MERIDIAN, Idaho — The colors were pale green and lavender, the music was supplied by a string quartet and security was tight Friday evening as U.S. Rep. C.L. “Butch” Otter, the Republican candidate for governor, married his longtime girlfriend, Lori Easley.
Those attending the traditional ceremony at Holy Apostles Catholic Church in this Boise suburb lined up outside locked doors before being allowed into the church at 6:30 p.m., and the doors were re-locked by 6:45. No reporters or photographers were allowed inside, save for the wedding photographer hired by the couple.
“It’s a private thing, you know what I mean?” Otter told the Associated Press a few days before the event. “That’s what Lori wanted, and that’s what she gets.”
It may be the last chance for privacy for the couple, given Otter’s bid for the governor’s seat. He faces Democratic candidate and newspaper magnate Jerry Brady in the November election.
Well-known Idaho faces were on the roughly 500-person guest list, including Gov. Jim Risch, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, former Idaho Sen. Sheila Sorensen and Sandra Bruce, the chief executive officer of St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. U.S. Sen. Larry Craig and U.S. Rep. Mike Crapo attended, but the fourth member of Idaho’s congressional delegation, U.S. Sen. Mike Simpson, was out of the country and could not make it to the wedding.
The 39-year-old Easley wore a champagne-colored, cathedral-length lace confection from David’s Bridal’s Oleg Cassini line, and her 63-year-old groom wore an ivory tuxedo jacket over black trousers. The bridesmaids wore pale green dresses and the groomsmen wore ivory tuxedos with pale green ties and silvery vests.
The full bouquets included white freesia and lavender and deep purple hydrangea, and the boutonnieres had simple ivory flowers.
Huge sprays of flowers and greenery decorated the altar of the Spanish-style church.
“It was a beautiful ceremony, very, very nice,” Otter’s chief of staff Jeff Malmen said. “Father (Timothy) Ritchey did a wonderful job.”
Easley cried a bit as she said her vows, while Otter coughed a little but managed to stay composed, Malmen said.
After the ceremony was over, the two held hands and hurried to their waiting limousine, laughing and ducking birdseed thrown by the guests.
The couple dated for 10 years before getting engaged in April. Otter, who was known to joke in the past that he wasn’t married because he liked to finish his own sentences, had asked Easley to marry him several times before she finally said yes. Otter has been married once before, to potato magnate J.R. Simplot’s daughter Gay Simplot.
That marriage, which ended in divorce in 1992, was annulled by the Catholic Church this past spring.
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