President Clinton's free-spirited brother Roger turned into the traditional stammering groom for a few minutes Saturday as he wed Molly Martin, with the President looking on approvingly.
In a 20-minute ceremony at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Roger Clinton struggled for words, and at one point grabbed his brother's hand for reassurance. He danced around on his toes in a nervous manner as the ceremony proceeded.
His pregnant 25-year-old bride, meanwhile, looked on with unruffled serenity.
And after presiding Minister John P. Miles of Arkansas finally announced: "And now I present you Mr. and Mrs. Roger Clinton," the groom gave a deep sigh and broke into a broad smile. When the vows were completed, the couple embraced in a long kiss--followed by a second kiss for good measure.
Roger Clinton, a 37-year-old rock 'n' roll singer who has faced his share of troubles in the past, has always looked to his brother for guidance and support. On this occasion, the President played the role of best man, nodding approvingly as the minister spoke of the spouses' obligations to comfort and support each other.
The President joined other guests in a light-hearted laugh when the minister explained why he was going to insert an unsolicited sermon into the ceremony for Roger Clinton. "If he'd come to church more regular," Miles said, "I wouldn't have to do one."
The bride wore a simple white dress with chiffon sleeves, but no veil. Roger and Bill Clinton and other male members of the wedding party wore black tie tuxedos with white boutonnieres.
Setting in the front row to the right of the center aisle were First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter, Chelsea. In the front row to the left of the aisle was the bride's mother, Emilie Martin.
The ceremony took place before a crowd of about 450 guests in a white tent behind a stone mansion, the DeGoyler House, on the arboretum grounds. A popular wedding spot, the house is bordered by a swathe of tulip beds and overlooks White Rock Lake.
The couple has been living together in Redondo Beach, Calif., for about a year. They decided to get married about a month before they are to become parents.
Whether the baby is a boy or a girl, its first or middle name will be Cassidy--which is Roger Clinton's middle name and his mother's maiden name.
The bride, who is the daughter of a Highland Park, Tex., police officer, will go by Holly Martin Clinton.
Roger Clinton told a radio interviewer that the couple had planned to get married before they learned that Molly was pregnant.
"The baby sort of sped things up," said Clinton, who met his wife at an Arkansas racetrack two years ago.
She works at a Marina del Rey software firm. His principal job is playing in a band that warms up studio audiences at TV shows produced by Clinton friends Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. He also appears on the lecture circuit, where he talks about his family and his past struggles with drugs.
The ceremony Saturday was traditional, as was the music. The Cindy Hostman Jazz Harp Trio played before and after the wedding. A rock band led by Bill Tillman, a longtime friend of the groom, played rock music at the reception that followed.
Roger Clinton said earlier that he drove from Dallas to visit his mother's grave in Arkansas last Thursday. Virginia Kelley died of cancer in January.
"I just needed to see her before I get married," he told an interviewer, adding that he "told her some things I needed to get off my chest."