One bride remembers… top tips and heartfelt recollections from a spring-time wedding in 1952 (on a budget of £20)!
No bride preparing for a spring-time wedding expects a blizzard! But for my Nanna, that’s exactly what she got… and it was still a thing of beauty! Here she re-tells her fascinating story and relives the memories… When Anne Married Colin…
We had a budget of £20. I know! £20! Today this would buy you one bottle of wedding wine and try working a miracle with that! In 1952 food was still rationed after the war and austerity (we’re talking post-war austerity not what you millennials term ‘austerity’) was the norm. But neither the 1952 weather nor the very modest resources didn’t spoil the day from heralding in a life-long partnership. In 1952, we were both on ‘weekend passes’. I was a WAAF (look it up girls! Look it up!) and Colin was in the Airforce. All of my family lived in London and couldn’t make the trip to Yorkshire but I did have a friend from the Forces as well as my sister-in-law who travelled ‘up North’ to represent the family.
I was 18 years of age (she didn’t HAVE to get married, she is keen to remind me), and I was just so excited. My wedding outfit was a floral dress with a powder blue ‘princess’- line coat, accessorised (if such a word existed then) with a navy pill-box hat, gloves and shoes. My friend lent me the coat. It’s fair to say ‘HELLO’ magazine did not made a pitch for the wedding…! Colin’s brother-in-law possessed a camera but the weather was so awful and the camera didn’t have a flash mechanism for indoor pictures so there are no photos to mark the event. Our vows were exchanged at 9.30am in the local Registry Office and a small Reception – with ten guests – was held at the house of Colin’s sister. There was, of course, sherry and fruit cake (but no swans sailing majestically on the lake… you girls today…).
In the afternoon – can you believe it – Colin went to watch a football match! To be fair it was his local club and they were doing particularly well at the time, so my sister-in-law took me out to buy a pretty nightie for the wedding night (quite scandalous!). We had a party in the evening (after the football match) for local friends. There was no honeymoon and we lived with Colin’s sister for the first three years of our marriage until we could afford to save the deposit for a place of our own. Try selling that to the young of today!
Our day seems a world apart from a ‘wedding day’ of today. But marriage remains what it has always been: a pledge between two people to spend their lives together. All the extras are wonderful but – without the extras – it’s still possible to have a memorable day that will last a lifetime!
Thanks Nanna for these beautiful memories! Absolutely do speak with your older relatives about their big day… and we’d love to hear from you and share their experiences!