Wednesday, December 28, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Weddings

Week 35: Weddings. Tell us about your wedding. You may also talk about your future wedding, the wedding of a relative or shape this question to fit your own life experience.

Wow.  I started this, then got sidetracked.  Then decided I wanted to do a bit more with it than just write a brief narrative.  Then got sidetracked some more.  Now it's the end of the year, and this is the last of the 52 Weeks series I have not done. 

I was married in July of 1987.  July 3rd, to be specific.  My fiance and I had been dating for about four and a half years at that point, and got engaged the previous winter, at Christmas time.  In fact, we got her ring the same night I went and spoke to the Navy recruiters about the possibility of enlisting.  I told them I was holding out for a particular job specialty, Photographer's Mate, that was relatively small and hard to get into.  They said they'd let me know if anything came along, but they weren't optimistic.

Funny, but they called me back within a couple of months, and things worked fast, causing me to enlist and go to Boot Camp in February, well before we were ready to get married.  We knew we were aiming at summer of 1987, moving it up to February wasn't going to happen.  So I left for Boot Camp, and she continued to plan the wedding.

Mom and Me, Boot Camp graduation  Apr 1987, Orlando, FL
Boot Camp graduation was in mid-April.  She came to see me graduate, with my mother.  That was followed by more time in Photography School in Pensacola, Florida.  Now, when you're enlisted, you are required to get permission to get married.  This involves a series of interviews and discussions with your chain of command, getting a signature from each in turn.  It's really a formality, but each one tries to give you a realistic picture of being married while in the military, which has a much higher divorce rate than the rest of society.  It's hard. 

Needless to say, while I was taking care of this, my fiance was planning the wedding details.  Communication during Boot Camp was very limited - a few phone calls and occasional mail.  "A" School in Pensacola was better - I could phone home daily, if desired - but she was still left with the bulk of the work and planning.

I graduated from that school on, if memory serves, July 1st.  Our wedding was planned for July 3rd.  I flew home to a whirlwind of final preparations.  One thing that made it easier, we were planning to hold our ceremony in a local city park on the bank of the Mississippi River.  A little last minute decorating on the morning of, and we were set on that score.  Our officiant, a friend of my parents who is an ordained minister, was set to do the ceremony, and had arrived.  We were holding our reception in a restaurant downtown, so some last minute decorating was in order there, as well.  One of my future sisters-in-law made the cake. 

To make an already long story a bit shorter, the Day came, the weather was (thankfully!) beautiful, and a wedding happened in the park. After the ceremony, we were whisked off to our downtown reception via horse-drawn carriage, to a restaurant that is one of the historic buildings and business establishments for the city, having been in existence since the 1880's.  We couldn't have asked for a better day, everything came together as if it were just meant to be.  As we're still married, I think it might have been...

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman