(I have NO memory of why Mom titled this "Wedding Prep" - more like "Sweethearts")
Pete, like most Lockhart men I know, was quick off the mark when he fell in love with me. He flabbergasted me on our 6th date by asking me to marry him. I was completely taken by surprise, but managed to say, "Yes!"
Of course we were both itching to be together, but the plan was to get
married in 18 months. It seemed a very long wait. Of course, jumping
the gun and having sex before the wedding night was unheard of back then.
Which is not to say we weren't tempted. Pete and I always considered ourselves very lucky that when the one wanted to cave in, the other was blessed with clearer sight and less heated emotions.
Still, one evening, Pete turned to me and asked, "Could we get married NOW?" Again, I was surprised but said, "Let's get out pen and paper."
We figured out that we could afford to get married IF we did not need a dentist or doctor or new clothes. That did it - we moved up the wedding date.
Pete actually asked, "Can we get married tomorrow?" I gently explained to a very disappointed young man the realities of putting on a wedding. He was none too happy, but we finally set the date for July 18, several months away.
Of all our friends and relatives, Ellen Lear and my sister Betty were the only two who did not think we'd lost our minds.
It is funny, looking back on it, how I had no hesitation about making Betty's wedding dress when she married Paul several years later, but the thought of making my own left me shaking in my boots.
I found my wedding dress - a lovely gown of silk organdy - at Dewees on Chestnut Street. It was on sale for $15. Before thinking "What a buy!" know that Pete's weekly salary was $17.00 Money was worth a lot more back then. I found an elegant pair of long white kid gloves - the fabric of the left hand ring finger had to be slit so Pete could slip on the ring.
Our rings came from Fred Cooper's - two 18 carat gold bands. We had planned on getting 24 carat, but Mr. Cooper advised us against it because the gold would wear so fast; as it was, the decorated edging was completely worn away by the time Elsa was born.
At Woolworth's, I purchased two lengths of white silk flowers which I entwined into a wreath** for my bridal veil. The veil itself was Wanamaker's best tulle.
Pete's father and step-mother honored us with a dinner party. What an evening to remember that was. It was blistering hot, but "Aunt" Norma was a wonderful hostess and knew how to throw such a party, we hardly gave a thought to the steaming weather. She served garden cocktails before dinner, champagne with, and port was served with dessert.
I cannot remember a thing about most of the dinner except that it was heavenly, but I do remember dessert. "Aunt" Norma served a double peach pie. I never saw one before and have never seen one since. It was a single crust peach pie with a second smaller peach pie somehow miraculously centered inside. Oh, it tasted so good, super light crusts paired with perfectly ripe peaches.
Pete was bowled over by the dress I wore that night - a black organdy gown with white plastrons (if you know what they are - white facings, if that helps at all) that I made with my own two little hands. When I put on the black taffeta underslip on that over-heated day, it felt like hot metal. But even I had to admit I looked quite stunning.
The weather that night was so hot that when Pete's Uncle Andrew stood up, we heard his white linen trousers sticking to the leather seat. I will never forget that sound or the sight of the chair cushion, covered with a fuzz of white lint, and his somewhat lighter trousers
Isn't it funny, the things that stay with us after all these years. I hope those loving family spirits are with us this weekend.
Love to my circle - the Grandmother of the Bride