My husband and I had known each other three months when we took off with two friends to find a justice of the peace. My parents lived on a farm about 50 miles from where we were married; his folks lived in another state. They had never met. I wore a white linen suit that was not new, and he wore the only suit he owned. We had no flowers, cake or bridal registry. But we had big plans and hopes for the future. We have been together 54 years.
Our son and his first wife married in a beautiful Catholic church. She wore satin and he wore a tuxedo. The priest that counseled them commented on how comforting it was that both sets of parents supported the couple. The day was filled with flowers, music, dancing and a lovely catered meal. They honeymooned on a tropical island. When they came home they opened a wealth of gifts of china, crystal and silver. They divorced seven years later.
Designer gowns, recitations of heartfelt original prose or even traditional religious readings do not guarantee a successful marriage. Only the bride and groom can sign off on that warranty.
This is the one thing I know about weddings. Be man enough and woman enough to live your vows come hail or high water, because in every life there is a boatload of hail—and a flood of high water.
Ann Barton is a reader from Mansfield, Texas.