Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rose

After the pictures, the music began at 6:00. This was the early ’80s when the tradition was that you couldn’t wear tuxes, especially a tux with tails until after 6:00. Hence, that was the start time for the wedding. It was also supposed to be good luck to marry on the up-sweep of the clock. So, the service began at 6:30.

It was not your typical 15 minute Protestant service. You thought it hilarious that our wedding lasted almost an hour. But, this was my moment to shine, and I made every moment count. The actual details are in the wedding albums, so I won’t reiterate them here. Yet, one thing that I always thought was sweet is that you leaned in and asked if you could kiss me during the prayer after the Lord’s supper. We were kneeling on the prayer benches facing one another. I whispered, “Later.” But, I always appreciated that you love me so much. Today, as I write this, I wear a bracelet that says just that – “I love her so much” in your handwriting. The kids read this in your Papa book as you described meeting their grandmother, and Lauren had it made for me for Christmas. I wear it each day along with our wedding ring to remind me that I’ll always be Mrs. Robert E. Rose. I love you forever and ever!!

The Big Day

This was the best day of my life at this point.  I got to become Mrs. Robert Edward Rose.  I awoke early – like a child on Christmas morning.  And, you did as well, but I had told you you that you couldn’t see me until I had my wedding dress on for pictures.  So, you went down to the park to watch Little League Baseball.  I thought it very special that you like to encourage those kids.  You always wanted to give to others what Fred and Linda had given to you – unconditional love and encouragement.  Then, you had lunch and went over to the church to help the crew of family members set up.

While I was back at the house doing my fingernails, hair and make-up, the family (Mom, Dad, Kim, Barney, Jason, Greg, Linda, Scott and Mark) along with other friends from church were setting up for the reception.  The sanctuary had been set up the day before for the rehearsal, but we had the rehearsal dinner in the fellowship hall.  So, it had to be re-set and cleaned for the reception.  As Granny was the “chef” for the reception, it was the family’s job to set up.  🙂 

I always thought is a loving gesture on Granny’s part to prepare all the food, but more appreciate it now as I understand how much work that was now that I am almost her age at the time. (She was 59; I am now 57 as I write this.) 

I joined the crew for set-up at about 2:00 as Daddy sent for me to make sure everything was set up as I wanted.  Yet, I wasn’t in my dress yet, so we worked together n finishing the set up for the reception.  Then, at about 3:00, we went to the rooms set up for the Bridal party and the Groomsmen to dress.  

As I think of dressing, I’m reminded that I forgot to include you and the Groomsmen when I talked about the planning. The wedding was pink, but you thought that a little too feminine for the guys.  So, they wore burgundy tuxes.  But, your all white tux with tails is the story.  In the planning, we discussed why the bride traditionally wears white as you were the typical guy and didn’t know anything about weddings.  You decided that you wanted to wear all white as well for the same symbolism.  And, because I had made such a big deal about the dress, you wanted tails on your tux.  

So, we changed into our dress and tux for pictures, which began at 4:00.  My favorite picture is the one above where you are sitting on a pew and I am looking into your eyes as it’s not a “staged” picture.  We were relaxing a bit between the pictures and the service.  The photographer saw and snapped the picture.  It shows genuine love.  


Setting Up House

About a month before we were to be married, Mom, Dad, and I piled all the furniture from my bedroom in the back of Grampsy’s red truck and drove to Arlington, Virginia. The three of us sat squished in the cab with the furniture in the back of the open truck. Dad had covered the back with a tarp, but we were lucky that it didn’t rain.

We arrived a few minutes after you got off work and met you at the NAVY Annex so we could follow you to the apartment. We carried everything in and sat up the bedroom. That was all the furniture we had to begin our married life, but we had love.

Swept Me Off My Feet

We visited Gran and Gramps quite frequently on your visits home, as I was very close to them and you respected them so much. Yet, one time I remember quite vividly.

We were walking down the hill to the house from the barn. Granny was sitting on the patio (that she and Gramps had tiled) when you scooped me up in your arms and carried me down the hill.

Granny “whooped” as she did when was excited because she was worried that you might drop me, but I didn’t doubt you at all. You carried me down and safely sat me on the chaise lounge on the patio. And, that is but one example of our fairy tale romance.

Cake, Flowers, Oh My

Next was flowers. Granny and I went to a large artificial floral shop and had fun selecting samples. We then narrowed these down with input from anyone who would listen. Then, Mom and I went back to order them. They were pink and red/burgundy roses with lily of the valley for fill-in as Susan means lily, as I was so fascinated with my new last name. Because we had a real floral bouquet to throw at the wedding, I was able to keep my bouquet. It lasted until the foam disintegrated and it fell apart – about four to five years after we moved into this house. So, it survived 17-18 years – pretty good. 🙂

The next big decision was the cake. I wanted the fanciest one I could fine. We found it at the bakery inside the local grocery on US 60. After 37 years, it has gone out of business, but I remember that it was Wilkes. I loved the cake. It was four layers, separated by columns (so ’80s) with a fountain below, so it was quite tall. Since this “Bride’s” cake was traditional white cake, we had to have a chocolate Groom’s cake as well. It wasn’t quite as over the top, per your request, but was quite beautiful nonetheless.

The last choice was the photographer, and the wedding was planned. We selected a photographer located up the hill from ACC on US 60 that has, of course, gone out of business.