This weddings spotlight fell on the two mothers: ages 105 and 93

Some might say it’s amazing that Bruce Kaufman and Nancy Gilbert found each other, fell in love and got married at ages 79 and 65, respectively.

But what might surprise some even more is that their mothers, Rose Kaufman Freedman and Cecile Solow Gilbert — whose combined age is 198 — both attended their July 31 wedding ceremony at the Vintage Coventry senior living center in San Francisco.

“Bruce and I feel so honored and blessed not only to have found each other but also to be able to share this experience with both our mothers,” Nancy said. “At our ages, it’s very rare that you have parents giving you away.”

As soon as the wedding was announced eight months ago, 105-year-old Rose (Bruce’s mom) and 93-year-old Cecile (Nancy’s mom) became the center of attention — from the invitations to the wedding gown to the walk down the aisle.

“We both knew that this occasion would be a special one for our mothers — not just for us,” Nancy said.

“My mom is still so alert,” Bruce said. “She knows what’s what, and still lets me know what’s happening. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of this unique experience.”

The wedding invitation was designed with the mothers in mind. It read, in part: “Mrs. Cecile Solow Gilbert and Mrs. Rose Kaufman Freedman request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their children.” The ceremony was held in the fifth-floor dining room at Cecile’s residence, Vintage Coventry, because of her limited mobility.

On their wedding day, Bruce Kaufman and Nancy Gilbert stand with their mothers, Cecile Solow Gilbert (left) and Rose Kaufman Freedman.

In the days and weeks leading up to the nuptials, the wheelchairs of the two mothers were decorated by Nancy. “I really wanted to make things special and add my own touch,” Nancy said.

She even had a friend embroider the names of the mothers on the wheelchairs and added ribbons and bows to match her dress.

The Jewish ceremony was attended by about 30 people, including four generations of Gilberts. Part of the chuppah was Bruce’s grandfather’s tallit — the same tallit that his two sons wore at their bar mitzvahs.

Nancy and Bruce, who are both Jewish, met in September 2008 after being set up by a friend.

A grandmother of four, Gilbert currently runs her own wholesale business in the East Bay, selling mainly railroad-related items (from aprons to candy) to gift shops and other stores. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she calls her enterprise Brooklyn Peddler.

Bruce is a native San Franciscan and retired electronic engineer.

“The entire time we’ve spent so far has been a blessing,” Nancy said. “Our families, though not blood related, would do anything and everything for one another. You just don’t find that very often.”

The proposal wasn’t your usual get-down-on-one-knee affair. Instead, the couple simply decided last December that marriage was the next step for them.

Said Nancy: “My daughter jokes that it took me 65 years to find the right pair of jeans and the right man.”

The couple is currently staying in the Bay Area to spend time with family and hopes to go on a honeymoon to Alaska next year.

“We are having a good time right now,” Bruce said, “and we expect that to just keep rolling.