Hypochondriacs, beware: There’s something dangerous in the air in Linsley-Chittenden Hall.
There were traces of it floating around in 1990 when Ryan Craig ’94 met Yahlin Chang ’94 in their freshman year English 129 class. Four years later, Craig, then a freshman counselor, probably passed the air-born infection to Crisco del Valle ’97, one of his counselees. And that same year, David Lambert ’95 must have inhaled the pathogen when he interviewed Emily Wilk ’96 for the position of FOOT leader in an LC classroom.
The infection completed its final stages for Craig, Chang, Lambert and Wilk on June 16, 2002, when both couples were married at Yale, not far from LC, in separate ceremonies.
These two couples are not alone in selecting their alma mater as the location of their wedding. Gale Iannone, the facilities coordinator for Battell Chapel, estimated that as much as one-quarter of the marriages performed in the chapel involve alumni.
This may seem strange to current undergrads. After all, college, where relationships often have a life-span shorter than the average alcohol-fed lab rat, is all about change and experimentation. Case in point: The “hook-up” — that nebulous fill-in-the-blank connecting two frequently intoxicated students — is the most frequent form of collegiate romance.
“[Yale’s] a special place — it’s classical, romantic, timeless,” said del Valle, who met his fiance, an unsuspecting Bucknell University student, at Mory’s in 1996.
For some reason, Yalies that choose to get married at Yale have the tendency to think that formerly unpleasant locations — lecture halls, seminar rooms — are incredibly romantic. Exactly 10 years after Craig and Chang bonded over the Iliad, Craig, now an investor in New York, brought his girlfriend back to LC to propose to her.
“The whole place has great sentimental value to us,” Chang said. “You’re never at a place that is that beautiful, despite the weather.”
Although the room where they originally met had been destroyed in the renovations, Chang accepted Craig’s proposal and the two set about planning their Yale wedding. They decided a reception in Calhoun College, Craig’s residential college, would follow the Battell ceremony. The only problem — booking the dining hall means using the Yale University Dining Services Catering.
“I put in the save-the-date e-mail [that] we were going to serve chicken patties and Mediterranean tofu melange,” Craig said.
Even during the ceremony itself, painful college memories resurfaced.
“It did remind me of Peter Salovey’s Psychology and the Law class in Battell in ’92,” Craig said.
While Craig and Chang were suffering from college flashbacks in Battell, Lambert and Wilk were about to have their ceremony across Old Campus in Dwight Hall. Since many of their friends were Yalies, Lambert said a Yale wedding seemed like the most fun thing to do. Many of the guests went to the Anchor Bar on College Street after the ceremony.
“It was kind of like a reunion,” Lambert said.
Craig and Chang agreed that having a Yale wedding was convenient and fun for their Yale friends.
“I feel a little bad for the people at our wedding who had not gone to Yale, because it was so Yale-centric,” Chang said.
When the guests were kicked out of Calhoun’s dining hall later that evening, she said they chilled in the common room. Calhoun College Master William Sledge said in an e-mail that the college hosts one or two wedding receptions every year because of its close location to Battell Chapel.
And del Valle, who is also planning to have his ceremony in Battell and reception in Calhoun, will be marrying into a family where the Yale marriage is tradition. Although his fiance Megan Leaderer did not attend Yale, her parents were also married on campus, in Dwight Hall. Her father, Brian Leaderer ’71 is a professor at the Yale School of Epidemiology and Public Heath.
Nevertheless, del Valle is still a little apprehensive about the wedding food.
“It’s kind of weird when you hear about all the union disputes, and then you’re going to have Local 35 do your wedding,” he said.