My Life as Annie hosts Time Travel Tuesday in which we look back at some time in our lives in relation to the topic of the week. This week the topic is our wedding.
My husband and I were still in college when we got married. I had one semester left — only 3 classes actually needed to graduate (it took me five years to complete a four year course ) and he had two. Actually his adviser advised us to marry — he told my husband his grades were dropping because he was dating too much and he needed to go ahead and get married. And we thought, well, ok then! (Interestingly, his grades did improve afterward!)
We got married in December. In all my wedding dreams, I had never wanted a Christmas wedding — but I had a choice between that December or the following August, so I took that December! I am one of those weird people who doesn’t like red, so we chose blue and silver for our colors.
I hadn’t been to that many weddings — there is so much I would do differently now. But the point is to join a man and wife, and we did accomplish that.
We got engaged in May just before saying good-bye from college in SC for the summer, then he went home to Idaho and I went home to Texas. I worked on wedding details through the summer, and we conferred on the phone a lot, then he came to Texas at the end of the summer to meet my family and finalize plans before we both left to go back to SC for school. We had never heard about wedding coordinators then (I am so glad someone invented them!), so we were planning everything ourselves. A lady in our church did a wonderful job with wedding cakes, so we asked her to do ours, and asked her for a recommendation for photographers. We each just had one attendant since most of our friends were from school and couldn’t come. My maid of honor’s mother made her dress in a blue floral fabric I loved — sort of like a jacquard, but not quite (I wish I had kept a swatch of the fabric!) The best man and ushers were in gray tuxes, and in looking back, I probably should have had the guys in blue and the maid of honor in a silvery fabric, because it ended up looking like the colors were blue and gray — which people had fun with since I’m from the south and he’s from the north (northwest, really, but that’s north enough for some people. ) But we did have silver ribbons in the flowers and such.
I don’t remember whether we got a recommendation for the florist or just found someone in the phone book, but when Jim came, we made a trip to the florist I had picked out. We walked in that August day and told them we were planning a December wedding — and they promptly told us December was too busy and good luck finding a florist who would do a wedding in December! I was in tears, and as we drove home, Jim saw another florist shop. He parked the car and went in and asked if they would do a December wedding — and they said sure!
We had our first serious disagreement as a couple over wedding plans. I had only been to weddings in my church, and they were all pretty much done a certain way. One element that was always included was that the bridal couple knelt on a little prayer bench during a part of the ceremony, and the pastor prayed for them. My husband-to-be had never been to our church, much less to a wedding there, and, not knowing that this was “always” done, said he didn’t want to kneel because his shoes weren’t in the best shape and he couldn’t afford to get new ones and he didn’t want to display the old soles of his old shoes to the congregation while he was kneeling. Of course, in my mind, we just couldn’t not kneel! It sounds so silly now — it would have been fine to stand or to angle the bench somehow so the soles of his shoes weren’t in people’s faces. Nice guy that he is, my husband conceded. I don’t remember if he got new shoes or just tried to spiff up his old ones.
So we had everything pretty much set before heading off for fall semester. I was actually student teaching that semester, and my supervisor was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep my mind on it while planning for a wedding, but I assured her everything was all planned, and everything was fine. I can’t imagine doing that now — but I was young then.
The semester finally ended and we headed back to Texas with a few days to spare before the wedding. We couldn’t afford a nice restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, so Jim and I made dinner and served it at the church fellowship hall. My pastor’s wife set some very nice tables for it. Everything was going fine until the night before the wedding — our best man was driving by himself from Idaho to Texas and wasn’t there in time for the rehearsal. Jim asked the father of my maid of honor (from the C family that I have mentioned a couple of times before) to stand in if the best man didn’t make it in time, and he agreed to. But thankfully the best man arrived in the wee hours of the morning bearing gifts from Idaho. Jim’s parents didn’t come. They didn’t have any problems with our getting married, but it was a combination of being too close to Christmas and too much out of their comfort zone, I think. They are very, very private people — very open with their family and circle of friends, but not at all prone to travel new places and meet new people. I will admit that was a sore spot for a long time. Even though I understood on one hand, on the other I thought — for one Christmas out of all the Christmases of your lives you couldn’t do something a little different? And you couldn’t extend yourself for your youngest son? But — what can you do? You can’t be bitter and hold it against them ever after, so we just accepted it and moved on.
Every wedding has its problems. I think it was the morning of the rehearsal that the pianist called and said there was one piece in the prelude that she couldn’t master and asked if she could leave it out. That was fine. Then the wedding day morning one of the soloists called and was very sick. I called the pastor, and he was familiar enough with the song that he could sing it. He was already singing a duet with another lady. Since we had so many unsaved loved ones, we had asked him to take a little extra time to just go over the picture in Scripture (Eph. 5:31-32) of a husband and wife representing Christ and the church and the invitation in Scripture to become a part of the bride of Christ. He did have that emphasis anyway, but we just wanted it maybe extended or explained a little more for those unfamiliar with it. He teased my husband when he and his best man were getting ready by saying, “I’m performing a wedding, preaching a message, singing a duet and a solo. What do you have to be nervous about?”
The only problem during the wedding itself was that just before I was to start down the aisle, the greenery around an archway came loose and in what seemed like slow motion began unwinding itself around the arch and fell. A dear lady near the front, the other half of the duet, stepped up and tucked it back in.
One problem we didn’t discover til afterward — in many of the pictures my eyes were closed!
Other than that, everything went fine!
Here’s the wedding party. I was trying to go for an old-fashioned southern look — my maid of honor and I both had hoop skirts on. But later on I felt my dress and veil looked more Spanish than southern! We had bought this dress but I probably should have gone with the pattern for the bridesmaid dress and had it made.
Here’s one of the many with my eyes closed. Isn’t that ridiculous?! I guess you could day I was looking blissful. I wasn’t terribly happy with the photography in general, but not much can be done after the fact. I am so glad for digital cameras these days! You’ll notice I didn’t do my hair — my hair doesn’t “do.”
One of the songs we used was “O Perfect Love,” an older song not heard much these days, but I came across it in a hymn book and just loved the words. I think someone sang this on the kneeling-on-the-bench part of the ceremony. The other song we used combined parts of “Nearer, Still Nearer” and “The Sands of Time.” I had heard that at another wedding and thought it was beautiful. Both songs have the same meter and work well with the tune of either. I am trying to remember which tune we used — and I am not sure (this was over 27 years ago!) I think the one to “Nearer, Still Nearer.” I can’t remember which of the verses we used — the first for sure, an I think the second of “Nearer” and these couple from “Sands”:
Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw us, our Savior—so precious Thou art!
Fold us, oh, fold us close to Thy breast.
Shelter us safe in that “Haven of Rest”;
Shelter us safe in that “Haven of Rest.”
Nearer, still nearer, nothing we bring,
Naught as an offering to Jesus, our King;
Only our sinful, now contrite hearts.
Grant us the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.
Grant us the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.
O I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved’s mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.”
I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand,
Not even where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.
The Bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.