My parents were actually married in March 1936, but always celebrated the ceremony performed on February 22, 1938. Here’s how I found out, the story lifted from At Home Inside.
Mother kept the actual date of her marriage a secret for her entire life. As I was cleaning out the desk in her bedroom after her death, I found an envelope with foxing around the edges. It contained a piece of folded vellum that read “Certificate of Marriage.” “That in accordance with the Laws of the State of New York On [the] 13th day of March 1936 Mr. George David Petry and Miss Anna Houston Lane were by me united in Marriage at Mount Vernon, New York.” Below that statement were the signatures of the person officiating and of two witnesses but no seal.
“What’s this?” I asked my dad. He gave a peculiar half smile.
“That’s when we were married.”
“What about February 22, 1938?” I had already unearthed another booklet of vellum, “A Token of Our Wedding,” containing Bible verses and stating that the Reverend Herbert P. Woodin had united George D. Petry and Anna H. Lane in Holy Matrimony in Saybrook, Connecticut. And even without the “token,” I had vivid recollections of the date and all the details because Mother delighted in telling the story of what happened at their wedding.
That story involved various male members of the family crying during the ceremony. Daddy asked her if he’d done something wrong, and Mother said no. Her father and her uncle and a family friend were mourning the disappearance of starched shirts, hot and delicious turnovers and muffins and biscuits. They were leaving on a train to New York.
Every milestone in our family seems to have a story.
Happy Ceremonial Anniversary, Mother and Daddy.