Still a Bride (July, 2005)

It was 25 years later but she felt like a bride once again. Was it really a quarter of a century ago that she got married? A quarter of a century. That sounded so ancient, like it was eons ago, yet she still felt so young and vibrant.

It was June 2005. She was once again aboard the Queen Mary permanently docked in Long Beach, California. Family and friends had traveled across the United States to celebrate this significant anniversary milestone. The cocktail and hors d’oeuvres hour had concluded and now the guests were gathered in the Royal Salon ballroom awaiting the Grand Entrance of her and her husband before the luncheon would begin.

Outside the closed doors awaiting their cue, she looked lovingly at her partner. Twenty-five years earlier they had their wedding reception aboard the Queen Mary. It seemed only fitting to mark their Silver Anniversary back on board this majestic liner.


he voice of the Master of Ceremonies could be heard through the closed doors announcing the start of the video. Good. That meant she had five more minutes to calm her nerves.

The video, an accumulation of photographs her brother had taken of her wedding ceremony and reception as his gift to her. What memories they brought back of that day. She had fallen in love with a divorced man with five children. One by one she was winning them over but she wasn’t there yet. The future still was to be written in their coming together as a family.

Family. They had done it. She still wasn’t quite too sure how. Maybe it was because she never asked to replace their own mom in their hearts; she just wanted to know if they had room in their hearts to add one more person to love. They did. That love was cemented a few years later when she helped take care of their dying mother. She never quite understood why people expressed surprise by her actions. Love is reflected in love.

From other’s horror stories that she had heard, she realized again that she was lucky. Or maybe she had just done some things right throughout the years. The children now were adults with children of their own. Her eldest granddaughter’s middle name was even named after her. She was a grandma and loving every moment of it, even if she did tease that she was too young to be sleeping with a grandpa.

Gazing at her husband, she realized she had him to thank for enriching her life. It was an unusual fabric of threads that had been woven together but oh, how she loved the pattern. She had never really known what love was about until him. “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” didn’t even begin to encompass what their marriage was about. It went deeper than that, a sense of connection that they were meant to be.

The video was ending. In another few minutes the doors would be opened, heralding their entrance. She would take her husband’s arm and walk in to a standing ovation. After pausing to acknowledge their guest’s cheers, the band would play “Through the Years”. Her Prince Charming will lead her to the dance floor and begin the series of dance steps they both knew so well together. Synchronized, in harmony, like their marriage and commitment to each other and their family.

Twenty-five years … and counting. Happily-for-ever-afters do exist. I should know. I’m the publisher of and I’m still that bride of so many long years ago.

Wedding Anniversary Gifts (July, 2005)

Anniversary parties may be given in honor of any anniversary, but the first, fifth, tenth, twenty-fifth and fiftieth are those most generally celebrated. The parties given for the first three are usually informal, not distinguishable from any other reception except that there would be toasts to the couple, and close friends would bring gifts. The twenty-fifth and fiftieth anniversaries, however, are given much more importance, and certain customs may be followed.

When gifts are given they need not necessarily be of the traditional material allotted to each anniversary. But many people feel that it is more meaningful if they are. The list that follows had been modified to include modern materials in addition to the traditional.

Year Traditional Modern
First Paper Clocks
Second Cotton China
Third Leather Crystal/Glass
Fourth Fruit/Flowers Appliances
Fifth Wood Silverware
Sixth Candy/Iron Wood
Seventh Wool/Copper Desk Sets
Eighth Bronze/Pottery Linens/Lace
Ninth Pottery/Willow Leather
Tenth Tin/Aluminum Diamond Jewelry
Eleventh Steel Fashion Jewelry
Twelfth Silk/Linen Pearls
Thirteenth Lace Textiles/Furs
Fourteenth Ivory Gold Jewelry
Fifteenth Crystal Watches
Twentieth China Platinum
Twenty-fifth Silver Silver
Thirtieth Pearl Diamond
Thirty-fifth Coral Jade
Fortieth Ruby Ruby
Forty-fifth Sapphire Sapphire
Fiftieth Gold Gold
Fifty-Fifth Emerald Emerald
Sixtieth Diamond Diamond