The Wedding Season

Jan 12, 2011 | 3 comments

Aunt Dora’s Wedding Supper, Oysterville 1895

     Summer seems a long way off on these cold, dreary, winter days, but not to summer brides, apparently.  Already the Oysterville Church is booking up.  Of the thirteen Saturdays in June, July, and August, seven are already spoken for and there are several others under consideration.
     These days, at least at our little church, it is often the bride who makes all the arrangements and even foots the bill for the church rental.  Occasionally, the groom does the booking, but it has become less and less fashionable for the parents of the bride to do the planning.
     I enjoy talking with the brides.  Even though I’m just the Church Lady who arranges the rental of the building, I’m often asked for advice about ministers, florists, caterers, or accommodations for guests.  Sometimes there are many phone calls asking for suggestions about decorating the church, whether there is available parking, or where the best reception venues are.  Occasionally, with a ‘high-maintenance bride,’ Nyel suggests that I go into the wedding consultation business and add a bit to our ever-diminishing “fixed” income!
     However, I know that not the least of reasons for choosing our church is that it is reasonable and is the perfect size  — it seats 100; 120 if guests ‘sit cozy’ – for a small wedding, especially for brides on a budget.  The added bonus, of course, is the charm of the old building, the ambience of the village, and maybe even the knowledge that guests have to make an effort to get to this corner of the world.  They have to really want to share in this most important event.
     We, of course, have an ideal view of the pre- and post-wedding excitement.  Sometimes, one of the wedding party even knocks at the door asking for a glass of water or a safety pin.  Most memorable was the bride who burst through our gate and asked rather desperately if we had a slug of whisky available!
     Weddings come in all shapes and sizes and I love peeking out our street-side windows to see everyone gathering or to watch the happy hugs and congratulations after the ceremony.  One of the most interesting weddings involved a group of Civil War re-enactors.  Not only were the bride and groom and wedding party in costume, but all the attendees, as well, – right down to the bride’s amputee father who was in a Confederate uniform and was using an old-fashioned wicker wheelchair.  The bridesmaids held a special rehearsal the week before to see what size hoops the narrow aisles of the church could accommodate!  Up to then, I had never considered that hoops might come in sizes.
     It always seems special when one of Oysterville’s own residents is married in the church.  So far, we have two such weddings booked for this year.  I do hope that the weather cooperates.  We are overdue for a sunny summer and it seems only right that the wedding season should be all blue skys.


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    As you know, Sydney, Dave and I were married in the Oysterville Church twenty years ago for all the reasons you list. Back in those days we made the arrangements with the previous church lady, your mom. We were pleased that so many of our family members came from the Portland and Seattle areas to attend, but then, who doesn’t love the Peninusula in August? We went with more of a twenties theme, but I would have loved to have seen the Civil War re-enactors and I love the picture above!

  2. Jane Greene

    Which two are the wedding couple? Maybe the two sitting by the window with the sunshine?

  3. sydney

    The wedding couple is seated in the middle of the head table. So, looking from left to right: James William Wilson (best man and brother of the groom), Susie Espy (maid of honor and sister of the bride), Alexander King Wilson (the groom), Dora Jane Espy Wilson (the bride), R. H. Espy (father of the bride), Julia Jefferson Espy (mother of the bride).


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