Where were we going to do this gig?
Tricky question. There were a lot of variables that clouded the issue.
It was highly likely that we would be moving after Tori graduated from San Jose State University with her Masters Degree in Library and Information Science. Ideally, Tori would have a job (which is why we would be moving) and I would still have a job. Beyond that, we din't know where we would be living or if our place would be big enough.
We used an excellent book, "Here Comes the Guide," which lists places in the Bay Area where a couple could tie the knot. As we searched the listings, we started to think about finding a site that could provide more than just a hall or chapel. Why coordinate renting a hall, managing a caterer, dealing with cake deliver, etc. if we could find one source who could do it all?
We decided we should look for a place that could run the entire affair.
At the time we were making these decisions, we thought we would probably be moving into an apartment by the time the wedding came around. We never really even thought about having it our "place" whatever that place would be.
The Claremont Hotel kept coming up.
For unkown reasons, Paul has always, always had an attraction to the hotel. He used to joke, this was when he was still a wee tot, that he was going to buy the place when he grew up.
In fact, shortly after he graduated from Pomona, he was invited by the Pomona Admissions Office to participate in a program for prospective students. On the day before the program, the Dean of Admissions called Paul to make sure he was still planning on attending. Barbara, Paulís mom, assured the dean that Paul definitely planned to attend.
Closing the call, the dean asked if Paul needed directions to the Claremont. Barbara said, "Oh no. Heís going to buy that place someday ... he knows right where it is."
The dean flustered a bit not quite knowing how to respond. Pomona attracted students who, it was entirely possible, could buy the hotel.
Paul, who happened to be at home when the call came in and was standing by ready to take the phone although the conversation never required it, fell on the floor laughing at his mom's comment.
The next day at the Admissions event, Paul did nothing to dispel the deans confusion, of course.
Once we established that they could handle all of the aspects of our plans, had the date open, etc. it was decided. We'd be getting married at the Claremont Hotel.