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Making marriages memorable


Betty Stone



June is the traditional month for weddings. I am often interested in the many ways brides and their mammas find to make the ceremony unique. It is, hopefully, a unique occasion in the young couple's lives. Of course, they want it to be different, at least in some little way, from all the others. 


The marriage of Faith Deaton to Justin Simmons, now of Amory, on Memorial Day weekend is a case in point. The bridesmaids' dresses were colorful -- pink, orange and yellow -- matching the bright gerbera daisies in the floral arrangements and bouquets; but they did not stop there.  


The flowers were in clear glass containers, where goldfish swam beneath them. A massive arrangement was at the entrance to the church. Individual arrangements with fish and flowers graced the tables at the reception. Do not call the SPCA, though. Afterward the fishes went to live at a large goldfish pond belonging to a friend. 




Song of love 


This addition of fauna to the flora reminded me of a wedding I heard about years ago. It took place back in my mother's generation. Cages of canaries were interspersed with the flowers at the church altar and were kept covered until just before the ceremony. When the cages were uncovered, the birds woke up and began to sing. That was in the day when "society" articles in the newspaper indulged in flowery writing. The account of the wedding reported, "The canaries sang as if they, too, knew of love." 


I have heard of a wedding where, when the bride and groom opened the door of the car in which they were to leave the church, out flew "doves" which soared away into the heavens. Only they were really homing pigeons, so they got home safely. 


Another wedding party was not so lucky. It was springtime, and guests received little boxes of butterflies, to be released as the couple left for their honeymoon. The trouble was that there was a cold snap that day. Butterflies apparently cannot fly if the temperature is lower than 80 degrees. The pretty little insects fluttered -- to the ground. What a letdown! 




Surprise at dawn 


Some of you may remember the decade of the '60s, a free-wheeling, rebellious time. This attitude was true of some marriages as well. Oh, they had ceremonies all right, but I heard of one that was held in a tree. I don't know whether the couple thought they were druids, but the minister almost refused to participate. 


Frank Ferguson tells a wedding tale that took place during that time. His niece, his sister Reba's daughter, Jeanne Webb, was to marry Mark Phillips. The young couple were not hippies, but they did want to have their ceremony at dawn on a scenic overlook on the mountain at Huntsville, Ala., where they lived, with the sun coming up behind the mountain and early wisps of morning fog drifting away. Such was the plan. 


Obviously, the guest list had to be limited. Nevertheless, they were dressed in wedding finery when they arrived at the overlook in the last of the night's darkness, all ready for the ceremony.  


A surprise awaited. Someone had got there before them, had slept there. Two campers snoozed in sleeping bags in the center of the overlook. 


What do you do? Well, of course, you have to get the campers out of the way, so you wake them up. They lifted their tousled heads, rubbed their sleepy eyes, and gaped at the festively dressed wedding party. Obviously, it was only good manners to invite them to the wedding. 


They accepted, scurried to move their camping gear aside, and -- as they say -- "A good time was had by all." 


Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.


Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.


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