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Wedding Memories

Story ID:5156
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Location:New Orleans LA USA
Person:Kirk and Amy
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Wedding Memories

Wedding Memories

Wedding Memories

Wedding Memories

Tomorrow is my son’s seventeenth wedding anniversary, so I’ve been thinking about the day all those years ago that he moved from being a carefree young man of 23 to a responsible husband, also 23.

Kirk graduated from college a year before Amy, but jobs for new grads were hard to come by. He spent that year job hunting and making plans to marry the girl he’d dated for five years. Friends played matchmaker when Amy was a senior in high school and Kirk a freshman at Kansas State University. They were a couple from that first blind date on. Not that they had a completely blissful road those years. Like all young couples, they had their ups and downs. Fortunately, the ups were more prevalent.

By the fall of 1991, Kirk had found a job in Kansas City and they were engaged. Amy’s parents were living in Germany at the time, and so her aunt and uncle in New Orleans said they’d take over planning the wedding. “Have the wedding here in our home,” they said. Months of planning followed, and we eagerly looked forward to June 13th of 1992. We would drive to New Orleans and spend four days with family and friends, exploring the French Quarter and hosting the Rehearsal Dinner at a restaurant.

Amy’s parents arrived from overseas only a few days prior to the wedding. Her dad had just retired from the army, and they looked forward to being at the wedding and then settling in their hometown in Mississippi. Everything was ready.

The day before the wedding, every time I happened to be near Kirk, he would look at me, smile broadly and say, “I’m getting married tomorrow, and I’m so excited!” It didn’t take long for his excitement to become contagious. I caught it and so did many others.

The big day dawned sunny and mild, and we all arrived that afternoon at the home where the wedding would take place, dressed in our finery. The lovely two story home, complete with pillars and porch, looked so inviting. Pots of flowers lined the walk and the moment we entered the large foyer, we felt like we’d been magically transported to another world. The winding staircase was decorated with yards and yards of filmy tulle, ribbons and flowers. The furniture had been removed from the Great Room and white wooden folding chairs were lined up like church pews. More tulle, ribbons and masses of floral arrangements added to the décor of the room.

There was still plenty of time before the ceremony, so I ran upstairs to see how Amy and the bridesmaids were getting along. I opened the bedroom door and stopped in my tracks. Amy stood before me in her beautiful gown, looking as beautiful as every bride does on her special day. I’d always liked her and was happy she would be a part of our family. But at that moment, I realized that I loved this girl, and the emotion nearly left me speechless.

Later, the wedding guests gathered at the bottom of the lovely staircase. Kirk stood next to me and his dad, his groomsmen behind him. Amy’s parents were on the opposite side. There were just over 60 people, but the large foyer accommodated them well. A violinist played as the bridesmaids in periwinkle blue dresses descended the stairs, one by one. And then Amy, her eyes on Kirk. As she neared the bottom, Kirk leaned over and kissed me on the cheek, shook his dad’s hand and walked to his bride. He offered her his arm, and they led us all into the Great Room for the ceremony. Once again, emotion rose up until I had to blink hard to keep the tears of joy from falling.

After the brief ceremony, we all moved into the dining room where the table held two exquisitely decorated cakes. The white wedding cake was three tiers and next to it was a three-tiered chocolate groom’s cake. Flowers separated the two cakes. The wedding cake had small ribbon pulls all around the bottom. We learned that it was a New Orleans custom for the children in attendance to hook a finger inside a ribbon and wait for the bride to count to three. The children gathered around the table, each choosing a ribbon. The children’s eyes sparkled in anticipation, and Amy’s did, as well. She counted to three and they all pulled the ribbons. At the end of each was a good luck charm.

The cakes and punch were served, and what could the guests do but have a piece of each one? It was a happy time with the guests eating and visiting and celebrating the beginning of a marriage. I looked at the bride and groom and wondered what life had planned for them. Whatever it might be, I knew they’d meet it together.

They’ve lived in three cities, have two beautiful little girls, and are still close and loving to both their families. They alternate holidays between Amy’s family in Mississippi and Kirk’s here in Kansas. What began that lovely day in New Orleans has grown stronger as the years slipped by. My son is a husband to be proud of, and I still love my daughter-in-law very much.

Photo 1: Kirk and Amy
Photo 2: Their oldest daughter, Alexis
Photo 3: Their youngest daughter, Gracen