November 29, 1969… 6:45 PM
After Nate and I had untangled ourselves from our post-wedding twirl-around, Mary straightened my veil and train, and we headed to a room behind the platform to wait while the sanctuary emptied. Wanting to spare guests a 2 hour receiving line, we had decided against having one. Instead Nate and I would move through the reception tables to connect with each person.
Our caterer was waiting for us with fruit platters and congratulations as we let the joyful reality of our marriage settle in – a lovely sensation. Shortly there was a call from our ever-present photographer wanting the bride, groom, maid of honor, and best man back on the platform for another round of pictures.
Though I’d never understand it, I knew I was a very fortunate bride.
After that it was off to the reception downstairs for a light supper. Cousin Patti, 15, was eager to handle the guest book. “I hope you can get everybody to sign!” I said. And I knew her infectious giggle would get it done.
In the church’s massive basement hall we found wedding guests having a good time while sharing a light supper. And I made a mental note to tell both Mom and Aunt Joyce how pretty the table skirts looked.
Our 6 sophisticated servers were busy making sure each guest had what they needed. I was thankful 3 apartment mates and 3 others had agreed to help and was impressed with how hard they were working.
(L. to R. Roommates Clarlyn and Marti, cousin Elaine, college chum Leslie, cousin Yvonne, and roommate Marsha)
Their long skirts, made from extra bridesmaid fabric, looked elegant as they gracefully moved through the room, never stopping to eat or drink themselves. True friends indeed.
After Nate and I took our places at the head table, the rest of the wedding party filled in on either side with their plates of food. It was a feast we all welcomed, and as we ate, Nate and I shared a few whispered words about what might happen after the reception.
Specifically we wondered about the shenanigans that might occur as we drove away from the church, though technically we had only 1 mile to our honeymoon destination. Champaign friends John and Cathy were ready to drive us away whenever we gave them the word. More than likely, though, we’d have to race around the city in the heavy Saturday traffic to lose our followers before we could safely go to The Drake Hotel.
For now, we would take pleasure in our wedding reception, in the people sharing it with us, and the tasty food that had been prepared. It was going to be a long, late (and exciting!) night before we slept, and our dinners would fortify us for everything that lay ahead.
“You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.” (Joel 2:26)