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Why We Got Married August 16th—My Birthday, Instead of August 23rd, Our Original Wedding Date

It was my dream 36+ years ago to get married on my birthday, August 16, 1986. I was marrying my best male friend and the man of my dreams. Everything on the calendar lined up perfectly as my birthday fell on a Saturday that year.

I was working at the main branch of US Bank in downtown Portland as a teller and the time came when my fiancé, Alvin, (whom I called and still call ‘Slim’), had to secure our date by requesting time off. Once we did that we could start planning our wedding and order our wedding invitations from the Lloyd Center Hallmark store.

However, my request to have the week off following the 16th was denied because someone with seniority had already requested that week. I asked if there was anyway that I could trade weeks but neither my coworker nor my supervisors would comply.

Hence, we chose the following week, August 23, 1986 as our official wedding date and we ordered our invitations.

In late Spring I decided to look forward on my calendar to see when my cycle (which was very regular) would be coming in August. The last thing I wanted was to be on my period during our honeymoon. I had endometriosis and got severely sick every single month and I also always bled for a full seven days. TMI? Well, I just know that menstruating during my honeymoon would have been a nightmare.

Upon checking my calendar, I discovered that my period would come during our honeymoon. [Insert scary Friday the 13th music here.] That was NOT gonna work. Both Slim and I were virgins and were waiting for our precious wedding day to fully give ourselves as a sacred gift to one another by consummating our marriage. My father-in-law had already warned me by telling me I was go’n be in trouble because in his words, “This nigga done waited 26 years to have sex!”

After praying about it, I talked to Mama and we decided that it would be best for me to ask my supervisors again if I could have the week following August 16th off. This time explaining to them my full situation. Even though they were both racist, they were also both women and fully understood my dilemma. They were reluctant but granted my request and we got married on the day that I wished and dreamt of, August 16, 1986. Won’t He Do It Y’all?!

I went JK Gill store in Lloyd Center and they printed up some beautiful inserts for me to put inside each invitation. We mos’ definitely could NOT afford to order new ones.

We had a beautiful wedding and a beautiful honeymoon.

The following week on August 23rd, something unimaginable and grave happened. There was a death in our pastor’s family. Wanda Irving, who later became my mentor & coach, lost her two-year-old son, Simone (who I used to babysit) in a tragic car crash. It was such a sad time.

There’s no telling what would’ve happened if we had to keep August 23rd as our wedding day. Perhaps another minister might’ve filled in to officiate or we may have had to postpone the wedding. I really don’t know. One thing I do know for sure is that God blessed us in that situation. And that, dear reader, is the reason we got married on August 16, 1986.

And here’s a fun fact, shortly after (I believe the following year), my mother got married on her birthday!

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