As soon as the last notes of a wedding hymn faded we rose and walked to the little room where I quickly got my shawl and bonnet and then we started walking home. We tried to hurry in order to get there before the guests started arriving.
Several vans passed us before we got home but we were safely inside the house by the time the buggies started arriving. Daddy had set up numerous makeshift hitching places for people to tie their horses and they started filling up fast.
Our big diningroom table was piling up equally as fast with gifts. LV and I started opening them until Daddy came to tell us that it was time to go eat. Walking down through the basement and then out through the snow we entered the showroom where tables were set with the prettiest china we could find. We sat on the chairs we had placed for us and watched as Daddy started directing guests to their seats. The bishop and ministers were seated first. Usually they sat directly opposite of the bridal party but I couldn't bear the thought of having them directly in front of us and so we had made sure that there were no plates or benches across the table from us.
Daddy wheeled Grandpa in on his wheelchair and let him sit next to the bishop and closest to us. I was happy that Grandpa got to sit there. Somehow it made it seem extra special.
Once everyone was seated the bishop announced that it was time for prayer. The happy noise of talking and laughter ceased as everyone bowed their heads. Raising his head it seemed to have a domino effect as people raised there heads and started talking again.
Table waiters started bringing bowls of steaming food to be passed around the table. We had our own special server to take care of us and two special cooks who had prepared our favorite foods. But I wasn't hungry at all. Once everyone was done eating the table waiters quickly cleared the tables while the guests remained seated and Daddy and several of the uncles passed out songbooks.
For the next several hours we had to sit there and listen to them sing. How I wished I could we could get up and go back to the house but there were enough uncles and visitors from different communities who each wanted to sing their favorite church wedding songs the way they did in their community. They were sitting in a place that blocked our discreet escape and we had no choice but staying seated. Church songs were fine in church but pure agony anywhere else.
Trying to tune them out we sat and visited with our attendants and hostlers until finally after several hours we had an opening and were able to leave the table leaving the men to continue their singing for as long as the wanted to.
To be continued