March 02, 2016
It's Wedding Wednesday! Last week, we caught up with Hayley from our weddings department, who told us all about her lovely wedding two-and-a-half years ago to Andy. This week, we're keeping it in the family - this blog is called 'Feel the Love Generation' after all - and checking in on Hayley's auntie, Julia, to find out how weddings may have changed over the years!
Now living in Canada, we gave Julia the opportunity to cast her mind back to 1967...
How old were you when you got engaged and how did it happen?
Malcolm and I had met in India but we were not attracted to each other at all. A year later we met in England while he was on leave. We met in July and in late August he proposed to me in his car, a lovely blue MGB, outside the Peruvian Embassy on Porchester Terrace in London. I worked as a nanny, two doors along. Of course I accepted.
How long was it between getting engaged and your wedding day?
We had the option of a very quick wedding or waiting two years while he was away at sea again. I was not waiting, so we married in late November. I was 20 years old.
What were you looking for in a venue?
We wanted something tasteful and intimate. Mum suggested the Manor Hotel in Datchet for the reception and I loved the place so mum made all the arrangements. Back then it was the brides parents who did all that. The wedding was in a church.
Where did you get married and why did you choose that location?
We were married in St Laurence church. On Upton Court Road. It was where I worshiped and was very important to me that we be married there.
Was the weather good?!
Considering it was late November, it was exquisite. Frosty, sunny and the colours were lovely outside. The early evening sun was golden through the windows.
Did you plan the wedding equally or did you take control?
Mum and Dad did it all, I was away at work and lived in. I'd dash home on my day off to help out, but we did keep it simple. Malcolm was away at sea for a couple of months so he kept his fingers crossed I wasn't going crazy.
What most surprised you about wedding planning?
Nothing really, except that I was adamant my bouquet be chrysanthemums and the florist was a bit toffee nosed about it and quoted an exorbitant price. We said we would think about it. Next day we were in the green grocers on the way to Wexham Park the lady was putting a little bouquet together and Mum asked her if she did bridal bouquets. She had no worries about making one with chrysanthemums. Cost about a tenth of what they were going to charge at the fancy shop in Windsor. She did all the wedding flowers for us.
What did you wear? Can you remember how much the dress cost?
I wore a shot silk white dress. A-line with angel sleeves. Designed it myself, very simple. A lovely lady made it up for me and your mums bridesmaid dress. I wore my friend's veil as she couldn't come to the wedding. I had the family Honiton lace handkerchief pinned inside my sleeve. My grandmother gave me a lovely cross and chain. My headpiece was a simple band of rhinestone. Underneath it all was a warm vest and long johns as the church was always cold. That day the heating was cranked up and I thought I was going to die of heat exhaustion. I think the dress fabric plus dressmaker costs came to about £50. I paid for my bridesmaids dresses they made their own and my flower girl's mum made hers.
What entertainment did you have at your wedding?
We didn't have entertainment unless you call me trying to concele the fact that my going away outfit was minus a blouse, which had been left at home, and I was wearing a buttonless box jacket. There was a lack of safety pins, but somehow we got it secured. Our reception was a sit down meal and toasts with cutting of the cake. Mum and dad then took everyone back to their place after Malcolm and I left on our honeymoon. I believe they all had a wonderful time with music and buffet.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? Were there any inspired original ideas?
Arriving at the church and suddenly feeling nervous and hoping Malcolm had turned up. Then entering the church and seeing Malcolm waiting in full uniform and realizing how much I loved him. It was perfect, all my beloved relatives were there to share the day. I still get a shiver when I think of that moment.
Can you provide us with a favourite photo from the day?
Are you still together?!
We are together after 49 years and three sons. I took my vows very seriously. I honestly think that back then, the emphasis was on the marriage, not the wedding. Ours was a sweet meaningful wedding and our vows were everything. I'd do it the same all over.
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By Henry Fosdike