Of double weddings and lots o’ kids


One of the coolest parts of my job is the chance to interact with readers. Writing a newspaper column for three-plus years, I’ve gotten my share of interesting “fan mail.” For the most part, I’m lucky; when folks drop me a line, it’s not generally to tell me I suck. (Though that does happen.) The emails, letters and phone calls are heartwarming — especially the one above.

Since Spencer and I announced our engagement, a few questions spring from the lips of nearly everyone I see:

When are you getting married?
Have you chosen a dress?
Do you have a venue?
Are you going on a diet?

(Yep: all real, repeatedly asked questions. Including the weight issue — but that’s a separate post.)

Once we go over the basics, I invariably add that I’m not the only one recently betrothed; my sister’s fiance proposed on the same day. Most express surprise and even chuckle when I add that we’re both planning weddings for the fall of 2013, and then another question bursts forth:

Are you having a double wedding?

Never in my life have I even considered the idea of a double wedding. Though I love my sister dearly, everyone agrees we want our own day. I’m her maid of honor, and she will be my matron of honor; everything else aside, I wouldn’t want to take away from that. Kate and I actually are planning to have a double bridal shower, but that’s totally different from a double wedding. I mean: that’s insanity. Total insanity. Right?

Not for everyone, apparently. I wrote about the double-wedding issue in a recent column, and the letter and photo at top arrived from a reader who told the story of the wedding she shared with her younger sister in 1954. One of five girls, Betty’s father was all too glad to marry two of his lovely daughters off at once.

When I opened the letter, I literally gasped. How gorgeous and classic are those lovely brides? (And don’t worry: the photo is a copy!) I’ve always loved poring through old family albums, and the ladies’ vintage looks are stunning. I think the double cake toppers are adorable, too, and was so touched Betty took the time to send me her story. I showed it to everyone.

Married as 22- and 21-year-olds, Betty and her sister went on to have 17 (!!!) kids between them — and have enjoyed long, happy marriages. She kindly wished that for all of us.

Um, hopefully not the 17 kids part, though.

19 thoughts on “Of double weddings and lots o’ kids

  1. Thats an amazing story about the double wedding, and a lovely photograph to go with it. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Whether you have it singly, or with your sister I am sure you will have a day to treasure. As to the 17 kids. Between you and your sister I am sure you can beat that numnber Ha Ha Ha. Mid you, as the father of three girls, one of whom is getting married this year ( yippee), perhaps 3 is more than enough.


  2. It’s definitely an interesting concept, I guess depending on how close you are to the other people! It must be a problem for guests though, coming up with double the cost for presents!


  3. OMG 17 kids. OMG. I can’t even get my head around that. My two are enough. Although I guess if you have 8 kids or whatever, you would stress less over the specific things and just fly by the seat of your pants. I think double weddings are cool, but I agree you really want your own day.


  4. A lovely story but yes, 17 kids, whoa! Besides the dieting question (I can’t believe people would ask that!) it sounds as though there’s a lot of interest in your wedding to make it all the more an amazing experience.


  5. Wow, can you imagine the chaos of a double wedding? 17 kids between them? Wow! I don’t get the whole dieting before your wedding thing. I think you should be yourself for your wedding and not try to project a different image. Isn’t planning a wedding stressful enough?


  6. Congrats on your upcoming nuptials! I am under 100 days away from my own wedding in April and it is starting to get a bit chaotic so I can’t imagine that x2 for a double wedding! I think your idea for a double shower is fantastic. Wish you the best!

    PS- love the vintage photo 🙂 They look so happy!


  7. That’s amazing. How beautiful that she shared her story with you. I hadn’t realized you and your sister were engaged on the very same day! I love that. But you all deserve to celebrate your love on separate occasions : ) It is amazing the questions people will ask you about engagements, marriage, children…often presumptuous and rude. I chose to learn from the (sometimes hurtful) questions, mainly not to make any of my own assumptions about others when it comes to these life events.


  8. First off, holy cow, that’s a lot of kids!

    Second, I also didn’t realize that you and your sister were engaged on the same day. How cool is that!

    Third, I don’t know what it is about weddings or engagements but people start asking you really intimate questions. It’s almost like there are no boundaries! It gets really annoying.


  9. Wow- such a cool story. I couldn’t imagine having a double wedding, but it’s a cool concept. I would rather have my own day though…I like your idea of a double shower. That sounds fun. I would have liked that, because I always feel super awkward opening gifts up there with everyone staring at me…definitely not my thing. I am loving hearing more and more about your wedding. Keep the posts coming! 🙂


  10. I feel you on the shockingly bold questions people ask you when you’re engaged — we got all kinds, ranging from the benign to offensive (lots of folks who couldn’t stand ‘lesbian, marriage, wedding’ in the same sentence). The diet one makes me so enraged!

    I adore the picture you shared — double weddings are sweet in literature, or film, but in reality?! I can’t imagine. I love the idea of you and your sister doing a double bridal shower — sounds like sweet chaos! 😉


  11. How beautiful! It was wonderful of Betty to share her story with you. I, too, wish you all the luck in the world. The seventeen kids, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! Betty and her sisters must have been saints to cope with all of those little ones.


  12. I love that Betty wrote to you, and shared so much. Gorgeous photo, so classic. 17 children, bless their hearts, wow! I have twin girls, and I wouldn’t want them to have a double wedding either, each deserves her own special day. Such fun!


  13. Meg – I am a long follower of your blog and usually don’t comment. I have been meaning to for a while…..First, congratulations on your engagement. I have absolutely loved reading about it all. Second, I know you said that you were trying to blog too much about your wedding plans, but I want you to know….as a mother of 3 younger children, friends all married (and have been for years), nieces and nephews still in school, cousins all married….I have no weddings in the near future, so I am enjoying reading about your adventure. Third, this post is really cool. I can’t imagine sharing my wedding with one of my sisters (I must be too selfish) and 17 kids between them….holy, holy cow.

    Anyway, long over due, but love your blog and Congrats!

    Jill at Seaside Book Nook


  14. OMG I LOVE THIS!!! And I think I adore even more the fact that your readers take the time to send you little tidbits of their lives. What an amazing job to touch the lives of others and have their lives touch yours.

    A double wedding would be crazy but those brides are gorgeous!


  15. Such a sweet story! I can’t wait to hear more about your wedding planning. SO crazy that you and your sister got engaged on the same day. Now that’s a story I want to hear more about!


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