Our wedding: Murray and I were married the weekend of a blizzard ’78 in Cleveland, Ohio –on January 28th. On record for the worst barometric pressure ever recorded in the Great Lakes area. There were 80 mile per hour winds. All the highways closed. Everything, almost, shut down for five days. The National Guard was called and many deaths, sadly.
Wednesday before our wedding day, my mom told me the news said a blizzard was coming and I’d better have Murr come to Cleveland from Michigan a couple days early. He didn’t have a chance to pick up his wedding band - but, got here before the storm. Soon the big storm began - all the airports and interstates throughout the state were closed. Shortly after that the people starting calling to say that they couldn’t attend. My sister got into Cleveland on the last flight arriving.
The Friday before our wedding we had to until noon to get our marriage license (only office open downtown) we left at 8 am and what should have been a 30 minute drive got us there with at 11:55 am. The anxiety was high - Murray and I were even yelling at each other. He said he wouldn’t get married without his mom there. I kept saying. ‘Hey, this isn’t my fault’. The rehearsal dinner was cancelled because the restaurant was closed. We gathered up a few folks and found a place. We were stressed to the max. It was the only time I ever saw my sister smoke a cigarette.
So, on Saturday I started calling local folks and inviting them to the wedding - kind of strange to be invited ‘last minute’ but the food was paid for. (It was a small wedding to begin with, but, the list was dwindling fast) The bakery with my wedding cake was closed. My dad picked up an abandoned big bowling tournament cake from the Pick and Pay market … redid it & they put our names on it. Finally, one lane on the interstate 71 opened and a half dozen people got to Cleveland, including Murr’s mom and dad, an hour before the wedding. My dad was so stressed he cut his face when shaving and had huge Band-aids on his face. Thus, all the wedding pictures have huge bandage on his face. My mom lost my wedding band that she was keeping for me. We never found it. The caterer couldn’t get the food I wanted-- so they gave us prime rib…which I don’t like. The florist didn’t get the flowers in and made my bouquet, etc. with their leftovers. The man that married us had two weddings that night - and we figured that he did the other couple’s ceremony. We were all looking at each other thinking “what is he talking about” At least he got our names right.
The afternoon before the wedding a big Texan guy looked at the hotel roster and said out loud. What son of a b*** * is getting married on a day like this. Murray raised his hand…and he said “Me“…”Let me buy you a cocktail, son.” The man said. I was a wreck.
The next day (Sunday) - only one lane was open in any direction to get out of town. So we headed on 71 south. Our honeymoon, however, was scheduled at a cabin North in Michigan. But, we couldn’t drive there. Murray found an inn in Granville where we hung out for a day. The restaurant at the inn didn’t have much on the menu (no deliveries). That evening I was sobbing a bit and Murray was in the claw-footed bathtub, with his leg hanging over the side, drinking scotch out of the bottle.
Finally, the roads opened and we drove home, north, to Michigan with tall walls of snow on each side of the road. I was very sad. So we had a wedding where folks didn’t attend, wrong wedding bands (we used borrowed ones), no grandparents, no real rehearsal dinner, wrong flowers, wrong dinner, weird cake, wrong ceremony, no honeymoon, dad’s huge facial cut, and more stress than one can imagine. For years I couldn’t attend a wedding without crying…it wasn’t tears of happiness - it was me wishing that my wedding could have been ‘normal.’ Yes, it was awful back then but, now, it’s a very funny story. So I guess - it’s not the wedding but, what comes after that counts.
BTW - the pictures came out great. However, I can’t find most of them.