Not So Very Bold by
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Prompted By Weddings

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38 years?!  How is that possible.

A female officiant? My family was skeptical.

Our wedding was a mix of the traditional and what we thought of then as the bold.  Both families happy with the union?  Check.  Only sibling/sister of the bride as matron of honor, only sibling/brother of groom as best man, check.  Theme color peach, check.  But instead of flowers, my bridesmaids carried sandalwood fans.  You wouldn’t believe how much this one, tiny step away from the cookbook was remarked upon. The breathless moment came when our female (female!!) officiant stepped up.  You’d think we were being married by an Elvis impersonator.  (Wink to John.)


PV Church wedding
We were married in a classically beautiful chapel in Portola Valley, California that does a brisk business in weddings.  Thirty seven years later, my eldest son attended a friend’s wedding there. When I mentioned that that’s where his dad and I got married, you could have knocked him down with a feather.  Apparently the idea that we hadn’t gotten married prior to the stone age was a new one.


Modern weddings that cost the equivalent of a house down payment for the couple, or that take place at a remote destination requiring a car down payment by the participants, have become an industry unto themselves.  Too broke to even offer a full meal, after our pretty wedding we went to an open space on the Stanford campus for cake and champagne.  One of my favorite photographs from the day doesn’t even include my loving groom.  It’s me, surrounded by all his (mostly somewhat younger) fraternity brothers who came to celebrate with us. Raising their glasses, laughing and toasting as the first of their comrades fell to domesticity.  Many of them remain in our closest circle to this day.










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Characterizations: been there, well written


  1. Suzy says:

    This sounds like a beautiful wedding! Love the sandalwood fans. Funny to think that a female officiant would cause such a stir in 1978. Five years later at my wedding, nobody batted an eyelash at that, even my groom’s extremely conservative parents.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    I like the image of you on the Stanford campus being toasted by your groom’s frat brothers, who remain close friends today. Fun and lively.

  3. Wendy Ng says:

    Oh yes, the Portola Valley church is a classic. I’ve attended a wedding there before (only one) and it was beautiful. Your picture is a classic.

  4. Constance says:

    Hey, remember having a second reception in Spokane to include a bunch of hometown peeps who couldn’t have traveled? I remember hiring the lady to play the harp in the background and one of the side cakes was a carrot cake in honor of the groom’s favorite. Post another picture that shows off your dress and how young you both looked.

  5. rosie says:

    Your lovely description, put a gentle smile on my face. Thanks for sharing this wonderful moment in time.

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