A peaceful honeymoon in South Carolina | Thomasville weather
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Life is full of adventure. Last week I got another one when I attended my nephew’s wedding. He is the third son, aged 38, and has never been married. He had had a few important relationships before this one, but nothing he wanted to bond with for life. He had once thought that his mother should have given the wedding pearls she had bought for each of the four daughters-in-law she would have, but she objected. She felt it wouldn’t last. She was right because the wedding had not taken place and she would have been pulling out the pearls. He was one of those kids who tend to look like this Lil Abner comic book character walking around with a cloud above his head. If there is an accident to be had, he will find it. He has had rotator cuff issues and other bodily injuries, the latest being a full set of back problems with compressed discs and degenerations. He’s very bright but somewhat pessimistic, which he deserves to be given his Murphy’s Law (if anything can go wrong it will) proof in his life.
I have never seen him as happy as he was getting ready for his wedding and on his wedding day. He and his fiancee knew each other very well, having lived together for 2 years before the ceremony. It’s very common these days and I’ve come to believe it’s a good idea in today’s transitional society.
Maybe there will be less divorces in the future if people don’t rush. In fact, when my mom was courting our uncle daddy, I suggested to her that she might first try living with him for a while. Like I said, “You should never buy a used car without taking it on the road.” This concept was so foreign to her way of thinking that she didn’t understand it at all. She said to my sister, “Linda thinks I should buy a used car. She married him and moved to Kentucky. They had a great life for about 10 years, but when they both got old and sick, she used to lament “I should have stayed in Alabama”. If she had followed my advice, things might or might not have been different, but it was good for the health but not for the disease.
My sister had four sons, so she had never had the pleasure of planning a wedding. She had to follow the rules for the mother of the groom to “wear beige and keep her mouth shut”. The wedding was a surprise. It was not a hot marriage because the bride was a few years older than the groom with grown children and a grandchild.
With this marriage, my sister became a stepmother and great-grandmother again. When the groom proposed, my sister had exactly three weeks to plan the wedding her son announced was to take place in his mother’s garden. Betsy hadn’t been in her new home for long and there was still things to unpack. She had done a few things like painting the living room white instead of the dark color that we all called it “the cave”.
One of the bedrooms was still unfurnished and did not have a bed. She had bought a mattress for the trundle bed in the other bedroom. She had recently decided to add a new mattress to it when three of her grandchildren came over for the night. One was a preteen granddaughter and the other a set of exuberant 5 year old twins. The old mattress was sprouting springs. When the twins visited, one of them woke up bright and happy to announce “No one peed in the bed” as if it was a major accomplishment. Betsy also decided to buy a mattress topper at this time.
For some reason, Betsy decided to place the new trundle bed mattress on the floor in the unfurnished bedroom just in case someone needed to stay overnight. As it turned out, someone did, as her youngest son who lived in Utah showed up to the wedding by surprise. He wasn’t very happy sleeping on the small mattress on the floor on what he called the children’s bed mattress. Too bad for him I arrived a few days earlier with an expected arrival, so I was allocated the daybed which was already installed. I’m just glad she decided to put the mattress in the other room and didn’t make her sleep on the trundle bed with me having to step over it for nightly bathroom visits. .
My sister, her husband, and most of her children are members of The Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). They don’t have preachers in their church, so there was the question of who should officiate the ceremony and marry the couple.
Betsy and Larry had just moved from Georgia to South Carolina, so they hadn’t met anyone who could perform the ceremony. After discussion with the family, Matt, the groom, asked Larry, his stepfather, to perform the ceremony. These days it is very easy to go online, pay a fee, and become fully accredited to be declared a minister and perform weddings. The fee even covers all of the relevant legal documents the couple signed right after the ceremony. It was delivered to the courthouse on Monday morning and has been recorded so that everything is properly official.
For two days before the ceremony, there was torrential rains. As my sister and I walked back from nearby Aiken, the rains were so bad we hydroplaned on the way up. Alternative plans were made on how to handle things if the rain didn’t stop. Luckily he did and the wedding day dawned bright and calm it was a little spongy on the floor.
The ceremony itself took place in a tent erected by the groom himself. It was festooned with white lights. There were even lights draped over the sides of the tent anchors. Betsy’s husband worked in the textile industry and he had rolls of white spider fabric left over from that time. The carpet on which the bride trod the altar was made of it and the reception tables were draped with it. There really was no altar, but a giant pine tree. The bride’s favorite flower was the sunflower. My sister had decorated the tree with vines and lighted sunflowers. The wedding was at 8 p.m. so the lights were just right.
It was a small family wedding, so all the family present gathered at the edge of the tent to witness the ceremony. Larry must have done a convincing job as a referee because two of Betsy’s grandchildren, brothers aged five and three were huddled together watching. When Larry said “Let’s pray,” the older brother looked at the younger one and said “Who’s dead?”.
At the end of the ceremony, the groom had fired fireworks. They were supposed to be shot while the couple were kissing, but didn’t quite manage to do so at the time. The wedding took place in a neighborhood even though it was in the countryside. Neighbors on both sides were notified, but further texted how pretty the fireworks were. They were worthy of July 4th but much shorter due to financial considerations.
The reception was a family feast with everyone busy with covered dishes. There were large round tables set up with ideas that Betsy found on Pinterest on the internet. There were candles and lanterns for lighting.
During dinner, the four preschool-aged grandsons were given glider planes to keep them entertained. Therefore, they entered the yard and were not underfoot. I am mentioning this for all of you who have preschoolers in the family and are planning a gathering to keep this in mind. It worked wonderfully well.
Some people work a whole year to prepare for a marriage that ends in no time. I can tell you the planning for the three week wedding was just as good. With the Internet and two-day delivery to many websites, this is doable.
I appreciated being included. I have been to all of his sons’ weddings except one. He’s been married three times and we think this one has finally caught. It was better because he has a tattoo of his wife’s face on his upper thigh. This is a commitment on a whole new level. I remember mentioning to a newly remarried friend that I could be someone’s second wife, but nobody’s third wife. I had no idea I was talking to a third woman at the time, but she immediately said, “Well, if he says you’re the best woman he’s ever had, that really means something. ” I guess this woman can be pretty safe since her photo is on her leg. Tattoos are for life.