Yes, today is my 30th Wedding Anniversary! When I first considered the idea of listing 30 details surrounding my wedding day, I wasn’t sure I could remember that many things. I got out a pad of paper and started to write.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t hard at all! As I look over my list of 30 wondrous wedding memories, 30 wonderful years later, I notice that what has stuck with me are special moments which include emotion – love, appreciation, connection, gratitude, humor. That is worth mentioning in a day when young couples feel their weddings must be expensive and well photographed for social media. I hope my list suggests otherwise. The most important thing is to feel and experience the moments as they happen.
30 Wondrous Wedding Memories
for 30 Wonderful Years
- I moved the last of my things into our new apartment on Friday morning, Feb. 7, 1992. My fiancé, Michael, was already living there. The schedule was tight to get to the rehearsal because it, and the wedding, were a couple hours away, in the town where my parents lived.
- We stopped for gas on the way to the rehearsal. It was wondrous to think that the next time we filled the tank, we’d be husband and wife.
- My rehearsal bouquet was a compilation of the bows that had been on my bridal shower gifts. They’d been inserted into slits in a paper plate, and I held the ribbons underneath.
- Some dear friends agreed to host our rehearsal dinner in their home. I chose a menu of lasagna, caesar salad and bread but I wore white jeans. Everybody knows marinara sauce is drawn to white clothing. I was more nervous eating that meal than at my wedding.
- Michael and I had decided to forego our bachelor and bachelorette parties. Instead, we had a worship night after the rehearsal dinner. Michael has amazing vocals! I felt a deep kindred-spirit closeness with the dear brothers and sisters in Christ who made up our wedding party. Together we praised Jesus for bringing us to the eve of our wedding and our friends prayed over us, asking God’s blessing and favor on us as a couple.
Our Wedding Day
- I awoke on February 8, 1992, in my childhood room in my parents’ home. I got ready in the familiar bathroom. I felt like the same little kid, but I was getting married! It all seemed so surreal.
- I had a bargain brand lipstick that I was ecstatic about because it was the perfect shade for the day!
- We were married by a pastor who was a family friend. His church was in an office park and had a black and white industrial vibe. We built that into our theme, adding touches of red and sprinkles of fire and ice roses. It was simple and unique.
- I adored my wedding dress. I bought the first one I tried on. It was priced right and fit perfectly; no alterations needed.
- As hard as I tried, none of my bridesmaids liked their dresses. Has any bridesmaid ever liked their dress? If you’ve been a bridesmaid, please comment and tell me about the dress you were asked to wear!
- From the church’s back room, where I hid until it was time to enter, I could see the guests arriving. The building was made of reflective glass, so they could not see in, but I could see out. It was amazing to see all my most favorite people making their way to the same door.
- My best friend worked so hard for me. I brainstormed and she handmade everything in my imagination that didn’t exist in stores. The selflessness and talent she had were incredible!
- She made my veil, which was more of a white halo made of tulle and flowers. It was perfect, I loved it. And her. She was the sister I never had. I tried hard not to cry when she put it on my head a few minutes before the ceremony, because – you know – makeup.
- I have vivid memories of my grandparents from my wedding. I remember what they were wearing. I remember their smiles and genuine joy. My nana had her jaw wired shut after breaking it in a fall. But she looked radiant. None of them are alive today (grandparents or best friend from point above) so the memories are priceless!
- My sister-in-law cried all the way down the aisle. I was glad I couldn’t see her face, because I’m an empathetic crier and – yes – makeup.
- My dad walked me down the aisle, gave me away, then went directly to the microphone and sang “Sunrise, Sunset”, the song from Fiddler on the Roof. Click here to read the beautiful, heartfelt lyrics. From just this excerpt, you will understand why I, and my makeup, were doomed to part ways!
- We wrote our own vows. Michael wrote, and read, an amazingly touching poem for me. Why did I try to wear makeup?.
- I found out later that most of the women in the audience were in the same makeup predicament. The tissues that came out while my dad sang were used again as my groom poured wondrous words of devotion from of his huge heart.
- After the ceremony, I used the term “Handsome Husband” a million times. It sounded so strange and yet so wonderful.
- The entire day was a collaboration of service by loved ones. Friends worked on everything from food to furniture to make our ceremony special.
- Cake pops were not yet a thing, that I recall, but my mom handmade hundreds of heart-shaped chocolate lollipops to offer our guests.
- I remember our cake tasting appointment better than the actual wedding cake. Sampling the flavor choices was my favorite element of wedding planning.
- Newly engaged friends were at our wedding. They wanted to get married quickly and were able to arrange, then and there, for the same pastor, church, and order of ceremony. It was a crazy de ja vu for Michael and me to come back, just 3 weeks later, as guests for their wedding.
- I changed out of my wedding dress and into a cute white suit to leave the church. It was still the days of pantyhose, and I had the daintiest white ones with a hint of shimmer. I was so proud to get them on without running them. (I’m aging myself. Do young brides today even know what it means to run a pair of hose?)
The Honeymoon (and following days)
- We spent our wedding night in a beautiful Bed and Breakfast only a few miles from the church. Our room had a view of the ocean, a huge fireplace, and thick bathrobes for our use. There, in the lap of highest luxury I’d ever experienced, we ate a box of pizza because, back then, pizza places were the only restaurants which delivered.
- My grandparents gifted us our honeymoon. They planned, and paid for, a trip along the coast with overnight stays in unique spots on the way. The most memorable was an inn where each suite had its own motif. Our room was forest themed, and it truly felt like we were sleeping under the trees.
- One honeymoon afternoon, while exploring a quaint coastal town, we found a jewelry shop which soldered my engagement and wedding rings together while we waited.
- On the way back from our week-long honeymoon, we stopped at my parent’s house to open our wedding gifts. I was overcome by the generosity of our friends. I’m still using a few of those gifts today!
- Our photographer (in the days before digital and editable photography) used the incorrect camera settings for indoor photos. We got a pile of very-washed-out wedding pictures. He was our neighbor, had donated his time as our gift, and he felt terrible. But they are one of a kind. To this day, I haven’t seen any other wedding photos like mine! (The ones in this post have been scanned and color corrected. Technology has improved!)
- Two weeks after our wedding, we went to Tahoe, to be treated by Michael’s family to our formal reception. They threw a luau (Hawaiian party) we will never forget! It was fun to get to wear my wedding dress twice. Only God knew, as we sat watching the Polynesian dancers, that we would have 5 kids of our own, who would grow up dancing and entertaining at many similar future luaus.
Before I sign off, I want to wish my handsome husband a very Happy Anniversary! He deserves a standing ovation for putting up with me every single day for 30 years. Counting leap years, that is roughly 10, 957 days. We joke that the pastor who married us must have tied the knot tight!
If you’re still reading, thank you for indulging me. I appreciate your company down memory lane as I’ve recalled 30 Wondrous Wedding Memories for 30 Wonderful Years. I’d love to hear something you remember from your wedding or a marriage ceremony you’ve attended. Do we have any experiences in common? Any complete opposites? Did your bridesmaids like their dresses? What are your thoughts?