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Courtney and Antony tie the knot!!

This lovely photo shows the groom at around midnight, well lubricated after the rehearsal dinner, with his delighted-to-be-there cousins. We don’t know the fellow with the handbag behind them, but notwithstanding his handbag he is definitely not the bride!

On November 15, 2003, Antony Nash and Courtney Bolin FINALLY got married! Our interest in this noteworthy event is simple: the groom before the wedding, and the bride after, are family!

Antony is my nephew, my only nephew, as it happens. And a very nice chap he is too. He’s the one who keeps talking to you and to every other branch of the family whenever there is some silly little tiff in the air. Life is too short, as they say, to waste it on misunderstandings and misplaced animosity. Antony doesn’t. He’s charming, bright, and always eager to please, a real breath of fresh air.

Here is Courtney, quite ravishing, with her groom and the minister. This was a part of the ceremony.

He has been dating Courtney on and off since San Mateo High School, mostly on, and by 2003 had attained the advanced age of 28. They had attended different UC campuses: Courtney was at Cal, and Antony UCLA. There may have been some glitches on the trail, but they were still seeing each other when they both graduated. Antony attended UC Hastings School of Law, and when he graduated they were, you guessed it, still together.

Laura, Antony’s younger sister, with their mother Sue, who is my younger sister. I still want to write “kid sister,” but don’t think that would go down very well.

Good for them! Marriage was clearly on the cards. I don’t know if anyone had said to the other, “it’s that time, s__t or get off the pot,” but somebody could have!

What made this wedding a little sensitive for our crew in Santa Cruz was the fact that this was the bride and groom’s second bite at the apple. A couple of years previously, they had become engaged, sent out invitations, arranged a hotel in Napa Valley for the reception, the whole works, and then quietly put everything back on ice. You have to understand that sort of thing: marriage is such a serious commitment, and no-one ever feels completely sure about it. The road is not necessarily easy to follow, and rarely runs in a straight line. We scratched our heads and waited to see what would happen next.

Sue and Derek brought mum’s friend Kay over from Marlow to the wedding, Maybe Kay was sort of a proxy for our mother, who was long gone. Here they are with Nick and Tom at the rehearsal dinner.

This La Jolla wedding was what happened next. The change in venue from the Napa Valley resulted from Antony and Courtney having moved down to the San Diego area for Antony to begin his legal career and Courtney to attend law school herself.

But there was another change, which had a bit of an impact on our family. The La Jolla wedding was a “no children” wedding. Not only had the prior planned Napa wedding involved children, the plans had included our Charlie in the wedding party. We had been seriously looking forward to seeing Charlie as a page! Our immediate family is small, and the possible opportunities for our little ones in wedding parties correspondingly rare. We went from having a cute small boy participating in the wedding to having no children invited to the wedding! 

Derek getting loose on the bus back to the hotel from the rehearsal dinner!

Of course, just as we appreciated the Napa plans, so we understood the La Jolla plans. One of the problems with having such a large family is that we Stock-Bruns are hard to invite all together. We do wish that the cost of modern social events was less prohibitive, for us as well as for the rest of the world, but have learned to live with the consequences!

With a little help from the groom (there’s Antony, stepping up again), we were able to get around that silly rule for two of our children, Nick and Tom, his older cousins in our household. Until we got involved and started participating in the rehearsal dinner, I still felt very bad for our uninvited children, and for Marie-Hélène, who was obliged to stay in Santa Cruz and look after them.

Tom, just fourteen at the wedding, did not really see the interest in dancing with this lovely bridesmaid while another equally lovely looks on. It wouldn’t be long before he did!

This wedding took place on a lawned terrace overlooking the ocean at the La Valencia Hotel on Prospect street in La Jolla, north of San Diego.

Nick in the Hotel’s gardens before the ceremony. Beautiful Hotel, beautiful garden. I’m embarrassed to admit that I love to see him and Tom dressed up. It only happens rarely!

It was a stunning cadre for such an event. La Jolla is one of those beautiful small Pacific coast towns which somehow manages to retain its natural charm despite its extraordinary good looks: millions would want to live there, just to soak up that landscape, but for some reason they don’t all do so. So you can visit, for occasions like this.

We did not try to take regular wedding photos, because a photographer who looked like a stoned Ruud Van Nistelroy was in attendance clicking away at anything that moved. We felt sure that he and his clicking assistant would take all the standard shots, and well.

Here they are, the dynamic duo in action! No point in competing with obvious talent like that!

The photos that he and his assistant took were available for purchase on the web for a while, but of course we missed them. So we can’t add those standard shots here: my apologies. By bothering the busy but happy couple, we did finally locate one of the wedding party below, comprised of twenty-something friends of the bride and groom, seven of each, I think. But we would still like more of the bride and groom themselves. There were some taken on the beach across from the hotel: perhaps one of those would be nice. I’ll ask Courtney if she has any that she could send me.

Yep, that’s what happens when you get married! I think that Charlie took this one on his birthday in 2005 on the roof of the Nashes Ocean Beach home.

For now, we focus on us, as ever! In this case, on Nick and Tom, who were dressed up for the first time as teenagers: that was real excitement for dad! Also for the various bridesmaids and friends of the bride, Courtney’s peers, who danced with both Nick and Tom: lucky guys! Antony and Courtney have always partied well with their younger cousins, and their wedding day (not forgetting the wild rehearsal dinner!) was no exception.

It was a wonderful wedding, with an ambience that complemented the cadre, and a delightful couple confirming the love that they first shared in high school. They are a beacon of hope.

The wedding party spread and displayed during the ceremony itself on the hotel lawn. The ocean is behind the palm trees, and we the guests have our backs to the camera. Can you see Tom, Nick and me?

More photos of the entire Nash family can be found here.