Friday, September 14, 2012

Photo Friday: Sonny and Diane Get Hitched Edition

Good morning! IT'S FRIDAY. I thought this day would never come. The Doris and Ray photo archive offers up a look at Sonny's 1970 Michigan wedding to the same Diane we saw in the "Every Dog Should Be Named Ralph" post. And I have to say, looking at the cover, we are already off to a good start. Big-eyed Goji girl wandering minstrel in pigtails? Sure! Why not? Doris has pencilled in at the top of the album "Sonny & Diane 5/9/70":

 I think my scanning skills are deteriorating! This album folded out in a weird way and it seems like 90% of the pictures I scanned ended up crooked. Ah well. I think you can get the general gist of it. Click any picture for a larger version of the scan. Because of the weird width of these, Blogger made them oddly small.

Here we have the rehearsal dinner at a place called the Red Vest-- if you look closely at the placemats in the photos, you can see the little logo.Note the GORGEOUS pinch pleat drapes (perfect for my living room, which is just a shade darker than the wall color here) and the pretty floral arrangements Ruth and Doris are laying out at the bride and groom's table. I was thinking it might be the reception, but based on the clothes, I'm pretty sure this is a day before the ceremony.

Below, on the left, is Diane with the rest of her family, looking comparatively tiny. How do you like her sherbet-striped dress? The guy to her right is sporting not only a strange haircut, a ghost of a mustache, and a double breasted suit jacket, all the way buttoned, but thinly checked pants. It's the details, folks. To the right, Diane's dad sits next to her, she next to Sonny, and Sonny next to Doris. Can you believe Sonny's straight-from-the-Mod-Squad suit? I TRULY love it.

I was just thinking that, with comparatively few cousins and an engaged but unmarried sister, I've only been to one rehearsal dinner! It was at a Japanese steakhouse in Mt. Juliet, and I have to say for flair, you can't much beat the panache of a hibachi chef. A rehearsal dinner with a little (welcome, not crazy) drama! Do you see in the pictures that there are three whole rows of tables devoted to the wedding party? Instead of renting out the whole restaurant, or having a noisy party of thirty plopped down haphasardly in the middle of the dining floor, I'm thinking that is probably one of those special occasion rooms or banquet hall type situations you used to see in a lot of nice restaurants.

The happy event itself! As you can see from the invitation Doris saved at the bottom of this post, the wedding took place on May 9, 1970 at the Crestwood UMC in Muskegon, Michigan It's still there! After those heart-wrenching Historic Preservation Trust commercials that superimpose the 16mm footage of people's weddings/class pictures/ etc over "what's there now" (i.e. a gas station, a parking lot), I get worried! What was a Tennessee boy like Sonny doing all the way up north in Michigan? He joined the service at some point after high school, and from what I understand was stationed there in some capacity when he met Diane.

Now, here's a shocker...I had assumed Sonny's father, Harry Senior, had passed away sometime in the forties' or early fifties', as Doris was obviously a single woman in that time period (see the "Meet Sonny" post) leading up to her mid fifties' marriage to Ray. It didn't even OCCUR to me that they'd gotten divorced until I saw this "the new couple with the groom's family" photo in which Doris appears with an older, very fair-colored guy who looks A LOT LIKE SONNY. Jeepers! He lives! I guess they DID get divorced! Compare that guy with the guy in this picture and I'm almost a hundred percent sure they're the same guy. Wow!

In the photo to the right, the receiving line offers up a larger woman in a compilcated paisley pattern dress. It's amazing to me sometimes, when shopping at Goodwill, I stumble across these gorgeous, crazy, op-art looking dresses that are four times too big for me-- sometimes it seems like you were either a modern size two to four in the sixties' and before, or you were a modern size 24W, with NO SIZING IN BETWEEN. I either see stuff that's way too big (like this woman's garment) or way too small (like Diane's rehearsal dress in the first picture). What is the deal, sixties' people?

The bride's family (R) and the bridesmaids. Tell me what you think about the daisies-in-hair AND in bouquets situation going down here because I don't know how to feel about it. While bridesmaids dresses are kind of supposed to be ugly (and I don't care what modern brides say about letting their wedding party choose their own clothes, I demand matchy-matchy, horribly unflattering, monotoned bridal parties or nothing at all), were the cap sleeves really necessary? Maybe if the matching flowers-to-hairpieces had been a different shape? I just don't know.

You thought Ray might have skipped this family event based on the earlier photos, but no way! Here he shows up in a pair of photos with the new couple. Why does Sonny always look so "squished" in these photos? He has the weirdest camera face in spite of demonstrated handsomeness (see high school photos)!

Ah! I don't know what relation the chipmunk-bright little guy on the left is to the family, but GOSH isn't he cute? I can tell from the myriad of early to mid seventies' childhood photos of my cousin Jamie that seventies' little boys clothes aimed to make you look as much like a grown dandy as possible. This kid has on a newsboys cap in matching fabric to his blazer, for goodness sake!

Here's the altar and the newlyweds. Isn't the washed-outness of the Polaroid kind of adorable?

Fellow servicemen, the brother from the earlier picture (he of checked pants) and a guy in a midnight blue blazer, string tie, and sideburns that I would like to retroactively date. He looks like Rory Storm (Beatles-intimate, skiffle heartthrob) from the hair all the way down to the ensemble!!! Also catch that the little boy from earlier is now wearing a collarless nehru style jacket with short pants and black knee socks. I don't even know if that goes together, but I like it.

Now HERE'S the reception; seems like it's onsite at the church from the look of that room:

A kiss for Aunt Ruth, well dressed as usual in powder blue lace. Look at the square tiered cake! And more daisies. And a bit of cake eating from the couple. Ah, it was a pretty wedding, wasn't it?

The aforementioned invitations below. The Muskegon Women's Club still exists, too! Way to go, Michigan.

So what did you think? What's your favorite outfit from the assembled parties? Do you have any seventies' wedding memories that are particularly off-the-wall? Why can't I find more vintage clothes in the size 6-12 range? Where would you have a rehearsal dinner? Let's talk!

Have a great weekend! I'll see you guys on Monday.


  1. It's amazing the family secrets that are uncovered by looking at old photographs!

  2. I have a wedding story. I went to an outdoor wedding held in a local park. In the middle of the ceremony two chihuahuas had a gruesome fight. They were dressed in frills for the event and evidently were embarassed enough to bite. I noticed a debilitated looking gent in a wheelchair smoking a cigarette while WEARING OXYGEN!! I asked one of the guests, "Who is the old dude with the death wish?"
    He replied, "Which one?"
    The paternal AND maternal Grandfathers were BOTH in wheelchairs, smoking while wearing oxygen...during the the middle of a dogfight.



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