Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | August 2, 2011

Wedding Memories

Bob's & My Wedding Day August 2, 1975

Today is Bob’s and my 36th anniversary and we are celebrating it in Tennessee in the Great Smokies.  It’s hotter here than it was at home in Orlando, but who cares!  We’re away together and so blessed.  This is us on our big day back in 1975, and it was very hot that day.  We were married in Camp Springs, Maryland, and the church did not have air conditioning.  It was so hot that my sister Chris, my matron of honor, passed out from the heat during pictures.  I even caught her.  So really, it’s fitting that we’re sweating here, too.  At least I don’t have to wear a wedding gown.

Speaking of my wedding gown, we didn’t really have much money when we got married so we never got it preserved.  If you got married in the 70s, have you ever noticed that we were all wearing the same gown?  Interesting.  Anyway, back to my gown.  My dad had a hardback suitcase complete with an American Airlines sticker on the side of it and he carefully wrapped my gown in plastic and put it inside.   Pretty much ever since, it has been resting in the top of my closet – until last summer.

Last summer my daughter planned a Princess Birthday Party for her daughter.  Ella was turning five and she and her sister, Mia, were pretty concerned that I was not going to be wearing a princess dress to the party.  I told them I would be like Cinderella before her transformation and wear an apron and clean up.  No, no, no – that wouldn’t do.  The only thing I had that was close was my wedding gown, which the girls thought was perfect.  We pulled the Samsonite down, opened it up, and about passed out from the noxious gas smell that escaped from it.  It was so bad that I wouldn’t let the girls in the room with it.  After much discussion it was decided that we would all hold our breath long enough for them to see the gown.  So there we were, cheeks puffed out and admiring the dress.  I ended up putting the gown, veil and suitcase out on the porch to air out, but after several days it didn’t.  The smell was so bad that being on the porch would make you a little queasy because of the gown.  We assumed that the old plastic broke down and released those horrible fumes.

For years I had wondered what would become of my gown.  I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it.  It just seemed wrong somehow.  So, just in time for our 35th anniversary, I had no choice but to throw my beautiful wedding dress and that old suitcase away (hoping that the garbage men wouldn’t be harmed in the process).  Blessings come in different ways.  I really believe that God used those circumstances to help me throw away my gown and be just fine with it.  My wedding memories are preserved with photos and more importantly my marriage to Bob is amazing, so who needs a smelly old wedding gown?



  1. Happy Anniversary Bonnie! Yep, I was married 36 years ago (almost) and my dress, well, it looked pretty close to your dress……’puffed sleeves’ and all.

    Hope you have a wonderful anniversary trip.

    • Thanks, Ann. We’re having a great time up here, and the time with you at the beginning was wonderful. Thanks for your wonderful hospitality and your friendship. Love you guys.

  2. Happy anniversary you guys! I don’t remember much from the wedding except the heat & I thought you were beautiful. Keep enjoying each other. Love you!

    • Thanks, Linda. Yes the heat that day was horrible and just about everyone who was there comments on it. Love you!

  3. Happy Anniversary – hope your trip is safe and filled with joy-filled experiences. (despite the heat)

    I wonder, if we did a poll of brides married more than 10 years, what they’d all say they did with their wedding gowns…

    (I’ve used one lady’s gown fabric to sew a Baptism gown for her infant.)

    My dress is in a bag in the attic with the HUGE crinoline. I keep lugging it from one house to another. I can’t get rid of it, and I SURE can’t fit into it again! lol

    Safe travels – make more happy memories!

    • Thanks, Lori. We are having a wonderful time away together. I have to resist the temptation to see the end of our trip hurling towards me and keep enjoying “today.” We had what is likely the most unique anniversary day celebration yet. We spent the day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Just a fantastic day. The parks are a favorite of ours and we hope to someday visit all of them.

  4. Congratulations on your inspiring accomplishment!!!

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