Couples are making their wedding days special, even if their plans have changed.
VINDICATOR SOCIETY STAFF
The wedding plans have been in the making for a year or more. Those asked to be in the wedding party bought their gowns, were fitted for tuxedos and made their travel plans. Far-flung family members booked flights.
The engaged couple researched the dream honeymoon destination.
For some local brides and grooms and others in the United States, plans were altered by the terrorist attacks Tuesday in New York and Washington, D.C.
Dr. Randall Voytilla of Pittsburgh, formerly of Struthers, has moved up from groomsman to best man in the wedding today of his former college roommate, Dr. Lenard Kolencik, in Uniontown, Pa. They were pharmacy majors at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.
"I got the call about 8 p.m. on Thursday that the best man, who is in the Air Force, is on high alert and won't make it for the wedding," Dr. Voytilla said Friday. "So I called on family and friends on short notice to help me put together a toast."
He said everyone was doing what they could to make things go smoothly though the wedding plans, which had been made a year ago, had changed.
Accommodating: Richard Will of Austintown and his bride, Christina O'Connell, also Austintown, didn't have any wedding party members flying in for their wedding today.
A wedding guest, Noreen Malutic of Los Angeles, who is Will's aunt, arrived earlier and wasn't affected by air travel restrictions.
But Will said he was calling Friday to check on airline tickets he booked online for a honeymoon in Las Vegas and his hotel reservations.
He said the hotel Web site noted there wouldn't be a penalty for canceling because it was taking into consideration travel restrictions that some guests would face.
Will also said he would rather not take up space on a flight possibly needed by others who had to travel to New York or other vital destinations.
"We'll make it special even if our plans have changed. We're thinking about Niagara Falls," he said.
They'll drive: Rachael A. Rice, who is marrying Michael A. Ziccardi, both of Youngstown, today, said none of their wedding party was affected by traveling problems. The couple, who had planned to fly to Tampa, Fla., then take a cruise to the western Caribbean, now will drive to Tampa.
Several out-of-town guests are now unable to attend today's marriage of Tracy Maietta and Steven Nase, both of Hartville. The bride's uncle, who was to do a reading at the ceremony, is a civilian employee at a military base in Biloxi, Miss., and will be unable to attend, so a cousin has stepped in to fill the void.
Major changes: According to Marian Christy, whose granddaughter, Krista Bell, is being married to Vince Babyak today in Poland, "The best man is stuck in LA," and some family members aren't going to make it, but the couple, who live in Largo, Fla., drove up for the event. "Other than that, things are going OK," she said Friday.
Tropical flowers that had been ordered for the wedding Friday of Jennifer Aldom and Kirk Poffenberger, both of Salem, weren't available, so others had to be substituted.
The couple's honeymoon to the wine country of California also is on hold, as are the honeymoon plans of Lisa Ewing and Stephen Wolfe, both of Strongsville, who were to fly to the Bahamas on Sunday.
One bridesmaid from Florida won't be at the wedding of Carolyn Pugh of Lowellville and Mark Brammer of Struthers today, and another from North Carolina drove in since her flight was canceled.
The bride's brother said that the couple's honeymoon trip to Hawaii is still on, but they will have to be at the airport about three hours earlier due to increased security checks.
Flights canceled: Many of those invited to the wedding of Melissa Bodoh and Kevin Rochlitz, both of Kettering, that will take place today at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church are trying desperately to attend but others have had to send regrets.
Among those who had long planned to be part of the celebration was a young exchange student and her mother who were to fly from Yokuska in Japan but have had to cancel their plans since foreign flight carriers are not presently permitted to land in the United States.
According to the bride's father, Judge William Bodoh of Hubbard, Melissa's sister in Sherman Oaks, Calif., has to miss the wedding as her flight, scheduled out of Los Angeles International Airport, has been canceled.
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Rochilitz of Powell, Wyo., are determined to see their son happily married and are driving to the wedding from Wyoming through Omaha, Neb., where they will pick up his sister and brother-in-law on their way to Youngstown. The groom's grandmother decided the long car trip was too much for her and will remain at home.
Also on the road to the Bodoh-Rochlitz wedding are the bride-elect's cousin and her husband, who are making the trip from Chicago and a groomsman who will participate after a long ride from Dallas. Another groomsman is unable to come.
Achkar Jewelers has come to the rescue of the young couple and are loaning the groom a wedding ring to replace the one that was to be flown from New York to Youngstown this past week.
XContributors: Garry Clark, Linda Linonis and Margaret Nery, Vindicator society reporters.