Jim and Ducky Got Married!
Eighteen months after
engaged, we finally tied the knot!
There is a transcript of the ceremony,
and a site on our honeymoon.
Some pictures are up!
We got married at 11 AM, August 22, 1998.
We got married outside, at Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton. It's an old
country estate (from back in the days when this area still had country)
that has been turned into a very nice park. There is lots of grass, trees,
It was held at about 11 o'clock. Normally you'd think that an August oudoor
wedding would mean death by heatstroke, but it was actually very very
Because we love each other like the dickens. :-)
We had a few goals for the ceremony.
Here's a few things we did:
- We wanted it to be a day of laughter and joy. Lots of weddings make
you almost afraid of getting married: someone spends a long time telling
the couple about how hard it is going to be, how they are going to
let each other down, etc. etc. etc. We know communication and
conflict resolution is hard; we don't need to hear about it on our happy
- Involvement of the guests. The guests were there for a reason, and no,
not just to eat, drink, and be merry. We invited them because we wanted
witnesses to our declaration and to enlist their support in making this
- Entertainment of the guests. The above doesn't mean we didn't want to
throw a good party. ;-) Yummy food, drinks, and cake were priorities.
- Meeting/merging of the families and friends. Both sets of family
and friends are important to us, and they are now linked pretty firmly.
We wanted to give an environment that was condusive to getting acquainted.
- We wanted to focus our money more on entertaining our guests and
less on satisfying tradition.
- We wanted it to be our wedding.
- We explicitly asked for guest involvement. We had a ten minute-ish
block of time where we asked guests to comment if they were so moved.
The Society of Friends (Quakers) has such silence and speaking as a
part of their culture of worship, and while neither Jim or I is Quaker,
we both have connections to the Friends. (And regardless, it makes for a nice
Remember, this was in the afternoon, outside, in mid-August.
The entertainment we focused on was croquet, not dancing.
- We did not have a bouquet or garter toss. In this day and age,
those seem to cause more anxiety and uncomfortableness than joy.
Jim and I sat for formal portraits the day before, so guests could go
directly from ceremony to reception.
(We asked people to come with empty cameras, and provided both 35mm film
and disposable cameras, which we collected at the end of the day.)
- We chose a venue where we could hold both ceremony and reception.
- We instructed the caterer to pass out drinks and hors d'oeuvres down
the receiving line, so that people would have something to do while they
We invited the kids.
- We did not set the tables. The food was buffet-style with three
different, separated locations, with silverware and plates at the food
stations. All of the stations had staff doing something (like tossing
stir fry) active. We wanted people to have to stand up and move around
so that they would have more opportunities to mingle.
- We hired two pals of Jim's from Opera San Jose to sing wonderful
We did not have a traditional wedding cake, just a sheet cake with
a custom, very personal design.
- Aside from table decorations, we did not put flowers all over everywhere.
We did not spend $4000 on a white lace and sequins dress for Ducky.
(We did put her in pretty flowers, however.)
- We did not hire a band, just rented a CD player. We split a dance
floor with the people getting married Saturday night and Sunday afternoon
We asked Jim's uncle Spencer to preside (see below).
- We and Spence seeded his comments with a few jokes.
- We memorized our vows and consent [the promise to the guests],
so Spence didn't have to prompt us.
If you are US citizen, California resident, swear to uphold the
Constitution of the United States, and pay $15 to the county, the state
of California will allow you to perform one (specific) wedding. So
despite Spence having no religious or lawyerly certification, he
was able to preside at the wedding. He did so very capably, and was
Music was sung by Brian Carter and Maureen Magill (both former principal
artists at Opera San Jose), and accompanied by Sara Jobin (who has many
titles, but who Jim also knows from OSJ).
Anne jumped in when it became apparent that Sara would need a page-turner.
Ducky's attendants were Georges, Wendy, Chris, and Rich. Jim's attendants
were Diana, John, and Laura.
Diana, Judith (Ducky's mom), and Ducky's "Aunt" Martha helped a lot in the
week prior to the wedding, helping arrange details. Thanks, you three!
Judith and Liz (Jim's mom) hosted the rehearsal dinner at McArthur Park
in Palo Alto (650/321-9996).
Rich gave the toast.
Jim's Aunt Marty was head usher, and oversaw Day and Heather.
Dee stepped in to fill a void, pinning flowers on participants.
Catering was provided by Continental Catering of Menlo Park (650/322-4189),
and was extremely well done.
For example, right before the cake cutting, the bride and groom drink
to each other with interlocked arms. Much to my surprise, the glass that
made it to my lips was non-alcoholic wine. About two months earlier,
I had mentioned once that I don't drink. That was noted, communicated
to the staff, the staff remembered, and the staff executed. Wow.
The cake was baked and decorated by Nancy's Fancies of San Carlos
(650/591-8867). I got one comment that it was overly rich, but I
personally loved it.
Flowers were done by Suki Park of Cupertino Florist (408/252-3560),
who went out of her way to make sure that everything looked great.
Our formal photo shoot was with photographer Cathy Gannes (650/323-4592),
who was great.
We also asked our friend Chris Mattis, a semi-pro photog, to take shots during
the ceremony and reception. She also oversaw the legion of amateurs:
passing out, collecting, and developing film and disposable cameras.
We bought our drinks at Beverages & More in Mountain View (650/949-1826).
We ran clean out of non-alcoholic drinks about an hour before the party
closed, and were left with three cases of wine and about 80 bottles of
beer. Our guests were generally white, affluent,
educated, and a little older than some wedding parties might be
(bride and groom are 35), so maybe the demographics were skewed a bit.
Still, we were quite surprised.
Holbrook-Palmer Park is in Atherton. Jean Cordona (650/688-6534) is
the contact person.
Thu Sep 17 16:43:52 PDT 1998