Wednesday, July 25, 2012

31-derful Years

Thirty-one years ago today, Jim and I stood at the front of the church we still attend, on a hot hot day, and promised to love, honor, and cherish, according to God's holy or- or- ordinance. Though we may have stumbled on a word or two in our sweat-dripping nervousness, we meant them then, and have tried to live by them for thirty-one years. We understand for better or for worse, and try to focus on the better as we walk through this life together.

In honor of the day, I thought I would borrow an idea from a blogger friend (thanks Joyce), and share a little bit about our wedding day.

After choosing our wedding date, one of the first things we did was book the  photographer. He had a studio in his home, and was the best around for weddings at that time. He is the same photographer that took each of our five kids' senior pictures many years later. I went to the studio prior to the wedding for a wedding portrait. This was done so that we would have a photo for the newspaper the week following the wedding. Photos had to be developed back then. It was important to my mother us that the newspaper account of the wedding be printed just days after the event. And it was. :)

As mentioned, the day was hot. The morning of the wedding was spent pool-side for the girls, while the guys played golf. This was to keep everyone out of the way entertained while they set up for the reception at my parents' home. The wedding was a candlelight ceremony, held at 6:30 p.m. We were married by a pastor friend who was the district superintendent for our denomination, and had lived across the street from us.

Our church has two aisles, so the bride enters on the left, and exits on the right. The aisle cloth was only placed on the left aisle, where the bride entered.

I don't see many of these hand photos of the rings anymore, but it was the tradition at that time. I remember seeing another couple in the jewelry store before our wedding, who was getting married the same day we were. Making conversation, the girl asked Jim what colors we were having for our wedding, and he nodded toward me and said, "Well, she's wearing white."

One of my sorority sisters sang, and another, the younger sister of one of my bridesmaids, played the flute. Vocal selections included Edelweiss, Whither Thou Goest, and With You from Pippen. A good friend from grade school through high school played piano and organ, and accompanied the flutist on All Good Gifts and Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. The bridesmaids entered to the Wedding Processional from The Sound of Music.

Of course, we did not see each other before the ceremony, so the pictures were done quickly afterwards so we could all get to the reception to greet our guests.

My maid of honor was my friend Ann, who I have known since nursery school. The bridesmaids were all college friends and sorority sisters. They wore dresses made by my grandmother (assisted by bridesmaid Dana, on the right). They carried hurricane lanterns with candles in them and flowers at the base. Jim's niece, Elizabeth, was the flower girl.

Jim's brother was his best man. Groomsmen included my two brothers and two of Jim's fraternity brothers. Jim's nephew Josh (brother of the flower girl) was the ring bearer. Jim's sister embroidered the ring pillow, and it was used again this past April at the wedding of our daughter Jennifer.

A traditional pose with our parents. Don't we all look young. :)

The reception was a buffet dinner held in the front yard of my parents' home for around 300 guests. We my mom worked for months to plan every detail. For instance, there is a train track across the road from their home. Several months prior to the wedding, there were box cars parked on the tracks, apparently being stored there. The box cars were not all that attractive, and would not add to the ambiance of the evening reception in the front yard. My mom made some phone calls to state government officials, and sure enough, by the day of the wedding, the box cars were gone.

You also might notice in the picture below, that our wedding cake was rather, um, short. There were originally two more layers in there, but due to a hot day, uneven ground under the table, and a gust of wind (or some combination), there was an unfortunate mishap causing the cake to fall. This all happened during setup, while we were still at the church. Thankfully, our caterers, who were experienced and resourceful, salvaged what was left of the bottom and top layers, and brought in sheet cakes to serve our guests.

We had a receiving line in the driveway, that went on for ever. My parents moved their piano to the driveway as well, and had a pianist playing throughout the evening. This is a picture of us with my parents and grandparents.

We left the church in a Cadillac belonging to Jim's aunt and uncle, heading straight for our life together as husband and wife. It's been 31 fun-filled years, and I look forward to at least 31 more. (The number 31 always reminds me of Baskin-Robbins. Maybe we should celebrate our 31st year of marriage with ice cream. All. Year. Long.) The traditional gift for the 31st anniversary is actually timepieces, but I think ice cream sounds so much better. I do need a new watch though....
And time marches on. One day you get married, and the next day you're celebrating your 31st wedding anniversary. What a blessing it has been to share life and love together.
Happy Anniversary, Jim. I love you!

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