Slice of Life Challenge – March 29 – Happy Anniversary, Baby! Cheers to 15 Years!

Fifteen years ago today, I married my best friend. I still enjoy thinking back on our wedding day…..looking at our wedding album photos. Here are eleven of my favorite memories from that day that I’ll be sharing with Briar today:

  1. Those were the days I didn’t even own a hairbrush. I dried my hair on the way to the wedding in the wind by holding my head out the window of the car. Right before I went down the aisle, the wedding director told me I needed lipstick. So I put it on for everyone else, but not for me.

2. Both of our mothers dressed in blue and were alive and excited to see us happy, in love, and getting married. They are no longer with us, and we miss them.

3. We asked three ministers to tie the knot extra tight – your childhood pastor, our good friend minister, and my preacher dad. In one of my favorite wedding pictures, The Lord’s Prayer is playing and Dad is standing over us with a hand on each of us, praying for us.

4. The florist didn’t put the wires in the tulips (my favorite flowers), and shortly after the wedding began, they started drooping….and drooped….and drooped……

5. We turned our wedding around. We didn’t want our backs to our guests; we wanted them to feel like they were a part of the ceremony.

6. I’d wanted a simple pair of gold sandals to match the gold in my dress, not flats and not high heels, but I couldn’t find any that I liked. So I found a pair of white sandals I liked, taped the soles and footbeds, and spray painted my wedding shoes gold.

7. I wanted a fresher, more updated version of Canon in D, so I chose Lullaby by Bond as the processional for the entire wedding party including me, because it makes me feel good inside time I hear it. It just rolled on and we all did our best to walk slowly. I remember that everyone’s face lit up with surprised expressions during our recessional, because at the very last minute as I was heading down the aisle at the start of the wedding, I had whispered up to your brother in the sound booth, “I want to change the recessional music. Ditch the Trumpet Voluntary and play the Hallelujah Chorus, will ya?” And so he did.

8. I remember just having the BEST time planning our wedding to be exactly what we wanted it to be – a small gathering of friends and family, with a short and personal service followed by a catered dinner reception. And we spent hours together making our own wedding favors that matched the candles on the tables. We cut giftwrap to go in bands around the candles and added our names and wedding date. And we are still burning these, fifteen years later.

9. You smudged my nose with carrot cake icing. That’s my favorite cake – so we had carrot for me and chocolate for you. Every part of that day was so much fun, but ironically the only bite of cake I got was the bite for the picture. We tried to eat the topper a year later, but after a year in the freezer, the frostbite had set in and it wasn’t tasty anymore.

10. We each served our new mothers-in-law a slice of cake to earn some brownie points on the front end. And it paid off!

11. And right before we left on our honeymoon, we called all of our children, nieces, and nephews up to gather around us. I gave each of them a flower from my bouquet, and then we prayed for them. We also prayed for all of the students in our community attending prom that evening, that they would be safe.

I didn’t think it was possible to love my husband any more than I did on our wedding day, but fifteen years later……I sure do!

My processional music
Our SURPRISE recessional music

Story Tablecloth

In 2012, we celebrated the high school graduation of one of our daughters and the college graduation of one of our sons. I rented the old opera house in downtown Griffin, Georgia for the event, and we sent out invitations for family and friends. The guest list was eclectic, even with the family members present. Since we’re a blended family, there were grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins from both sides.

I gave a great deal of thought to the ways to help avoid awkward silences and encourage lively conversations and landed on using a tablecloth. I bought a white vinyl cloth, a roll of clear cellophane tape, and a small book-style photo album from the dollar store and set about brainstorming my memories as I built a question bank for a “Which Graduate…?” conversation table.

First, I cut apart the photo album to separate the pages. On the front side of the flap, I posed a question: Which graduate once got suspended from school for starting a fight when someone stole his/her sandwich as a joke?

Then, on the flip side, I wrote the correct answer (my son’s name). I looked for the crossover opportunities where both graduates’ names were correct. Which graduate once broke a car windshield when they were angry? (both son and daughter)

Next, I laid out the pages in a small inner circle and a large outer circle, then taped the pages down on one side to the vinyl tablecloth, forming a page (flap) that turned back and forth to read the questions on one side and the answers on the other.

The memories I shared were stories that at first had been sore spots but which, over time, had become humorous ways of ribbing each other to the point of laughter. All of them had a story smoothing out the shock value once the full story was told, but it got guests wondering, talking, and chuckling.

For 11 years now, the tablecloth has been folded and kept in our antique oak buffet, but as I’m cleaning out and paring down, I’m sorting through memories and writing about them to preserve them in words rather than continuing to hold on to items in drawers and boxes. It makes parting with possessions easier when I am able to share the joy they brought.

Here are some of the questions from the tablecloth: