Monday, July 27, 2009


This weekend brought our 23rd anniversary and a long time ago, Corinne had tagged me to tell about my wedding-day memories. I never really have because although I am thrilled I married Eric, and being married gets better and better every year, the day itself actually wasn't the funnest day of my life in many ways. This will be a strange post, because I think I'm more of an elopement kind of girl and I look back on the day with a lot of mixed feelings, but the pictures seem to show that I'm having a good time. We'll go with that. It was an important day though, and worth remembering:

A Wedding List from July 26, 1986, in no particular order:
  • It was 28 days before my twentieth birthday so I am cursed with having to say out loud that I was married at 19.
  • It was a homemade wedding: I made my dress and all the bridesmaids dresses, a friend of a friend made the cake, my mom and her friends made all the food, a friend of my mother-in-law did the flowers. I do really like that it was that way.
  • We did rent tuxedoes. I really liked those tuxedoes, even though my wedding was not nearly formal enough to warrant their wonderful fanciness.
  • I love that the bridesmaids dresses were different colors and most of my bridesmaids actually liked the dress and used it again.
  • I was married in the Washington DC temple, which meant that many in my family could not attend the actual ceremony because either they were not members of my church or not active members, but yet most of my extended family came from as far away as Arizona to support me anyway. That meant a lot to me.
  • My older brother did not come, but I wasn't expecting him to so it was okay. This is us with my folks and 6 of my sibs. They are all grown up and married themselves, of course.
  • I wanted to get married in October with the fall colors, so I was not thrilled about the date.
  • My worst fears were realized as it was a horribly hot, hazy, humid day with white skies instead of blue.
  • I hated my hair when I saw the photos but was such a tomboy at the time that I didn't even think to go to a stylist. It just did not occur to me. If only I'd known Mendy then. She never would have let me get to the altar looking like that!
  • I was not very good at standing up for myself, so there were a lot of details that I didn't like but I just wasn't old and cranky enough to tell other people to leave me alone. So, I didn't love the flowers, or the fact that the reception was at the church instead of a reception place or my parents' house, and that there was no music or dancing. It was my way to just go along, or to accept the first idea that came up and so I did. I put my foot down about a few things and people did get upset and it was hard for me to handle. I was such a pleaser. That's why I look back on it with weird feelings. It's like someone else's wedding, not mine.
  • Many, many friends came to the reception. I do remember being amazed really happy that all those people would come.
  • No one wanted to catch the bouquet. People were actively avoiding it. I had to throw it a couple of times. I thought it was a stupid tradition anyway, so I would have been happy not to do it, but the tradition police insisted and I said okay. It was so silly that it did give rise to one picture of me that I like, so I guess it served its purpose:
  • My Something Old was the cameo necklace I have on. My Aunt loaned it to me. The Something New was my dress. My Something Borrowed was the veil. It was Eric's cousin's. The Something Blue was a little piece of blue fabric that my Aunt tucked into my bouquet at the last minute. Again, these were things that I had not thought of nor was I worried about, but they caused large amounts of stress and upset-ness on the part of the tradition police, so I kept the peace.
  • The cake was really delicious. It had real whipped cream frosting. I did get my way on that. I also got my way about having it decorated with flowers, including no fake bride and groom statues. It was not a trend back then and people thought I was nuts, and my MIL was actively disappointed, bless her heart. My mom did all the flowers on the cake, and that makes me happy.
  • There was no alcohol at the reception. You can see in the photo how Eric's family felt about that. Don't they look like they are having fun? I was stressed about that.
  • My favorite photo of Eric from that day also involves a bouquet:
  • In the end, I got through it, even though I would have preferred to run away to a beach somewhere or go to the woods in Autumn. I know that sounds terrible, and for all those in the world who had their dream wedding day, I'm truly happy for you. I didn't, but I didn't really make it happen, either, so it is what it is. My friends and family worked hard for the day I did have, and I'm grateful for that and them.
  • We did run away for a honeymoon in Maine but not before we went back to my parents' house the next morning to open presents. What is up with THAT tradition? I will definitely encourage my kids to get out of town by themselves as soon as possible rather than put themselves on display in front of all the snickering aunts and grandmas. Holy Cow.
  • The good news is that the day itself isn't nearly as important as what has happened since, and that I wouldn't trade for the world.
Happy Anniversary to my good, loving, patient husband. I think he managed to separate himself somewhat from my frustrations on the wedding day, and he was blissfully happy. I'm glad about that. Mostly thanks to him and his rock-steady ways, it's been a happy 23 years.


  1. Wow. It sounds wonderful--typically Mormon, but since you got 23 years of marital happiness, certainly sounds worth it.

  2. Friend, this was such a wonderfully honest post. I was married young too (as you know) and as I look back, there are things I would've done differently. But, like you said - more important is how you work together afterwards, and we're doing okay in that department :)

  3. Well I very rarely comment on this blog (I admit that I wast tempted to come to the defense of Derek see, but I knew that the guys around me understood Derek as well so I did not), but I feel that I should this time.

    I admit that I thought our wedding day was pretty good. I did not have to do much but go where I was told, do what I was told, and to smile (that was easy). Regarding the whole wedding thing, being a guy, I was blissfully oblivious. All of the things that the women think of regarding a wedding might was well be in another dimension, because most of us guys just do not see it.

    But I did see one thing! That is how lucky I was. Kellie did really want to get married in October, but I did not want to wait. I think I was afraid that someone would tap her on the shoulder and say what are you doing with him!!! I knew I had a real catch on my hands. I knew what type of person she was. I knew what a great person was. Most of all I could feel and sense her dedication to the Savior and His gospel. I think that those of you who read this fully understand and appreciate now what I knew I was getting then.

    Kellie brought a lot of great characteristics to our marriage that I did not have. While I am often hard headed and often keep my own counsel (I know this comes as a surprise to many of you), she has had a profound effect on me. I normally fight and resist her influences (I think it comes from having a mother who tried to control me), but then I usually come to my senses and do what I need to do. Most importantly she has been the best mother to our children. They will tell you that themselves, but I take credit for any bad my kids do, and give the credit for their good to her, because it has been her constant influence that has made them who they are.

    So while Kellie and I may have had different perspectives of the wedding day, I can agree that it has been a happy 23 years!!!!

    So here's to another even better 23 ahead of us!!!

  4. Wow, the men have come out in force to comment on this one. I love the pictures, mom. Its cool getting to see and hear what it was like for you guys, especially because I'm about at that time in my own life. Happy anniversary. You two are the best parents me and my siblings could ask for. Love you both.

    PS: I will take your advice to get out of town as soon as possible after the wedding.

  5. I LOVED this post. You know... some of us didn't get what we wanted for a wedding, be it big or small... @ times I too feel a bit ripped off.. But I too was nearly over 19.. four weeks into 20 to be exact... so I think us young ones get pushed around a bit. I hated planning that wedding. It was horrible. Anyway.. it was nice to read about your day and your feelings there. They will help you when you plan your own children's weddings. (or rather when your children plan THEIR weddings. )

  6. I love the men folk comments here. Richard and I have similar wedding day memories - except for the temple part, the rest are not great ones for the most part. It was 113 in Mesa that day!! Yikes - as you said, what really matters are the years AFTER the wedding day. Can't believe I have known you since BEFORE your wedding day. AND, that is totally how I remember Steph's hair!! What a riot. And, Eric - yea we all wondered why she didn't wait until October, just in case. HA - just kidding. I appreciate your examples and friendships, even though we don't get to see you very often.

  7. I loved reading this thoughtful and real post. I too have to admit (cringing sometimes) to being married at 19 (I was 54 days from 20 :)). It was fun to read in the comments your hubby's side of it. Happy anniversary!!!

  8. Loved this! I loved reading about all your feelings on your special day. You made all the dresses -- you are amazing! That's so funny how you had to go open presents. You definitely need to stop that tradition. Happy Anniversary!

  9. Happiest of anniversaries!! This was so nice to read, the good and the frustrating parts! :) You really cracked me up about the 'tradition police' here-- I SO hope not to be an annoyance to my children when they someday plan their weddings (maybe???).

    I hope your day together was lovely!

  10. Who IS that guy?? :) Hee! Hee! Just kidding! (Actually, he looks just like your sons do now!)
    You were a beautiful never crossed my mind either to go get my hair done and I wish I had.
    When I see you I'll have to tell you one of my most embarassing moments of my life-it happened the day after we were married when we went back to my parents house to open presents. :) You are right! What is up with that one?

  11. Oh, I had to tell you that Alec saw me looking at your blog and loved seeing his bishop looking so young. He enjoyed your pictures!

  12. Kellie!! I'm glad that I know about your wedding now. Happy Anniversary! I love your honesty and your ability to accept what is real and still see the good. I love you!!

  13. I love this post. I think you love FABULOUS! What a great day to remember.

  14. Okay, so I was supposed to go to bed but then I noticed this post and had to read it and enjoy it. Your comments remind me so much of my sweet non-assertive cousin who married a few months after her 18th birthday. I was one of her bridesmaids, and I remember her getting pushed around and bowing to her mother's wishes on everything, including the date! It was frustrating for me to watch, but she was still a radiant bride, and 14 years later they are still going strong (and she is much more assertive).

    Funny thing about the hair, I didn't really think about it either, but I had three fashionista friends at the time who made sure I was done up properly, and funny enough, their doing up of me is probably the only thing I would like to undo.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience. I love how everyone turned out to support you. And did you say you MADE all the dresses? Wow.


Thank you for sharing your insights!