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My Wedding Memories

Story ID:6091
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Location:Oak Park IL USA
Person:Ken and Nancy Kopp
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My Wedding Memories

My Wedding Memories

Today is our 46th anniversary as well as being Fatherís Day. So this morning I gave Ken two cards to commemorate this day.

We married in 1964 on a hot, beastly humid afternoon in Christ Lutheran Church, Oak Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. Few homes or churches were air-conditioned in those days, so the 20 people at our wedding sweltered in dress-up clothes.

Yes, we had only twenty because the groom stated that he wasnít coming if there were more than twenty attended. My parents were upset. They asked over and over how they could ignore all the aunts and uncles. I was in tears. How could Ken ask this of me? A girl dreams about her wedding from childhood on! But the more he and I talked about it, the more I liked the idea, and my parents gave in, too.

I would wear a wedding dress and be married in church. My father would walk me down the aisle, and Kenís parents, his grandfather, his two brothers and one sister-in-law would be there with us. His brotherís wife was a good friend, so she was my Matron of Honor, and Kenís other brother served as Best Man. Added to them were my parents and my three brothers, the youngest only 9 years old. We still had a few slots left to fill, and they went to our close friends except for one. That last place was for my oldest brotherís best friend. To this day, Iím not sure why it was necessary for Steven Rowe to be at my wedding, but he came, and he brought us a gift which many 21 year old guys might not have done.

My wedding dress was waltz length and my short veil was secured to a Jackie Kennedy pillbox circlet. I carried a bouquet of white cymbidium orchids. I was truly a bride whose dad walked her down the aisle to marry the man she loved--stubborn but kind, hard-working, intelligent and considerate, quiet but social when needed, and a smile that would melt a girlís heart. At least, it did mine.

After the ceremony, which was performed by a pastor who had been a boyhood friend of my dadís, we went back to my parentsí home and were toasted with champagne as we opened our few wedding gifts. And then it was off to Richardís Supper Club for our wedding dinner. We had a private room just big enough to seat the twenty of us. The dinner wasnít the greatest, as I remember, but the company made up for that. Our two families and close friends were there to help us celebrate our special day. The wedding cake was made by neighbors, who owned our local bakery, and when Mother tried to pay for it, they insisted it was to be their gift to us. And a beautiful gift it was, tiered and decorated with two pale pink wedding bells on the top layer. Brides like to save some of the cake in the freezer to eat on the first anniversary. I just assumed my mother would save it, but my three brothers ate the whole thing that night when they went home.

Ken had just started a new job and was reluctant to ask for time off for a honeymoon, so we spent our wedding night in a Sheraton Hotel near OíHare airport and then went on to our new apartment home in Zion, IL the next day.

Iíve been thinking about the 46 years that have passed since our wedding day, the sorrows and the joys, the places weíve lived, friends weíve made, the children we raised, and the grandchildren we now have. Our love has grown stronger with each year, and I feel blessed for that. The one thing I canít figure out to this very day is why Steven Rowe had to be invited to our wedding. I hope he enjoyed it. I certainly did.

Photo 1: Ken and I at my oldest brother's wedding reception with the bride's parents in 1965.

Photo 2: Ken and I in 2008

NOTE: The only photos we have of our own wedding were polaroids that have faded over the years. Sad not to have some professional photos of the day.