Dr. Eric Michael and Katherine Lillian Ruocco of Swansea, Ill., announce the July 31, 2014, marriage of their daughter, Candace Marie Ruocco, to 1stLt August Busch Valentine, son of Trudy Busch Valentine of Ladue and the late John Dee Valentine. The bride is also the daughter of the late Edward Francis Martin.
The couple first had a clandestine civil ceremony in the courtroom at Saint Louis University School of Law, the alma mater of Candace, her mother and the groom’s father. Judge Michael Wolff, dean of the law school, officiated.
With 75 close friends and family, the couple then traveled to Rome for their religious ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City on July 31, 2014, with the Rev. Gregory Apparcel officiating. The Rev. John Leykam led prayer at a larger commitment ceremony and hometown reception on Aug. 16, 2014, at the Busch Family Manor of Grant's Farm, south St. Louis County.
In Italy, the groom's mother welcomed guests to a rehearsal dinner at the medieval Castello Odelscalchi di Bracciano. The Ruocco family hosted guests to a Roman wedding reception at the 18th-century Palazzo Brancaccio. Honeymoon stops were the Swiss hometown of Gertrude Buholzer Busch, the groom's grandmother; a Christian orphanage mission in Nairobi, Kenya, and a 48-hour jaunt in romantic Paris, France.
The couple met as students at Whitfield School, St. Louis. Candace was a quadruple-degree graduate in English, French, political science and fashion merchandising at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, while August earned bachelor's degrees in history and business administration at Regis University, Denver, Colo. Since 2009, the bride has pursued doctorates in law and public policy analysis at Saint Louis University.
Each is a commissioned first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. The couple lives in Clayton, while August is deployed to Okinawa, Japan, as an infantry platoon commander. Candace is a St. Louis Rams cheerleader and Ruocco Law Office LLC associate. After completing studies in St. Louis, she expects to train at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, then at the Naval Justice School in Rhode Island.