Eight Years Ago

Eight years ago, at about the same time of day as I am writing this, I was standing in the parking lot of Woodland Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg, MS crying. My hair was as cute as could be and I was just hours away from marrying the the love of my life, but I had locked my keys, veil, makeup, phone and purse in the car and had NO MONEY. All the bridesmaids and family members were off getting ready and running around and I was all alone.

I went inside the fellowship hall and ran into Marian Griffith (who was doing our decorations). "My keys and everything are locked in my car!" I managed to say this between the sobs and hiccups and general emotion that was consuming me at the time. The LORD knew that Marian was just who I needed at the moment, because there was no hug or sympathy or consolation. She quickly said, "Paula, stop crying right now or you'll have red eyes in your wedding pictures. Do you want your wedding pictures to have red eyes?" No, I did not. Let's just say I pulled myself together and called a locksmith and Mrs. Leslie Fortier to borrow some money to pay the locksmith! Oh, the days before everyone had cellphones!

We were both just twenty two years old and crazy in love. Now we are thirty and still crazy in love. : ) Our wedding day was full of friends and family, our ceremony full of meaning and the reception so fun we stayed until folks made us leave. Really, they did. We really enjoyed our wedding day; in part, because we prioritized things. Some elements of the wedding were very important to us and worth the details and time and some weren't and we left them alone. I remember that I did not want a professional photographer bossing us around the whole time and making sure we got all the right photos at the reception. So, we enlisted a handful of family and friends to take our pictures for us and I still LOVE our photos. Do I have a cake-cutting photo? I have no idea and still don't care. But what I do have are tons of photos of the sweet family and friends who attended and made our day so special!

Here are eight memories of that wonderful day!

1. The decorations. Marian, Anna and I spent hours planning the reception decorations and decorating and she and her sister, Mildred did such a beautiful job finishing everything. It was stunning.

2. The cakes. I hired a girl I went to school with to make our cakes. She worked for well-regarded pastry shop. The armadillo groom's cake was well executed and something else, for sure! The actual wedding cake was a bit funny. I wanted a small, three tiered white cake with lovely berries and fruit garnishes. Southern Living had a great inspiration picture. The actual result was a three-tiered cake with kumquats and grapes (maybe there were some berries) and the weight of fruit sort of tilted the layers. It was very funny looking although no one said it to my face. Fortunately I had ordered a small cake so that we could have assorted layer cakes from Shady Acres to serve. The Italian creme cake (which we ate leftovers of for weeks) rocked our world. One of these anniversaries I need to get one for celebrating.

3. My back ached (probably from the decorating) and I wore those instant, disposable heating pads under my dress!

4. Isotoner ballet slippers instead of wedding shoes.

5. Walking down the aisle to see Tuan for the first time. The sanctuary was empty. Just us. Lovely.

6. The music! Our friend, Michael was a fabulous guitarist and pianist. He did a guitar/vocal solo of O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus before the processional. It was beyond amazing and beautiful. All of the wedding music was just lovely.

7. The Kiss! We saved our first kiss on the lips for our wedding day. For some reason, we did not "plan" it out. I remember when Clint said that Tuan could "kiss the bride" and our lips met for the first time, my over-active brain started panicking. "What if we kiss too long? What if Tuan decides to make our first kiss a French kiss and it is in front of all these people? I cannot handle that." I can get a lot of thinking done in a three second span. In the frenzy of panic, I pulled away, determined to save face before "God and all these witnesses". Tuan must have looked funny, because Clint said something like, "not done yet, Tuan?" He replied in the affirmative and pulled me back for a second, longer smooch in front of a laughing crowd. So much for saving face!

8. Eggrolls. Tuan's dad made over 1100 eggrolls for the wedding and our caterer fried them all afternoon. I think they were the second most important memory of Tuan's day and I would be remiss without mentioning them.

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

1 comment:

Mary Palmer said...

Definitely the sweetest thing I've ever read.
I love you both :)