“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer,
the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months,
and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade. “
A scene from – June Bride – Starring Bette Davis
There are so many things about June that make it a perfect month for weddings. It’s past the rainy season, and not yet into the intense, scorching heat of July. June also seems like a hopeful time. Flowers are in bloom, the leaves are back on the trees in full force, and all of the signs of the past winter are long gone, and forgotten.
Judy Garland and Vincent Minnelli – June 15, 1945
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez June 19, 1949
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller – June 29, 1956
June’s popularity for weddings goes back to Roman times, since the month was named for ‘Juno’, the Roman goddess of marriage. The ancient legends promise that those who marry in Juno’s month will enjoy prosperity and happiness for years to come.
Anglo-Saxons had many names for June. One of the names was related to agriculture and the weather. They called it “Weyd-monath”, because the cattle were able to find good pastures for grazing.
Another more practical reason for marrying in June , dating back centuries, is that if a woman married in June she would likely have her first child in the spring, and be recovered from childbirth, and ready to help with the harvest in the fall.
In the days when regular personal hygiene was less popular, and just not practical, June signified the end of Lent, and the arrival of warm weather. This improvement in the weather meant that people could shed their heavy winter clothing, and indulge in the annual bath. This made June a popular month for romance, and of course weddings.
June weddings are as popular with the current generation as they were centuries ago, and we’ve likely all attended a few in our lifetimes.
One of the ones I remember best took place 48 years ago on June 28th, 1969, and was my brother Tim’s wedding, to the lovely and charming Marian.
It was a unique time in our history. It would be another three weeks before Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the moon.
It was two full months before a famous music festival at Woodstock drew half a million fans, to one of the most significant rock concerts of the century.
‘Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid’, and ‘Easy Rider’, played that summer at the Soper Theatre in Smiths Falls, and the Port Elmsley Drive-In, and Elvis Presley belted out ‘Suspicious Minds’ over the radio, sharing airtime with the The Archies’ song’ Sugar Sugar’. Sinatra recorded his signature song’ My Way’ that year and Marvin Gaye crooned his bluesy lament on the radio stations – ’ I Heard it Through the Grapevine’.
The summer of ’69 was a more innocent time, and shows like ‘Gunsmoke’ and ‘Bonanza’ were popular as well as ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In’ and ‘The Doris Day Show’. It was also a good year for Canadian Hockey, and we cheered that year as the Montreal Canadiens brought the Stanley Cup to Canada, defeating the St. Louis Blues.
Although many things were happening around us, in the summer of ’69, the event I remember the most, was that special June wedding. If I close my eyes I can still see the young bridesmaids, their pale yellow organza gowns flowing around them. The bouquets were overflowing with fragrant roses, delicate lilies of the valley, and bright white daisies.
The day was warm and sunny, in the little country church, when their union joined two families, one whose roots stretched back for generations in Holland, and the other’s steeped in the green pastoral landscapes of Ireland, Scotland and England.
It was a day to remember, a glorious June wedding, 48 years ago today.
Today, on their anniversary, I’m reminded that June is a beautiful month for a wedding……….
“Oh, they say when you marry in June you’re a bride all your life,
and the bridegroom who marries in June gets a sweet-heart for a wife.
Winter weddings can be gay like a Christmas holiday,
but the JUNE BRIDE hears the song of a spring, that lasts all summer long”
from the movie: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers