Weddings in June go together like love and marriage, but I've noticed recently that tradition stops there.
I just attended a wedding ceremony, dubbed by my family "The Royal Wedding." It was, in its splendor, a perfect celebration, taking place in a perfect seaside setting, complete with a perfectly coordinated black and turquoise color scheme, repeated in the invitations, flowers, and table linens and matched by the couple's signature drink.
Not to say it was any more perfect than my daughter's wedding five years ago, which also took place in a seaside setting, complete with perfectly coordinated hot pink and lime invitations, flowers, table linens, and their signature drink.
With my own impending wedding anniversary this month, I thought of the stark contrast between my wedding ceremony and the two I just mentioned.
When we planned our wedding 49 years ago, Emily Post guided me to an ivory-colored invitation with script engraving and the "proper" format.
Today's invitations are less formal and can be any color or font. New to me was the "Save the Date" announcement I received in March for the wedding date in May. Later, we received the official invitation - a card bordered in turquoise - including a matching insert with directions to the wedding.
Both of the above-mentioned receptions had cocktails and wine and food in abundance, complete with waiters at our elbows and music to please almost all ages.
Fireworks provided the grand finale at my daughter's reception, a surprise from her new husband.
My non-alcoholic reception was held in a non-air-conditioned church hall, complete with plain white tablecloths and no music. The menu included chicken salad sandwiches and punch, prepared by the church ladies.
I'm sure our friends were disappointed. Several of them served beer at their receptions held in the American Legion and fire halls with their families bringing food.
No matter the generation, every bride longs for the dress to set her apart on that special day and today's fashion choices for the bride abound in a variety of styles with something for everyone and a price to match.
One website suggests a mid-range cost for a wedding dress can be from $500 to $1,000 and if the potential bride is a Princess Kate wannabe, a high-end dress can cost between $2,000 and $5,000.
My wedding dress was purchased at Hutzler's Department Store in Baltimore for about $170.
Gone, thank goodness, are the same-dress-for-all creations, tossed by bridesmaids after the wedding. Today's trend seems to be a dress for the individual to be worn again.
I was surprised during the recent wedding I attended, to see the mothers of the bride and groom dressed in black, the same as the wedding party - a far cry from the pastel bridesmaids' dresses of the '60s and the matronly pastel lace dresses for mothers of the betrothed.
Apparently, things haven't changed much for men: They're still renting tuxedos, though the styles change from time to time.
My daughter's wedding concluded with a honeymoon trip to Hawaii; the May newlyweds went to Antigua.
Our honeymoon consisted of traveling along the Pennsylvania Dutch highways for three days, not really knowing where we were going.
Still, what bride wouldn't be happy on her wedding day, no matter what type of ceremony?
Try telling that to the parents who hocked their house to provide for a Kim Kardashian-style extravaganza.