Cynthia Ruchti – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 3

Shannon here: Women’s fiction author, Cynthia Ruchti shares her wedding story plus a chance to win a copy of her latest release, When the Morning Glory Blooms. Comment on any post dated April 22 – 26 to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: May 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Cynthia:

Cynthia Ruchti wedding picCynthia Ruchti and husbandcynthia Ruchti cover

It was the 70s. What can I say? I thought bridesmaid dresses with green and blue flowers splashed all over them would be “far out, man.” With my husband-to-be still in college and me just finishing technical college, the budget for the wedding was so tight, it squeaked when we walked down the aisle. I made all the bridesmaids’ dresses, made my wedding dress, and made the flower girl’s dress. I made the flowery vines that twined around the support posts in the basement of the church where we had our reception. But I couldn’t make the weather behave. 

After planning this wedding for YEARS (I was all of 20, but my dreams had been hard at work since grade school), I could point to the spot in my file folder where it talked about what to do six months ahead, six weeks ahead of the wedding, six days, six hours, six minutes… And I followed the plan faithfully. 

Along the way, I got used to the idea of trimming down my hopelessly romantic dreams—number of guests slashed in half (not the guests, the list), choice of flowers changed from roses to daisies (still not fond of daisies today), a modest honeymoon rather than an extravagant one (see other blog post), cake and punch rather than a full meal, which meant not a candlelight evening wedding but a 1:30 in the afternoon wedding so everyone would have eaten lunch first and not expected more than cake, ice cream, and mints. 

It was the 70s. What can I say? 

I wore my hair pulled back, which my roommate from college still reminds me was a mistake with a forehead that big. I had tight tendrils in front of my ears. (It was the 70s.) Long, elegant sleeves. High, ruffled collar. And did I mention it was an August wedding? 

It was the 70s. At six in the morning on my wedding day, it was in the mid-70s. My romantic self thought that was perfect, if it just stayed that way. But the temp continued to rise and the humidity raced to catch up. By the time the first notes of “The Wedding March” sounded, both humidity and temperature hovered around 100, in a 100-year-old church with no air conditioning. 

Big box fans rattled and rumbled through the ceremony, barely keeping enough air flowing to prevent heat stroke. My lovely tendrils in front of my ears hung as limp as abandoned reins on a horse bridle. My long sleeves and high neckline no longer seemed like an elegant idea. 

By the time we and our guests descended to the basement for the reception, we were looking for the coolness rather than the cake. But the cement floor in the basement was so humid with condensation, it was as slippery as an ice rink, which all the little old ladies in the church found a bit threatening, as did anyone in heels. 

My husband and I stayed at the reception as long as we could without passing out from the heat, or from the charley-horse that made his calf cramp up when it was time to kneel, then said our goodbyes and headed off in a ’67 Chevy for our honeymoon. One of the first things we did was stop at a drive-in for something to drink other than the super-sweet sherbet punch served at the reception. I opted for root beer. (It was the 70s.) Most of the root beer landed in my lap. 

The romantic dreams I had for that perfect day melted in the summer heat and humidity. 

When I see brides-to-be planning elaborate, budget-busting, elegant, pull-out-all-the-stops weddings, I shake my head just a little. Practically nothing went as planned on my wedding day. But we’re celebrating our 41st anniversary this August.

About Cynthia: Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction, speaking for women’s events and retreats, and writers’ events and retreats, from a history of 33 years as writer/producer of The Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast. She currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Her books have been honored through RT Reviewers’ Choice, Retailers’ Choice, Family Fiction Readers’ Choice, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and as a Carol Award finalist. Her recent release–When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press Fiction)–received a top ranking of 4.5 stars and a Top Pick. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin near their three children and five joy-producing grandchidren. You can connect with Cynthia at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com/http://www.cynthiaruchti.com/books/when-the-morning-glory-blooms, www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage, and www.twitter.com/cynthiaruchti.

About the book – When the Morning Glory Blooms: Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn’t know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy’s listening ear until the day she suspects Anna’s tall tales are not just idle ramblings. They’re Anna’s disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can’t resist tugging, Ivy records Anna’s memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman’s emotion-packed grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy’s answer buried in Anna’s past? And what connects them to Becky?

Becky, Ivy, Anna–three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth. 

Come back April 24th for Cynthia’s romantic interview!

21 Responses to “Cynthia Ruchti – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 3”

  • Did you notice the equal and opposite tilt of our heads? Bill in the wedding picture, me in the recent shot? We’ve become each other! 🙂

  • Beth K.Vogt says:

    Ah, Cynthia, I had to smile during this blog post … well, how could I not? I love your writing voice and then … you have to smile at all the ways the day went wrong. My photographer almost missed my wedding day. He wrote the date down wrong in his date book. Drove up to my house as we were leaving for the chapel. Forgot half his equipment. Lovely, that. I can laugh about it now — but only because I have perspective — and because he got some photos of my wedding day.

  • Becky Melby says:

    Beautiful story, Cynthia. And a lesson for anyone planning a “budget-busting” wedding today–things will still go wrong. On a reasonable budget, you’ll laugh about those things much sooner! I so often want to ask a young starry-eyed couple if they’re putting as much prayer and planning into the coming decades as they give to a single day.

  • Lori Lipsky says:

    I loved this wedding day story, Cynthia. So funny. I’m still chucking as I write. I do wonder when I hear young brides-to-be investing elaborate amounts of time, energy and money to plan the events of one day.

    We had the same sort of humid heat in a June church with no air conditioning. The weather had the decency to stay in the upper eighties, so we were more fortunate than you. My folks paid for pink and white roses, and we specified with fervor there were to be no carnations since my mother did not like them. On our wedding day, the florist set up the flowers in the church, on the pews…and they were all carnations.

  • Beth, Becky, Lori, thank you for sharing your stories, your insights, and your time. It was fun (we can laugh about it now) reliving some of these events. Our ushers that day wore pale blue dress shirts and slacks rather than tuxes. All the wedding photos with the ushers are distinct for the sweat rings. Bless their hearts.

  • Michelle Ule says:

    Where are parts two and three?

    My dress was like yours–high collar and sleeves in 1977, but it was October.

    My mother refused to make the wedding dress, but we made the bridesmaid’s dresses.

    Fun.

  • Hey Michelle,
    I blog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Cynthia is my guest all week, so 2 and 3 are coming up later in the week.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Michelle. Shannon does such a sweet job of creating a fascinating three-part blog visit pattern. Love all over the place, which fits her brand well and draws stories from the heart of her visiting authors!

  • angela chesnut says:

    would love to win,

  • Janet Estridge says:

    I too got married in the 70’s & we also had cake, nuts, punch, and mints.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Angela and Janet, thanks for checking in and for taking the time to read my wedding story. Memories! Like the cobwebbed corners of my mind…

  • Patty says:

    I think it’s a bit crazy what people spend on wedding these days! of course I’ve not had the opportunity to plan my own as of yet, so I might change my mind=)

  • Lori says:

    I am sorry your wedding did not go as planned Cynthia – I have never been involved in a wedding that ever went as planned. I have never been married, but I have thought long and dreamed of what my wedding day would be like. After going through some of my friends weddings as a bridesmaid and by sister’s wedding as her maid of honor and all the issues I have seen them go through and the stress of that one day from beginning to end, I do not care to go that direction. A day that is supposed to be a joyous, happy day, but is filled with a lot of stress and disappointments just does not sound like a day worth experiencing. I have decided if I do get married that a small ceremony with just my immediate family and his is more than enough people and the whole dress, flowers, music, etc. is not necessary in marrying someone. The main thing is standing before God committed to being together and working through each day that lies ahead and a dress, flowers, photographer, etc. is not going to make it better when I stand before God and commit my life to someone I love. I would probably want a reception for others to enjoy our union, but I really don’t need or want the stress that comes with marrying someone in the traditional sense. I have nothing against people who want it all, but this is just my opinion from my own experiences with weddings.

    This book sounds like a good one – I would enjoy reading it and thank you for the opportunity for a chance to win a copy.

    Blessings,
    Lori
    triplel(at)evertek(dot)net

  • Martha J. Sturm says:

    I was married in ’82. My dreams were for a small, intimate wedding in the chapel at our church. My husband had bigger dreams! We ended up with an evening wedding with 5 attendants, a meal in the church hall while we were getting pictures, and a dance at a different venue after that. Also, it was August in MO. Luckily we had air conditioning, but with my nerves, I still thought I might pass out. I felt sick for 2 days after the wedding just from the stress! We have been married 31 years. Hope I don’t have to think about getting married again:)

  • Patty, every one has their own mental picture of what that day would or should look like. My daughter had an elegant wedding, almost perfect, but it was still done as economically as possible, focusing on the important things, and spending money where it would have the largest impact, rather than on details that wouldn’t be remembered anyway.

    Lori, it sounds as if you have a good head on your shoulders!

    And Martha, I couldn’t help but chuckle over your story. Some wedding stress is inevitable, no matter what. But I’m glad to see you’ve been married 31 years!

  • KayM says:

    I loved the description of your wedding! I got married in the sixties. My, how weddings have changed! Congratulations on still being together. What a blessing and joy for you! Thank you for the opportunity to win When the Morning Glory Blooms.

  • shelia hall says:

    Your wedding sounded about like mine did!LOL! if it could go wrong it did but we got married but divorced 8 1/2 years later saddly!Great to see a marriage last!Thanks for the opportunity to win your book!

  • Pam K. says:

    Your story proves it isn’t the wedding that makes the marriage. I’m glad you are able to look back on your less than perfect wedding day with humor and that you and your husband are celebrating over 40 years together. I hope you have many more.
    Your book looks great; thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    Thanks to Shannon for featuring Cynthia this month. I like “meeting” more authors whose work I haven’t yet read.

  • Kay, it’s so good to know you understand! 🙂

    Sheila, I don’t know if you remarried or not, but my heart goes out to you. Your exclamation points tell me you found joy!

    Pam, I’d have to say that when our marriage is at its best, it’s when we’re seeing the humor in things. Thanks for noticing.

  • I loved it. This was so interesting. I’m sorry so much went wrong, but it didn’t shut out the love that was there. And, you seem to still be very much in love, what with celebrating your 41st Anniversary soon. By the way. Happy Anniversary a little early, and may GOD continue to bless you. I love the cover on this book. I would love to win it. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  • Thank you, Maxie. I love the cover, too. And I’m excited for readers to get it into their hands.

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