November 29, 1969… 8:30 PM
As our wedding reception continued, Mom and Dad stepped to the front and voiced an official welcome to their guests. They had been moving among them, greeting each person, and I wondered if they had even taken time to eat.
They’d wanted us to wait another year to marry, but we had no interest in that. Mom insisted we couldn’t pull together a big wedding in so little time, but here we were, on November 29th, and all was well. Everything had worked out after all, thanks mostly to Mom, and I felt tremendous appreciation for her.
Next up was the introduction of the wedding party. I went first and spoke a line or two about each of the ladies, including little Brittney, Marea, and our 6 hostesses. Nate followed with the men and boys.
Once again it impacted me that these particular people were the peers we loved most in the whole world, and here they were – all in one place at the same time.
What a unique phenomenon to savor at that moment…. and always.
Mary, as maid of honor, and Ken, as best man, each gave a little speech, but without any alcohol on the menu, they didn’t do toasts. That kind of “worldliness” would have been frowned upon in such a conservative church in the 1960’s, so no one expected toasts or missed them. Besides, the meaningful words spoken were honor enough.
I asked the bridesmaids to once again sing their pretty song, since guests had said they were unable to hear them well during the wedding. The string quintet, which had been supplying classy dinner music throughout the meal, took a welcome break, and the girls gathered around the piano. None of them had expected this, but they cheerfully sang their hearts out while Helen Carbaugh accompanied with perfection.
It was a flawless performance, and their three-part harmony was angelic. I was so proud of them I could have busted out of my 48 buttons.
As the bridesmaids took their seats, my eyes caught a glimpse of Dad sitting by himself, consuming a plate of food. Mom had returned to circulating, but Dad had finally decided it was time to eat. And why not? After all, he was footing the bill.
We thanked everyone for coming, which would release them to go if they so chose, but encouraged guests to get more food and hang around. The photographer was setting up for family pictures near an empty wall, so we knew we’d be there for quite a while.
Guests continued clinking their punch cups together to make us kiss, and Nate and I relished the taste of every one of them… eagerly looking forward to some private kissing-time without any restrictions, once we were alone.
“Taste and see that THE LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)