Cool Connolly weds staffer, nursing student on a hot summer day

If he ever tires of the political life, looks like Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) could instead say “I do” to another, more matrimonial gig - wedding officiant.

The congressman’s first attempt at overseeing the vows of a betrothed couple went off without a hitch on Saturday. Connolly’s longtime staffer, Matthew Graham, married nursing student Lindsey Mehan in Leesburg, Va.

Connolly apparently kept his cool during the outdoor ceremony, even as temperatures soared to almost 90 degrees. At one point, as the groom fumbled with putting the ring on his bride’s finger, Connolly joked that everyone was swollen from the heat.

But his path to presiding over the nuptials may have been tougher than the campaign trail. The commonwealth doesn’t automatically give its congressmen the right to marry people. 

First, Connolly had to petition the county court to grant him the right to conduct a marriage ceremony. The judge granted his petition, but as Virginia law dictates, it was a one-time only deal – Connolly could only officiate the Graham-Mehan nuptials and only for the specific date of their wedding.

The law even required the Virginia Democrat to post a $500 bond.

As his spokesperson jokes, “I guess they wanted to make sure he doesn’t skip town with the wedding ring.”