Steve & Terri’s Wedding, San Francisco 1979

A few weeks ago I published my mom’s delightful recounting of her and my dad’s wedding, and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to post Jessica’s parents’ wedding story as well. Steve and Terri came down for dinner the other day – we went to Cha Am for Thai food and followed that up with Straus vanilla ice cream with an Andronico’s adult brownie – and the plan was to have them tell us the story of their wedding as we recorded it, and I would transcribe later. As fate would have it, there were no batteries in the camera – so instead, Terri wrote this, and I scanned some of my favorite photos from their wedding album.

NB – I am the one “narrating” the photo captions. ie, it’s my “voice.” Try not to get confused.

The happy couple, gazing off into their future

Your Dad and I had been dating for around 3 years and we both knew we were going to get married.  It was just a matter of when – when would he ask me and when would we have the wedding. I had been getting a bit impatient with this process and had in fact asked him if he was waiting for me to ask him to get married but he said no. On Valentine’s Day in 1979 he came and picked me up after I had to work late. I had forgotten it was Valentine’s Day and I was hungry and again a bit impatient to get to dinner, so I didn’t know why he was taking so long to pick out a restaurant for us to go eat and I was completely surprised when he said he was having trouble picking out a restaurant because he didn’t know if he was going to ask me to marry him before we had dinner, during or after dinner. We agreed before dinner was the way to go, I accepted, and the rest is history.

Terri dancing with her father, Big Jim, as eerie specters of light dance in the foreground. Jim paid for the wedding, with the promise that he would be reimbursed the cost of the reception. Instead, Terri & Steve gave him one of the two grills they got as wedding gifts.

Planning the Wedding
We had to plan our wedding around softball tournaments. We couldn’t get married in May or June, which were my first choices, because Steve and his team “might” be playing in a softball tourney. It would all depend on how the team did during the year and so July was chosen.

I was the first one in my family to get married but after I got engaged, my older brother got engaged and then my oldest sister got engaged so I think there were 3 weddings in a year and a half in my family. My mother did insist that I do the planning – not my strong suit at all. I had a vague idea of what I wanted and I fully expected my mother to take my vague ideas and make a great wedding out of them. I’m amazed we were still speaking by the time we got married. I’m pretty sure we were still speaking. We really didn’t have that much time to plan, from February to July.

Terri in her wedding dress. If you knew her, you'd want her as your mother-in-law too.

We had the reception at the Italian American Club, somewhere in the outer  Mission. From what I remember, they planned the meal and arranged to have an open bar at the reception.

One of my brother’s was taking a printing class at SI at the time and together we designed and he printed the invitations.

I had my 3 sisters as bridesmaids (Mary was maid of honor) and my 2 best friends were also bridesmaids. Steve had his very best friend Rich as best man and 4 other long time friends as groomsmen. The bridesmaids wore a very pale lavendar/pinkish long dress and the men work pale blue tuxes – it was 1979, which explains the colors.

Steve dancing with his (very stylish) mother, Jessica's Grandma Roma. Maid of Honor Mary and Best Man Rich (left) look on gleefully; on the right is Terri's sister Sheila and brother Dan.

I got my dress at a wedding store in San Carlos for the enormous sum of $220. I had never spent that much on any type of clothes at the time. It was a very simple dress with a nice lace bodice. My mom made my wedding veil from our baptism cap. A friend of Mary’s did the flowers for me, and I found some photographer from somewhere. I can’t remember how I found him – probably the yellow pages.

We had originally planned to go to Victoria, Canada as a honeymoon, but by the time everything was taken care of we did not have enough money for that and so we went to Disneyland instead!

Steve & Terri weren't thrilled about the idea of composite shots like this one, but they were pretty popular back then. I for one am thrilled they chose to do this one, as I no longer have to spend sleepless nights wondering what Jessica's parents would look like hovering majestically above the Palace of Fine Arts.

We had a friend of my grandmother’s perform the ceremony for us. It was a very Catholic wedding – full mass with the ceremony following the mass. Steve had to visit with the priest once and agree that he would raise our children in the Catholic faith. He had no problem with that because he knew that wasn’t going to be one of his job duties once we did have children.

A daughter of one of my Dad’s oldest friends sang at the wedding for us.

The reception was a great deal of fun, from what I remember. I had heard many horror stories of people having a terrible time at their own wedding so I was determined not to let that happen to us.

A happily inebriated Terri, post-wedding, with her brother Dave and her mother, Jessica's Grandma Pat.

My brother Will played the accordion at the wedding, and apparently he was a big hit.  I was upstairs changing at the time and missed the whole thing. Side note – he never played the accordion again.

When Steve & Terri went to the photographer's office, this photo wound up with the others. The secretary apologized profusely and told them the photographer should never ever have TAKEN this photo. But when they saw it, it was clearly a photo they needed in their wedding album.

My parents had recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and we had thrown them a surprise party for it.  They received many gifts that were silver, including a beautiful set of silver goblets. My mom suggested we use them at the wedding and those goblets held A LOT of champagne. I didn’t particularly like champagne and the way I dealt with that was to drink it down quickly. The goblets were some sort of magical goblets because they seemed to always be full and I kept drinking the champagne up quickly and ended up being very, very drunk – but I had a very, very fun time.

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5 responses to “Steve & Terri’s Wedding, San Francisco 1979

  1. What a wonderful story!! I just love it. So awesome that you guys got both sets of parents to write up their stories…awww, I just love how sweet it all is!

  2. I love this, obviously!!!

  3. Mary C. Jorgensen

    I agree with everyone about the Walker wedding story. And I learned one more reason why Jessica loves her parents so.

  4. I love this story and all the pictures of the family! What fun to read- Will you make a blog for my wedding someday too?

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