Young Love (#130)

November 29, 1969… 4:00 PM


Sisters.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?”

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.

The childrenTimmy, 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.

MomAs 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!”



The groom appears



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.

Nate's ring“When you put this ring on my finger,” he said, “it’ll be the highlight of my life.”

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)

Young Love (#129)

November 29, 1969…. 3:00 PM

Mom's noteIt was our wedding day at last, and before Mom fed us all a nourishing breakfast, she jotted a note in her diary (right).

I’d written out the day’s schedule for every person in the wedding party and those helping at the reception, since Principal Scarce had let me use the school’s mimeograph machine.

MimeographedEach set of instructions was 5 pages long, and I was grateful for his gift. The last page was a sketch of the sanctuary platform marked with X’s and O’s for the wedding party.

A little after 3:00, cars began arriving at Moody Church from all directions. I rode with Mom and several others, and we were late of course. But it was gratifying to me, as I walked into the church “ladies lounge” where we would dress, that several of the bridesmaids were already there, outfitted in their gowns.

The photographer was there, too, and announced he’d be taking pictures of us getting ready, as soon as everyone in the room was presentable. While he and his assistant waited, they hunted for the groom. Wherever Nate was, I knew he had probably arrived early and was already available for photos. Later I learned that not only was he ready, but his father and brother were, too.

The groomFather and sons






I couldn’t wait to see him but forced myself to keep my mind focused on the schedule. Our timetable didn’t allow for dawdling.

As I took my gown out of its hanging bag, I had a twinge of nervousness, wondering if it would fit right. Had I gained or lost weight since the fitting weeks before? Zero-hour had arrived.

Stepping into it, I flashed-back to the happy days spent shopping for a gown with Mom, Aunt Agnes, Mary and others. Pulling the heavy satin fabric on felt just as good as it had on that day long ago, when I chose this dress. And I still loved it.

The smooth satin reminded me of Mom’s wedding gown from 1941. She had picked a dress without lace, pearls, or sequins, but it had scores of satin-covered buttons up the back that had always fascinated me. I wanted the same thing when I got married, and indeed I got them.

48 buttons“My girls” worked together to close all 48 buttons, and once everything was fastened, the gown fit perfectly. I felt “elegant,” a word I’d never applied to any other clothing I had ever worn.



When the photographer reappeared, anxious to start, he asked me to face the mirror and put on my lipstick. I had to laugh, since I didn’t wear any. After all, it was the sixties, and many girls were wearing white lipstick, so why bother.

LipstickBut I borrowed a tube from one of the other girls and pretended. In those days I didn’t wear makeup at all and had never worn earrings, so getting ready was easy. If it hadn’t been for the Swedish crown and its long veil (with multiple combs and bobby pins), I’d have been ready in 10 minutes.

But my eyes kept turning toward the door, hoping Nate would walk in. Since the plan was to take platform pictures of the entire wedding party ahead of the ceremony, we knew we’d be together before I walked down the aisle to meet him. Back in those days, wedding planners hadn’t heard of “a reveal,” so we had no special plan for getting the first glimpse of each other.

All I wanted was to get my arms around him on our wedding day, and I had full confidence that wherever he was, he was craving the same thing about me.

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” (Song of Solomon 2:16)