At 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon at the Christ Church in Staten Island 59 years ago, the man and woman who much later would become my parents were wed. They were referred to in the newspaper announcements of their engagement and wedding as either the Mayor's Son or the Banker's Son and the Vassar Alumna. I have a folder of over 40 of these announcements and each year, I go through the folder and imagine their day, imagine how excited and nervous they both were that morning, imagine the details leading up to and of their wedding.
She was a beautiful bride, the glow on her face and happiness in her eyes comes through in all photos I've seen from the day. For her wedding gown, my mother chose ivory slipper satin with Alencon lace outlining an off the shoulder neckline and a long train. Her veil was of ivory French silk and she carried a cascade bouquet of eucharist lilies and stepanotis. She wore a simple pearl necklace around her neck on her wedding day and that necklace she gave to me years ago.
For their honeymoon, they travelled to Bermuda which is where the photo below was taken by the Bermuda News Bureau.
I've always been proud of my parents' marriage. A wedding day filled with beautiful flowers and people and hopes for a bright future is one thing; a marriage that endured times both good and bad is something else altogether. Theirs was a solid partnership that survived much and enjoyed much more. That day though, the day their union began, was the first step in my own life, a life I'm forever grateful to them for giving me. I could not have hand-selected two better people to call my mother and father.
Somewhere up there, those two celebrate their 59th anniversary. At around 5:00 p.m. this evening, if you tilt your head just so, I expect you'll be able to hear their glasses clinking in a toast to one another.