Ever After……

After Mike proposed, I suggested we wait a year to be married. Valentine’s Day would be on a Saturday the next year so why not get married one year from the proposal. Mike agreed. He is always getting man congratulations for having the foresight to propose and be married on Valentine’s Day.

The year in between the proposal and wedding was busy. I finished my graduate school coursework, took a job in Kansas, welcomed a new grandchild and planned a daughter wedding. My wedding vision included standing in a living room in front of a fireplace filled with love for Mike, surrounded by family and friends. We were living in a leased duplex in Wichita, and we had children in Topeka and Olathe, KS and Woodridge, IL. There would need to be some pretty fancy coordination to carry this off.

We rented The Governor’s Row House in Topeka within two weeks of the proposal and started the planning process. My journals and lists from February 14, 1997 – February 14, 1998 are filled with guest lists, food lists, vendor lists, DJ lists, music lists for two weddings. There are drawings of cakes, dresses, shoes, flower arrangements intertwined with job interview angst, dithering over staying in Illinois or moving to Kansas, marketing plans to increase GS membership, new grandbaby, wedding dress and bridesmaid dress shopping, moving vans, housing deposits, new children…..

There were times when I wondered if we ought to go to the courthouse and save the money. My Aunt Mary reminded me of all our families had been through the past few years, deaths, divorce. She thought we needed to go ahead and have a ceremony and party. Everyone needed a celebration.

Our big day finally arrived. We stood in front of a Victorian fireplace surrounded by family and friends.  The buffet table was beautiful. Flower arrangements were made by daughter Keri. The fondant icing cake I wanted was affordable because Sister Sally had a friend. Our snowbirds, Aunt Mary and Uncle Chuck, were in from Florida. The reception room was decorated beautifully with hearts, flowers and burgundy tablecloths. The DJ was ready. We were ready.

Upstairs in The Governor’s Row House there were rooms where small children would be entertained throughout the festivities. We hired another sister friend, brought in videos players, monitors, books, games, toys for after the ceremony. The children were upstairs and doing great for several hours. Around 9:30 PM the child care provider was distracted by babies. A 3 ½ year old Alice crept down the stairs. She found her way to the ballroom at the back of the house. Aunt Mary spotted her at the entryway. The child look of delight was shining bright. Aunt Mary told me later when she saw Alice floating across the dance floor she knew it was all over, the children were coming to the party.

A really good time was had by all. There was good food, good friends, good music and great fun. Happily ever after is a good place to start ………


©2011 Susan Kendall.  All rights reserved

About Lily

Born in Topeka, Kansas in the middle of the 20th Century, daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, cousin, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, reader, spiritual, writer, cook, crafter, junker...... twice-married, former non-profit executive in retread mode... currently living a bucket list life in a remodeled schoolhouse.....
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