of marriage before he left. They would be wed when he got back from the war. It wouldn’t be a big wedding; just family and a few friends. Anna planned it in detail. It took her mind off worry. She had told him in her last letter, perhaps they could get married in a garden. His sister could sing “Ave Maria”. The wedding feast, given the rationing during the war, would be lovely yet simple.
The war seemed to go on interminably. Then the fateful day came. There was a knock on the door. Ryan’s plane had been shot down. He was buried in Belgium. Anna was beyond grief. She vowed to be faithful to him all her life. He would be the only one. She was almost tempted to change her surname to his.
Two weeks later the Dear John letter written by Ryan before his death arrived in the mail.
Samuel was eleven years old and sang with the most crystal clear treble voice. In fact he was in the cathedral choir. Last Christmas they sang Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and Samuel was a soloist.
His was a single parent family. His mother was industrious – she cleaned motels – but life was still hard and they always had just enough to make ends meet. For example, all the kids at school had mobile phones and Samuel didn’t. When you can’t afford something the desire increases.
Locally, Naomi and Levi were getting married. It was a society wedding. Anyone who was anyone was invited. Last Christmas after they had attended Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols Naomi had said to Levi, “We’ve got to have that boy sing at our wedding!”
Samuel wasn’t very keen to do it, and at first said “No”. Naomi saw Samuel’s mother and asked if there would be anything that would persuade him to sing at their wedding. His mother said, promise him a cell phone.
It was certainly a catastrophic calamity when Xavier made an announcement at his daughter’s wedding. He was leaving Hailey his wife, the mother of the bride, and going to live with Kennedy, the mother of the groom. He couldn’t have picked a less appropriate occasion if he had tried.
The groom’s mother, Kennedy, then announced that she was doing no such thing. It was news to her and she barely knew Xavier apart from having spoken to him occasionally as a future in-law.
The bride’s mother, Hailey, stood and said she’d had enough. She went over to a side table, grabbed the top tier of the wedding cake and threw it at Kennedy saying, “Take that you creepy witch”.
Whereupon the hitherto unmentioned Adrian, the father of the groom, joined in and said “Don’t you treat my wife like that”, and tipped a full jug of punch all over Hailey.
The wedding guests were aghast. The bride and groom were horrified into speechlessness. A couple of people from the kitchen out the back of the venue came and cleaned up the mess.
It was certainly a relief a week later when Violet and Isaiah’s marriage collapsed into oblivion.
I seem to be the only one here wearing a hat. Maybe hats are a thing of the past. I thought every woman wore a hat to a wedding. How times have changed!
I can hardly take it off and leave it sitting on the pew. Besides, my hair is done to fit the hat. Hair and hat – they go together. I must stick out like a sore thumb.
You’d think the woman at Women’s Wear Ware would’ve told me about not wearing a hat. I suppose she wanted a sale. My suit is lovely. As the woman said in the shop, “This is really you. It suits you like you were born to wear it.” To which I responded with, “And what about a matching hat?” And now I’m the only one wearing a hat.
The handbag was another story. I can see a few women here with handbags. They’re clutching them like their lives depended on it. No one is going to put their handbag on the pew seat behind them. There are sticky fingers everywhere, even in a church. Of course a large number of women don’t have a handbag. These days women’s clothes seem to have pockets. But I always thought on more formal occasions such as a wedding, that a hat and handbag were vital accessories. Apparently these days I’m wrong.
I do feel overdressed. When you look at some of the get-ups that some of the guests are wearing, you wonder. They could at least have made a small effort to dolly themselves up. That one over there looks like she’s wearing her petticoat on the outside. I wouldn’t put it past her boyfriend, if that’s her boyfriend she’s with, you never know these days, to wear his grundies on the outside of his jeans. They don’t call them grundies any more – I believe it’s Australian. I don’t have a clue what they’re called these days – ever since my divorce. These days I don’t have to go buying grundies for the lazy sod.
Goodness! The bride and groom are about to exit down the aisle. I seem to have missed the vows. That’s a shame. It’s not every day ones daughter gets married.
Karen’s mother and I have been estranged for about twenty years. Karen was only three when Samantha packed up and left. She wanted nothing to do with Karen. Now suddenly it’s all lights and bubbles.
Karen’s about to get married – this very day in fact – and as soon as an engagement was announced Samantha appeared out of the woodwork and began organizing things. Karen wanted a small quiet wedding; Samantha wanted it big. Karen wanted it in a little country church; Samantha wanted it in a sprawling garden. Karen wanted to wear something new and lovely that she could use as Sunday best after the wedding (we’re not particularly well-off); Samantha wanted a full-scale wedding gown. Karen thought little home-made cupcakes could be fun; Samantha wanted a three-tiered wedding cake. The list went on and on.
Of course Karen tried to be nice. She tried to steer convivially between her own wishes and the demands of her mother. Not particularly successfully I must admit. The wedding is today. It’s meant to be outside. It’s meant to be with an extravagant wedding gown. It’s meant to cater for at least two hundred people. The mother of the bride has a new hat. And a new dress. And a new handbag.
Anyway, I’m happy to say it looks like it’s raining. In fact it’s currently hosing down. And I’ve just got a text message from Karen and Gilbert. They got married yesterday in a registry office before leaving for their honeymoon.
Desiree had thought about this moment for years. She had imagined it over and over. And now the time had come. In fact the moment had come and gone. It was nothing like she had imagined.
She had always wondered what the circumstances of a marriage proposal would be. Would it be over a romantic candlelight dinner? Would it be in a garden full of flowers and birdsong? Would it be in an orchard with bright red apples shining against a blue sky? Would it be…?
Then she met Liam. Her dreams intensified. She knew Liam was to be the one. He was such a romantic too. Whatever scheme he was to invent in order to propose marriage it was destined to be exotic and quixotic. And now the moment had come!
Liam was driving his old truck to pick up some garden compost from the Garden Centre for his parents. Desiree tagged along too as she often did. Then out of the blue Liam said, “I suppose we should get married” and Desiree said, “I ‘spose so”.
Theodora was a stickler for looking nice. She would never appear in public without first putting on her glad rags. A carefully made up face was a must, and always with lipstick to match her nails.
When an earthquake struck and she ran out of her home flat stick, people commented that surely she wasn’t dressed to the nines all the time. She must have known an earthquake was about to strike! But the reality was, of course, that she did care every day for her appearance in and out of the house.
It therefore came as quite a surprise when Theodora’s name began to be associated with Teddy Potts. Teddy was a local farmer and as rough as guts. Even the backside of his pants was worn and sometimes torn. He always had a bit of hay here and there on this woollen pullover. The self-rolled cigarette permanently hanging from his lips was rarely lit. It was there for effect.
Soon Theodora and Teddy announced their engagement. All were invited to the wedding on the farm. It was to be “Bring a plate” (which is the Australian/New Zealand term for Potluck). The big question was: what should the wedding guests wear? It was on a farm so dress casually; or it’s Theodora’s wedding so dress fashionably; or it’s Teddy’s wedding so wear your old gardening clothes.
Guests arrived wearing all sorts. What a mixed crowd! Teddy was in a tuxedo but with a cigarette still hanging out his mouth. Theodora arrived wearing a stunning ensemble complete with veil and holding a bunch of barley and wild flowers off the farm.
Everyone had a great time. Even the old cow just across the fence watched the proceedings and mooed when the couple kissed. Everyone laughed.
And so, Dear Reader, this tale is proof indeed that some plots don’t ever get off the ground. Most lives are ordinary. They’re not riddled with murder and intrigue but things happen in a lovely way. And no doubt this couple lived happily ever after.