Local couples had a blast this summer (and spring) celebrating their love and commitment with family and friends. From heart-warming tales of romantic triumph to the drama of logistical snafus and allergic reactions, we’re here to tell you more.
Serafina Margaret Palandech and Jennifer Elizabeth Johnson were married Saturday, May 30th at Dawn’s Ranch in Sonoma County, California.
The bride, Serafina, 35, is the event manager at Edgewood Center for Children and Families. Previously, she was event director for San Francisco AIDS Walk. She graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz.
She is the daughter of Margaret Palandech of Downey, California and the late George Junior Palandech. Her mother is a graphic designer and her father was an engineer for Boeing.
The bridegroom, Jennifer, 42, has been the executive chef to Ann and Gordon Getty for the last eight years. Prior to the Getty gig, she worked for 9 years as a chef at Chez Panisse.
Jen was born in Corte Madera to Jane Johnson and John Johnson. Jane is a homemaker and philanthropist and John is an author and the owner of Vistage Strategic Consulting.
Their ceremony was held in the middle of an old Redwood grove and officiated by Tom Heihr, who likened the couple to the trees under which they stood and declared their love.
Just so happens, Redwood trees are:
-- the tallest species on earth; growing up to 350 feet
-- some Redwoods clock in at 1,400 years old
-- their bark can grow as much as a foot-thick and serves as a heat shield to protect the tree from fire
-- the trees grow in groves where the roots of the other Redwoods intertwine to sustain life
“As a married couple you will face the expected and unexpected. Your heart will break and mend a million times. Your family will grow, people will enter and exit your life, you will be faced with challenges and opportunities,” said Heihr, to the couple. “May your love be as beautiful, powerful and magnificent as these Redwoods.”
The couple became engaged a year ago at Nick's Cove in Point Reyes. However they decided not to marry right away, even though they realized that the November 2008 passage of Proposition 8 (the California state Constitutional amendment which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry) might not be overturned by the California State Supreme Court in May 2009. Which, it was not.
“We did not get married in time for our commitment to be, technically, legal,” said Palandech. “Which is awful. We chose to wait a year, not rush and enjoy a long engagement. But I believe it’s just a matter of time -- we will prevail!”
Recent newlyweds Serafina Palandech and Jennifer Johnson/ By Thomas J. Gibbons