My Wedding

Wedding Memories

Before the wedding itself, Caroline and Oscar signed the Katubah, which was witnessed by Rabbi Melanie Aron, Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy, David Ginsborg, and Sara Ellman. Caroline sewed the Katubah herself! We then crossed the street to go to the ceremony.

Our wedding and reception were held at the Cliff House in San Francisco, California, on Sunday, April 14, 2002. The ceremony started around 6:00 pm. The reception started immediately after the ceremony around 7 pm, and lasted until about 11:30 pm.

We orginally planned on having the wedding outside, but strong winds forced us to go indoors. Everyone could see the sun setting through the panoramic windows as the ceremony finished. Rabbi Melanie Aron and Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy did an excellent job conducting the wedding ceremony in a way that was accessible to everyone. Janice Ortega, our harpist, played beautiful music.

The reception was a lot of fun and went by very fast. We had a three-tier cake with mascarpone cheese and fruit filling, with white chocolate sea shells. It was delicious! Of course, there was lots of dancing and music. Mike Askew, our DJ, also played excellent jazz guitar. A great time was had by all.

Photos from the wedding and reception are at and

Bridal Party

Caroline had four members in the bridal party including a Matron and Maid of Honor and two bridesmaids. She had the following to say about them:

Olga Jarrett, Matron of Honor. Olga was my unoffical college mentor and very good friend. She got me involved in science education.

Alexandra Cwajbaum, Maid of Honor. Alexandra is Oscar’s sister and an excellent actress.

Anita Bhalla, Bridesmaid. I have been friends with Anita since she was in kindergarten and I was in third grade

Debbie Spensley, Bridesmaid. Debbie and I have been good friends since we were in high school.


Kyle Haight was Oscar’s best man. He accomplished the impossible; namely, getting Oscar to everything on time and prepared. He and Rob also organized an awesome bachelor party at Dave and Buster’s. Oscar and Kyle have been known to spend hours discussing arcane technical, political, and philosophical topics, much to their wives dismay.

Rob Ellman was a groomsman. Oscar has known Rob ever since he moved to California. They’ve collaborated on a number of projects, most recently a web hosting startup.

Erik Swanson was the other groomsman. Erik and Oscar met while working together as Sysadmins at a now-defunct Internet company, and have been great friends ever since.

Other Honors

Many thanks to Stephanie Shernicoff, Daniel Ungier, Elisa Koff-Ginsborg, and Darin Argentar for holding the Chuppah during the ceremony.

Emily Swanson, Anne Haight, and Barry Shernicoff did an excellent job ushering and otherwise helping and organizing before and during the ceremony.

Sara Ellman and David Ginsborg witnessed the signing of the Katubah.

About The Cliff House

The Cliff House is located in San Francisco at the most western point of the San Franciscan peninsula. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean, with spectacular views of the ocean, rocky crags, and other natural wonders. The view is especially striking at sunset. As part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it is surrounded by beaches and historical landmarks.

The Cliff House is a San Francisco institution. The first Cliff House was built in 1863 and was destroyed in a fire in 1894. The second Cliff House was built in 1896, survived the 1906 earthquake, and also was destroyed by fire in 1907. The current Cliff House is the third at this site and was built in 1909. It is currently owned by the National Park Service and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Second Reception Specifics

The parents held a second reception in honor of the Bride and Groom. The reception took place on Sunday, May 26, 2002 at the William Tell Holiday Inn in Countryside, Illinois. Many friends and family who were not able to attend the wedding in San Francisco came to celebrate with us in Illinois.

The reception started at around 12:30 pm. It was supposed to have ended by 4 pm, but everyone was having so much fun that it broke up around 5:30 pm. Fortunately, everyone at the hotel was very nice and understanding. The music was provided by Fun! Fun! Fun! DJ’s, who did an excellent job of playing a mix of popular music, dance music, and Jewish music. Afterwards, we were told by several people that it was the most fun wedding reception they have ever attended.

Photos from the second reception are at

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