The Proposal and Wedding
“Ephesians 5:31Amplified Bible (AMP)
31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined [and be faithfully devoted] to his wife, and the two shall become [a]one flesh.
If memory serves correctly, the closing on the house was on December 7th. Thanksgiving came and went without a proposal. Needless to say, I was slightly disappointed. However, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I was talking my sister on the phone and she asked, “When are you getting married?” I told her that I was clueless and she asked to talk to Terry.
After a few minutes, Terry handed the phone back to me and she was screaming, “Oh my gosh, you’re getting married December 17th!!!” Stunned and a little confused, I said, “Really? He hasn’t even asked me, but he’s already set the date? Ok!”
So I get off the phone and Terry says, “Well I had to give her a date because she’s coming home from Texas and she wanted to plan her trip around our wedding.”
“Maybe he’s not going to ask the old-fashioned way and maybe he’s not even giving me a ring.” I thought silently. Oddly, I was ok with that.
The following weekend was my birthday, but I was already committed for the weekend performances of the Messiah; so any celebrating had to wait.
On Monday Terry asked if I would go eat with him at Red Lobster. As we drove to Greenville, our plans for the wedding were coming together (yes still without an official proposal). We were going to have a small family wedding in the chapel at First Baptist.
We finished our meal and ordered dessert, as we were finishing, Terry moved his right hand across the table and turned his hand over, revealing a diamond ring he was wearing on his pinky finger. Oh the elation and excitement, I thought my heart would pop out of my chest. Then, he asked, “Will you marry me?” By now, several other patrons realized what was happening, so of course, all eyes and ears were on me. “Of course I’ll marry you.”
And so it was settled…ring and all…December 17, 1994
Obviously, we didn’t leave ourselves much time to prepare or plan. The good news was that Mom had frozen a ton of leftover goodies from my sister’s wedding in April. We decided that we were not going to have anything elaborate. It was the second time for both of us.
The Chapel at First Baptist Hendersonville would serve us well. The perfect place for a small gathering of family. Immediate family only. We had to draw the line somewhere. Keep in mind that Terry comes from a large family. His Mom and Dad had 6 children and Terry was the baby. All of his siblings were married and had at least one child, at the time.
Besides, we couldn’t just pick out a few friends and not invite the whole lot of them. We would hurt people’s feelings. We just had no cut-off point. Aside from that, we were funding the wedding ourselves. My parents had already paid for one large shindig. We had just purchased a house. I was only working part-time. We just couldn’t justify spending a ton of money we didn’t have.
Our plans were made and everything was coming together. Anticipation and excitement filled the air. But wait…..a honeymoon. This discussion would become another source of contention between us.
Keep in mind, we were getting married only a week prior to Christmas and going somewhere for an entire week was out of the question. Terry kept saying let’s wait and we could just do a honeymoon later. I didn’t like that idea. Kristi had been telling me about the cottages in Gatlinburg. When I checked pricing, Terry erupted in an emphatic, “NO! We are not spending that kind of money for a few days.” Disappointment set in. Again, I knew better than to pitch a hissy fit and cry. I wouldn’t get my way. I just sucked it up and decided I would be ok with waiting.
Then it happened. Clear out of the blue. The Sunday evening before our wedding we were sitting in church waiting for Pastor Steve to preach. We sat beside Andy and Alice Lawson. Alice was a former English teacher at Hendersonville High School. Yes, one of Terry’s former teachers. She loved him. Her sweet husband Andy, a Nationwide Insurance Agent.
Alice put her hand on Terry’s knee, patting it gently and said, “We are so delighted to hear about your impending wedding. We are just thrilled for you both.” We graciously thanked her and then she leaned into Terry’s ear and asked, “Do you and Kelly like the beach?”
“We love the beach.” he replied.
“Do you have honeymoon plans? I know your engagement has been short-lived.” she inquired.
He responded, “No, actually we don’t have any plans.”
Instantly, she leaned over Terry and spoke directly to both of us, “Andy and I wanted to do something for you. We have a townhouse in Murrells Inlet and we would like for you to go stay there for your honeymoon. We will get the keys to you this week. ”
If I had any doubts, they suddenly disappeared. I knew we were doing the right thing and I knew, while our timing was questioned by some, was the best time for us.
The day before the wedding, I made one change. I called Pastor Steve and told him we were going to add one more song. I felt very compelled to sing the song, “I see Jesus in you”.
I awakened the next morning to a brilliant Carolina blue sky and sunshine in my eyes. A flutter of joy in my heart and a little skip in my step. It was going to be a great day. It was, after all, our wedding day.
Last year I asked Terry a question I’d pondered for awhile. “You were so certain I would say “yes” to your proposal that you planned the date of our wedding before you asked me. What would you have done if I’d said “No!”?
He replied, “It never really crossed my mind. I don’t know. I guess I would’ve been sad and had to take the ring back. I’m so glad it didn’t happen that way.”
No doubt it’s been the best decision I made for myself and my two precious boys 23 years ago today.
The lyrics to the song I sang go as follows: I see Jesus in your eyes and it makes me love you. I hear Jesus in your voice and it makes me listen and I trust you with my life because you’re his. I see Him in you….”
This is far from the end of our story. This is only the beginning……