Thirty-six years ago, I was nineteen and anticipating our wedding day. Our wedding cake was made and decorated by my mom. Early that morning, mom and I delivered the cake to the church along with finger sandwiches, mints and punch supplies. The kind with sherbert, ginger ale and pineapple juice.
The chapel of the church had been decorated by the florist, but I had no idea that I should have decorated the reception hall. We simply set the fold out chairs in a semi-circle along with a long table that held the cake and punch. We did put a white table cloth on it. We used the glass dishes provided by the church.
The wedding began at 2:00. My dad was dressed in his morning suit, and mom had sewn herself a floor length dress. As I gathered my dress, slip, and hat to take to the church to dress, I couldn’t find my wedding shoes. After a frantic search without results, I raced to the mall on the way to the church, to find a white pair that would work.
I once asked John what his morning was like on our wedding day. He said that he watched cartoons and lounged on the couch (in our new apartment), while he waited for time to go to the church. So typical of his personality.
My hair, I simply pulled up in a bun, under the hat. I think I put on mascara, but back then I never wore make-up. No thought to what my nails looked like, since I bit them. The photographer took pictures as we were dressing. My dad putting a penny in my shoe. My mom fixing my hat. The wedding party posing in various ways.
By today standards, my wedding was very simple. I knew my aunt was going to sing our song, Endless Love, and play the guitar. Along with the chapel, the church provided the lady playing the piano, and I left the music up to her. My bridal processional was the wedding march from the Sound of Music.
The doors opened and Dad and I began walking. I held my bouquet in my hands along with two roses. One for my mom as I walked up the aisle, and the other for my mom-to-be, as I came back down the aisle. I didn’t even realize that people didn’t stand up for my processional until I saw the pictures. Someone forgot to indicate for them to stand. It really didn’t matter. My eyes were focused on John.
We repeated the traditional vows, exchanged rings and lit a unity candle. As we walked down the aisle as man and wife, all we could do was laugh. I remember standing outside those chapel doors, hugging and giggling.
We waited for the guests to be excused to the reception hall and we went back in the chapel to take wedding pictures.
After the pictures, we had a receiving line, cut the cake, visited, threw the garter and bouquet. At that time, we had an alternate to throw, so I could keep mine. It was made out of silk flowers. (laughing)
I remember the little details… Lauging as we took family pictures. Not enough glass dishes, so our sweet friends washed and dried them for us to reuse. Those music notes on the wall in the reception hall. John’s dad filming with his eight mm silent camera. Being surprised and happy that there was money in those wedding cards. Our faces reflecting our happiness.
We left the church, being pelted by rice and John helping me into the car before we set out to change at our apartment. Laughing, as we were honked at (a lot) because of our decorated car, all the way to Dallas for our honeymoon.
It’s been thirty-six years; twenty-five with John and eleven without him. The memory of our wedding day still makes me smile. We parted as we vowed; till death do up part. Separation is hard and painful.
It’s been nine years since I’ve worn my wedding rings. I keep them in a safe deposit box and whenever I have a need to go into it, I look at them. They don’t fit my fingers anymore. Somehow that seems appropriate since you’ve gone home.
Our marriage wasn’t perfect. It was real with all the ups and downs of living with another person. However, it was commitement from both of us to live, love, and accept each others’ best and worst. I’m so very happy that I had that kind of love.
Happy Anniversary, Babe… Miss you…