My memories of our frugal wedding 27 March 1971.
I was a volunteer in India and my fiancé Håkan Enqvist was a young missionary in Thailand. Our romance began through correspondence on ordinary aerograms. After a short exchange of letters, his letters stopped coming for several weeks. When a letter finally arrived, the explanation was, he was without money. Not enough money even for a postage stamp. He and his Thai co-worker had survived on plain rice and fish sauce or rice and condensed milk. That situation was familiar from my childhood – and was the triggering factor for my decision to marry him.
When a Danish girl at the volunteer center heard about my plans to get married, she offered to make my dress. She was a seamstress. I found a beautiful white brocade material for a few dollars in Madras (Chennai). She created a lovely dress and refused to accept payment. She had been in a team sewing for the Danish Royal family!
I returned to Helsinki, Finland for a few months.
I needed shoes to match my dress. I had no income. Window-shopping led me to Stockmann, a large department store where there was a SALE sign. Almost empty shelves stared at me in the sales corner. Like a bright light, a pair of white satin shoes shone on one shelf. I tried them on. A perfect fit. The price – half a dollar!
My fiancé arrived from Thailand shortly before the wedding. We went to a jeweler store to buy a ring. They refused to accept any money when they realized we would be working in Thailand.
An unknown lady in my bridegroom’s hometown heard about the wedding plans. She wanted to make a gift for the bride. She was a skillful lace maker and produced a crown worthy of a princess.
The ladies of my fiancé’s home church made all the arrangements for the wedding.
The only expense for my bridegroom was a beautiful bouquet of scarlet roses with sprigs of lily-of-the-valley.
A heavenly budgeted life
Our”unbudgeted wedding” led to a “heavenly budgeted life”. We never could boast of riches, but were able to make life rich for numerous children.
Bethany 40th Anniversary
2 Corinthians 6:9-11 ...as unknown and well known, as dying—and look, we are alive! ... as going through pain but always happy, as poor but making many rich, and as having nothing but owning everything.