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The Bride Wore Nerves

SOUTH WINDSOR, CT.—A North Haven bride spent part of her wedding night in a jail cell, after police said she hurled things at reception hall workers who closed the bar.

Adrienne T. Samen, 18, was arrested on criminal mischief and breach of peace charges Saturday after police responded to the Mill on the River restaurant.

When workers there closed the bar, Samen allegedly began throwing things, including wedding cake and vases. Samen left the restaurant, and police found her walking down the road in her gown.

While being taken into custody, police said she kicked the door and window of the police cruiser and tried to bite an officer.

She posted a $1,000 bond and was released Saturday night, police said. She was on her honeymoon Monday.

She is due in Manchester Superior Court on Aug. 28.

Not since Tippi Hedren wrestled Sean Connery in Hitchcock’s Marnie have I heard of such a volatile bride as the new Mrs. Samen from the Mill on the River.

You know, weddings are supposed to be elegant and fun. Fun, anyway. For whatever reason, Adrienne Samen crossed the line.

I remember my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding. It was on Aug. 31, 34 years ago. Jackie wore a gown she’d made from a Simplicity pattern and a Minnie Mouse bow in her hair. They had Kentucky Fried Chicken at their reception in the Lutheran church hall. I wore a green satin gown the color of the sherbet in their ginger-ale punch and my first pair of panty hose.

Now that was a wedding.

I’ve performed over 50 weddings and it’s different now. But it’s no less interesting.

I’ve had flower girls who had to pee in the middle of the ceremony, limos that got lost on the way to the church, grooms gone missing at the hotel bar, brides choking, brides with bladder infections, brides without underwear, unity candles that didn’t light and, maybe most memorably, a bride whose soon-to-be in-laws were in a train derailment on the way to the ceremony.

I’ve had tearful grooms and grouchy grooms and bitchy brides and winsome brides. And an in-law who mistook me for the Glen Sanders hostess.

I’ve long thought that—for some couples, anyway—rational thinking takes its honeymoon during the wedding-planning stage of the courtship. It’s easier to obsess over how your best man will walk your mother to her seat than it is to consider the bold and intimate promises about to be made.

But whatever happened with the new Mrs. Samen at the Mill on the River?

Well, I guess there’s a lesson to be learned here for brides, grooms, guests, caterers and ministers, alike. Maybe the local police force, too.

It’s a new wedding etiquette for today’s kind of bride. And you won’t find it in those sugary wedding-planning books.

For starters, wear sensible shoes to the wedding. Everybody. You never know when you’re going to have to flee a berserk bride or a cop in hot pursuit.

Brides especially, take note of this. I had a bride wear white patent-leather loafers once. This is true. If she had ever had to make a break for it, she’d have done far better than most brides with their skimpy satin sandals.

Caterers, don’t serve anything that requires pots of mustard to be left on the tables. Ditto, ketchup. A dry-cleaning bill for a hundred wedding guests could put you right out of business.

Guests, be sure to buy gifts that the couple have registered for. Because no couple would ever register for vases. Who wants vases? And yet, people who don’t know what to get, keep giving vases as wedding presents. And look what happened with the vases at the Mill on the River reception. Very messy.

If you’re buying a present for a couple who haven’t registered, buy them Tupperware.

When you enter the reception hall, make note of the exit signs. In the unlikely event that the bride does go berserk—or the groom, for that matter—you may be able to avoid the fracas.

Buy a couple of drinks at once, just in case the bar closes early. Keep back a supply for the bride in case she hasn’t planned ahead. She’ll want more than a single gimlet to get up and do the dollar dance.

If the cake has been cut, eat it quickly before anybody gets a chance to throw it.

Should it happen that the police are called, it’s important for officers to know just who it is they’re dealing with. What self-respecting modern groom would marry a woman who didn’t know how to kick and bite?

Now a word for brides: If you feel that you’re about to lose it completely at your wedding, count to 10 and ask yourself why. Remember, most stress can be managed.

For example, are you upset simply because the bar closed or is it something deeper than that? What does the bar represent? An absent father? A domineering mother? All of these issues—and more—can be worked out with a competent therapist after the honeymoon.

Remember to plan ahead. If you wanted a chocolate wedding cake, but your groom is allergic and now you have PMS, have your maid-of-honor carry some Hershey’s kisses—Lindt balls, if you need to be fancy—for you in a little velvet pouch. They won’t melt if she slips one of those little lunchbox ice packs in with them.

Finally, grooms, bring extra money. It’s bad form for the bride to post her own bail.

Sometimes I wonder if my sister, Jackie, and her husband, Alan, feel as if they’ve missed out on some of the more Extreme Wedding Experiences in the 34 years since their marriage. The only thing thrown at their wedding was rice. And we had to sweep it up afterward.

On the other hand, they could always decide to renew their vows and relive their special moment. Who knows just what might happen?

—Jo Page

You can contact Jo Page at jopage@graceniska.org.


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