June 1, 1980 -- A Guest Post by Allison Johnson of PinkLouLou

Do y'all read our friend Allison's blog, PinkLouLou? It's your daily dose of over-the-top pink decor, pugs, big hair, and all things Carrie Underwood. Allison, a Lexington native and UK alumna, was kind enough to share this adorable story about her parents' wedding. Somehow, their story of what may be the worst wedding day ever seems unique and precious. Thank you so much for sharing this sweet story, Allison! -- HCW

June is often thought of as wedding month, and since we are in wedding season I thought I would share a tragic, but very very sweet story. This story is about my sweet parents, who just celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. (They dated 7 years before they got married, mom would kill me if I left that out!) Anyways… My mom was oldest of 5, and grew up very privileged with nannies, and housekeepers and the whole nine yards. She grew up in a beautiful home, but always felt just very different from her brothers and sisters. She was interested in music, and saving baby birds etc. (ha!) and not at all into the froo-froo-ness of a wedding. She didn't want a diamond engagement ring (pause.. Insert gasp here) she just wanted to be with my dad. Dad had a break in between Med-school and his residency and I quote, mom said "I think this might be a good time to get married." and that was it.

The wedding was planned for June 1 (I feel positive my Nana was involved in this!) My mom had insisted on making her own wedding dress (which was beautiful, might I add) and everyone came home to Pikeville, KY for the wedding weekend. Wedding was planned for Sunday, and that Friday evening before the wedding, their neighbors were having a dinner for the wedding party etc. My mom remembers not feeling well, and wanting to stay home and nap, but of course no one in there right mind was gonna let the Bride get away with that, ha. 

And then, it happened. Not sure exactly who discovered it, but my grandparents' house, that my mom and her siblings had grown up in, was on fire. There is still debate about the cause-I have heard many things over the years (you know how stories seem to change with time). Everyone ran next door and watched my grandparents' home burn to the ground. The city fire department would not come, as my grandparents' house was a few miles out of the city limits- so there was nothing to do but stand there, and watch all of their memories go up in smoke. My mom's wedding dress was inside. My Aunt Lucy was home from college, and all of her things were inside. All of the baby books, pictures, childhood memories that meant so much to my family- were inside. My mom's suitcase that she had excitedly packed for her honeymoon was inside. The family Boxer, Oscar, was inside. My mom tells me she remembers watching her brothers try and throw the iron pool chairs through the sliding glass doors to save the dog, but they wouldn’t break. The rest of that day, and the days to follow were a huge blur. My mom says she hardly remembers her wedding. The entire family had to go to Dawahares, who opened their doors especially for them early Saturday, to buy new clothes for the wedding, and my parents honeymoon. I know you are thinking, WHY in the world did they not postpone the wedding?? Well in all seriousness I think it is because my Nana was scared my parents would never actually get married if they did that, HA! ;) so they went on as scheduled. My parents left the next day for the Virgin Islands, and wouldn't you know the airlines LOST all of their luggage, so they had to go by brand new clothes all over again once on their honeymoon. Yep… serious. Icing on the cake right? 

This next little thing I have to share, is my favorite part of the story, and I know could only be orchestrated by God. While my parents were gone on their honeymoon, the rest of the family spent time going through the ashes of the house. Guess what they found. A small little box. The fuzz on the outside was all melted away, and the hinge had broken. It was the ring box holding my dad's wedding band that my mom had gotten for him. The ring was inside, untouched, and untarnished. Just sitting there perfectly. To this day this little charred box sits on my mom's dresser in her closet, with the ring inside. Is that not the sweetest thing you have ever heard?

Another sweet little tidbit? After my mom got home from her honeymoon, she re-made her wedding dress that she lost in the fire. My sissies and I all plan to wear this dress on our rehearsal dinner nights, just the way she made it. (we might have to add some fabric... we aren't exactly 95 pounds, HA) Isn't it just beautiful and timeless? 


 Not sure what possessed Aunt Liz and Cam to pose for a pic in front of the remains? 'Awkward family photo' for sure, right? ha ha 

Sweet parents :)

My teeny tiny adorable momma!

And last but not least, meet Imogene. I am pretty sure I got my poofin' skills from my g-ma. I mean look at that volume!


 I guess things worked out alright, because my parents have been together for 40, (married for 33) years, and have a wonderful marriage. They had us three girls, and I bet if you asked them, they would tell you that life has been pretty good. :) Some people have the perfect storybook wedding, and unfortunately don't make it. It really is about so much more than the "wedding." My parents had all they needed, and still do. Each other, and love. Love you mom and dad!