Justice Ginsburg came to Barndiva for a special wedding
BY CHRIS SMITH/The Press Democrat
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was at Healdsburg’s savored Barndiva on Saturday night, and not simply for dinner.
The U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice officiated at the wedding of two exceptionally bright San Francisco attorneys, who met while serving as law clerks to Ginsburg in 2008 and 2009.
“They were just stellar people,” said Barndiva owner Jil Hales. She said the bride and groom “were obviously thrilled to have her here. Her affection for the couple was very clear.”
The bride, Miriam Lapin Seifter, 30, graduated magna cum laude from Yale, earned a master’s degree in environmental policy from Oxford and received a law degree magna cum laude from Harvard.
She’s now a litigation associate at the San Francisco law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson.
The groom, Robert Michael Yablon, 34, currently a senior litigation associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, also in San Francisco, was an honor student at the University of Wisconsin and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He earned his law degree at Yale.
Yablon clerked also, in 2009 and ’10, for Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
“You’d think people with educations like that might be geeky,” said Barndiva’s Hales. “No. They were very cool.”
More than 100 people attended the wedding and celebration dinner. Hales was deeply impressed by Ginsburg, who is 79 and became only the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court when President Clinton appointed her in 1993.
“She’s a very elegant person,” Hales said. “She was just charming.”
The justice work a black robe over her suit as she married the couple in the Barndiva gardens, beneath an open-sided chuppa, a Jewish canopy representing a home open to the support and love of all.
Hales said Seifter was stunning in a fitted white, strapless gown. Her bridesmaids were in yellow gowns. Yablon and his groomsmen wore off-white linen. The abundant flowers were yellow and white.
Dancing followed the dinner that took place outdoors in Barndiva’s studio garden, beneath arched steel canopies and hanging passion vines.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience after the speeches,” Hales said.
She said it was impressive that the justice legally melded the two lives “by the power vested in me by the laws and Constitution of the United States.”
“We were proud that they chose Healdsburg,” Hales said.