By Liz Wood 

The bumpy road to the wedding altar


My son Josh got married earlier this month. I didn’t think there was too much to planning a small wedding. My husband and I offered to help where we could, and we were happy to be able to do it.

My husband and I eloped to Esbjerg, Denmark, so we never had a real wedding.

It was called the Darling Denmark Tour. It sounds romantic, but is wasn’t. We checked in on Sunday, registered on Monday, toured the city for three days and got married on Thursday. We said our vows so fast we exchanged our rings in the hallway.

Fifteen couples were married in as many minutes.

We have always joked that if you want to test a relationship before getting married, you should take a 15-hour train ride in the middle of February.

As I was packing for our trip, I went to pack a blanket.

“The trains are heated, you won’t need that,” my husband said. The train car we were in had a broken heater. My poor husband is still trying to live that one down 28 years later.

We stopped at the border at about 3 a.m. and the trains in Denmark didn’t run until 8 a.m. We thought we would have a nice warm depot to wait in. Wrong again. The only heat was in the bathrooms.

We laugh now about all the trials we went through and it has made for good memories of the trip. We had 15 hours to talk about our future and what lied in store for us after we tied the knot.

Now I know that planning a wedding is more stressful than a 15-hour train ride with no heat.

Things were going smoothly for Josh and Telitha and those of us helping in the wedding planning. They had been working on the plans for nearly a year.

Telitha, like many brides, wanted a June wedding. She wanted it in her favorite place — Purgatory Gulch. It sounded treacherous to me, until I took their engagement photos up there. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place.

Mother Nature had other plans and as the snow continued to pummel the Sierra Madres over the winter, Telitha knew Purgatory Gulch would not be an option.

Easy to solve — we moved the wedding to the Saratoga Museum pavilion. The wedding invitations were sent out. Josh had reserved Veterans Island for the reception. After the invitations hit the mailbox, we discovered Veterans Island was going to be closed for a foot bridge to be installed.

Easy to solve — we moved the reception to our house.

When the possibility of moving back to island opened up, we decided to stay with the reception at our house. That was a good decision since the island was under water because of major flooding on their wedding day.

As the date drew closer, dresses were purchased, flowers picked out, decorations bought, cakes ordered, wedding rings purchased and sent for resizing .

The Monday before the wedding my son finds out the order for his ring had been lost. Panic sets in, and after a few frantic phone calls to the jeweler and friends, all is good with the world.

Monday afternoon, my son calls his friend who is to perform the wedding and it turns out he has another commitment. More frantic calls and the problem is once again solved.

Saturday morning, we all get ready for the big day and it went beautifully. I don’t remember all the words that were said when Josh and Telitha exchanged vows; I know they made me cry.

After being involved in a small wedding, I now know that it is very much like a 15-hour train ride with no heat.

They both aided us in planning for the future and get over the little bumps that try to get in the way.

I watched as Josh and Telitha worked together to solve the problems they faced together and work through them to have their perfect wedding day.

I watched as their friends came together to support them and help them through.

It was odd to think of my sons as all grown up, but there they were - acting like mature adults. As I listened to my other son Garry give his speech as the best man, I knew that they were no longer my little boys, but men who now have their own lives and families.

I hope their lives are filled with much joy and love, because raising them to be the men they are is my greatest achievement so far.


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