Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Most Beautiful Day

St. Matthew's Cathedral Washington, DC
March 7, 1987 10:30 a.m.

I can hardly believe 19 years have passed since our wedding day. Nineteen years. Wow. Why, it seems like it was just yesterday......

Isn't it funny how you pick your wedding date. It's either out of necessity or desire for a certain time of year. We had to choose because of both. I had always wanted to get married in the fall. DC in the fall is the most gorgeous (besides the spring, of course). But, autumn, it's my favorite time of year. The pre-hub and I became engaged in October. When I told my boss that we were planning a fall wedding for the following year, he promptly told me, "Don't wait so long." I sometimes wonder if he thought maybe the pre-hub or I would have second thoughts if we prolonged the engagement--grin. We were so complete opposites back then and my boss knew us both quite well. The pre-hub was a major stuffed shirt, executive type and me the ever happy-go-lucky free spirit (and we compliment one another perfectly). Well, FAR (the boss) was like a second father to me and I appreciated his knowledge and wisdom. If I was going to take advice from anyone, it would be him. And, if it wasn't going to be a Fall DC wedding, obviously it was going to be a Spring DC wedding. One is almost as good as the other.

That's where the fun began. You see, my family runs a photography business. It's an old company that my father got into when he first moved up from Texas in the 40s. He eventually bought the founders out and it became full-time work for all of us kids. Central Photo consists mainly of taking group photographs of school groups in front of the Capitol. Therefore, the majority of the work is very seasonal--the busy time being from around mid March until late June--you know, spring break and such for school groups. Therefore, in order for me to have my family included in my wedding (and I did kinda want them there), I would either have to get married before or after the busy season. The company had always been a thorn in my side for this reason--always coming first before anything else--and this time, it was no exception. So after little thought, we decided to have the wedding on March 14. Well, that didn't work, that was the pre-hub's mom's birthday. Not even gonna go there. Ms. Independent (me) is not going to share her day with any others. So the date then became the week before, March 7. And that, my friends, is how we came upon choosing March 7 as our wedding day. Being so early in the spring, it was a major risk in the weather department, especially for DC. You just never know....

As I have mentioned before, the pre-hub and I worked in the same office. Right across the street was the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. Even though I wasn't Catholic, I would sometimes go in there when I needed a "sanctuary." Just to walk in the place and smell the incense could calm the nerves from the everyday stresses of life. When we became engaged, I knew right away that I would convert to his faith--catholicism--and, I might add, with no pressure from him. St. Matthew's is a wonderful old church. I had never stepped foot in a Catholic church before, so I thought they all were like this. Even with it's size, it was such a warm and peaceful place. I went through all my catechism classes there (with the pre-hub by my side), was baptized, confirmed and had my first communion there. So, of course, when it came time to decide where to have the ceremony, it was a no brainer. St. Matt's it was. I didn't want it to be a huge wedding, so we chose the The Wedding Chapel to hold the nuptials. The little chapel has a wood carving of Mary and Joseph's wedding. It's just to the right of the main sanctuary, and it held just the right amount of guests.

Instead of an organist, we chose a harpist. We enjoyed having tea or brunch at the Mayflower Hotel (again in the same vicinity of our office and St. Matt's), and they had the loveliest harpist that would play on the weekends. We loved her music so we hired her. Instead of a wedding march, she played Pachelbel's Canon in D when I came down the isle. It was so lovely. I get teary eyed to this day when I hear it.I remember thinking I was going to be terribly nervous being in front of all those people. I have always despised being the center of attention. But as I walked down the isle and saw the hub-to-be, it completely calmed my nerves. Most people say their wedding day is "all a blurr." I remember every detail of every moment. It was so beautiful. Even the weather cooperated. It was a typical beautiful spring day in Washington, 70 degrees and sunny. I heard all the out-of-town guests had a great time sightseeing after the reception. We finished the whole deal by 2 p.m. (And, just like Washington, it snowed the next day.)

What beautiful memories I have of our special day. I wish everyone could say the same. I've heard so many horror stories. We were fortunate. Our wedding day was absolutely perfect in every way. I still love looking over the old photos and remembering how special it was. Sniff sniff.


John Ivey said...

What a great story! And I was there. It is true what you say about the company having always come first.

Happy anniversary!


Rosa said...

Thanks, brutha. I still remember you in the video staying, "Be Happy." And we still are!

MarkMcL said...

We too had a great day but Mary may be correct when she says I am a "glass half empty" person because I remember the things that went not-so-smoothly. Still seven months to go till I can blog our 13th anniversary (I was a late developer). I think it will be a tale worth telling.

MarkMcL (aka Mr English)

Teaser: We got married in St. Pauls' Cathedral (yes *that* one).

Rosa said...

Ooooh, I can't wait to read! (Just rub it in Mr. English about St. Paul's! I may soon have to knight you, Sir.)



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