June 20, 2006. We had been married eight years.
Here were the wedding memories I reflected on then:
To take a quick (and not too sentimental) trip down memory lane, JB and I were engaged on my birthday in 1997. John had told me all week that we were going to go out to eat on my birthday. I therefore suspected that it was at this dinner that he would propose. Instead, I went to bed on the 21st and was awoken by loud music at 12:01 on the morning of May 22nd. Ticked off at my roommates, I meandered out of my room. It wasn't unusual for them to party into the morning, and I thought they were bringing the party home with them. Instead, I found rose petals leading into the living room. However, I was still half-asleep so I had no idea what this meant, until I followed the rose petals into the living room and found a card with a Bible verse and a quarter taped to it.
Every couple has their own quirky "inside" jokes and ours was that John would give me a quarter when he asked me to marry him. I am not sure exactly where this originated. At some point we had given each other a penny, nickel, and dime, and we joked that this was the next "step".
John had one of our favorite songs playing and got on one knee to propose. He would have slipped the ring onto my finger if it wasn't too small. Oh well. You have to have a funny story or how fun will the story be to tell?
So a year and a month after we were engaged, we were married in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Even though both of us were from Florida, the fact that we were both living in Kentucky at the time coupled with the fact that I had a lot of family in Illinois that I hoped would be able to make it to the wedding if it was closer (6 hour drive vs. 26 hour drive) made us opt for Kentucky. The church we were attending was too small, so our pastor asked a friend if we could borrow his church -- Westminster Bible Church.
It was a VERY hot June day and to make matters worse, the air in the church broke. Luckily it didn't break in the second floor fellowship hall where I was getting ready or I would have had makeup smeared all over my dress I am sure. There were about 150-200 people at the wedding. My Aunt Dorothy played the music and even though she would have preferred I chose another song, as apparently "Here comes the Bride" is from some horrible opera, I did walk down to "Hear comes the Bride." My Aunt Mary and Aunt Linda sang a beautiful song, and I have the words they changed slightly for us, hanging above my dresser. My best buds Kristi and Michelle stood up on my side as did JB's two sisters, Elizabeth and Katie. My junior bridesmaid was my long-time "little sister" Brianna Van Wyck. JB was joined by his three brothers. Ray was the best man, Matt was a junior groomsman, and Rob was the ring bearer. My brother Keith, his friend Sean and his childhood friend Craig were also in the wedding.
One of my favorite parts of the wedding was when we took communion together and our friend Deanna sang a beautiful song. This was a very moving part of the ceremony despite the fact that we were both so hot!
The reception was held at Garrett Ballroom on the campus of Western Kentucky University. We didn't have a lot of money to spend so we had a buffet style meal and a DJ and a beautiful cake. I was amazed at how well things came together on a small budget and my lack of intimate bridal influence. When the cake maker asked me what I wanted I said "pretty and purple". When our florist went out of business, and I talked another into taking us a few weeks before the wedding despite the fact that she had another wedding that day I said, "Something that is pretty and goes with purple." I really didn't know what I wanted nor did I care that much. I just wanted a simple, pretty wedding. And I wanted to be Mrs. Wendi Kitsteiner.
We spent our honeymoon in a cabin in Boone, North Carolina. We spent the first night of our honeymoon at Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, a gift from John's parents. We went back there on our third wedding anniversary as a special surprise from John.
Our first house, which we lived in in Bowling Green, Kentucky was actually a 2 bedroom, 1 and a half bath townhome that we rented for $365 a month. After that, we went to Franklin for 3 years where we rented our 2/2 duplex for $450 a month. Needless to say, our rent increased when we moved to Rochester in 2003.
Eight years later, and I can't even remember what it sounds like to introduce myself as Wendi H. But I guess that used to be my last name. We have now been together since December of 1993. Thirteen years. In a few years, I will have been with JB more than I have been without JB.
John's younger brother Robbie was 4 when we started dating and is 17 now. He admits that he doesn't remember John before I was his girlfriend. This really makes me feel quite old.
Anyways, so that is a little trip down memory lane. I have to say, as I have never been shy about saying, that I am married to the best guy in the world. He is truly my best friend.