A Wedding Story

Welcome to the Wedding Story of Brian and Karen. Grab a handful of Jordan Almonds, a glass of champagne, and join me for a trip down memory lane.

Brian and I met as kids at church. We grew up and joined Luther League, our church's youth group. I spent many a day following around the cute cool boys in the group. And they let me follow them around because I was an easily entertained audience for their antics. As previously mentioned, I moved when I started high school. But we did not forget each other. And eventually we fell in love and got engaged. Naturally we wanted to get married in the church we met in.
Okay, lets back up just a bit. After we got engaged my parents, the ever the practical ones, told us they had X amount of dollars set aside for us. We were to use the money however we wanted, for our wedding and honeymoon or, they not so subtly hinted, we could possibly use the money for a down payment on a house. Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a winner! We still laugh about how we took the money and ran. No, we didn't elope, we had a small wedding, in a church, on a budget. And when I say small I mean maid of honor, best man, and flower girl. And when I say on a budget I mean practically for free.
My mother bought my dress off the sale rack in a store by her house in Texas (remember the trend here?) and shipped it to me. It fit with no alterations. My maid of honor wore a dress out of her closet, that was the same style as my dress. And my niece was my flower girl. She wore the dress I wore in her mother's wedding 18 years before in the same church. Cool, huh?

We wanted to get married on July 4th. I don't really remember why, other than I thought it would sound good to be married on July 4th, 1994. And Brian said it would be easy to remember. But the 4th was a Monday. So we got married on Saturday the 2nd in order to take advantage of the long weekend, so that we had an extra day for our honeymoon without using vacation time. Hey we were young and poor, and we were buying a house with our new found riches. So the honeymoon? She was on a budget too. Speaking of cheaping out, we got married at 2pm because the Pastor told us that we wouldn't be expected to provide much food at our -immediately following the service in the fellowship hall- reception at that hour. Did I mention we were young and poor?

We also planned the entire wedding in about 4 weeks. Breanna wasn't born until 1999, quit counting! Now about the time we announced our wedding plans my FIL got married. Again. For the 4th or was it 5th time? In South Carolina. On a Tuesday. Who the hell gets married on a Tuesday? Both bride and groom had more than one previous wedding under their belts, but that didn't stop them from having a hell of a shin dig this time around. And Bridezilla was determined to be in charge of every tiny detail. We did learn a valuable lesson from them: the more intricate your plans the more things there are to go wrong. So on our trip home the conversation went like this "I'll be at the church at 2" "Okay, I'll see ya at 2" And that was about the extent of the planning we did for our wedding.

At that time Brian and I had been *whisper* living together for over a year. I am not kidding when I say it is known, but to this day we do not speak of it around my family. Since we did not get married here in Orlando, we spent the night before in hotel rooms with our respective parents.

July 2nd 1994.
I can honestly say the entire day is a blur in my memory. Everything went by so quickly.
Just in case the spiral perm and large eyeglasses don't date my photos enough, I left these 2 in the puffy fabric frame they have been in since 1994 for added emphasis.

I do remember Brian telling me afterwards that he and his best man snagged a bottle of champagne, from the stash for the reception, which they shared with my father before the service. I of course was sequestered with my maid of honor. Can't see the bride before the wedding and all that nonsense. Apparently we are so old we were married in the dark ages.

So then we were all there at 2pm. The Pastor told of how we met in that church, which was a really personal touch we weren't expecting. Then there were a few bible passages about love thrown in for maximum effect. And... face each other to exchange vows.

Then the main double doors to the church open flooding the church with the Florida summer sunlight. To reveal? The FIL and his wife, late as always. LOVELY! I suppose entering by a side door well after the time stated on the invite was too obvious? Did I mention we had just been to their wedding, on a TUESDAY?! Oh and a bit of back story on why the man was already on my short list. My FIL had previously told Brian, his son, he was supposed to go to the Pepsi 400 the weekend of our wedding for work, no he isn't a race car driver he's a used car salesman. And who the hell says he is might have to miss his son's wedding for a NASCAR race? When I heard that I told Brian to tell his father he planned on only getting married once and this would be his only chance to attend his son's wedding. Oh and I may have added a little stipulation about if he missed our wedding he would NEVER get to meet any future grandchildren. Now where was I?

Something, something, something... until death. You may kiss the bride. And snap, like that we became grown ups ready to file a joint tax return.
Big tip for a wedding on a shoestring, do not hire a photographer. We had a friend of ours take the obligatory group pictures as a wedding gift. And back in 1994, before everyone was putting disposable cameras on every table at the reception, we encouraged all our guests to bring their own cameras and take pictures. Friends and family all gave us a set of their prints, I honestly think we have more wedding photos than most people. Well, people who got married before the era of digital cameras anyway.
I bought pink roses to carry and we had fresh roses on our cake. Both were inexpensive, simple, and elegant. And two of my favorite parts of our little makeshift wedding.

Somehow we ended up having two receptions. The planned one at the church fellowship hall, where we ate cake and drank champagne punch with our friends and parent's friends. Where my sorority sisters gathered together and surprised us by singing us the Alpha Chi Sweetheart song.
This picture is in a frame in my living room. It's my favorite wedding photo. I am such a sap.

Down deep in the heart of each Alpha Chi girl
Is the dream of a love that is true.
He’s loving and kind and he’ll always be faithful
And somewhere he’s waiting for you.
You’ll dream and you’ll plan;
Then someday he will come
And he’ll make all your dreams live anew.
He’ll share every trouble, make every joy double
An Alpha Chi Sweetheart is true.

Then afterwards someone suggested we go out for drinks and dinner. And all our friends followed in hot pursuit of alcohol.
Those are party poppers they are shooting and they created the exact effect I hoped in our pictures.

We took over an entire corner of Chili's and were there through 2 shifts of waitresses. I honestly do not remember much, seeing as someone else was buying our drinks all night. But I do look damn happy in all the photos.
What I do remember was needing to "borrow" my pillow from our hotel room to ease the pain of my hangover on our drive home the next morning. We picked up our gifts our friends had driven back to Orlando for us. We opened them at our charming little duplex in the ghetto. Okay so we were mainly looking for the cash. Then we headed for the coast to honeymoon. Again we had no plan. We drove until we found a cute little hotel right on the beach with in room jacuzzi's.

The rest is as they say history, and in 6 days we will be celebrating 14 years, we must have done something right.

Head on over to Saucy's Place and join in the bloggy celebration.

Snaps if you can name the movie quote.
*There are certain words that my mom finds too horrible to utter so she whispers them.
You'll get used to it.
Have you heard about Betty Rothburg? *whispers* Cancer! Say, Billy, where did you meet Wendy again?
*whispers* Prison.


You are my kind of people, money-wise. I'm going to tell my daughter the same thing - "Here's the money; here are the options. Choose well!"

June 26, 2008 at 10:31 AM  

Fourteen years! I hear you.

Happy anniversary...

June 26, 2008 at 11:03 AM  

What a lovely wedding story. And I'm impressed that you did it on the cheap. You both looked happy and in love, and if that's all you remember then that's perfect. I'm sure you are still very happy & in love.

June 26, 2008 at 11:10 AM  

St. Elmo's Fire!

Loved your wedding story - thanks for sharing.

June 26, 2008 at 12:04 PM  

How beautiful! I just love wedding stories.

June 26, 2008 at 12:46 PM  

Loved your wedding story and you have some great pictures, I esp like the one with the silly string. We didn't send out invitations to our wedding, we called the people we wanted to come and personally invited them.

June 26, 2008 at 12:48 PM  

Wonderful wedding pics! Mine will be posted later on today, so please come check them out.

Angelic Accents

June 26, 2008 at 1:00 PM  

I loved reading this! We had our wedding at an "odd" time as well, so the reception could be small (and inexpensive). How cool that your flower girl wore the dress that you had worn in her mom's wedding!

June 26, 2008 at 1:24 PM  

My parents encouraged us to elope. We should have done it!

Love the photo at Chili's! You look so happy!

June 26, 2008 at 2:39 PM  

Wow, what a story. A small wedding like yours, sounds wonderful.

June 26, 2008 at 3:11 PM  

I adore the picture with the poppers! How cute!

And I am all about a budget...I don't even know you but it makes me respect you!

June 26, 2008 at 4:10 PM  

Hello! Thanks for visiting!!! I love your blog! So cute! I'm sure you would love to have a beach wedding... it's so romantic! hugs, Vanessa

June 26, 2008 at 4:42 PM  

Awesome pics and wedding story! Thanks for sharing!

June 26, 2008 at 5:23 PM  

LOVE the puffy frames!!!

June 26, 2008 at 5:30 PM  

Awwww.... that is a sweet story.

I eloped, and I don't think I was ever forgiven for it.

June 26, 2008 at 5:35 PM  

What a terrific wedding story and wonderful pictures, too. :) Congratulations on 14 years - may you share 14 times 14 more!

June 26, 2008 at 7:18 PM  

It's fun getting what you want and doing at as a bargain project, even if it was because of the "young and poor" stage. Makes us be more creative and flexible, I think. The photos are lovely and the day seems to have been a wonderful start to your marriage, you both look very happy! thanks for sharing.

June 26, 2008 at 8:33 PM  

Glad the old like Father like son thing isn't true! Also your FIL sounds like my Dad (who uses my children as excuses when he's cheating on someone...nice, huh?)
I love the idea of being young and poor and doing everything on a budget. Way more romantic than the big overdone thing. And look, 14 years later...perfect!

June 26, 2008 at 8:45 PM  

LOL LOVE your wedding story!!! And the pictures, too :-)

June 26, 2008 at 10:35 PM  

It's a great story and I love a couple with common-sense (said the girl who did the low buget wedding/honeymoon combo herself)!

June 27, 2008 at 2:00 AM  


June 27, 2008 at 8:43 AM  

Sure sounds like you did lots of things right not just some things! What a great fun wedding! Love the story and you are all so happy still

June 27, 2008 at 10:41 AM  

Love the post!!! What a great wedding :-) And what great memories . . . the impromptu stuff is always my favorite.

We got married on Monday . . . in Hawaii. We were going to elope to avoid the whole big shindig. Turns out, our family joined us ;-) We lived together "in a two bedroom apartment" for a year as well . . . and stayed with our respective parents in Hawaii for 2 days before the wedding . . . oh what we won't do to please our parents ;-)

Looks like you had a great time and have tons of memories . . . just how it should be - focused on the wedding and not all the "stuff" that goes with it.

12 1/2 years for me . . . seems like yesterday.

June 27, 2008 at 2:45 PM  

I love weddings like yours. Less stress on everyone and obviously it has LASTED! Good for you! Nancy

June 27, 2008 at 3:51 PM  

Is it okay if I steal this post idea, too? LOVE it!

Also, have to agree with the 1st commenter! Your my kind of people money wise!

Happy Almost Anniversary!

June 27, 2008 at 4:35 PM  

I too am coming up on my 14th wedding anniversary. We were also given the "take the money and run" speech but when we actually considered it, my parents made their disappointment known. Great wedding story - the dress must have been meant to be!

June 27, 2008 at 4:46 PM  

Hey no wonder we get along. No big wedding here either. I think including our outfits we spent about $250 total. Married by a family friend in a beautiful park in Pinellas county. No attendants just close family. About 10 total. Mom cooked and friend made the cake.

Just as married and not $30,000+ in debt. We too decided to buy a house instead. SMART SMART peeps we are :)

No honeymoon though....we drove back to Orlando to our little apartment and crashed.


June 27, 2008 at 5:14 PM  

When Claire and I got married, we paid for it all by ourselves, $1,000.00 out the door. But we liked it.

I liked reading this.

June 27, 2008 at 5:17 PM  

Darn, Keetha beat me (four days ago)...I've had that movie on my mind lately; must watch again.

I digress - excellent wedding story! You guys rocked the budget, very smart. And so happy & cute :D

June 30, 2008 at 12:36 PM  

What a lovely story!

Scary, scary admission: I, too, am an Alpha Chi. And I worry that by the time I get married, my sisters will forget to sing our lovely little sweetheart song!

July 1, 2008 at 2:45 PM  

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