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The Old Fashioned Way: Mock Wedding

by Mary M. Alward

Years ago, my aunt’s and uncle’s 10th anniversary was coming up. They had two young children and so hadn’t planned anything special to do on this milestone anniversary. Grandma couldn’t stand to see any special occasion to go by without a celebration, so she began to plan a special show for my aunt and uncle.

The first thing my grandmother did was to get all of her children involved, plus my uncle's brothers and sisters. No one was to say a word to my aunt and uncle, because grandma wanted the event to be a surprise. They were all sworn to secrecy, as were her young grandchildren, me included. We knew by the look we got from Grandma and the tone of her voice that we’d better not let anything slip.

Grandma made a huge wedding cake and had my great-aunt decorate it just as she had the original wedding cake years before. My great-aunt kept the cake at her house until the day of the party so my aunt and uncle wouldn’t see it and become suspicious. Everyone made their specialty dish for a buffet supper. The other event that was planned was a mock wedding.

Grandma still had Aunt May’s wedding dress which had been packed away in a trunk in the attic. It was a blue dress that Grandma had made herself. There was only one problem. The only person besides Aunt May that could fit into it was her brother, my uncle Will.

On the day of the big event, everyone arrived early. Grandma had invited Aunt May and Uncle Joe to supper. They were to come and spend the afternoon and then stay for the meal. By 2 o’clock when the happy couple were to arrive, everything was set up and ready to go.

Aunt May and Uncle Joe arrived at approximately 2:10 pm. They were mildly surprised to see everyone there and a very large amount of food in Grandma’s kitchen. Aunt May raised her eyebrows and looked directly at me. I just shrugged and made a beeline out the back door before she could catch up to me and get me to reveal the surprise.

At 4 pm, Grandma gathered everyone in the yard and announced that this day there was going to be a wedding. Everyone took a seat facing the rose arbor in Grandma’s backyard.

From the house, we could hear the strains of the Wedding March drift through the open window. Someone was playing it on Grandma’s old piano that was slightly off-key. Then, out came the groom, who was dressed in a man’s suit. It was my mother, Aunt May’s older sister. The groom took his place just in front of the arbor. It wasn’t long until the bridesmaids and best man appeared. They were the same people that had stood up with my aunt and uncle on their wedding day.

When the bride made her appearance, everyone broke into gales of laughter. It was Uncle Will dressed in Aunt May’s wedding dress. He took his place beside my mother. Then, the preacher came out of the house. It was the preacher who had originally married my aunt and uncle.

The mock wedding was hilarious. The preacher, who was a family friend, stumbled over the wedding vows; the bridesmaid bent over in the middle of the ceremony to adjust her stockings and the groom brought out a large hoop earring for the ring. It was almost three inches across and the bride was almost able to fit it over his wrist. When the preacher said, “if anyone objects, speak now…”, my grandfather stepped out from the corner of the house, carrying his shotgun.

What a wonderful time we had at the mock wedding. When it was over, we all settled down to enjoy the food that had been prepared for the celebration. Aunt May and Uncle Joe laughed their heads off at the comical antics of the bride and groom.

Today, Grandma and Grandpa have been gone for many years, as has Uncle Will. However, Aunt May, Uncle Joe and my mother remain with us. As we gather at other family celebrations, conversation always moves to that mock wedding that took place in Grandma’s yard so many years ago.

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