The anniversary dance always makes us smile. We’re sure you’re familiar with this wedding tradition when couples flood the dance floor for a brief time before being asked to leave based on how long they’ve been married. What makes us truly joyful is watching the pride beaming from the family members and friends of the last handful of couples standing on the dance floor. How can we possibly put their expressions into words? They possess a combination of pride, admiration, and love for their parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle, or whoever this couple is for them. The crowd often giggles and cheers as the DJ announces longer spans of time—“30 years…40 years…50 years…”—and all who are present know that we are witnessing something beautiful, sacred, and rare in these long marriages.
At Natalie and Noah’s reception, we found ourselves in the joy of this moment as two couples remained on the dance floor and the DJ started pinpointing years in the 50-year range. At last, we had our winners: Dave and Shirley Jenkins, Noah’s paternal grandparents, who have been married for 59 years. Natalie and Noah sat at their table watching with cheer and hope in their eyes as they shared some wisdom they’ve learned in their 59 years of marriage: “Some days he will give 100% and other days she will, and you must always keep God right in the center.” Like most good advice, their words were clear and seemingly simple.
During his homily, Fr. Coyle painted a picture of Natalie and Noah during their time in high school. He shared his memory of seeing them go into the chapel to pray. Sometimes they would be on their own, other times they would go in together. This deliberate action of going to God tells us that Natalie and Noah have had God in the center of their relationship since the very beginning. He encouraged Natalie and Noah by telling them that they are always able to lean on God, but that that isn’t all the support available to them. After having them stand up and turn to face their family and friends, he encouraged them to lean on everyone present to help them throughout their marriage, too.
Natalie and Noah, your love story and marriage is such an inspiration and a joy for all of us to witness. As parents, we pray daily for the vocation of our daughter, Winnie. Our hope is that she will enter into it as joyfully as you have! Your family and friends were beyond lovely and it was a joy to spend the day with them. You clearly surround yourselves with incredible people. Hopefully one day in the distant future you will find yourselves surrounded by some of those same family and friends as you win an anniversary dance for yourselves, all the while showing others what it looks like to always keep God in the center, and your own children and grandchildren will have pride, admiration, and love beaming off their faces.
Amy and Kyle
Thanks to the full vendor team!
Officiant: Fr. Kevin Coyle
Church: Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Mount St. Mary’s University
Reception venue and catering: Highland Taps and Tables
Florist: Frederick Flower Farm
Hair and makeup: Linda & Co.
Cake: Erin Jenkins
DJ/entertainment services: DJ Max with DiCarlo DJ
Dress: J&B Bridals and Tuxedos
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Azazie
Groomsmen and Noah attire: The Black Tux