BOISE – It took a decade of wooing – and five proposals – but this month Lori Easley is set to walk down the aisle with one of Idaho’s most rambunctious bachelors.
The move could make her Idaho’s next first lady, if U.S. Rep. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s attempt for the governor’s seat against Democratic candidate Jerry Brady is successful this fall.
The invitations have been sent, the gown chosen and the flowers picked for the Aug. 18 wedding at Meridian’s Holy Apostles Catholic Church. But despite the high profile of the couple, their wedding selections have been firmly down-to-earth.
Easley will be wearing a gown with a cathedral-length train from chain retailer David’s Bridal’s Oleg Cassini line. Capital City Florists will be handling the flowers, and local photographer Brad Hollenbaugh will be snapping portraits of the bride in her strapless, champagne-colored dress, Otter spokesman Mark Warbis said. A string quartet will play during the ceremony, Warbis said.
The guest list was kept as small as possible, said Idaho Rep. Debbie Field, Otter’s campaign manager.
“Butch Otter and Lori Easley have so many people they know, as you can imagine, and the two of them have large families, but they’ve kept it to pretty close family and friends,” Field said.
Otter is 63 and Easley is 38.
Though the Friday evening wedding is just a little more than two weeks away, procrastinators still have plenty to choose from in the Otter-Easley gift registry. The couple registered at Macy’s, mainly for dining and entertaining supplies and mostly eschewing high-end brands for mass-market items.
One splurge: A set of Waterford crystal wedding heirloom flutes, priced at $150 each. And for the romantics, a few items for the bedroom: A baffle-box down comforter and a feather bed mattress cover.
They also registered at the Boise boutique Gibson & Lane, favoring horse-themed trays and other items by designer Arthur Court as well as cream Italian pottery.
The couple’s engagement wasn’t terribly lengthy, with the announcement coming in April, but they have a long history, Field said. They started dating 10 years ago, and though Otter proposed periodically during that time, the answer was always no. At least, until this year.
The difference may have been that Otter’s first marriage, to potato magnate J.R. Simplot’s daughter Gay Simplot, was eventually annulled by the Catholic Church. The two had divorced in 1992, but the annulment cleared the way for Otter and Easley to have a Catholic wedding, Field said.
“He got the annulment and asked Lori Easley to marry him that same week,” she said.
Like many couples getting married in local Catholic churches, the two attended a series of pre-marriage classes at Holy Apostles as well as a few private meetings with Father Timothy Ritchey, who will be officiating the wedding, church officials said.
Otter’s son, John Otter, will serve as his best man, and longtime friends Mike Gwartney and Dyke Nally will serve as groomsmen. Easley’s friend Leslie Williams will be the maid of honor, and two other longtime friends will serve as bridesmaids.
The pair have several things in common, including a rural background and a love of ranching and rodeos, Field said. They also both hold a pageant win, of sorts. Easley, now a Meridian school administrator, was crowned Miss Idaho USA in 1991. Otter won a “Mr. Tight Jeans” contest in a Boise bar in 1992.
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