Vintage Wedding: Linda & Bill, 1979

Today’s vintage wedding comes courtesy of Kristy of Moodeous Photography‘s parents. I don’t know what it is about these decades old weddings that makes me cry like a baby, but they do. And this one did particularly. So if you’re in your cubicle, be wary of the tears. And without further ado, Kristy’s lovely parents, on their wedding day 32 years ago:

Linda had chosen Bill long before they even spoke. She was a member of the EMT squad in her hometown and he was a firefighter. She had spotted him on the job out on calls  and noticed that he was a pretty handsome specimen. So she set out to meet this fella with the help of her friends. Assisted by a boyfriend (ex? the details are murky) who recruited my father onto the EMT squad and then by another friend who fixed the schedule so their duties would overlap, my mom laid the ground work for their marriage. But as my Dad describes it, he wasn’t an unsuspecting victim. While a fireman, he recalls, “There was this one call on 232 with an overturned truck and gray matter all over the road where I saw this beautiful blond…” He became an EMT shortly thereafter.

They won’t elaborate much on the proposal (and probably with good reason), but I do know three things: 1) My father did not ask his father in law for my mother’s hand, 2) There was no ring accompanying the proposal, because my father *ahem* had no pockets at the time, and 3) My mother said yes.

My parents were married on Friday March 23, 1979 at 5pm in my mother’s parent’s home. 75 people were in attendance and I’m told it’s a wonder the old farm house floors didn’t fall through the way they creaked and groaned. My mother told my Grandfather she’d only invited 60 guests so he wouldn’t get upset and refuse to hold the wedding at his aging home.

My mother had been married once before in a much more elaborate affair involving a church, a much fancier dress, a sit down dinner and closer to 100 people. From her previous marriage, she also had a 9 year old son, my brother Dan, who was adopted by my father and incorporated into the wedding day. Dan walked my mom down the aisle and gave her away. It’s one of my favorite photos from their wedding day.

In total the wedding cost about $1,000. My mom’s dress cost $100, which adjusting for inflation (according to some wonky calculator on the interwebs) would be roughly $296 now. She walked down the family stairs and through a makeshift aisle of wall to wall people to Peter Paul and Mary’s “The Wedding Song.” A friend played guitar and sang while another friend provided organ accompaniment. They wrote their own vows and had a very simple ceremony. My Dad traded photography skills with a friend, shooting their wedding in exchange for shooting my parents. A friend catered, serving simple appetizers and snacks. Guests came expecting dinner and the food ran out quickly. There was no dancing, but a few traditional wedding conventions such as garter and bouquet toss. My mother chose the cake from a local bakery and my father secretly placed two tiny matchbox cars on it when my grandmother (who objected to something so silly) wasn’t looking. (Edit by Bill: The matchbox cars were a firetruck and an ambulance! Kristy duplicated them when she surprised us with a 25th anniversary party.) When it came to the cake cutting, my Dad remarked “She succumbed to the pressure, I didn’t shove” and my mother retorts “He’ll never let me forget that”. Turns out neither does this photo of my father gently feeding my mother while she smashes cake into his enormous Grizzly Adams beard.

Their wedding album also includes photos from the bachelor and bachelorette parties as well as their honeymoon in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. On their honeymoon they had a heart shaped bathtub and bed! My Dad remembers they slept on the floor because the bed was so horrifically uncomfortable. I love these photos too and had to share.

When I asked what was the most important part of planning the wedding my mother responded confidently, “To get him hook line and sinker.”

Well done mom.

Here they are 29 years later at my brother’s wedding in 2008.

Vintage Photos By: Ivans L. Smith, III
Present Day Photo By: Kristy

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  • These vintage weddings give me so much hope.

    Now I must go cry into my hummus.

  • FawMo

    So wonderful! I love a good love story.

  • Adorable! I teared up as soon as I got to the part about your brother walking your mom down the aisle. Super sweet.

  • Oh lordy these vintage weddings make me teary too! They are always so beautiful. So even though everyone at work looks at me like I’m crazy, I love reading them.

  • Moz

    This is rivalling Alyssa’s column for fave APW feature. Love it.

    Your mum was a beautiful bride. Also love the pic of them not so long ago.

  • mfbrady

    Awesome post Kristy:) Love the pictures, especially the heart shaped hot tub….it’s amazing!!

  • Kate


  • We played “The Wedding Song” at our reception! It’s such a beautiful song. Her dress looks so wonderful. I love what people remember about their weddings 30+ years on. Makes me wonder what will stand out from ours.

    • I’d never actually heard “The Wedding Song” until they played it for me. It was so sweet and I got choked up watching them reminisce. I LOVE her dress too. I wish she still had it!

  • I absolutely love these vintage weddings. So killer. Hook line and sinker, I love that.

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  • Shannon

    Yay – I love these real life marriage success stories! Reminds me of my parents, who are still in love with each other after being together for about 45 years (I’m not actually sure which anniversary they’re at now…). Maybe at some point I’ll convince them to let me send their wedding to APW Vintage Weddings!

    It is SO GREAT and important for all of us wedding/marriage newbies to see these long-lasting and happy marriages, and the weddings that marked their beginning… I would love to hear more from these couples about what has kept them happy in their long marriages, what sorts of sacrifices each has made, challenges that have come up along the way, etc… I once “interviewed” my parents about their marriage for a radio show I was doing, and I’ve always remembered all of their observations about why their marriage has lasted, and why they still love each other. I learned so much about marriage just from that one conversation!

    Anyway – great post, and keep those “vintage” weddings coming!!

    • Shannon, I love this idea. I’d like to figure out a way to capture and share these on videos. Might have to be a moodeous photography personal side project :)

      • Shannon

        Oh wow, your idea is so good I almost peed my pants! If I had another self (or just more time…) wouldn’t it be great to have a documentary filled with people’s happy marriage stories? Maybe I’ll do that when I’m older, and so is my marriage…

        • YES! I’m terrible at following through on project and having enough time too. But this would be lovely to do!

        • Oh and Shannon, have you ever seen this?!

          It’s my favorite NPR storycorps story so far. I cry whenever I watch it. Perfect, enduring and REAL love.

      • KA

        DO IT! Srsly. Awesome idea.

  • Gah! I’m so glad my parents agreed to this and it has value to ya’ll. I’m stoked for more of these weddings as it really does make me happy to see XX years later stories and memories. :)

  • I never cry at APW posts, ever – but upon mention of her son walking her down the aisle? The photo of them at the end? I may have been fanning them back…

    …. I mean, maybe.

  • So lovely!

    I really love the picture of the wedding party. Quite possibly because it looks, down to the rough wood walls and facial hair and the blue dress, like one taken at my parents wedding.

    Also. Last weekend, to fulfill a childhood dream of mine? I stayed in a hotel just that cheeezy. Things were round instead of heartshaped, but exactly that many mirrors. It was awesome.

    • Oh man Morgan. WHERE?! That sounds brilliant. I once stayed at the Tropicana (before their current renovation) in Las Vegas and there was a mirror over the bed! But I was all alone :(

  • !! heart-shaped tub AND bed??? aaahahahah oh man. I wonder if those suites still exist, I want to go to there…

    love these vintage weddings. your brother walking your mom down the aisle definitely made me tear up.. also your parents are adorable! “to get him hook line and sinker.” AAHHH. I want to hug them.

    • Kris

      Two words: Niagara Falls.

    • I”ll let my Dad know. He’s a hugger. I’m sure he’ll send you one from Pennsylvania! :D


      I have it on good authority that the heart-shaped bathtubs were still in existence as of 1988–my parents went to the Poconos for their honeymoon, and we actually have a picture of my dad sitting in that exact same tub!

  • I love the picture of your parents sprawled out (in their PJs?) on the floor of their honeymoon suite. We’ve got one almost identical to it from my parents’ wedding album and those happy grins just say it all!

    • I’m SO glad someone else has this. At first I thought it was bizarre, but I fell in love with it because its so other worldly from how I’ve known them.

  • I *love* these vintage weddings. So awesome!

  • KA

    Dammit!! I made it tear-free all the way to the last picture, and then bam, floodgates!

    If that’s the Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos, I will die. Whenever I saw the commercials (with that song!) in the ’80s, I insisted that would be my honeymoon. My little self thought it was pure romance. :)

    • Wren

      I remember that song!!!

      Also, this was the year my parents got married, and even though my parents had a less traditional courthouse wedding, the photos still evoke that same era. Love this post, love that wedding, love that their marriage has flourished. Beautiful!

      (And yes, I too am teary!)

    • Bill (aka Daddy Moodeous) Rowe

      Keep the oxygen nearby cause if memory serves correctly it was Mt Airy!

      • KA

        Yessssssss! Glad to hear that someone got to have their honeymoon there—uncomfortable beds and all, hahaha. Congratulations on 32 years, and thanks for sharing this with all of us! :)

  • ♥ the photos, the descriptions- just everything!!!

  • So I have no idea where their honeymoon was, but I’ll ask. In the meantime, everyone should enjoy (and consider?!) these sexy honeymoon room options in the Poconos:

    • aahhhhhahahahahah that’s amazing. I might have to go there.

    • mfbrady

      Dude. I have been there for a long weekend. Its amazingly stuck in the 80’s and totally weird. But we did drink cheap champagne in our heart shaped tub. The rooms have circular shower stalls enclosed in glass and there was a mirror on the ceiling!

      • SRSLY? APW retreat in the Poconos 2012! Whose in?

        • JEM


    • Class of 1980

      OMG! They’ve updated! There’s a Bose Wave Radio in the suite now!


    • KA

      Hahahaha, I literally just got an email from the Kn*t featuring this hotel today. It’s a sign! LOL.

  • I really feel like we need a cheesy tune like a TV show does when we open these weddings. It would complete me.

    • meg

      It would complete you! Ha!!

  • Marianne

    So cool, I love vintage wedding photographs. The groom’s beard is adorable.

  • holly

    it was the modern picture of them that got me. Clearly so happy.

  • Oh, that last photo. *sigh*

  • These vintage weddings are killer! My new favorite thing! Keep ’em coming.

  • lor

    “When I asked what was the most important part of planning the wedding my mother responded confidently, “To get him hook line and sinker.”

    Well done mom”

    Seriously brought tears to my eyes. Love this story!!

    • meg

      That’s totally the best line.

  • I love the ambulance on the cake. What a great story.

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  • Ray

    Wow, these are great photos! I especially liked the heart-shaped bed. Did you ever figure out which resort that was at? I’d love to go and see it, for nostalgia’s sake!

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