Twenty-Two Years Ago Today

We got married. I felt so mature then but when I look at these photos now we just seem so…young. We were in our mid-twenties, though, a perfectly respectable age to be married.

We were just finishing college- Brian had graduated the spring before and I was waiting to do my student teaching and finish my thesis for my graduate degree – so things had to be pretty frugal. Our parents helped where they could with the wedding costs, but we had to pay for some things or find inexpensive alternatives.

Three guesses which we chose?

The beautiful church was free because it was our home church. I re-worked my mother’s wedding dress, adding the long skirt, train, and embellishments. My maid-of-honor’s stepmother did the sewing for me. There were tons of candelabras available at the church and we just added the candles and some bows.

My one regret in the name of *cough* cheapness? Fake flowers. I can tell in the photos and I just don’t care for fake things anymore (I wasn’t a gardener, then, as you can probably guess).

Isn’t Brian something? So handsome- I felt like I was marrying a model. Hard to believe his hair was ever this dark- he’s started getting gray just a few years later.


I made the veil based on a Brides Magazine picture. It was all the rage then to have the sprays hanging down, but my daughter just laughs at it now.

She laughs at my big hair pouf, too. But it was the 1980’s and big hair was the ONLY way to go. I think it’s coming back in style now, actually.

The peplum-style top paired with a straight skirt was very popular then as well. All the bridesmaids dresses were in this same style, like my gown, but in a beautiful iridescent emerald green. I’m really grateful to the stepmom of my best friend (the same lady who sewed my dress) who sewed ALL the bridesmaids dresses which allowed us to purchase the material so that they didn’t have to pay for dresses they wouldn’t wear again (I wasn’t fooling myself there…).

And guess what? The peplum style is coming back again too- I just saw it in a magazine. Sheesh, everything comes around….

This is not the best picture *a-hem* but I wanted to use it to tell a little story. All my family- aunts, uncles, grandmas, etc.- chipped in and brought food for the reception. Love them.

But my one splurge was a cake that I fell in love with at another friend’s wedding. A carrot cake with real cream cheese frosting. Scrumptious and REAL in a time of whipped shortening frostings. I scrimped everywhere else to have that cake.

But the cake wasn’t at the reception when we arrived. It wasn’t there 45 minutes later, either. We finally called and found it was “on it’s way.” Meantime, the photographer, who was a friend, was hanging around… we thought to be a part of the reception. We found out when we got the bill that he was there all that time in a “professional mode.”

The cake arrived finally an hour late. Which is a big deal when the wedding started at 7:00pm. By 9:00-ish, the time it arrived, some people had already had to leave…without tasting this wonderful cake I had to have.

The piece de resistance, however, came when the cake deliverer (is this a title?) put the tiers together and, because of the heat (believe it or not, it was about 90 degrees here in Oregon 22 years ago today…) and the extra time in the van, we all watched as the layers started to slide apart. She then took her hands (which had been where in the last few hours?), placed them on the sides of the frosted cake, and squished it back in place.

I kid you not. I was slightly horrified, but at this point just wanted to get on with the show. See the strategically placed bouquet at the bottom and the odd red flower (at my green and white wedding) on the top? Yep, hiding the damage.

So the bad news is we’ve got this really expensive picture, thanks to our long-suffering (?) photographer, but the good news is we called to complain about the cake and to my shock they reimbursed us the entire cost of the cake!! So I got to have my cake (albeit a little lopsided), eat it, and not pay for it.

But the best part of all?

My husband.

He has made me laugh almost everyday for the last 22 years, he always sees the good in people and situations, he challenges me and makes me a better person. I’m so grateful for his spiritual leadership, his faithfulness, and that he’s not afraid to show he loves me every day all these years later.






  1. says

    Happy Anniversary!!! And I have to say I love your wedding dress and how awesome is is that you were able to re-purpose your mother’s dress. I think that is awesome…I love the 1950’s look of it…So Classic Barbie…you know what I mean. Don’t feel bad, I had do to fake flowers at my wedding too because we were 18 and 19yrs old when we got married…I would do that differently now, but oh well :)

    Have a special day!!

  2. says

    Happy Anniversary!!! My husband and I celebrated our 15th last November and renewed our vows. I was only 22 when we got married and back then I thought I was “Old and mature” enough to be married. Now I think “Holy cow I was ONLY 22!”
    We are coming up on our 16th anniversary and will be sneaking away for a quiet weekend in Myrtle beach. Time goes by so fast and I feel so blessed to be spending my life with my husband and to still be so in love.
    You were a beautiful couple. In the late 80’s I was in High School and my hair was HUGE. Funny!

  3. Thoughts for the day says

    Isn’t it fun to look back and remember? there are many things about our wedding 37 years ago I don’t remember. Oh so young we were. God’s wonderful grace has kept us together and we can still laugh and have fun. Isn’t is awesome?

  4. says

    Hi Jami!
    Happy Anniversary. We are celebrating Lucky Number 13 next Monday on the 20th. Yeah for September NW weddings! i have to laugh because we had to be very frugal in our wedding as well. Different from you, but we had to definately made do with what we had – maybe I’ll save that for another post. Anyway, I have to laugh that you HAD to have the cake, because I didn’t care at all. In fact, we went to Costco the morning of our wedding and whatever desserts they had – that is what we served at our wedding! I think we cut into a chocolate cheesecake for our picture, but I really don’t remember.

  5. vickie says

    Happy Anniversary to your both. What a great wedding day story -the thoughtfulness of others on your day just can’t be beat. Plus free wedding cake! 22 years is great!

  6. says

    I can’t believe how young we were either! The most memorable weddings all seem to have those little “oops” moments–they make us smile years later, don’t they!

    Happy anniversary–wishing you many more fun years together :)

  7. says

    Your wedding story is so sweet and funny…I was sorry to hear about all the wedding day disasters and mishaps…but I’d rather have a disaster wedding and a wonderful hubby :) :) It looks like you got the really great husband :) :)

    Oh, I remeember the hairstyles and weddingd dresses of the 80s. When I was a little girl I’d buy “Brides” magazine and want a puffy dress, veil with the extra poof in the back and big hair too…NOw, I’ll probably go with really simple…Thanks for sharing your story with us :) Have a lovely weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  8. Jeralee says

    Congratulations on 22 years of marriage. That is quite an accomplishment in this day and age. I loved all the anecdotes about your wedding day!

    The wedding cake made me chuckle. My mom and I fought over my cake as she was making it. She insisted that it had to be carrot. I didn’t want carrot. In the end my cake was fake – plastic/styrofoam forms underneath and the very top layer was carrott cake. LOL

    Anyway, loved reading this post!

    Celebrated 16 years this past June.

  9. Ellen says

    Happy 22nd! Our 22nd will be next year. We were so young too. And when we look back at the photographs, we always say what we would change if we did it all over again. Simplify things.

  10. Ellen says

    Oops! I’m getting old! After posting this I double-checked my math. We celebrated our 22nd THIS year. 2010 – 1988 = 22. Hmmm…

  11. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    Thanks, all, for your sweet comments and congrats! We had a fun night celebrating as a family.

    Ellen- Oh my goodness…you made me laugh. :-)

  12. Anonymous says

    My hubby and I celebrated 22 years on September 3rd. I made my veil too with the hanging down flowers. I had very real-looking silk red roses.


    Holly in Kentucky

  13. says

    That is a truly beautiful dress! you looked gorgeous! Happy Anniversary! late. ( my google reader is ALL backed up) I just had to comment on THAT DRESS! <3

  14. FlowerLady says

    Happy Anniversary! A lovely bride and a handsome groom. May your love continue to grow stronger and deeper. It is wonderful being married to your best friend. My husband has also made me laugh since before we were dating and all through the years. (42 years married in Sept.)


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