Prince Charles and Princess Diana rode through the streets of London in an open carriage, accompanied by a regiment of outriders; Rick Diebolt and Leslie Snyder rode through the streets of Rockville in a company car, with the words "Western Exterminators" printed on the side.
Charles wore his military uniform and Diana wore a 100 percent silk dress with a silk train that was approximately the same size as Trafalgar Square; Rick Diebolt said he could no longer fit into his Army uniform, and Leslie Snyder, who wore a "100 percent cotton dress," left the train to Amtrak.
Halfway around the world, where everything was meticulously planned and precisely timed, they called it "The Wedding of the Century." Charles and Diana, just a couple of swell kids trying to get ahead in a cold, cruel world. Closer to home, at the Montgomery County Courthouse, where weddings are on a first-come, first-served basis, they called it "The First Wedding of the Day." Rick Diebolt and Leslie Snyder, a spirited, cheerful (and cooperative) couple with just enough time for a celebration breakfast before heading off to work. No parade route.No network TV. No cruise from Gibraltar.
Let it be duly noted and recorded that at 9:13 yesterday morning the bride and groom picked up their marriage license. (They were greeted by court clerk Ruby Howell, who told them, quite romantically, "Okay, I need $15 for the ceremony." The groom paid the check.) It was 9:18 when they entered the Civil Ceremonies room to take their vows. The ceremony was performed briefly but effectively by court clerk Bonnie Russell, apparently standing in for the archbishop of Canterbury who was otherwise engaged. It was 9:20 when the happy couple walked out. And went to get their car out of a nearby parking garage.
There were five in the wedding party: the bride, who works in corporate communications for Planning Research Corporation; the groom, a supervisor for Western Termite and Pest Control; the matron of honor, Gail Siegel, who brought the bouquet; the best man, Steve Siegel, who brought the ring; and a friend, Don Staats, who wore a dark blue suit.
The bride was radiant in a misty pink Chanel-length dress and matching misty pink strap sandals, which she described as "uncomfortable." The dress had great sentimental value, since she had worn it on one of her first dates with the groom. Instead of a diamond tiara, she chose a pearl necklace and matching pearl earrings. Her hair was done in a casual, flowing style. She did not bring her hairdresser with her. She laughed and said, "He's out of the country." The groom added: "Nancy brought him with her."
The groom was natty in a sporty ensemble, which the best man discreetly said "must have cost at least a buck, three-80." Brown half boots, vertically pressed tan trousers, a blue and white pin-stripe shirt, a blue and white delicately patterned tie and a navy blue blazer, which the groom said was "Raleigh's best." After describing his wardrobe, the groom reached into his breast pocket and pulled out what he called "a matching Bic pen."
The matron of honor wore a blue skirt and a white blouse.
The best man wore a light blue shirt, open at the collar, and dark blue pants. He wore a brass belt buckle decorated with a green sailfish.
The bride's flowers were purchased at Bell Florist in Rockville. They were silk, although probably not spun from the same British silkworms that conspired to produce Diana's outfit. When asked why the flowers were not fresh, the bride replied candidly, "I have allergies."
There was no music at yesterday's wedding in Rockville, although the bride said she might have liked "The Volga Boat Song," from which she sang an excerpt -- "Da, da, Da, da," correctly accentuating the third "Da."
There was a kiss immediately after yesterday wedding in Rockville. Which was tender. And fitting.
Neither the bride nor the groom are descended from royalty. The bride said her favorite royal figure was Nat (King) Cole. The groom opted for Count Basie.
Last week Rick Diebolt and Leslie Snyder, who are both 34 years old and have known each other for 2 1/2 years, decided to get married on the same day as Charles and Diana. "We'd been told that a couple of restaurants downtown would have commemorative breakfasts, and we wanted to take advantage," the bride said good-naturedly. The groom added in kind: "We held out as long as we could, waiting to be invited to theirs. I guess it must have gotten lost in the mail."
Charles and Diana received many gifts prior to their wedding. The Diebolts were not quite so lucky. Then again, as the groom said, "We certainly don't need an $8,000 glass bowl -- and we already have a Cuisinart."
Although there was no formal celebration planned, the groom said the couple was "hoping for fireworks down on The Mall."
From the Montgomery County Courthouse, the couple drove to the Fairfax Hotel in Washington, where they had planned a wedding breakfast, complete with a complimentary bottle of champagne.
As yet there are no plans for a honeymoon, but the couple intends to have a reception at their home in Silver Spring sometime in September. "After we paint the house," the bride said.