Wedding Simplicity

Six days isn’t much time to plan a wedding.

We can attest that it is possible. Just keep it simple!

Ed’s dad decided they couldn’t possibly make it. I asked Jack Smith, the Navajo pastor that we’d had at Shonto but he had never been ordained, so then I call Mr Herman at Navajo Mountain – he had full services Sunday morning and evening, plus with some 45 miles of rugged dirt and snow covered roads from N.Mt to the main road he apologized for not being able to conduct the service. We ended up asking the minister at my parent’s church. Another friend of our parents offered to take the pictures. Dear June Smith, Jack’s wife, offered to serve at the punch and cake table for the reception.

Genevieve, the pianist, and her mom drove the 200 miles from Kayenta, in Northern Arizona, right after church on New Years Day. She, Terri and I had played on the HS volleyball team, endured chemistry (I would have flunked in the section where we had to calculate long convoluted math sequences but for Genevieve’s patient help – pre hand-held calculator days), enjoyed biology and math, and hung out together. Gen was a whiz at both math and music! The evening passed too swiftly with a quick rehearsal and catching up on each others lives for the past 3.5 years.

Mom fixed a large breakfast for all of us. My hair still in socks, Ed already dressed in his suit. (I should have realized then and there that he is a man who is always ready as early as possible!) My brother, who was to be best man, also ate breakfast with us.

My sister, Polly, camped at PDX from about noon on Sunday hoping for a stand-by seat headed for Phoenix were she needed to be before 7am in order to catch the  commuter plane to Flagstaff in time for our 10 am wedding.  Dad got the call at 9am to come pick her up at the small local airport. Yes! She’d arrived in time to be our soloist!

The pews look empty but there were 24 people who witnessed our wedding ceremony.
Terri borrowed the dress I’d worn for my friend’s wedding on the 23rd. With daisies our only flower option we used yellow, peach and brown as our wedding colors, colors which unfortunately didn’t match the formal dress Terri had packed. Ed had worn his suit for that wedding and thus had it with us in Arizona, otherwise he’d have never packed it.  Those were the days of the ugly polyester leisure suits. My dad wore one of his good quality wool dress suit.


June served punch, Genevieve, her mom, and Lydia’s mom  (Lydia drove to Flag with us to visit her folks.) waiting for the cutting of the cake. The picture in the background? That’s my older brother Dan and I. (Dan also missed the wedding, he wasn’t able to leave a new job in Colorado.)

Dad loaned us his LTD Ford and away Ed and I drove to spend a night at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and do a bit of hiking.

We spent less than $100 dollars on the wedding! The flowers, cake and pictures took the largest portions. In hindsight we regretted not hiring a professional photographer. Or at least someone who had a photographed a few weddings. Otherwise, we loved our small cozy wedding! We loved not having all the hassles and expense of putting on a production. The heart of the wedding is two people committing themselves, before God and witnesses, to each other for the rest of their lives. Simplicity. No anguishing over whether things are turning out: is there enough parking, punch, food… ? Saving hundreds of dollars on dresses and clothes that most likely will never be worn again. With only a small gathering it was easy and comfortable for us to mingle and enjoy talking with friends. We were disappointed no one from Ed’s family were able to make it but we understood. When a couple has a small, almost impromptu wedding they don’t receive many gifts, but we lived in a extremely small house, it’s not like we needed much, or had a smidgeon of room for extras!

As for a proper wedding dress? I would have loved to have worn my mothers beautiful dress with dozens of cloth-covered buttons down the back, puffed sleeves at the shoulder and wide, V cut neck but she was much broader shouldered with a wider rib cage, and stood 5’6′ to my 5’2″ making the dress hang like a glamorous sack. Nor did Polly wear mom’s wedding dress for her wedding. It seems a shame that she tenderly kept it safely packed away all those years, occasionally taking it out on their wedding anniversary, but neither of us wore it. My daughter considered wearing it but she’s 5’9″ tall and like me has narrow shoulders and chest. Perhaps a great-granddaughter down the years will carefully unpack it and proudly wear it.

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Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Great Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing my fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays we try to set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

5 thoughts on “Wedding Simplicity”

  1. Sweet! It sounds like it was a lovely day. Your dress is really pretty, and so are you!
    I totally hear you on the small, simple, impromptu wedding: my gentleman friend and I got married this past Fall, and the whole thing – from the moment we decided to go for it to the actual day – happened within less than two months. As a friend of mine says: the time it takes to plan a wedding expands to fill the available time… I believe it’s true, so I’m really glad we didn’t give ourselves too much time!

  2. Just wonderful! I so enjoy the photos! Oh, those “leisure” suits! Yeow!
    Too too fun!
    I know toooo many people who spent b’zillions on a wedding, then even more on a deeevorce.
    Thanks for the reminiscent peek!

  3. All the time while I’ve been reading about your wedding I thought: Why the hell did we spend 9 month with planning our wedding 13 years ago? 😉

    Yours must have been so lovely! 🙂

  4. I remember those leisure suits (shudder). The Professor had one. Simple weddings are the sweetest–from the photos it looks like yours was exactly what you wanted.
    Neither of my girls wore my wedding dress, both of them being several inches taller than I. Finally, I gave it away. I have the marriage, didn’t need the dress.

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