The Washington Post ran a story the other day about the expected surge in Las Vegas tourism traffic this week because couples have chosen to marry on the upcoming “lucky” day (12/31/23). The next time there’ll be a similar date with the repeating 123 numbers will be in 100 years! I’m reminded of an old Lawrence Welk/The Count meme … a one and a two and a three.
For Las Vegas – always eager to cash in on a unique (and possibly lucky) event – they’ve installed a small pop-up marriage license bureau inside the airport to accommodate arriving couples in their quest for the perfect wedding venue. In this city that’s billed as the “wedding capital of the world,” Las Vegas makes it happen for newlyweds, especially since the average wedding now comes with a hefty $30K price tag.
In striking contrast, the budget of our 1969 wedding was a flat $100.00. Seriously! We had no impressive bells and whistles. Expenditures included fabric for my dress and veil (which I sewed on my trusty JC Penney sewing machine), a box of formal invitations from the local printer, and a wedding cake from the local bakery … all achieved within our scaled-down budget! My Beloved wore his almost-new, nicely-tailored dark blue suit.
We might have spent considerably more. My father-in-law was our “photographer.” Besides the bridal bouquet and boutonnieres (which were paid for from my budget), my mother-in-law added various ornaments and flowers to the sparse church auditorium decor. The bowl of red punch (and assorted goodies on the hostess table) was provided by thoughtful friends who realized I didn’t have a clue about how to stage a proper wedding reception! How blessed we were to have such good and gracious friends!
All these years later, we reflect on our lives together, apart from all the flashy accoutrements people assume are needed to get (and stay) married. Yes, we were starry-eyed. Yes, we were dreadfully naive and unrealistic. But when we spoke our vows, our promises were forever and always, until death.
Some might suggest we were “lucky,” akin to those who plan to tie the knot before the New Year 2024 arrives. (Let them enjoy their illusion.) Each and every day, I acknowledge I am blessed. The sonnet below shares one aspect of my blessedness.
An ancient sage observed this truth: little things mean a lot! (Sharing morning coffee is one seemingly little thing which I love!) It’s a tangible demonstration of my Beloved’s enduring love. I will continue to drink deeply from that well.