A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.
~ Dave Meurer
(this could take awhile--it's a huge book!)
Check a Sheila
FAIRY TALE WEDDING
26 June 2004
"It was a fairy tale wedding--and he was the fairy," says Vicki of her gay ex-husband, Gideon, in Steve & Jimmy's The Last Session.
I may not have been a fairy at our wedding, June 26, 1965, but I certainly felt like a princess. My mother and I were just talking about it last week, commenting that I remember my dress cost $125 and I thought that was so extravagant at the time. I also wore the "fertility veil," which began with my friend Charlotte (who went on to have five children) and through several weddings of friends, all of whom had large families. I think the veil must have been burned by now (just kidding, Char!)
We were lucky to be married in the "old Newman Hall," a lovely Berkeley building with beautiful warm wood paneling and a beautiful curved staircase leading up to the beautiful, warm, upstairs chapel. The new chapel, built after they tore the old one down, is made of concrete and always strikes me as very cold.
The wedding took place at a High Mass, with lots of music provided by the choir with which I had sung for years--and it included a string quartet doing the Mozart Missa Brevis. It was a lovely ceremony for Catholics, and a very long wedding for non-Catholics. One poor co-worker of Walt's was both non-catholic and deaf and his only comment at the end of the service was "it sure was long!"
The wedding was performed by our friend Tim Toohig, who had been ordained a Jesuit priest the week before. We were his first wedding, and he was very nervous. He also was not a "singer" and the recording that was made of the high mass, with Tim croaking out the priest parts, is pretty funny. Tim died a couple of years ago, and the world lost a very special man. He went on to officiate at the wedding of at least one of Char's kids, I think, and also to baptize some of the Newman grandchildren.
Even before we had set the date for the wedding, I knew I wanted the reception to be at The Brazilian Room at Tilden Park, a beautiful glass covered building on top of a hill in the middle of the park. (Ironic, when you think of it, considering how important the country of Brasil would become years later in our family life!). The Brazilian Room was a very popular place for receptions and we actually had to postpone the wedding date a week in order to get it.
But it was worth it. The setting was beautiful, even if it did offer easy access to park picnickers, some of whom snuck in to get punch or hors d'oeuvres and take them back to their own picnic lunches (one of them was caught on film when someone was taking movies).
Our cake was beautiful, with layers held up by inverted champagne glasses with blue roses under them (we still have most of the glasses). We were one of those couples who did the "smash the cake in the face" business. You don't see that a lot these days. Maybe because wedding dresses no longer cost "only $125" !!
We left the reception in Walt's old 1953 Nash Rambler, which just barely made it up the hill and out of the park to where our new red Pontiac convertible was parked. People had deocrated it with shaving cream and I don't think the writing ever completely disappeared.
And then we were off on a 2-week honeymoon to the Canadian Rockies. Sometimes the whole thing feels like it happened to two other people. It was yesterday. It was a few lifetimes ago.
Happy Anniversary, Dear! It's been quite a ride for the past 39 years.
The wedding party consisted of, l to r: Walt's sister Alice Nan,
my friend Joyce Villa,