by Barb, in frigid New England, STILL waiting for spring
Hi all. I handed in the manuscript for Iced Under a week ago, so now I’m on a bit of a writing break. That’s a good thing because my daughter is getting married in May 21, so it’s wedding, wedding, wedding, 24/7 around here.
One of the things we’ve done is go through old family wedding albums.
Here’s my grandmother, Eleonore Kimbel Taylor, on June 17, 1926. She was married to my grandfather on a Thursday afternoon in her home on Soundview Avenue in New Rochelle, New York. Her wedding gown was short in the fashion of the times. The photographer told her to pull her veil in front of the dress for some of the photos, because he thought styles would soon change and her dress would look “ridiculous.”
Here’s a photo of my in-laws, Bill Carito and Olga DiIanni, on their wedding day in June of 1951. They were married at Saint Mary’s Church at in the North End of Boston. After the ceremony, there was a sit-down luncheon for 100 people, and then, in the evening, a reception for 650 people at the Manger Hotel by North Station, (which later became the Madison Hotel and even later, disappeared altogether). At the evening reception, there was an orchestra and the guests danced until 1:00 AM. I noticed in the photos that my father-in-law changed from a morning suit to a dinner jacket between the events.
Here are my parents, Rick Ross and Jane McKim at their wedding in June of 1952. This looks like the moment of the toast. This was a much smaller affair than my in-law’s. My father and both my grandfathers were only children, so there wasn’t a lot of family to invite. The reception was held at the Woman’s Club of Maplewood, New Jersey. That’s my grandmother, Eleonore Taylor Ross, from the first photo above, off to the side.
The “leaving the church for the reception” photo must have been a classic in the 50s.
Here are Bill and I in April 1976. (Yes, we did get a lot of patriotically themed wedding gifts.) Never have there been a more clueless bride or groom. Ours was only the second formal wedding either of us had ever attended. Whenever anyone asked us what we wanted, we said, “traditional,” oblivious to the fact that this meant something quite different to each set of parents. (See above.) At my mother’s insistence, we had a live orchestra at the reception, which was held at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and I often think my invitations were the last ones on earth printed from an engraved plate. But we didn’t have a sit down meal, just heavy hors d’oeuvres, which must have come as quite a shock to Bill’s Italian-American family. And our Presbyterian ceremony was about ten minutes long, which also must have been a shock.
Nonetheless, we had a blast, as you can see from the looks on our faces.
Here are my son, Robert Carito, and daughter-in-law, Sunny Basham at their wedding in 2008. They met at a playwriting summer session at the University of Virginia when he was sixteen and she, fifteen. It was a long courtship, but when they announced their engagement eleven years later, it was a scant nine weeks before their wedding in March. The wedding was a lovely, intimate affair with parents, grandparents, siblings, and a very few close friends in a private room at Mistral in the South End of Boston. They wrote their own vows which still make me cry when I read them.
So many weddings. So many couples. So many different ways to do it.
Here’s Kate Carito and Luke Donius’s engagement photo. Soon there will be another wedding photo to add to the family collection.
Readers, what about you? Wedding stories? Warning: right now, I only want to hear the good ones. (We’ll save wedding-disasters-I-have-known for another time–after May 21.)