Sarah Gore, daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, married real estate agent Patrick Maiani in front of the Lucky Llama Coffee Shop in Carpinteria, California.
Father of the bride Al Gore was on hand to give the bride away in a quick ceremony beneath the Wardholme Torrey Pine. The world’s tallest Torrey Pine tree, Wardholme Torrey Pine was planted in 1888 and stands 126 feet tall, with a 130-foot branch spread.
The couple danced on the lawn; then the wedding party and guests walked over to Crushcakes and Cafe bakery for the reception.
Reporter and photographer Larry Nimmer, creator of the website EveryoneHasAStory.org, happened to be nearby and spotted the Veep escorting his daughter down the “aisle”; and Nimmer grabbed his iPhone and captured the nuptials on video.
You can read the story (and see more photos of the day) at Bridal Guide.
BUT WAIT: Catholics Can’t Marry in a Field, or on a Beach, or Under a Tree…. Right? Why Is That?
Yep, that’s right. If you’re a Catholic, you shouldn’t plan a “destination wedding” on the ocean or in the desert or atop a mountain. The Catholic Church considers it important to have your wedding in a church.
Is the Church just trying to spoil the day, forcing everyone to stay indoors?
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their “For Your Marriage” site, offers a helpful explanation for why Catholic weddings are customarily held in a sacred space. Father Larry Rice answers the question “Why Get Married in a Church?”
As someone working full-time in Campus Ministry, one of my frequent responsibilities is preparing couples for marriage. One frequent question I hear from couples is, “Can we get married outside in the park,” or “Can we get married at the country club?” Often what they’re looking for is a location more convenient to their reception, or a place more aesthetically pleasing than the Newman Center or their local parish church.
I usually end up explaining to these couples that the Catholic Church expects that a wedding, being a solemn and sacramental event, should occur in a church—in sacred space. Usually that’s something that they understand, and it’s not a problem. Occasionally I hear, “Well, isn’t God present equally everywhere?” To this I generally respond, “Well, yes, God’s just as present at the bus station downtown, but you wouldn’t want to get married there, would you?”
We Catholics take this notion of sacred space very seriously. That’s why being inside a church feels different from being somewhere else. An atmosphere of peace, reverence, and respect is important to us, so that all will feel welcome, and so that a sense of God’s loving presence permeates the place. We believe that weddings are sacred moments, which should ordinarily happen in the place where the bride or groom worships, with their families and their faith community. A church isn’t just a set or backdrop for a wedding; rather a wedding is an expression of a faith community’s joys and hopes.
Of course, there are occasionally special circumstances which might require a wedding in a different location. For that to happen in most dioceses, the permission of the bishop is required. In many places that permission is difficult to obtain, unless the reason is particularly serious. “I just want to be married outside,” is generally not going to be reason enough.