February 29th, Leap Day, comes once every 4 years. It’s purpose is to account for the fact that it does not take an exact number of whole days for the Earth to completely orbit the Sun, it takes approximately 365.24 days, so an extra day is added to the calendar every 4 years. There are many myths and superstitions tied to the day about luck, good or bad, but we all know that marriage isn’t about luck.
My brother, John, and my now sister-in-law, Jessa, got engaged in April of 2013. They did not talk much of their wedding plans, leaving us all to wonder when and how they would be married. About 7 weeks ago we got an unexpected call that revealed their plan to marry on Leap Day, 2016! Aside from the travel, it was an easy, stress free wedding. They only invited immediate family and a handful of close friends, 16 guests total in attendance. With this small group they were able to make the ceremony very intimate and thoughtful.
We all met at their condo at 2:30pm on Monday afternoon to sign their ketubah and have light refreshments. Traditionally, a ketubah is a special type of Jewish prenuptial agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride. However, in modern times, and in John and Jessa’s case, they used it as a non-religious contract that the bride and groom enter into together that is signed by the wedding guests and hung in the couple’s home as a daily reminder of their commitment to each other.
The image on John & Jessa’s ketubah is the alignment of the constellations at 4pm above Lands End Park where the ceremony was held, we all thought this was a pretty clever and very special idea. I did not know what a ketubah was prior to this, but I learned you have full discretion over the image/design as well as what is written. After everyone signed the ketubah we walked over to the park, about a 15 minute walk from their condo. We made a stop at the mosaic steps to take some photographs, arriving at Lands End right at 4pm for the ceremony to begin.
They could not have ordered themselves a nicer day. It was in the mid-70s and the sun was shining. The spot where they were married is right on the side of a cliff above the Pacific facing the Golden Gate Bridge. It was breath taking especially with the gorgeous blue sky.
John and Jessa wrote their own vows that were beautiful and heartwarming. A few weeks ago they had asked all the guests to come prepared to share a blessing, story or poem. After their vows we shared our blessings. They were all very different, but centered around love, family and marriage. This was one of the extra, unique things they were able to do given the size of their wedding. Following blessings they exchanged rings and were pronounced husband and wife!
After photographs we headed over to a dinner reception held at Cassava a small, neighborhood restaurant a few miles from their condo. They rented out the whole restaurant and we all were able to all sit together at a table formed into a horseshoe.
The food was delicious and we enjoyed hours of each other’s company celebrating the bride and groom!
(Chioggia Beet Salad, Mizuna & Poached Pear Salad, Fennel Crusted Pork Loin and Stewed Lamb Cheeks)
(Desserts – Choice of: Pot de Creme, Panna Cotta or Bread Pudding)
I am so glad I was able to share in John and Jessa’s special day. I have to commend them for making it exactly what they imagined for themselves. It was beautifully unique and a little spontaneous just like they are. They have a bright future full of love and laughter ahead. Congratulations!