Love the Second Time Around
Young Love Comes Full Circle for Greg and Hilary
By Leslie Dinaberg | February 16, 2023
Read all of the stories in our 2023 Wedding Guide here.
Their lovely wedding took place on the rooftop terrace of the Canary Hotel, but their love story started at a junior golf tournament when they were in high school. Greg Moss said he spotted the slender blonde Hilary Rack Chapman walking down the hallway of their shared hotel floor, with Hilary’s mother, who was chaperoning four girls from Santa Barbara. “I was there with two knuckleheads and a case of beer. And when they walked down the hallway in the hotel, these four lovely little ducklings, came to the room right next door to us, all cute as can be.”
They met, exchanged numbers, and although Rack Chapman lived in Santa Barbara and Moss lived an hour south and didn’t have a car, they began seeing each other when they could. “I always thought she was special,” said Moss. “It broke my heart when she picked SMU over USC [his college].” They wrote letters for a while but eventually lost touch and went on to marry other people and spend the next three decades on opposite coasts.
More than 30 years later, “a buddy saw her at the Whole Foods in Fairfax, Virginia and said ‘Moss, you should reach out to her.’”
He did. “She was always my favorite,” he smiles.
A while later, Rack Chapman decided to leave Virginia and return to Santa Barbara, where her parents still live. Moss came out to make the drive with her. That was six years ago. “When we drove across the country, at least in my heart, I was all in,” said Moss.
“I was too,” said Rack Chapman.
They moved in together but didn’t get married until the summer of 2022. “We took our time. It was important … not because of a commitment or a question, but to allow ourselves and our children [they have four between them, all in their twenties] time to process and relate us to the broader system of a family,” said Moss. “It wasn’t a rehearsal.”
“I think it was good that we did wait a bit,” said Rack Chapman. “So that everyone could show up this summer and be joyful.”
There are differences between a second wedding and a first wedding. “I didn’t plan a lot of my first wedding, as I was starting my career on the East Coast. …Thankfully, my mom did most of the legwork. This one Greg and I planned, and it was great fun. It was neat to see the decisions we made come to fruition.”
Curly Cait Events helped with planning and took the day of event stress off their shoulders. Emily Hart Roberts was their talented photographer, and Blue Blossoms did the gorgeous flowers, Room for Cake provided the delicious lemon buttercream raspberry cake, and they even had a magician (Gene Urban) and a caricature artist (Michael Bieckel) at the reception.
They loved the 360-degree rooftop view of Santa Barbara from the Canary, where they did the service. They walked down the aisle together with their children awaiting their arrival up front — and rather memorably, the officiant read someone else’s vows! “The words were different, but the spirit was right,” said Rack Chapman. “I looked at Greg and we just kind of smiled and went with it.” The officiant was later horrified, but they took it in stride. “We had a blast, and in some ways, those vows added to our story — and we had a good laugh about it,” said Moss. They have a standing offer to redo their vows at a future date.
“It was unexpected, but our family and friends really cheered during our vows,” said Rack Chapman. Ironically, a friend who attended got engaged soon after that. “And her husband loved the ceremony so much, he wanted exactly what we had,” she laughs.
They learned a little waltz routine at Leslie Sack Dance Studio for their first dance, to John Denver’s “Annie’s Song,” the version of which had an intro, which the deejay forgot to play. “We tried to catch up,” laughs Rack Chapman, “and we were like, time out, we need to reset, we need a do over” — another moment that made the crowd burst into cheers.
“It was really special; everyone was so excited for us,” said Rack Chapman.
“There was a sense of joy for the life we are building and the choice that we are together,” said Moss.
You must be logged in to post a comment.