Today is our 53rd wedding anniversary. I'm in our office at the computer and Ken is on the golf course. But this evening, we will go out for dinner to celebrate. I feel quite blessed that, in this day of many marriages not lasting, ours is into the fifth decade. Blessed yes, but I know that it takes some effort to keep love in a marriage for so long. Was it all champagne and roses? Not by a long shot. We weathered the tough times together and rejoiced in the many happy moments.
|Our wedding day with Ken's mother, his dad is next to me but got cut off somehow|
We were married in Oak Park, IL on a hot, hot, humid day with no A/C in my parents' home or the church. Very few had anything to cool other than a fan. My dress was waltz length and I wore the in-fashion Jackie Kennedy pillbox veil. Ken didn't want a big wedding and I agreed, knowing it was easier on my parents. Even so, we both wanted a church wedding.
Our wedding was so small--only 20 guests--that we had no rehearsal dinner. Ken spent the night at his brother's. On Saturday, his parents and grandfather came to my parents' home for lunch--the first time the parents had met. I'm sure my mother fretted over that lunch. After we ate, I changed into my wedding dress and we all went to the church a few blocks away. I hadn't talked to Ken for a few days but I didn't doubt that he'd show up.
We each had only one attendant, no flower girl or ring bearer. The ceremony was short and performed by a pastor who had been a boyhood friend of my dad's. My dad was raised Catholic and Mom was Methodist. I married a Lutheran and became one. How much more ecumenical can you get? Growing up, I always feared my dad would not give me away in a protestant church but he was there escorting me down the aisle with a big smile.
After the ceremony, everyone went back to my parents' home for champagne and we opened our few gifts. We moved on to a place called Richard's Supper Club where we had a private room for dinner. It was the coolest place we'd been all day! Our wedding cake was a gift to us from Mom and Dad's next door neighbor who owned the neighborhood bakery. Instead of the traditional bride and groom to top the cake, I selected pink spun sugar wedding bells.
There was no photographer but one of Ken's brothers took some pictures with his new Polaroid camera--all the rage then. The picture popped out of the camera in nothing flat, no waiting for days to have the film developed. Sadly, they are the only photos we have and over the years they have faded. Better the photos than a marriage!
Ken had just started a new job so he didn't ask for any time off for a honeymoon. Married on Saturday and he went back to work on Monday! I didn't start my new teaching position until the fall. We did have a delayed honeymoon in Glacier National Park 2 years later. We stayed at the historic main lodge where people 'dressed' for dinner. Maybe it was even better to be there on our second anniversary rather than immediately after the wedding.
After we'd been married a week, I talked to my mom and asked her if she'd saved the top of the wedding cake in the freezer so we could have it on our first anniversary, as tradition states. She was not aware of any such tradition. She said, "Save it? Your brothers ate it all that night after everyone had left!" Well, what can you expect with brothers who were then 21, 17, and 9?
Wedding memories are meaningful to each couple and to their families. Everyone should write about their wedding, the good and the bad. There are always little glitches in weddings, some pretty funny--after the fact! Your children and grandchildren will thank you someday.
Just a few weeks ago, Ken and I appeared in an online article about keeping love in a relationship. What fun it was to be interviewed and to see us along with 7 other couples who work at keeping romance alive. Read it here. The longer we've been together, the stronger our love.
Here we are after 53 years together