Snow, slush, sleet can't stop wedding plans BLIZZARD '93

March 14, 1993|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

The bride wore an off-the-shoulder tulle gown, a shimmering veil -- and a pair of sturdy boots.

After weathering a string of mishaps and being forced to reschedule her wedding four times, Kathleen McKernan wasn't about to let yesterday's fierce storm postpone her big day yet again.

"It's incredible," the bride from Arnold said with a big smile. "My bridesmaid dresses came in wrong, my hairdresser died, a tree fell down and nearly hit my house, and it's a blizzard!"

At last, she and her groom, Navy Ensign Paul Fallace, sloshed their way up the stairs to the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis in a downpour.

Snow, slush and sleet weren't exactly what Ms. McKernan had in mind when planning the wedding. But neither the 25-year-old insurance agent nor her spouse seemed terribly upset by it.

"Everything's working out right," said an unfazed Mr. Fallace, 24.

Yesterday, beneath a parka, he sported the traditional military dress uniform, save for a pair of heavy-duty snow boots.

His best man, Alden Mills, joked, "He's survived high seas, why not snow drifts?"

While the storm kept dozens of the groom's relatives and friends who live on Long Island, N.Y., from the wedding, plenty of guests made it to the reception at the Annapolis Holiday Inn.

"There were supposed to be 150," Mr. Fallace said, sipping a soft drink at Chick & Ruth's Deli on Main Street an hour before the 1 p.m. wedding. "But a bunch of people canceled because of the weather. We'll be lucky if there's 55."

The couple met through mutual friends soon after Mr. Fallace graduated from the academy two years ago.

On their first date, Ms. McKernan cooked a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, and they watched the movie "The Terminator."

They were engaged a year ago. Ms. McKernan originally imagined a sunny wedding in May. But mix-ups with scheduling the ceremony at the Navy chapel, where hundreds of academy graduates wed each year, forced her to reschedule it twice.

Then, when she selected a date in June, she discovered that her husband would be deployed on a ship at the time.

Even after they switched the date to March 13, she selected a romantic, full-length gown suited for a warm day. Her bridesmaids wore long, peach gowns.

With the flowers, champagne and spring gowns, they created a warm party at the Holiday Inn in the worst winter storm in years.

"I looked out the window this morning, and all I saw was snowflakes," the bride said.

"But we made it. I guess you can say, 'I did it my way.' "

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