“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterwards.”
–Benjamin Franklin (1706-90)
This week our WPPB TBT celebrates weddings in June, while exploring why couples who consent to become 1, frequently kiss start their espousal in month number 6.
The Roman goddess Juno as protector of women in all aspects of life, but especially in marriage and childbearing, has inspired June weddings for millennia. Christine Schultz in THE OLD FARMER'S ALMANAC writes that "the idea of June weddings also comes from the ancient Celtic calendar. On the Cross-Quarter Day of Beltane, or May Day (May 1), young couples would pair off to court for 3 months and then be wed on the next Cross-Quarter Day (Lammas Day, August 1). Youths being impatient, the waiting period was shortened to mid-June, and the popularity of June weddings was ensured.”
Furthermore, multiple sources report that back in the day consummating the betrothal in June blended odorously with the annual bath. Having had their yearly washing in May, bride and groom...well the bride anyhow...still smelled reasonably fresh a month later. Nonetheless, as a precaution brides carried a bouquet of flowers to deflate their foul feminine scent, a walking down the aisle tradition which lingers fragrantly into the 21st century.
FYI Juno's theology is one of the most complex and disputed issues in Roman religion. In accordance with her central role as regal goddess of marriage, she is considered a vital force of energy, eternal youthfulness, and warlike fertility. Nowadays, the multiplicity and complexity of her personality have given rise to various and sometimes irreconcilable interpretations among modern husbands...I mean scholars.
June is still the most popular month to marry, followed by August, July, May, and September. My wife and I were married in September as were her parents. However, my mother and father - Dorothy Jean Halbach / Charles Henry Mackey - were lawfully wedded in Holy Matrimony 65 years ago this month; joined on June 16, 1951. And I was born exactly 9 months and 10 days later. Guess that makes me a honeymoon child.
Now here's a song Mom sung to Dad during their innocent times of courtship and post-war romance: The Andrews Sisters - Charley my boy