Married in the snow, NJ couple celebrates 34th anniversary the same way
Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow. That's what Alice and Tom Layden kept telling themselves 34 years ago when a snowstorm threatened their wedding day. And now, more than three decades later, they're celebrating their anniversary in much the same way.
"The day we got married was horrible weather, we had rain, snow, sleep, ice, everything imaginable," Alice Layden told NJ 101.5 Saturday as she and Tom hunkered down in their Old Bridge home as snow continued to fall.
The two high school sweethearts grew up in Brooklyn and became engaged after dating for "a long time," Alice said.
They planned a January wedding and invited several friends and family members, many of whom couldn't make it through the snow for the Saturday ceremony or reception. But there were also quite a few people who braved the inclement weather to join the happy couple.
"A lot of people traveled from all over and made it, but some people didn't," Alice said.
She said many invited guests called her parents to tell them they weren't going to make it, but when the calls started coming in, she and her bridesmaids were in another part of Brooklyn getting their hair done.
"Truthfully on my actual wedding day, my parents kept it a secret how many people were calling to cancel," said Alice, who also recalls another small mishap on their wedding day.
Right before the wedding day, Alice left her snow boots at work. Her and "Tommy" planned to honeymoon in Hawaii, so she didn't think she would have to bring them home. But Mother Nature had other plans, so on her wedding day, instead of wearing her white wedding shoes, Alice sported black work pumps. At one point, her father carried her, in her gown, up the steps of the church so she wouldn't have to walk in the snow.
Fast forward 34 years, and the Laydens are celebrating their anniversary in much the same way as the day they were wed - they're adapting.
"We originally had plans to go out to dinner in Manhattan," Alice said.
When they started hearing reports about a possible winter storm Saturday, they ditched their idea to go into the city and instead decided to stay local and maybe go out to dinner. But once again, the weather didn't cooperate. So instead, Alice planned a special dinner for herself and her longtime sweetheart - veal parmigiana and fresh pasta.
"It's one of our favorites, so often when we go out, that's what we'll order," said Alice remembering (with Tom's help) that they feasted on prime rib on their actual wedding day.
The couple enjoyed dinner alone, as their two children were elsewhere waiting out the storm. Erin, 25, is with a friend on long Island. Luke, 19, is at Boston College, where there's no snowfall this weekend. Alice said he was surprised when his parents started sending him photos of today's storm.
The couple's big anniversary celebration was set for Sunday. Like thousands of others, Tom and Alice have tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden Sunday evening, although the Boss announced Saturday that the show has been postponed.
"We have our fingers crossed that we can get into Manhattan, and that the show will go on," she said before hearing about the postponement, adding that no matter what happens, she and Tom will make the best of it, as they've always done. "You gotta wing it, you gotta go with the flow."
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor for news at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.