My Mother’s Bouquet

Fifty-nine years ago today my parents got married.

My grandmother describes it like this:

My mother receiving her bouquet from her mother.

She married him [Don] in June 1953, and her wedding bouquet was made of Lily-of-the-Valley from our garden, with sweetheart roses in the center.  The Lily-of-the-Valley was held in cold storage for two weeks.

Priscilla was matron of honor and Thelma and Don’s sister Polly were  bridesmaids.  Judy and Joan were flower girls.  Stewart Pollock was best man and Warren was one of the ushers.  The reception was held in the S. S. rooms and there was a warm feeling through all of it.

…They went on a honeymoon to Boothbay Harbor Maine.

’twas such a simpler time.  Flowers came from the garden; the reception was held in Sunday School rooms at the church.

I always loved the pictures of my mother’s bouquet, with a cascade of Lily-of-the-Valley, dangling by ribbons, tumbling from her hands.  When I got married, I brought pictures of her bouquet to the florist.

She shook her head, saying, “I’m not sure where I could get that quantity of Lily-of-the-Valley.”

My father and me before the wedding

We provided the flowers.  My mother and I picked all the Lily-of-the-Valley from her garden and then we ravaged other people’s gardens.  Small town people are so friendly.  We were welcomed to take the flowers, freely, with one elderly woman showing us all around her big old farmhouse, saying, “Take whatever you want!  I’m so happy to help.”

The day before our wedding we were running around Cooperstown cutting lilacs from other people’s bushes.  My parents’ lilacs bloom late, so again, we depended on the good will and generosity of others.  Lilacs hung in baskets on the pillars in the church.  They adorned the tables at the reception.

The morning of our wedding, I was tromping through the pasture with big loppers cutting apple blossoms off a scraggly old tree probably planted by Johnny Appleseed himself.  A large basket of apple blossoms sat outside by the door of the church.

Who says people need to spend a fortune on weddings?  God’s bounty is all around us.

Fifty-nine years ago my parents were married.  I doubt the wedding cost a fortune.

They have been blessed with many years together, overflowing, cascading down, not unlike my mother’s bouquet.

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7 thoughts on “My Mother’s Bouquet

  1. Thank you for this post Sally! It brought back fond memories of me picking Lily-of-the-Valley at my Grandmother’s. I’ve always loved these flowers!

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