November 29, 1969… 4:00 PM
With two more hours before the ceremony, we were right on schedule. The photographer told us he had all he needed from the men’s dressing room, but he continued to direct traffic in the ladies lounge where all of us were ready.
Looking up from his clipboard he said, “Where are the mothers?”
I was won-dering the same thing, hoping they weren’t in the basement rearranging table skirts. But just then, in they came – dressed and holding hands. Mom, familiar with all the nooks and crannies of Moody Church, had found a private place for the two of them to dress. No doubt they had been getting to know each other better, too.
The six children had arrived also, in a group, with their mothers. They had dressed at home and looked adorable. I was thankful for their willingness to cooperate and that none of them had gotten sick or were experiencing stage fright.
Timmy, the ring bearer, asked for his satin pillow, and once he had it, came to me with a question. “Mommy said these rings aren’t the real ones,” he said, fingering the two bands tied on with ribbons. “Is that right?”
I squatted down in front of him and tried to explain that the rings he was going to carry were real rings, though I didn’t tell him they’d come from a dime store. “They’re very important,” I told him, “because just like the other rings, they’re circles that go ’round and ’round. The circles represent love that goes around forever and ever. Just imagine that!”
“Oh,” he said, fingering his rings. “OK.” And he wandered off.
That reminded me. Where were our real rings? Relying on my responsible fiancé, I assumed he had them in his pocket and would see to it that Mary, my maid of honor, would have the ring for him, and his brother Ken, the best man, would have mine.
Our wedding bands weren’t fancy, but we’d had them engraved inside. Both included our initials, the wedding date, and the reference to a Song of Solomon verse (“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.”). My ring for him said, Sol. 2:16 M.A.J. to W.N.N 11-29-69. His for me said the same, with initials reversed.
As we posed for photos, I kept glancing at the door (now open), watching for Nate. The mothers stepped forward for their pictures with the bride, and as we were arranging ourselves for the next photograph someone said, “Hey – there’s Nate!”
I turned around, and my heart melted. There was my good-lookin’ guy, outfitted in his English tail coat, causing my heart to skip a beat. It was a moment of passion in which I could hardly believe that this wonderful person was actually willing to marry me.
“Could I have Meg for one minute?” he asked the photographer.
I thought, “You can have me for a lifetime!”
We came together with a meaningful embrace and stepped into the hall where he pulled our rings out of his pocket. “See? Engraved just like we wanted,” and he let me study them.
I smiled and kissed him. “Me too.”
He gave me his ring for Mary, just as the photographer stuck his head into the hall. “Time to assemble everybody in the church sanctuary for group pictures.”
And off we went, followed by a parade of all our nearest and dearest.
“[We] walked with many, leading the festive procession to the house of God with joyful and thankful shouts.” (Psalm 42:4)