Jazz Leads to Love

On a recent crisp and crystal clear Sausalito evening at Horizon’s restaurant (soon to return to its original name Trident after many years), I was taken by the postcard-perfect sparkling city view, the fabulous food, and a “Down Memory Lane” special appearance by the world famous Larry Vucovich Latin Jazz Quartet. The whole experience brought back sweet memories of one of my favorite wedding events at Sausalito Presbyterian Church.

The stunning dark haired bride is a jazz singer who works at Lucas Films; the groom, a fine jazz guitarist involved in the recording business. The church was packed with talented musicians and music lovers. Wedding ceremony music was performed by Larry Vucovich (father of the groom) on piano, and joined by stand up bass.

The celebration continued in the church’s Thomson Hall which had been turned into an elegant downstairs supper club with round tables, white napery, tall silver candelabras, and masses of red roses. Live dinner jazz accompanied a scrumptious meal. After champagne toasts, all enjoyed a concert by eight brilliant international jazz musicians, much serenading and dancing. It was a magical musical celebration not to be forgotten.


Christmas Wedding Reflections

As I sang the soprano descants at the candlelight service on a clear crisp Christmas Eve, I reflected about the many unique and magical Christmas weddings at Sausalito Presbyterian Church.

The couple who came from London – the bride with a garland of tiny red roses in her hair and a silk vintage dress, and the groom in formal morning suit … silk top hat, polished cane, traditional grey striped trousers and morning coat with wide satin lapels, and of course white gloves. They looked a bit like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers about to dance down the aisle.

Another bride entered the church in an opulent deep red gown looking like Scarlett in Gone With the Wind. Her flowers cascaded to the floor. The reception room at the church was transformed into a winter wonderland with sparkling silver branches and the glow of candlelight.

Christmas is a time for reflecting and for planning for the future. Sausalito Pesbyterian Church has welcomed a new minister. It is about to be a NEW YEAR!

11-11-11 Wedding

Bride Dina is a gorgeous tall Latvian beauty who wore a non-traditional long gold beaded gown. Groom Rolf is Danish, born in Portugal. The stunning couple wanted to exchange marriage vows on lucky 11-11-11 at 11:00 AM. Sausalito Presbyterian Church provided an intimate candlelit setting.

Many languages were spoken as the bridal party and guests gathered around the piano for toasts. Elfenhof Danish Champagne with flecks of gold in each flute sparkled as sunlight  streamed in through the tall arched windows and leaded-glass skylights of the historic church jewel.

The wedding procession continued down the narrow lane from the warmth of the church to Poggio Restaurant for lunch and breathtaking views of the Bay. Later in the afternoon they took the short walk to board the Sausalito Ferry to San Francisco.

Sausalito Presbyterian Church is looking forward to lots of weddings on 12-12-12. Save the date by contacting shirleylatta@earthlink.net. Take the plunge and let us help you create your own unique wedding story.

A Musical Wedding

The stunning red-haired bride is a former ballerina. The groom is a talented classical singer. Musical talent of all kinds runs in both families and music brought them together. The couple chose Sausalito Presbyterian Church for it’s architectural beauty and spiritual charm.

Guests were invited to arrive early for an exquisite concert of Schubert Love Songs performed by 24 elegantly dressed opera singers and four-hand piano accompaniment. Sunlight streamed in the leaded-glass windows and skylights as the wedding vows were exchanged. White flowers and suculants added to the romantic ambiance.

After saying “I do”, guests were led down the garden steps to the charming deck that was aglow with stremers of white lights. Appetizers were served as the guests mingled and enjoyed the sunshine and sea breezes. The catered dinner reception in Thomson Hall followed and more music by “Le Jazz Hot” set a scene of a Paris night club in the 20’s and 30’s.

A musical wedding – not to be forgotten!

Celebrating Mature Love


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The Sausalito wedding of Rita and Dan brought together two families – four daughters between them and even a grand daughter.

A beautiful fall afternoon began with the groom welcoming guests, many who traveled from around the country, with French Champagne that was served in front of the church among the fruit trees and autumn leaves. Music from the 50’s played in the background. The ceremony and blessing of the marriage moved into the elegant sanctuary of Sausalito Presbyterian Church. The celebration continued with wine and hors d’oeuvres on the private patio. And a marvelous sit down dinner was served by Cater of Marin in the church’s Thomson Hall. Many stories, roasts and toasts about the couple followed into the night. There was lots of laughter remembering college days at Harvard.

Rita and Dan have made a new home together in the hills of Sausalito.

Two Hearts – One Love


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Groom Michael is a Sausalito banker. Groom Phillip is an actor/singer with Beach Blanket Babylon, the hilarious long running San Francisco musical production. The couple chose Sausalito Presbyterian Church for their Commitment Blessing. Best Woman Tammi, who usually wears 20 pound hats of the skyline of San Francisco and sings with a big theatrical voice in Beach Blanket Babylon, changed roles for the ceremony as she sweetly sang “We’ve Only Just Begun”.

After the presentation of the partners for life, the guests walked down the garden steps for a church reception celebration with lots more singing, a “rainbow” cake and Phillip sitting on top of the piano and serenading his partner with a touching love song. They finished with a dance and everyone joined in.

Michael and Phillp love their life together in beautiful Sausalito!

San Franciscan Beauty Weds French Artisan

The bride is a successful marketing consultant. The groom is a well traveled artisan, also involved in international transport. The couple met in San Francisco at an art gallery where they discovered they have friends and a love for music in common. Their courtship included lots of travel, as well as living and working in Lyon, France and gradually wedding plans developed.

They felt it was important to involve their many San Francisco and French friends in a week of fun: cooking, wine tasting and fabulous food! The wedding ceremony itself was in French and English and included music by a classical guitarist and an Italian opera singer and concert pianist performing love songs. The bride and groom promised “to make each other laugh every day”.

Long reception tables were strewn with French lavender and rustic containers of fragrant orange blossoms and garden roses. Salsa dance music followed a five course meal and French pastry, and the French, Italian and American guests celebrated into the wee hours of the morning.

Note: Shannon and Pierre just celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary in Vezenobres, France, the medieval village where they live part time with their soon-to-be four year old twin boys! A beautiful love story!

A Poetic Wedding

Bride Mary and Groom Evan were married at Sausalito Presbyterian Church on March 21st. Their courtship included travel to Barcelona, Biarritz, Rome and New York. Because they share a love of art and poetry, for their wedding ceremony they invited seven close friends to read poems. Here are some excerpts …

I. A Love Poem (ca. 1380-1471) The final lines … “Love is active and sincere, couragous, patient, faithful, prudent and manly”.

II. “To My Dear and Loving Husband” (ca. 1612-1672). It begins … If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee. If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me, ye women, if you can …

III. “A Dedication to My Wife”  T.S. Eliot  (1888-1965)  To whom I owe the leaping delight That quickens my senses in our wakingtime And the rhythm that governs the repose of our sleepingtime, The breathing in unison Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other Who think the same thoughts without need of speech And babble the same speech without need of meaning.  No peevish winter wind shall chill No sullen tropic sun shall wither The roses in the rose-garden which is ours and ours only.

IV. “Having a Coke with You”  (1926-1966)  A poem about art gallery hopping around the world.

V. A letter from Abigail Adams (1744-1818)   to her husband John Adams, 1782  …. Should I draw you the picture of my heart, it would be what I hope you would still love …. I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads, with an affection heightened and improved by time.

VI. “The Elephant is Slow to Mate” – D.H. Lawrence (1886-1930)   So slowly the great hot elephant hearts grow full of desire, and the great beasts mate in secret at last,   hiding their fire.   Oldest they are and the wisest of beasts so they know at last      how to wait for the loneliest of feasts for the full repast.  They do not snatch, they do not tear;  their massive blood moves as the moon-tides, near, more near till they touch in flood.

VII. “The Ivy Crown” (1885-1963)  …. Sure love is cruel and selfish and totally obtuse __ at least blinded by the light, young love is.  But we are older, I to love and you to be loved, we have, by our wills survived to keep the jeweled prize always at our fingertips.  We will it so and so it is.


The Walk up the “Old” Stairwell

A groom’s perspective – completing the circle …

It is a walk that has been made by hundreds, nay thousands of men. Their nerves are zinging, their hearts are pounding, and their knees are shaking. Some were euphoric and some were terrified. The walk for me begins in the “old” stairwell of Sausalito Presbyterian Church. But for some who came before , the walk began in a “new” stairwell. With the creaking and moaning of the treads, my feet press my body weight into them. How have these moans and creaks changed over the years with the passing of time and the traversing of thousands of groom’s feet? For some men, this is a walk their Fathers have made , and for a few it is a walk that there Grandfathers made. I was one of the few who followed in the footsteps of their Grandfathers.

What was he feeling? What was he thinking? Was he euphoric or terrified? These questions and so many more race through my mind as I make my way up the curve in the “old” stairwell. I am also thinking of the woman whom my Grandfather was walking towards: so young, so beautiful, and so full of life. That same woman now awaits me, her Grandson. Though she is much older now, she is still beautiful with her face lined with the passage of time and her mind starting to slip away. Does she remember the day my Grandfather climbed these stairs towards their destiny?

Grandpa is phisically gone now but I can still feel his spirit in the stairwell. As I finish my climb with one last breathe to calm my nerves, I step into my future and my past. Everyone from my past is seated on the left, and everyone in my futire is seated on the right. After today they will all be part of my past and future. My walk ends at the same point that my Grandfather’s walk ended. I draw from his strength as I await the love of my life while gazing upon my Grandmother. With the changing of the music the bridesmaids begin their walk down the aisle, a walk they make in support of the love of my life. Then the 100 years old doors close and my anticippation soars. As the doors open again the love of my life comes into view. The love of my Grandfather’s life stands and watches as my bride begins her regal walk – a walk that will complete the circle. To all of those grooms who follow my footsteps, rejoice for this is the most remarkable day of yor lives that begins with the walk up the old stairwell.

A Japanese Wedding – American Style

Bride Yoshiko and groom Nobuto traveled from Osaka, Japan arriving in Sausalito the day before their church wedding. They brought with them an elaborate white wedding dress and double veil. Their mothers and aunts wore colorful silk kimono and there was lots of bowing to communicate and show respect.

For the ceremony, we used a kneeling bench for the wedding prayers which were performed in Japanese and English. Pastel garden roses and gerberas mixed with lots of candles made the little church on the hill glow.

After touring the Bay Area, the couple honeymooned at the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas before returning to their work as travel agents in Japan.