My dad was a professional photographer and almost never stayed very long when he came to my grandmother’s house where my cousin lived when he took me or picked me up from a visit. She was my mother’s mother and well, you know how men are, not much on small talk.
This particular day however, was special. My cousin and I had been planning a huge event. As you can see in the photo, we must have been five years old or maybe six and were perfectly and romantically enamoured with weddings!
We had spent days in our grandmother’s pile of material (she sewed all the time) finding just the exact pieces for the dresses for the bride who was my cousin and the bridesmaid-me. There was netting, nylon, taffeta, sequins we carefully glued on one by one, ribbons of all colours and widths carefully laid out and some pinned on to the dresses beforehand.
We made our way through the yard, and out of stands of grapevine, we weaved our “crowns”, now confusing brides with queens as little girls will do. Into the crowns we placed wildflowers of every size and colour, adding a few glittering earrings from my aunt’s jewellery box.
The night before the “Wedding” our grandmother fitted our dresses on us and even added covered pearl buttons here and there! She had a full length mirror and when we beheld ourselves-OH! There were never two little girls any happier in the entire world-even though there was no groom in sight! Somehow that part had totally skipped our six-year-old minds! No matter.
Over night the rain came down in torrents and our “Isle” was a muddy mess. Again, no matter. My cousin and I took the shells we had, lined it as planned, all the way from the back steps to the big tree, got dressed and the long-awaited ceremony began! My cousin, the Bride/Queen walked down the isle, head held high with her proud Bridesmaid/Princess behind her carrying her train! We were both bare-footed and our dresses and feet were smudged with mud. My dad caught the monumental event on film for posterity.
That, was one of the happiest times of my childhood.