Later this week we’re going to talk about the APW 2011 Survey results, but suffice to say, you guys were all about the return of the Vintage Weddings Feature, and we were all about bringing it back. There is something so affirming about seeing weddings from a generation or two ago, and realizing, “EFF! I’m the one being traditional, not the wedding industry!” These posts make me feel such kinship with people who got married when I was just a toddler. Today’s wedding is reader Ashley’s parents (fun fact: Ashley and my husband went to Law School together, apparently! There was this subset of women in law school who secretly knew David as Meg-who-writes-APW’s-husband. Ha.) It reminds me of this Golden Gate Park wedding graduate post, and reminds me that we’re all way more alike than we are different, no matter what our ages. Now, I bring you Ashley:
I’m so excited that the vintage wedding feature is making a come-back! I’ve always adored hearing stories from my parents’ wedding day, and when I was planning my own wedding, those stories and pictures took on even more meaning for me. So naturally, I am psyched to now get the chance to share their story with you and the APW community! Without further ado, here is the story of Anca and Onder and their totally ’80s San Francisco wedding:
My parents were married in Golden Gate Park on a 95-degree day in July of 1984. Given the fact that the weather forecast for San Francisco in July is usually a stubborn foggy-with-a-high-of-55, no one thought this outlandish heat was in the realm of possibility. (My mom had even borrowed a fur stole from a friend for the day!) And to make matters worse (or in my opinion, possibly better), no one thought to buy any beverages other than champagne, leaving the unexpectedly sweaty guests no choice but to hydrate with bubbly! Now that, my friends, is the secret to an awesome wedding.
My parents dated for three years before they got married, and the story of their stroll to the altar is both fatefully romantic and refreshingly practical. Both my parents immigrated to the U.S. in the 70s from different places – my mom from Romania and my dad from Turkey – and they met in economics class at UC Berkeley. One date later, they realized that my mom lived in the exact same apartment building in San Francisco that my dad had lived in the year before. One semester later, they had both dropped out of the business program after their romance proved to be too distracting for their studies. Three years later, my mom laid down the law, and told my dad that it was about time they got married. He responded, “how ‘bout next week”?
Two months later, my parents got married in the Shakespeare Garden (which cost them a whopping $160 to rent), and had a reception at my grandparents’ house where they danced and opened presents. My grandmother made dozens and dozens of cheese pies and dolmas (she’s Greek) and constructed a three-layer cake (she’s also awesome). The maid of honor wrapped candy almonds in little bags for favors and put together the bouquets of lavender roses. My grandfather picked out a floofy off-the-shoulders ‘80s wedding dress for my mom, a guest was appointed photographer, and my parents said vows.
My mom says her favorite part of the day was when she first saw all of her friends and family, and my dad, waiting in the garden for her to walk down the aisle. My dad says his favorite part was dancing at the reception [insert my mom’s eye roll here]. (I wish I had been there to see him break it down!) My favorite part (if I have a right to have one, considering I was not even invited) is hearing them talk about their favorite parts. It’s such a joy for me to look through all the young-and-in-love pictures from their wedding day, and such an inspiration to see their relationship now, 27 years later.
The first picture in this post is my absolute favorite from my parents’ wedding. (While I do not endorse smoking, I do endorse being this happy on your wedding day—even if that means you smoke a cigarette). I also threw in a picture from my own wedding just so I could share the fact that my father wore the same suit he wore on his wedding day to my wedding last September!!! So incredible!
Last picture by Leonel Medrano and Iris Bai, family friends and photography students. The photographers who shot the other pictures have been lost to the sands of time.