Archives for posts with tag: weddings

Wedding Dress Shopping on Mother’s Day 2022
by Sarah Dickenson Snyder

Under the light and the murmuring words
of a kind woman helping her
behind the curtains, I hear, Are you ready
to show your mother? Am I ready
for this brave child of mine
to walk out, to walk away,
how she’d never look back
as she ran off to preschool,
those blonde curls bouncing
off her small back, all those bones
wrapped and perfect in her skin.
She emerges from the parted curtains
her shoulders like sculpture
the shoulders that eased out of me
her blue eyes open through the muck
and blood of us. Now she smiles,
our eyes tethered
by some remembered chord.
When she walks, a waterfall
of dress follows her.
I’m about to pass out
by her beauty—
that first real contraction
when I had to hold onto a railing
before we slipped into a new world.

PAINTING: Bride with a Fan by Marc Chagall (1911).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This was perhaps the best Mothers’ Day imaginable.


Sarah Dickenson Snyder lives in Vermont, carves in stone, and rides her bike. Travel opens her eyes. She has three poetry collections, The Human Contract (2017), Notes from a Nomad (nominated for the Massachusetts Book Awards 2018), and With a Polaroid Camera (2019) with another book forthcoming in 2023. Poems have been nominated for Best of Net and a Pushcart Prize. Recent work is in Rattle, Lily Poetry Review, and RHINO. Visit her at

Hello Yellow
by Virginia Lowe

No yards of tulle
No orange blossom
No tiara woven of flowers

No floor-length gown
No satin no lace
No train or bearer

Not ivory or white
though silk it was
Sunny yellow

An impossibly wide
floppy straw hat
in yellow
No coy veil

A non-princess dress
On a day far too important
for playing dress-ups
Symbolising practicality
Portending happiness and contentment
for forty-seven years
with a beautiful partner

PHOTO: The author and her husband on their wedding day.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr Virginia Lowe has had poems published in seven paper anthologies, several journals and Australian Children’s Poetry, Write Now Magazine and Silver Birch Press. She has just completed her poetic biography A Myopic’s Vision, with one poem per year of her life. She has been the proprietor of a manuscript assessment service, for twenty years.

Last-Minute Bridal Veil
by Virginia Chase Sutton

Ordering flowers for my six bridesmaids, different colored
blossoms for each attendant wired on combs, I choose
a wreath for myself, white and peach roses like my bouquet.

Not a hippie wedding–I will wear a long white gown with
illusion sleeves, roses embroidered along the top, the bridesmaids
an array of color. Even clusters of blooms on the wedding cake

are piped cascades matching the women’s dresses. But
when the florist’s big boxes appear on my wedding morning,
the wreath is instead a wired circle of flowers. An error, fit

only for a young baby instead of my noggin. A headpiece
is required for church and a pinned on handkerchief will not
do. Please let me wear your bridal veil I beg my recently

divorced sister, her gown along with Juliet cap and veil trussed
in a huge blue box in the attic, preserved souvenir from her own
wedding two years before. Finally she agrees and I don

flowing layers, but not before first cutting away the blusher
with my shears. Now open, the box loses any charm and
my sister drags it into the trash. I am sad, not the edgy bride

I envisioned, but just a woman in white, topped with a Q-tip.
Ordinary, like every single bride in magazines I’ve been
reading for months. I want to be different but am forced

to settle for immediacy. At the church, I take my father’s
arm, march down the aisle; sashay back with my new husband.
What’s happened to your flowers he asks breathlessly

as we climb into the waiting car. My brand new brother-in-law
guns the engine and we take off for the wedding reception
a dozen miles away. Once at full speed I slide open the car’s

window, rip the bridal veil, which is not my own, and is not
really a gift, from my skull. Waving it in the sunny August
afternoon, it is like a puff of cotton candy, or the biggest

gone-to-seed damn dandelion ever. I hold it with two fingers
enjoying the breeze then let the wind rip it from me–the
expensive Juliet hat with attached tulle vanish. My

brown hair, styled this morning, churns in the breeze as I
power up the window, my new husband aghast at my solution.
It’s a crown of flowers or nothing I explain and finally he nods,

unconvinced. Let’s go back and find the bridal veil he says. Keep
going I shout to the front seat and we do, my bare head the only
solution to the heart-breaking loss of my unwearable wreath.

PHOTO: The author on her wedding day in her last-minute bridal veil.


Virginia Chase Sutton
’s third book of poems,Of a Transient Nature, was just published by Knut House Press. Her second book,What Brings You to Del Amo, won the Morse Poetry Prize and was published by Northeastern / University Press of New England. Her first book was Embellishments (Chatoyant). Her poems have won the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry at Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in the Paris Review, Ploughshares, Comstock Review, Quarterly West, among many other magazines, journals, and anthologies.Nominated six times for a Pushcart Prize, she holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has been a resident many times at the Ragdale Foundation and once at Vermont Studio Center. She lives in Tempe, Arizona, with her husband.

Hindu wedding ritual in india
The Reminder Ritual
by Prerna Bakshi

Twenty-one bangles on each arm,
red and white in color,
to be worn for at least a month,
usually a year – a signifier
of a newly-wed bride.

Given by the bride’s maternal uncle and aunt
on the choora ceremony, just before her wedding,
one by one the women in her family
would slide those bangles
onto her fragile wrists.

From this point on, she has to wear them, and
get used to their weight,
until such day when they could
finally be removed,
by her husband.

My husband never
had to remove those for me.
The Australian Customs official did that job,
when she said in a loud, stern voice:
Take those things off! Put them down here!

As I took those off one by one,
saw them going through the screening machine.
The last time they made their jingling sound.
Australia will never
hear them jingling again.

All good migrants
need a reminder, and so did I.
They all have to go through
the national initiation ritual.
The reminder ritual.

This is not your country anymore.
This is Australia,
the lady officer reminded me.
It was then when I truly knew,
I had arrived.

SOURCE: First published in Peril Magazine: Asian-Australian Arts & Culture.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Writing this wasn’t easy. It took me almost a decade to write about this experience.

PHOTO: “Wedding, India” by Prashant Zl, used by permission.

Brisbane - Prerna Bakshi1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Pushcart Prize nominee, Prerna Bakshi is a writer, poet, and activist of Indian origin, currently based in Macao. She is the author of the recently released full-length poetry collection, Burnt Rotis, With Love, long-listed for the 2015 Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in the UK. Her work has been published widely, most recently in The Ofi Press MagazineRed Wedge Magazine, Off the Coast, TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism, and Peril magazine: Asian-Australian Arts & Culture, as well as anthologized in several collections. Find out more at

AUTHOR PHOTO: The author in Brisbane, Australia.

Sturbridge, Massachusetts
by Joanne Corey

people envision honeymoons
in romantic cities
tropical islands
             Niagara Falls

we chose an 1830’s living-history museum
             village green with church and general store
             blacksmith, cobbler, potter
             draft horses pulling a hay wagon through a covered bridge
             water-powered sawmill, grist mill, carding mill
             pastures, fields, barns
             farmhouse kitchen with creamery attached

perfect for a pair of New England history buffs
with limited time and budget
on their first-ever vacation together

PHOTOGRAPH: The bride and groom cutting the cake, shortly before leaving for Sturbridge Smith College Alumnae House, Northampton, Massachusetts (June 1982).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanne Corey lives and writes in Vestal, New York, where she is active with the Binghamton Poetry Project. Her 2015 publications include the spring 2015 anthology of the Binghamton Poetry Project, Candles of Hope anthology (GWL Publishing, U.K.), the “All About My Name” poetry series from Silver Birch Press, and Wilderness House Literary Review fall quarterly. She invites you to visit her eclectic blog at

by James Tate

She was in terrible pain the whole day,
as she had been for months: a slipped disc,
and there is nothing more painful. She

herself was a nurse’s aide, also a poet
just beginning to make a name for her
nom de plume. As with most things in life,

it happened when she was changing channels
on her television. The lucky man, on the other
hand, was smiling for the first time

in his life, and it was fake. He was
an aspiring philosopher of dubious potential,
very serious, but somehow lacking in

essential depth. He could have been
an adequate undertaker. It was not the first
time for either of them. It was a civil

service, with no music, few flowers.
Still, there was a slow and erratic tide
of champagne—corks shot clear into the trees.

And flashcubes, instant photos, some blurred
and some too revealing, cake slices that aren’t
what they were meant to be. The bride slept

through much of it, and never did we figure out
who was on whose team. I think the groom
meant it in the end when he said, “We never

thought anyone would come.” We were not the first
to arrive, nor the last to leave. Who knows,
it may all turn out for the best. And who

really cares about such special days, they
are not what we live for.

SOURCE: “A Wedding” appears in James Tate‘s Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1991), available at

IMAGE: Actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on their (first) wedding day, March 15, 1964 (beware the ides of March).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Tate’s many poetry collections include The Ghost Soldiers (2008), Worshipful Company of Fletchers (1994, National Book Award winner), Selected Poems (1991, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the William Carlos Williams Award), Distance from Loved Ones (1990), Constant Defender (1983), Viper Jazz (1976), and The Oblivion Ha-Ha (1970). Tate’s honors include an Academy of American Poets chancellorship, a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry, the Wallace Stevens Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

by Jane Hirshfield

Today when persimmons ripen
Today when fox-kits come out of their den into snow
Today when the spotted egg releases its wren song
Today when the maple sets down its red leaves
Today when windows keep their promise to open
Today when fire keeps its promise to warm
Today when someone you love has died
or someone you never met has died
Today when someone you love has been born
or someone you will not meet has been born
Today when rain leaps to the waiting of roots in their dryness
Today when starlight bends to the roofs of the hungry and tired
Today when someone sits long inside his last sorrow
Today when someone steps into the heat of her first embrace
Today, let this light bless you
With these friends let it bless you
With snow-scent and lavender bless you
Let the vow of this day keep itself wildly and wholly
Spoken and silent, surprise you inside your ears
Sleeping and waking, unfold itself inside your eyes
Let its fierceness and tenderness hold you
Let its vastness be undisguised in all your days

SOURCE: Tricycle magazine (2010)

IMAGE: Artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera on their wedding day (August 21, 1929).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jane Hirshfield is the author of several collections of verse, including Come, Thief (2011), After (2006), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, and Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), a finalist for the National Book Critics Award, among others. Hirshfield has also translated the work of early women poets in collections such as The Ink Dark Moon: Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan (1990) and Women in Praise of the Sacred: Forty-Three Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women (1994), available at