PaperCity Magazine

June 2014 - Houston

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 36 of 47

Trip Down the Aisle: August 26, 1972 In Yvonne's Words At First Sight: My cousin introduced me to Rufus Cormier on the first day of high school. By my sophomore year, we had classes together and became the best of friends. Later that year, he gave me a promise ring, and I knew then that we would be together always. I am an only child, and my Dad questioned my wisdom when I informed him of my plan to follow Rufus to SMU. His response was: "If he went to Timbuktu, would you go there?" I said, "Sure, if they had a good biology department." Courtship: Rufus had great plans for SMU to win the Southwest Conference Championship so that he could take the diamond from the football championship ring and use it for an engagement ring. Well, he won the MVP for the Bluebonnet Bowl, but the conference championship did not happen. When Rufus was accepted to Yale Law School, my Dad jokingly asked, "What are you going to do now, because you do not have a ring or a proposal." I told my Dad that I know the commitment was there, but he just needed to save up for a ring so I was going to school in the East Coast to attend Brown University, just down the road from Yale. Dress Shopping with André Leon Talley: We got engaged the spring of Rufus' second year in law school, and I was able to continue my studies at Yale University. Over spring break, I went to Paris with my childhood friend Janis Mayes and André Talley, who were also students at Brown. Even back in the '70s, André was giving us directions as to what to wear on the plane so that when we arrived in Paris, we would get the nod of approval. While in Paris I started to think about what kind of wedding dress I wanted; I was determined to find something there, because I would be in school all summer, and the wedding was planned for the end of August. Of course, André had a plan to design the dress and buy the fabric in Paris, which turned out to be French eyelet, and we did. My mother arranged for her dressmaker to make it. André also picked out my going-away suit, a Courrèges design that we found on the Right Bank. My hair at the time was straight out of the musical Hair, and I had no plans to straighten it for one day. Once back at school, André and I planned a trip to Boston in search of the perfect veil that would fit over all that hair, and we found it. Wedding Day: We got married in Beaumont at the Catholic church I grew up in, and the reception was in the church hall. It was not a big fancy wedding like so many of the ones that I attend today. I remember almost racing down the aisle to get to Rufus, and I could feel my Dad's arm trying to slow me down. I think Rufus spent half an hour thinking about his outfit, a rented tux. To Love and to Cherish: All I remember about the food was a nice buffet. A family member saved a bottle of champagne from the wedding and gave it to us on our 25th anniversary. Inexpensive champagne does not age well. We had a good laugh about it. I registered for china for 12 (Autumn by Lenox) and sterling silver for 12 (La Scala by Gorham) at the White House, the fanciest store in town at the time. My parents gave me 50 plates (Mansfield by Lenox) and sterling silver for 24 from an antique pattern, the name of which no one in the family recalls because it is a mixture of patterns. I use my china and silver all the time … It seems that the trend now is not to register for fine china and silver because young brides think that they will never use it. My dad asked why I had all this stuff, because it's not about the plate but what you put on it. Of course, we disagreed and laughed. One funny gift that I thought I would never use is 50 mint julep cups, but they are great for serving anything from soda to iced tea for parties. Oh, yeah, I still have that promise ring! TRIP DOWN THE AISLE: AUGUST 6, 1983 In Phoebe's Words Southern Charm: PHOEBE & BOBBY TUDOR From High School to Ivy League: YVONNE & RUFUS CORMIER TRIP DOWN THE AISLE: JUNE 15, 1972 She Said, He Said Susie: Sanford and I met in the summer of love: 1967. My daddy, Captain Hope Strong, had command of the USS Shangri- La in Mayport, Florida, that summer, and the family joined him for those sunny months. One day, the commanding officer of the base and his wife invited us for dinner and to meet their nephew, Buddy (as he was known then) Criner, who was driving home from boarding school to Texas. After dinner, I told Mommy, "That was the cutest boy — I'm going to marry him." I was 15, but I was wise. Sanford: After that week, it was just letters and the occasional call as Susie spent her last high school year in Coronado, California. But when Susie went to college the following year in Virginia, her roommate was from Houston. So when she came here to visit, that was pretty much it. Two years later, she moved in with my parents — I think they loved her more than any of their children — and the next year, we were married. Susie: They weren't "just letters" — they were the poetry of love, and I still have them. Mommy planned the wedding at All Saints Church in Winter Park, Florida, where she and Daddy were married in 1943. I wore her dress — a heavy cream silk-satin number with drop waist and long sleeves. Sanford's godfather, Andre Farish, was his best man, and I had one girlfriend stand up with me. Other than our immediate families, the guests were all friends of my parents. Sanford: We had never seen them before in our lives. We showed up when we were told, said what we were told and assumed that's the way weddings worked. The reception was at the Maison et Jardin (which the locals called the Mason Jar) — no band; the sort of food you would expect. Susie: As each guest came through the receiving line, Mommy would whisper, "They gave you the nice Couroc tray" or whatever. Daddy arranged for the honeymoon suite (at the airport, to ease an early departure to London the next day). Can it really be 42 years? An Officer's Daughter and a Gentleman: SUSIE & SANFORD CRINER "OF COURSE, ANDRÉ [LEON TALLEY] HAD A PLAN TO DESIGN THE DRESS AND BUY THE FABRIC IN PARIS, AND WE DID." — YVONNE CORMIER "RUFUS HAD GREAT PLANS FOR SMU TO WIN THE SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP SO THAT HE COULD TAKE THE DIAMOND FROM THE CHAMPIONSHIP RING AND USE IT FOR AN ENGAGEMENT RING." — YVONNE CORMIER "HIS MOTHER CLAIMS SHE HAD ALWAYS HAD HER EYE ON ME FOR HER SON BOBBY, SO MAYBE IT WAS SORT OF AN ARRANGED WEDDING. I JUST DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT AT THE TIME." — PHOEBE TUDOR "AFTER DINNER, I TOLD MOMMY, 'THAT WAS THE CUTEST BOY — I'M GOING TO MARRY HIM.' I WAS 15, BUT I WAS WISE." —SUSIE CRINER SKIPWORTH, INC. CHRISTOPHER STUDIO At First Blush: I was 16, and he was 17. We are from neighboring towns in Central Louisiana, and our families had been friends for years, so I had known about him since childhood. He came from a family of five, and he and one of his brothers were well-known for their basketball skills. I had been in kindergarten with his brother — but since he is an older man, he was in first grade. We got reacquainted while listening to our parents play in a chamber music performance. His mother is a violinist, and my father, a surgeon, played cello in his free time. His mother claims she had always had her eye on me for her son Bobby, so maybe it was sort of an arranged wedding. I just didn't know anything about that at the time. Courtship: After our first date (to his homecoming dance his senior year in high school), my sister remembers me saying I was going to marry him. I never really wavered from that, although we had to get through five hard years of a long- distance romance while he was at college at Rice and I was at University of Virginia, followed by a year when he played pro basketball in Austria. Proposal: We got engaged at the Jockey Club in Washington, D.C., in April of my senior year of college. I still have the dress I wore that night hanging in the attic. Wedding Whirl: We were married in our hometown in a huge traditional wedding, three months after I graduated from college. I was 22, and Bobby was 23. We each had 12 attendants, and there were over 500 guests. That's what happens when you are from the same small Southern town and your parents know everyone. We didn't care; we had a great time. My sister was my maid of honor, and his father was his best man. All the bridesmaids stayed at the plantation home of my parent's friends for almost a week of pre-wedding events and parties. Bridal Buzz: I wore the veil that my mother had worn, and my sister wore it as well. Hopefully our daughters will want to wear it when they get married. My dress had a drop waist and puffy sleeves, undoubtedly influenced by Princess Diana's wedding dress from two years earlier. Our reception was held in the historic Hotel Bentley in Alexandria, a beautiful building that had been renovated by my father-in-law, the third-generation owner of Tudor Construction Company, just in time for the ceremony. The paint was barely dry. Our first dance was to "Days of Wine and Roses." We spent our honeymoon at Caneel Bay in the Virgin Islands. I will always remember at our wedding when Bobby the basketball player threw my garter — it got caught in a chandelier! Everyone died laughing. Rufus slips the garter from Yvonne's leg. We can't help but notice the platforms. Phoebe and Bobby on the threshold of St. James Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Louisiana Susie and Sanford — the new Mr. & Mrs. Criner CHRISTOPHER STUDIO Yvonne in her wedding portrait

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - June 2014 - Houston