The bride was serene in traditional white and the groom was anything but Saturday as First Brother Roger Clinton and Molly Martin recited their marital vows, just weeks before they are to become parents.
President and best man Bill Clinton gave his half-brother a reassuring squeeze of the hand when Roger reached out for a little encouragement as his pregnant bride marched up the aisle in a flower-filled tent at the Dallas arboretum.
Taking deep breaths and bouncing on his toes, Roger Clinton clearly was nervous, but also appeared to be playing to the crowd of about 400 people by exercising his flair for the dramatic during the 20-minute ceremony.
Minister John P. Miles, who came from Arkansas for the occasion, drew a chuckle from the crowd when he announced: "Roger didn't ask for a sermon, but he's getting one anyway. If he'd come to church more regularly, I wouldn't do one."
Miles drew more laughs when he declared to Martin that "marrying Roger, there will be bad days." But then, in an equal time warning, he added: "Marrying Molly, there will be bad days."
When the bride turned sideways for the exchange of vows, several members of the audience could be heard remarking at the advanced stage of her pregnancy.
A 30-minute cloudburst, complete with thunder and lightning, struck just as the wedding guests moved from ceremony to reception in the same tent.
"We had already decided to get married," Roger told a local radio interviewer Saturday. "The baby sort of sped things up." The couple has been living together in Redondo Beach, Calif., for nearly a year.
In another prenuptial interview, Roger said the couple decided to go slow because "we've never gone through this marriage thing."
"We're trying to sort of, like trial and error, do the right thing at the right time," he told TV's syndicated "American Journal."
Unfazed by all the attention that comes with a wedding in the President's family, the groom wore blue jeans to Friday night's rehearsal dinner at a friend's home in north Dallas. About 40 guests--including the President and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton--munched on fajitas and guacamole and kept an eye on the TV as the Arkansas Razorbacks survived another round in the NCAA basketball tournament.
The President sent his younger brother into marriage with "not too much advice" and "lots of love and well-wishing," Roger reported as Friday night's party broke up.
That fits a pattern the two Clinton boys have followed throughout life: Bill, the steady elder sibling, always there for his free-spirited kid brother, the would-be rock star at age 37. The President will always be known as "Big Brother" to Roger Clinton, who spent a year in prison on a drug conviction in the 1980s after then-Gov. Clinton approved the probe that resulted in his brother's arrest. Roger Clinton says his brother probably saved his life.
The two had the same mother--Virginia Kelley--but different fathers.
The President's father, William Blythe, died in a car accident before Clinton was born. His mother married the senior Roger Clinton when Bill was 4 years old. Roger Clinton Jr. was born six years later. The future President took his stepfather's surname when he was 15.
Martin, 25, plans to use the name Molly Martin Clinton. She works at a Marina del Rey software company.
Reflecting the couple's musical tastes, the Cindy Horstman Jazz Harp Trio played before and after the ceremony, and the groom's longtime friend Bill Tillman--whose band played for the couple's first date--was performing at the reception.