“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. “
There are so many things about June that seem to make it a perfect month for weddings. Maybe it’s the weather. It’s well 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.
School is usually finished for the year by the third week in June so it’s easier for families to travel and attend weddings at a distance.
Perhaps the popularity of weddings in the month of June goes back to Roman times since the month was named for ‘Juno’ who was 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.
It was a favoured month for many cultures and the 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 that dates 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 this 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 43 years ago on June 28th, 1969 and was my brother Tim’s wedding to the lovely and charming Marian.
It was June of ’69 and so would be another three weeks before Neil Armstrong would take those first ever steps on the moon. It was two months before the infamous show at Woodstock would draw 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 local theatres and drive- ins, 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 with’ 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 as the Montreal Canadiens brought home the Stanley Cup.
Although many things were happening around us in the summer of ’69, the event I remember the most was that special June wedding. I can still see the young bridesmaids, their pale yellow organza gowns flowing around them. The bouquets were overflowing with an abundance of fragrant roses, delicate lilies of the valley and bright white daisies. The day was warm and sunny in the little country church outside of Sudbury, when their union joined two families one whose roots stretched back for generations in Holland and the other’s origins steeped in the green pastoral landscapes of Ireland, Scotland and England.
It was a day to remember, a glorious June wedding, 43 years ago today.
Happy 43rd Anniversary Tim and Marian! May there be many more anniversaries to come!