While we were high on cloud nine with our fresh engagement, there was still a move away to college that was coming up.
A few weeks later found us saying goodbye outside my dorm.
Soon though, Ed got a job in the city I was attending college and was only now only 10 minutes away.
We decided on a date for the wedding that was only months away. Even though I was still in college, and had many years to go, we knew it was best for us to get married soon. (I don't encourage anyone to get engaged at 19 and married at 20...it's not all flowers and butterflies...but thank Jesus it worked for us.)
Wedding plans started swirling in between classes, work and a trip to Italy. Soon the end of the school year came and went and it was time for a wedding!
May 20, 1995 dawned sunny and beautiful. It wasn't warm, but not frigid either (you never know what you'll get living in Michigan). The day's activities began with getting my hair all done up and the veil attached. Then it was off to the church to get ready.
My mom was finishing up the touches of the wedding cake (I knew exactly what I wanted years before I even met Ed. My mom was a professional baker, so I saw many a wedding cake over my growing up years and had mine picked out well in advance).
All the pew bows were in place. The candelabras were set up and ready to be lit.
The gym was all set for the celebration after the "I-do's".
Only thing left was getting the dress on and to say cheese for some pictures.
1:00 came and went. The auditorium was filled with hundreds of people. I finally made my way to the balcony while the slide show of Ed and I growing up came to an end (yes...a slide show. With actual slides..."uploading pictures to the computer" wasn't an option at that point in time).
I cued the sound guy to start the music and stood at the edge of the balcony and sang "Say Once More" by Amy Grant to my husband-to-be as he stood down by the stage. This way, he was the very first one to see me, well before any guests had the chance.
Song sung and I had mere seconds to get down the stairs so I could then walk down the aisle (I have my friend Valerie to thank for that...hi Valerie! I miss you!)
The rest was a blur. A couple hymns, something about the rings, some I-do's and then the smooch. A walk back up the aisle, then back down to greet/dismiss our guests row by row. Pictures, smiles, food, more smiles, and then a ride to the park in my youngest brother's limo to get more pictures taken by my oldest brother (I'm the youngest of five. Four brothers and then me.) The silence, flowers and peace were wonderful.
All the fam and some friends descended upon my parents house to greet us after our photo shoot. A big thanks goes out to our friend Jerry, who was the lucky one, along with my third oldest/second youngest brother, to drive our newly decorated "just married" car back to my parents house. That's as far as I'll go with that story...but way too funny not to mention!
A quick clothes change, opened some presents and then off we drove to begin our lives together. And again, people stood out on the lawn and waved goodbye to us. This time, I didn't mind.
May 20, 1995. The day our family began. Stars and love in our eyes and our whole lives before us. A blank book to fill with stories and memories, hardships, laughter, tears and pain. A book I'm so thankful to still be writing in today. A book, I pray, that will have many, many more chapters in the years to come.