Lucky Friday the 13th

I know Friday the 13th is supposed to be a day of bad luck.  But I've never believed that.  And so that is why on Friday, September 13th, 1996 I got married.

Not quite fall and not quite summer, the weather was a little strange that day.  The temperature was moderate and the sky was overcast.  We had several showers during the day which worried me.  But my Great Uncle Harold (and he was great in all the sense of the word), assured me the sun would shine on my wedding and Uncle Harold was always right.  By the 5 the sun was shining.  (Even if I don't remember that, the evidence is clear by my squinting in most of the pre-wedding photos).

The weather did make it a challenge for many of our guests to get to our venue (the Normandy Beach Yacht Club -- I believe we were the first couple that was actually married there).  Although there had been some rain at the shore, there had been torrential downpours further north and the traffic on the parkway was backed up for miles.  (I was grateful that the car service we had engaged to bring my then finance and his best man down from North Jersey had left early in the afternoon so that they missed the parkway drama.) Our DJ later told us (once he arrived) that he had gotten out of his car and started waving to the news copters that flew overhead in the hopes that we would see him on TV and know that he was on his way.

Despite the fact that I am extremely punctual and swore that my wedding would start on time, I was reluctant to leave the house knowing that the DJ (who was going to provide the wedding music) had no yet arrived.  I was convinced to go, once our ministers arrived.  (I don't know how technically correct that is.  At the time Erik Spencer was pastor of my church.  He along with Julia Dawson, who I consider my  honorary Aunt, conducted the ceremony, although Julie was not officially ordained until the Sunday after the wedding.)  Luckily we had also invited the Minister of Music, the incomparable Charlotte Cunningham, who brought along her electric keyboard and saved the day.  Our service had music and we were only delayed by 10 minutes or so.  (At least that's my recollection.)

I honestly don't remember all that much about the service and the fantastic reception that followed.  I have bits that float in my head, but I have to wonder if these are truly memories or just images that I have made up based on the photos that exist.

I DO know that my shoes were killing me (despite the fact that I had worn them several times before) and the minute the ceremony ended and Steve and I walked down the aisle as husband and wife, I took off my shoes.  And I stayed in stocking feet until the party ended at around 11:00.

Other wonderful but brief memories for me are:

  • Seeing the DJ arrive just as I was ready to walk down the aisle with my dad and him assuring me that by the time the service was over he'd be set up and ready to go.  (And he was).
  • How the deck where we were married was quickly turned into a reception area with tables and chairs by the catering staff
  • Once married, coming down the aisle and seeing friends just arrive as we turned the corner.
  • Dancing to our wedding song by the Eagles, "Love Will Keep Us Alive."
  • Dancing with my dad and my brother.
  • Just dancing, dancing, dancing.  There was much dancing by me!  (Sometimes with my husband and sometimes not).
  • As things wrapped up, going back to my parents house and getting sneakers because I just couldn't walk around in the heels.
  • Driving up to the Grenville Hotel in Bay Head where we spent our wedding night.  What an interesting sight we must have made.  I parked the car around the corner and we walked in still dressed in our wedding attire, although the bride wore sneakers.
  • And finally, the two of us being utterly exhausted but not able to sleep.  We both ached from head to toe.  I wish there had been an all night CVS around because we needed pain killers!  Our reception had been a wonderful party (and I will be forever grateful to my parents for it) and we both really partied!  To this day people still remember our reception and what fun it was.  (I wish I remembered more of it, but it just went by in a flash, even though the evening only ran about 5 hours.)
The next day, believe it or not, we were up early.  We had breakfast and headed to my parents house.  Then my entire extended family headed back to the yacht club to finish cleaning up.  The catering team had done most, but folding chairs and tables still needed to be put away.  We raided the kitchen for left overs and finally really got to enjoy the food.  (It was delicious, even cold...or maybe even better!)  And once everything was cleaned up and then packed up, Steve and I headed home.  We unpacked and repacked for our honeymoon and wrote thank you notes!  (My mother taught me well!).

It was 17 years ago today.  It seems like yesterday and also like a lifetime ago.  And for me, Friday the 13th will always be a lucky day.


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