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Weddings then and now or How I got married Twice

Updated on July 1, 2011

Your wedding?

Weddings can be funny

My Wedding in1969 and later too.


 In 1969 I got married for the first time.

 In addition

·         Richard Nixon becomes President of the United States

·         250,000 march on Washington in protest at the Vietnam War

·         The first man is landed on the moon on the Apollo 11 mission by the United States and Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon. and the famous words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." will become part of history

·         Golda Meir , becomes Prime Minister of Israel

·         Robin Knox-Johnston becomes the first person to sail around the world solo without stopping

·         The very first U.S. troop withdrawals are made from Vietnam .

·         Chappaquiddick Affair Senator Edward Kennedy driving a car plunges into a pond and a body of a woman passenger is found in the car

·         Members of a cult led by Charles Manson murder five people including actress Saron Tate

·         Woodstock attracts more than 350,000 rock-n-roll fans

·         The Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes its debut. It carried 191 people, most of them reporters and photographers, from Seattle to New York City.

·         UNIX is invented


Planning the Wedding

Now before this wedding could take place a lot of planning was needed. Today it is easy you hire a wedding planner. We had no such creature 40 years ago. We had to do it all.

The Date

The first item of importance was the date. We opted for July 27 for no particular reason other than it was a Saturday and had no special significance and did not fall on anyone’s birthday. It was also midwinter and therefore unlikely to rain. We did not consult a numerologist, a tarot reader, an astrologer or a fortune teller, only a priest to see if the church and he were available.

The venue.

In that era it was the “done thing’ to have a wedding reception in a smart hotel. It had to be smart as it had to have a ball room. No such thing as seminar rooms, banqueting facilities etc existed at that point in time. The other popular option at the time was a church hall. This was deemed not smart enough. Now of course a ballroom equals dancing and dancing meant a band. No such thing as a disco at a wedding in those days – not done old chap!

The band.

This was not a rock band or skiffle group, it had to be an orchestra (at least 6 pieces). After much searching we found a group playing in a restaurant where we were having dinner one Saturday evening and boldly asked if they were up to playing at weddings (an afternoon gig) and they said they were. So serendipity played a role and we had our band called “Laurie and the Bluebirds”.

The Catering

We of course were still hunting for a suitable hotel which included a good menu, a good price per head and a reasonably priced bar service. At least all these items were bundled in to the service offering at a price. We finally settled on the hotel called the Quirinale situated in the Berea area of Johannesburg near my parents’ home and pretty central.

Who pays for what and what is appropriate protocol for seating. In our day there were hard and  fast  rules to be followed such as:

Responsibilities Of The Bride 

Rental of the location for the ceremony including, music, programs decor

Flowers for the bridesmaids', the church and the reception.

The grooms' ring and boutonniere

Transport for the wedding party

The rental of the location for the reception the food, beverages (except alcohol), music, wedding cake and guest book.

Photography expenses

Her physical and blood test


Responsibilities Of The Groom



The engagement and wedding rings for the bride. 

 The marriage license and officiating officer's fee. 

 His wedding attire. 

The brides bouquet, her going away corsage and boutonnieres for his groomsmen as well as corsages for both mothers and grandmothers. 

His bachelor party and the rehearsal dinner. 

Alcohol at the reception.

His physical and blood test. 

The Honeymoon

The Pre nuptial contracts

So we simply followed the etiquette of the day.




Then we had to do the invitations. But first, we had to decide how many people to invite and worst still, how many from each family. Then the bun fights, if we invite Uncle and Aunty so and so, how can we exclude so and so. I wonder how many weddings just don’t happen because of the feuding around the arrangements.


The Legal Stuff.

You would be amazed at all the rules and regulations around the legal stuff. The Prenup agreement had to be agreed and drawn up – don’t even ask!, The fact that we could not trace her father who had simply disappeared was also an issue. At that time, as she (the ex) was under twenty one, we needed both parent’s consent and as her mother had remarried, she had not maintained contact with her ex. We had to advertise and then get a court order for the local child welfare officer to sign as surrogate parent!. This is true! However most of the legal regulations were given to us by the Priest who was to be the marriage officer, so although tiresome, we knew what to do.

Finally the day arrived and went off without a hitch but we did not know that 10% of people who accept the RSVP do not pitch up so we, sadly, had a few empty tables at the reception.


The Speeches

We chose our MC well and avoided having a boring MC from hell. We gave him a strict program and timing made him stick to it. All jokes and anecdotes were vetted beforehand to avoid embarrassment and crass stupidity.


The Car

We hid our car beforehand (so no wrecking of the car) and advised the best man where it was, so he could supervise the painting of the car and the attaching of cans etc within reason. Again avoiding stupidity.


The Bachelor Party

We arranged this a week before the wedding not the day before. Too many stories of bachelor party stupidity wrecking weddings had come to our attention. Examples such as putting legs in casts or dropping drunken grooms onto long distance trains or just plain alcohol poisoning the day before, were plentiful and factual – not urban legends.


Well all of he planning got me 34 good years until my ex left me for another. The tale is told in another hub


Second time around.


My dearly beloved and I decided it was time to get married after living together for about 6 months.This time it was really straight forward. After we had agreed to get married, I organized the paper work made an arrangement with the local Magistrate, and  booked a date and time. I invited two witnesses and my daughter-in-law to be. I Sent out an Outlook email  invitation  to the parties concerned. I booked a lunch at our favorite restaurant and viola – done. We had a great time, no fuss, no issues.

Another great Hubmob by sixtyorso


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    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Debs. I did it perhaps you would like to comment.

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Yes that seems to be the problem. I have a few ideas, but none that really grab me. I could perhaps do a "long weekend" 2 and write about my cancelled holiday and more car troubles with my M*** B****. Perhaps put a video in "lord wont you buy me a new M*** B***. But I need to see how this turns out first. I am at war with the dealer.

    • blondepoet profile image


      9 years ago from australia

      Actually I am going through a drought myself, waiting to get some inspiration on what to write next. I don't know how some people can spit them out so fast, plus find the time, it's amazing

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Blondie thanks for your generous praise. Hugs back (of course). I am having a bit of a writing drought at present. Hubmobs are not inspiring gifts, baby clothes ugh!

      I am having more fun and inspiration from The captains hub and comments!

    • blondepoet profile image


      9 years ago from australia

      Wow sixtyorso you put this together in such a fascinating way. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A big thumbs up from me.(hugs)x0x

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      I absolutely agree and we went to Paris after we got married as I promised. You can see the story of the trip in one of my travel hubs.

      Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated!

    • MindField profile image


      9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Orso, this is great - and useful to those wishing to make the matrimonial trip either for the first time or again. I've got to run but will come back and read all the links, too. One last aside: France may be wonderful for getting married - but France is wonderful for everything and anything!

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Angeli you always add value by your thoughtful and incisive comments. I really look forward to and appreciate your support. Thank you for stopping by and commenting

    • anjalichugh profile image


      9 years ago from New York

      What a historical day it turned out to be the first time!

      I really liked the way you got married the second time. After all, a wedding is a union of two souls which should not need that kind of extravaganza, that pomp & show which is normally seen on this day. I enjoyed reading this hub.

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Mama Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I am going over to your hub now to read it. and Yes I certainly lived in that era.

    • MamaDragonfly2677 profile image


      9 years ago from New York

      Great read sixtyorso! I am sorry about the seperation, but everything happens for a reason, right? BTW, did you happen to be a 1969 hippie??? (My reason for asking, I just did a hub titled "The Hippie Era-1969", and wondered if you had any info to add to it...?)

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Elena You are so right perhaps that is the Karama wheel simply turning over in it's lazy and interminable way!

      Pam I am glad you enjoyed the read and thanks for sharing your experences with us too.

      Chris Thanks for stopping by. Yes there is an inordinate amount to be done. My daughter is getting Married in September and they are using a wedding planner to co-ordinate the event.

      AE I was only married 34 years the first time around although the wedding took place 40 years ago. I sincerely hope you stay married longer than I did (first time around). thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

      G-Ma thanks so much for sharing with us and for the hugs and peace which are returned at least twofold.

      To all of you thanks for taking the trouble to stop by and commenting as your insights add to the hub immeasureably.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      I eloped and told everyone big deal but it only lasted 15 years...the second time around was for 33 years no marriage no nothing just lived together...but he left me for a younger woman (my 3 children were from marriage # 1)so the world is still spinning isn't it??? Nicely done 60 or so :O) G-Ma :O) Hugs & Peace

    • AEvans profile image


      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      My that was a process 40 years ago when we were married, we had a wedding planner but I still felt overhelmed, now I wish we would have gone to the justice of the peace and had it over with much more quickly. However I commend you for being married for 40 years as nowadays marriages only last a year. I have been fortunate enough to be married for 15 years and I thought that was a lifetime. :)

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines


      i too enjoyed reading this. my lord. the many things that need to be done. i gues that's why wedding planners have been invented, hu? thanks for sharing :D

    • Pam Roberson profile image

      Pam Roberson 

      9 years ago from Virginia

      Sixty, I really enjoyed reading this. There are many details about responsibilities of the bride and groom that I never knew before. You wrote and made your journey through two marriages very interesting and enjoyable to read. :)

      After two marriages, I never had a real wedding. I eloped the first time, and simply hired a preacher to come to the house the second time. No regrets, although I enjoy attending the weddings of others. Tears, joy, dancing, food...all good stuff. :D

      Great job!

    • Elena. profile image


      9 years ago from Madrid

      Sixtyorso, cool the way you list the important stuff that happened during 1969 ... IN ADDITION to your first wedding :-) And what an event, so different from the easy going, straightforward second wedding! the way things work out, one has to smile at life!!


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