May and June are typically the most popular months for summer weddings, and many of us will be invited to share in a ceremony during this joyous time. Here, our readers recall the most romantic nuptials they have ever witnessed.
When I was a teenager, I attended my second cousin’s nuptials on Mackinac Island, in Michigan. I was still of the tender age to believe in the pure romance of weddings and not give any thought to the marriage itself. I didn’t really know the bride and groom well, so it was easy to spin a Jane Austen-like tale around them, skipping straight to the end of the story and a beautiful betrothal.
We rode the ferryboat over to the island and were picked up by a horse and carriage that took us to a charming bed-and-breakfast. An expanse of emerald-green lawn extended to a cliff beyond that overlooked a sparkling lake. The guests were led along a path, through a thicket of woods, until we arrived at a large fountain with scattered flowers floating in its pool. The setting was absolutely magical.
Once the ceremony had ended, an orchestra played selections from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, and I felt transported to a different century. We followed the bride and groom back to the lawn, which was dotted with white tents. As guests ate cake and played boccie ball in the distance, I walked to the edge of the cliff and dreamed that someday my own wedding would be just as timeless. Dusk descended, and hundreds of candles illuminated the property, like fireflies lighting up the night. The day lived up perfectly to a young girl’s dream of wedding romance.
EMILY DOWNS, Benton Harbor, Michigan
I never really wanted to get married, but when I was a child, I would take my mother’s wedding gown and veil from her hope chest and wear them around the house, as if I were Cinderella. As an adult, I went gown shopping with a few brides-to-be. The dresses were enchanting, like spun-sugar whispers of love. But in my heart, I knew that if I ever decided to take that walk down the aisle, it would be in my mother’s gown.
The day finally happened. I was 33 at the time and had a 4-year-old daughter. I was afraid the dress would never fit, as my mother was only 20 when she wore it. But magically, it did! The skirt was a tad too short, so the ladies in my wedding party and I sewed a 2-inch border of ivory lace along the hem and train.
My mum’s wedding was in 1949, and I wore the gown in 1986. Although the color was a bit more ivory now than white, it looked just as lovely as it did on the day my father watched his bride walk down that aisle to him.
JILLIAN ROBISHAW, North Truro, Massachusetts
Every mother believes that her daughter is the most beautiful bride, and last June, I was no exception. But the day my daughter, Marah, married the love of her life still fills me with joy whenever I think about it. I will never forget how breathtaking she looked as she walked down the aisle, beneath a canopy of ancient oak trees. The gentlest of breezes was blowing, and the bright yellow of the sunflowers in her bouquet mimicked the dappled sunlight. I recall the look of utter joy as the bride locked eyes with her groom, the catch in his voice as he vowed to love and cherish my daughter for the rest of his life.
There were no doubts in their hearts about this monumental step they were taking—just excitement and happiness. I was assured at that moment that everything good I had dreamed of for my daughter was coming true.
TINA TAYLOR, Boca Raton, Florida
As a justice of the peace, I have been part of many romantic weddings, but my all-time favorite was that of Joan and Bob. Both were widowed and had been dealing with loneliness. Joan was my co-worker, and Bob was a friend I met when I officiated at his eldest daughter’s wedding.
I was sure they would be perfect together, but I also knew they were both quiet, reserved people. So I sent a note to Bob’s daughter, she showed it to her father, and eventually he asked Joan for a date. After that, they were never apart again; both bloomed with a joy they had not expected to find at that stage of life. I officiated at the ceremony, uniting them in their backyard on a gorgeous summer’s day, tears of happiness streaming down my face. The two of them enjoyed a happy marriage until Bob’s passing. As one of their friends commented, this was God, working through me, to bring them together.
MARY MCDERMOTT, Orleans, Massachusetts