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A tale of two weddings

Valentine’s nuptials mean trials, happiness for two area couples

Robert Vines and Anne Simons celebrate Anne’s retirement in December 2006. This year is the couple’s 18th anniversary on Valentine’s Day.

Robert Vines and Anne Simons celebrate Anne’s retirement in December 2006. This year is the couple’s 18th anniversary on Valentine’s Day. Submitted photo

No wedding ever goes off perfectly, and two area women will testify that basing nuptials around the most romantic day on the calendar doesn’t help. But it doesn’t preclude a lifetime of happiness.

Anne Simon, a Rotterdam resident, and her husband, Robert Vines, planned to get married in Virginia, but ended up at Rotterdam Town Hall in the wake of an ice storm.

Anne, now 65, and Robert, nearly 70 years old, had both worked at the New York State Library in Albany, but being in two different departments only allowed them to become acquaintances. Ending up in the same six-month therapy group allowed them to grow closer and get to know each other.

“The therapist said to us, ‘You two got the brass ring,’” Anne said.

The couple decided to marry along with Anne’s sister. The two weddings were set to take place in Virginia, with Anne’s sister being married on Saturday, February 12, 1994, and Anne and Robert marrying on Valentine’s Day two days later.

“We wanted to get married on Valentine’s Day because Bob said he never wanted to forget our anniversary,” Anne said.

The day Anne and Robert were set to board a plane for Virginia, a big ice storm was freezing their destination, along with Pennsylvania. A flight attendant told the couple they could fly them to Pittsburgh, Penn., but they’d be stranded once landing due to the storm. A Virginia wedding wouldn’t be happening on V-Day.

“We figured we better not go,” Anne said. “We had to do some last minute rearrangements.”

In searching for a quick solution, she said she called Eunice Esposito, then Rotterdam town clerk, to try and arrange a special appointment for the couple

to get their marriage license. Esposito granted the expedited request, and the license was given on the Friday before the Monday wedding.

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