PaperCity Magazine

February 2016 - Houston

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 39 of 59

WE WED THE WAY OKLAHOMA! Trip Down the Aisle: August 18, 1962 MIZ McKEITHAN RECALLS Sorority Sisters Set-Up: David and I met at a sorority and fraternity mixer in OSU. Two of my sorority sisters insisted that I meet David, "the most handsome" Sigma Chi that was not dating anyone steadily. I was totally unimpressed when I met him and thought that I would probably never hear from him; however, a couple of weeks later, he called and invited me to the Sigma Chi Christmas formal. I really had a great time and decided that he was a pretty good guy. Several weeks later he came to Shawnee, Oklahoma, where I grew up, and had dinner with my family. He was from Bartlesville. We dated for a year, then became engaged after he graduated and was working in Tulsa. Dazzling Details: Mother and I drove from Shawnee to Oklahoma City on many occasions to pick out the right wedding gown from Kerr's/Balliet's. My gown was a custom- made Priscilla of Boston — a regal white gown with a full cathedral train and veil. The Big Day: We were married on a Saturday evening. The beautiful candlelight ceremony in Shawnee's First Baptist Church was attended by over 500 people from Shawnee, MARY ANN & DAVID McKEITHAN DUYEN HUYNH & MARC NGUYEN AS TOLD TO JENNY ANTILL CLIFTON. EDITED BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON. Bill: Andrea and I were friends before we dated. At times we ran together — no, not running in the fast track, but jogging around Buffalo Bayou and Memorial Park. We were both busy with our law practices and gave up dating others shortly after we went out as "more than friends," so there wasn't a magic "we are going to get married" moment. She should have known about the seriousness of my intentions when I took her to church after our first date, and then she invited me to have dinner with her parents. The wedding jewelry was an inexpensive gold wedding band. Neither of us has relished the cost or responsibility of expensive jewelry. We wanted the wedding to be low- key. (I had been married before — to someone who was and is a big fan of Andrea's.) The wedding was at Andrea's parent's home in Memorial, in the backyard she loved, with a minister from a church I attended. I prepared a few words about what the wedding meant to me — words that came from the heart but might seem a bit over- the-top. We took a honeymoon weekend at her parents' house on Lake Livingston — homey and remote, built from the ground up by her father with child labor from his kids. We celebrated later with a week-long ski vacation, which we took at Snowmass. Andrea wanted as little pomp and ceremony as possible. She dreaded public speaking, and I remember how nervous she was before the ceremony — not because of the wedding as such, but at being the center of attention. Andrea: Bill's right. I was nervous. I was 31 and had waited awhile to get married. I didn't relish the attention of walking down the aisle and my parent's ranch-style '50s home was perfect. There was no room for an aisle. Bill wrote our vows. It really impressed me that he was willing to declare in the boldest language his love for me and his promise to be with me for all time. The dress was a mid- calf, off-white flapper style dress. I am almost sure I bought it at Tootsies, assisted by Joanna Handel. It's hanging in the attic, an unlikely candidate for another bride. But I still wear the Mariquita Masterson pearl necklace that I bought to go with it. Jeff Love, an attorney at Locke Lord, reminds Bill of our anniversary every year or he would never remember. I remember the date, but we are not big on traditions. Phyllis Hand took our wedding photos. She and I were in the same dorm at University of Texas. At my 60th birthday party, I recently told assembled friends that I would marry Bill again. I meant it. I wouldn't have been so nervous on that day almost 31 years ago if I had known him like I do now. Bartlesville, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The chancel of the church was festooned with garlands of Southern smilax, and the Oklahoma Baptist University Orchestra played traditional wedding, classical and sacred music during the service, with opera singer Joe Long as wedding soloist. The reception followed in the church parlor and large reception room, the Liza Smith-Stith Parlor, that was named for my paternal grandmother. The room was transformed into an English garden, and the Oklahoma Chamber Orchestra played. Happily Ever After: We left immediately following the wedding on our honeymoon to Ruidoso and Santa Fe, New Mexico ... We now have three married daughters, three sons-in-law and 10 grandchildren. Mary Lynn McKeithan Khater, our oldest daughter, wore my dress in her wedding to Ferdy Khater. She had November nuptials, so she added long lace sleeves to the gown. It looked magnificent on her. The other two daughters choose to have different designer gowns. All three had beautiful traditional weddings. High Notes: David was very particular about our wedding music. We had a professional orchestra, and he drove them crazy with suggestions. They definitely didn't like his interference; however, we survived, and the music was beautiful. DAVID SAYS The Proposal: I was never nervous. I decided Mary Ann was the one after we stayed with my parents in Bartlesville, following a Sigma Chi formal in Tulsa. I could tell my parents were impressed with her, and that truly swayed me in the decision to pop the question. I proposed at a friend's wedding in Tulsa just a few months after that. The Bachelor Party: It was held at my parents' lake house on Lake Eufaula near Tulsa. It was large and wild with way too many guys. My parents were worried that it might get out of hand and someone might drown in the lake. Fortunately, no accidents! VIETNAMESE TRADITION + COMING TO AMERICA Trip Down the Aisle: July 27, 1991 HE SAID, SHE SAID Marc recalls: In 1984, I went back to college after a couple years of unsuccessful ventures and met Duyen through classmates. She used to laugh at whatever I said, which made me feel awesomely cool. We dated for five years before we decided to get married. No engagement. I guess I was a pretty typical guy, just didn't want to deal with all the social protocols. So we set the date. Duyen had just finished college and was waiting to get accepted into UT dental school in Houston. We tried to keep the wedding as simple as possible. The Dare: Knowing her awesome cooking skill, I made a dare — if she baked the wedding cake, I would make [both] her wedding dresses. I could not believe she took me up on it. Vietnamese tradition called for the bride's silk brocade ao dai. Duyen opted for a deep-red silk emblazoned with gold dragons and a not-too-traditional metallic fabric headdress, perfectly paired with a traditional piece of jewelry given to Duyen by her parents, a gold hand-carved dragon necklace. The wedding dress made out of white silk peau de soie ended up taking me more time than I had planned. Thank God it was the only dress I would ever have to make. As for the cake, I had only two requests: a lot of butter cream, and that the cake be spiked with a lot of rum. So in the midst of the summer heat, Duyen had to labor to make enough for over 300 guests. To this day, she bakes her awesome cakes with butter cream — and, yes, the cake is always laced with rum so we can reminisce about our wedding adventure. The Vows: Since we both were choir members at the old Sacred Heart Catholic Church, we elected to have our wedding there. Between the time we began planning and the actual wedding date, the church was renovated, and out went the beautifully carved altar dating to the turn of the century. Luckily, the rest of the old church remained: the carved doors, the gothic-style ceiling, stained glass and, most awesome, the choir loft with its magnificent pipe organ. At the time, I was playing in a wedding band so as a fringe benefit, we got entertainment for free. The reception was held at a now-defunct Chinese restaurant that we frequented as students. Since most of our guests were college friends, we were completely non-formal in our setting, as if it was just another wild college party. Reunion Day: Since I left Vietnam at the end of the war, our family became separated — brothers and sisters relocated to all parts of the world. Our wedding was the occasion that brought all of us together after 15 years of not seeing each other. We were exhausted from planning our wedding yet so elated to see all of our loved ones. The Ultimate Gift: Best of all, two days later, a letter arrived in the mail announcing Duyen's acceptance into UT Health Science Center Houston Dental School. Duyen's side: About eight months after we first met, Marc called me one day and asked me out for our very first date, and also asked me if I would marry him — even before we went out on our date. East Meets West: On our wedding day, we had our Vietnamese traditional tea ceremony at our home first, with both sides of families present. After some light bites, we all went to church together for the ceremony, and dinner reception afterward. Heirlooms: We didn't register. I guess because in our country, wedding registries don't exist. The jewelry from my parents and my in-laws have been my favorite gifts, and I'll treasure them until I pass them down to my children. We celebrate our anniversary every year with dinner at a restaurant, as a family with our four daughters. Elvis in the House: I will always remember when Marc sang "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis Presley at the reception, with me in his arms. My heart still melts to this day thinking of that. ANDREA & BILL WHITE NOT POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: Trip Down the Aisle: October 19, 1985 MRS. AND MR. WHITE WEIGH IN Andrea: Our oldest son got engaged in January. Will White asked Kelsi Stayart to marry him, after concocting an elaborate cover story to get her to Austin for a surprise celebration. Will made up a traditional Indian wedding and invited Kelsi to attend as his date. Our courtship in 1984– 1985 was more straightforward. Duyen and Marc's East-West nuptials The future first lady and mayor on their big day Mary Ann and David tie the knot. BINH NGUYEN PHYLLIS HAND HOUSTON PAYNE The McKeithans take the cake.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - February 2016 - Houston