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June Wedding and Anniversary Bells

June 24, 2015


June Wedding and Anniversary Bells


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



On almost every Saturday from late spring through early autumn, I enjoy hearing the wedding bells from Milwaukee’s cathedral, Old Saint Mary’s Church, and other nearby churches. At times, the pealing of these bells brings back special memories of the first wedding which I remember and the first for which I was a flower girl. Although I recall many moments from my Aunt Kathy’s beautiful wedding at Sacred Heart Church in Clinton, Indiana, on June 16, 1956–I also have some scenes firmly placed in my mind’s photo album because we watched the old films of the wedding and reception over and over and over again. Those old movie projectors of the 1950s could play the silent film backwards; so, Bill, my aunt’s husband, sometimes entertained the family audience by showing some of the wedding reception film backwards.


For my Aunt Kathy’s lovely wedding, cousin Carla, maid of honor, wore a turquoise, long dress, with matching picture hat; the bridesmaids wore a similar long dress of coral–all dresses and hats (except for the bride’s gown) were made by my cousin Carole’s maternal grandmother Jewel. Dressed to match the bridesmaids, my cousin Carole and I wore pretty coral, long dresses with hats that tied under our chins. Of course, we carried wicker baskets, from which we dropped rose petals to bless the path for the radiant bride.


Fifty years later, I thought of a surprise for Aunt Kathy and Bill’s golden wedding anniversary. I sent my flower girl dress to Oregon, where the dress was re-fitted for my young cousin Olivia. In June of 2006, Olivia surprised her grandparents by wearing the rolled-collar, coral flower-girl dress at Aunt Kathy and Bill’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party. For this celebration, I wrote the following acrostic poem. As you read this acrostic, you will notice that the letters down the left side of the page spell my aunt’s surname, my uncle’s last name, and the word “fifty.”



From Wedding to Gold



Many memories, many wishes amass from this golden occasion:


An anniversary of fifty years rings the bells for celebration!


Splendid in white, The beautiful bride was Katherine Mae;


So handsome and smiling was the groom—her Bill—whose hand she took that June day.


Acknowledging love and life together, this young couple was happily blessed:


Blanford and a baby boy, then a little girl—life’s best.


Indiana memories also include Clinton, A & P, the restaurant and farm.


Next in the family photo, after B.J. and Lisa, came Gina who was filled with charm.


Over all these years, there were changes and moves—from Tecumseh to New Jersey.


Lasting memories of Elmira and Ohio moved to Minnesota and snow.


Everywhere you have been and everywhere you may go,


You cherish children, grandchildren, family, and each other.


For all of us who gather here,


I wish you more than one golden year:


Family and friends wish you so much more!


Thank you both for all you have given and shared.


Your Happy Fiftieth Anniversary is now officially declared!


* * *


For my Aunt Kathy and Bill’s 57th wedding anniversary, the flower girls, who somehow became senior citizens, traveled to Minnesota to join the celebration. Wherever we went, we had fun telling people that we were the flower girls who had come to Minnesota for our relatives’ 57th anniversary.


After Aunt Kathy and Bill celebrated their fiftieth anniversary, they marked eight more anniversaries together. Despite the passing of Bill in March of this year, the love of this special couple endures.


* * *


Now, turning to a much more recent June wedding, I recall the beautiful, sunny, and very warm day in June of 2012–the wedding of my younger nephew Eric and his lovely bride Marissa. For one of their wedding gifts, I gave this couple a frame containing the following poem, which my sister (Eric’s mother) read at the rehearsal dinner on June 29, 2012. As you read this acrostic poem, you will realize that the initial letters of each poetic line spell out “Marissa and Eric.” With Happy Third Anniversary Wishes to my nephew and his wife, I share with you the following poem.



Wedding Bells and Wishes for Eric and Marissa



Married! Eric and Marissa—yes! Hurray!


All the family wish you the very best on your special day.


Rose petals and wedding bells mark the occasion;


I do! I do! are the words that kick off the celebration.


Sipping champagne, the two of you toast your life’s bliss;


Slicing your wedding cake, you share sweet icing and a tender kiss.


A-a-a-h, a twirl around the dance floor for Eric’s beautiful bride–


Applause for the happy couple who now take their stride.


Notes of music—your song—drift through the festive air.


Decorated tables, family, friends, and smiles are everywhere.


Extraordinary moments to cherish on June 30 and always!


Ring the wedding bells with joy on these blessed days! Now,


It’s time to open your gifts and snip a bow.


Congratulations, Eric and Marissa—the new Mr. and Mrs. Fanyo!



May all those for whom wedding bells ring be blessed with many wonderful years together and bouquets of beautiful memories!

Alice and Zoe


June 24, 2015, Wednesday



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  1. I enjoyed visiting your blog this morning and reading the stories of the two weddings – and what a nice gesture to write a special poem for each of them and give it as a gift. It is a treasure, I am sure, that they will each cherish forever.

  2. Thank you for remembering these wonderful June occasions in such a beautiful way, Alice! All of my life Aunt Kathy and Bill have been two of my favorite people in the world. In fact, at the time of their wedding I really thought that they should take me with them on their honeymoon to Wisconsin Dells!

    Celebrating Eric and Marissa’s wedding with our dear family and friends on that lovely June day was one of the greatest joys of my life! Thank you for being such a special aunt to Eric and his family!

    Love, Mary

  3. These are beautiful memories, of which I have enjoyed reliving through your descriptive words. Another fun fact was revealed about my grandmother being the seamstress of the dresses and hats. I knew of ours, but didn’t remember about the others. Thanks, also, for sharing your delightful poetic gifts!

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