Marc and Van met at a Triangle Players’ production of “Back to Bacharach” on October 23, 1998 during intermission and after the show went out for a drink and conversation. “We’ve been talking ever since,” says Marc.
They reached a point where they both wanted to formalize their relationship, so on the tenth anniversary of that first meeting they married in San Francisco in a civil ceremony at City Hall where they were joined by three other couples from Richmond who also exchanged marriage vows.
“It was an amazing experience not only to take our own vows but to be there and witness as our dear friends did the same, one couple after another and then to stand together before the justice of the peace and be declared spouses for life. There were tears all around and such great joy.”
As long time church participants they were also interested in a religious ceremony. Through Marc’s dad, a retired Presbyterian Minister, they made contact with the chaplain at the seminary where Marc’s parents had met as students there in the 1950s. They were excited to learn that San Francisco Presbyterian Seminary was happy to host the ceremony.
When they first made the plans they wondered who would want to travel so far and if they would have any witnesses. “We felt so blessed as friend after friend, including the three other couples who were married, and relative after relative asked if they could come. It was a beautiful sun- filled California day, a simple ceremony in the chapel with people we love.”
“We love the city of Richmond. We have a great circle of friends, neighbors and colleagues. It is reasonably close to both North Alabama, where most of Van’s family live, and Southern Ohio, where Marc’s family live. Although politically Virginia had acted to harm same-sex couples and our families, this is the opposite of how the people we know treat us,” Marc says.
Van is the comptroller for Pence Automotive Group and Marc is an attorney with Hunton & Williams.