Anita and I were married August of 1985. It was 86 degrees that day and we packed a church with no air conditioning. There wasn’t even a hint of a breeze and people’s backs were sticking to the pews. But we were young and happy and ready to get it over with.
We were surrounded with good friends and lots of family. It was a beautiful service. The candles, lit and glowing around the entire sanctuary added to the warm summer night but also to the beauty of the event.
Our good friends stood with us as we exchanged our vows and our rings. My brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law sang a beautiful song and people applauded with we finally were introduced as man and wife.
Even after 27 years, I have to stop and marvel at that day. So much planning. So many hard decisions. So many emotions…all tied up into a ceremony that lasted 60 short minutes.
In the end, we were all exhausted. We shook every person’s hand and hugged every aunt, cousin, friend and stranger as they walked through the receiving line (the biggest mistake of the night). It took much longer than we expected and by the time we made it down to the basement to cut the cake, my own grandparents had left.
Over the past 20+ years I’ve conducted many weddings and have been invited to many more. I’ve seen big soirees and simple gatherings. I’ve seen liquor flow and chaste events. I’ve heard beautiful harps and brass bands.
But nothing compares to the beauty of that night. It was the most beautiful night of our lives.