Wartime Wedding

Once upon a time, back in March 1944, I was rather suddenly, to be married on 10 days notice. It was wartime. My navy husband-to-be was between assignments and uncertain of his next orders – so – no time for that big church wedding, or any bridal showers. No time to send out invitations or gather bridesmaids.

My only sister was with her husband and baby at an Air Force base in Florida with no way to get home in time (civilians couldn’t fly). One brother was in the army in Europe, but the other was in midshipman school in upstate N.Y., so he was able to get a 24 hour leave from midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday.

Thus we were married at 5pm, Sunday, at home. Mother insisted I wear a proper wedding dress which was hastily bought along with my “trousseau” which included 2 new dresses, a “going away” suit and, wonder-of-wonders, a new pair of navy shoes, thanks to a coupon from my mom (shoes, of course, were rationed)! A clever florist transformed our living room to resemble a chapel. My best friend took the train from Boston to be my only attendant (wore a bridesmaid dress from another wedding).

There was a caterer and good friends came to wish us well and share our joy. It was a wonderful wedding. It was magic and it was mine!

Jeanie Henry
Southbury, CT

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