Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: My Parents - July 1969

I have finally decided to not let the "overwhelmed by genealogical information" syndrome prevent me from blogging about family history. I've turned to the wonder that is Geneabloggers Daily Blogging Prompts and will just take my cues without worrying about whether I am organized enough.

So....I welcome you to Wedding Wednesday. It is July 12, 1969 in Adrian, MI. The weather is hot and blustery and my parents, Ken Christenson and Carol Ellsworth, are about to make the Big Commitment in the chapel of Adrian College. My mom's family were members of the Methodist church, but they chose the chapel in part because of the short notice described below, and in part because my grandfather, a civil engineer, was a project manager on its construction. This is my mom and her dad, Richard "Bud" Ellsworth as he walks her down the aisle.

My mom looks beautiful and my grandfather is just beaming, isn't he? My mom said he tried to break up their nervousness by gradually bending his knees to make it seem like he was going downhill as they came through the door and started down the slightly sloping aisle. The bride's long, thick hair is done up in "Roman curls" as she called them, and the stylist had significant trouble drying her hair and she was almost late!

Oh, yes, my dad, Ken, was part of the wedding too. He was the reason the day had to be planned with only six weeks notice. They had planned to be married the December after their spring college graduation from Western Michigan University. Around graduation, however, he received both his draft notice and an invitation to officer training in the National Guard. Which one do you think he picked? Ken had to fly out in August for officer's training, so they decided to be married in July before he left. My grandmother planned the entire wedding and sewed the dresses for the bride, bridesmaids and bride's sisters in six weeks. Mother of the Bride and wedding planner extraordinaire, Jean Hurlbut Ellsworth is in yellow in this photo of the wedding couple and their parents.

My mom, Carol grew up in Adrian, while my dad, Ken, was from Detroit. Hiring a band for a wedding reception was apparently not the norm in Adrian at the time, but Carol remembers how all her college friends' Detroit weddings had bands and she wished she could have one, too. The reception was held at Adrian Country Club, where they could only reserve two hours in the afternoon on six weeks notice--not much time for a band, which was more expense than her parents were counting on anyway. But guess what? Surprise! Dad Bud Ellsworth had friends in a local Dixieland Band and he hired them to play during the reception. My mom was completely surprised and delighted.

I will close this Wedding Wednesday with the simple, lovely wedding invitation. Congratulations and good luck, Ken and Carol (so far, so good)!

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