Minnie made her brother Harry go around the room to make sure the guests did not talk about May’s adoption.

May and Bernie had been dating for five years and they were trying to save money for a wedding. However, when Bernie enlisted in WWII, they decided to elope.

May dressed up in her best new outfit and went to NJ to the Army barracks to meet Bernie.  When she got there, Bernie had to tell her that he just found out that he was being shipped overseas the very next day.  They would have to postpone their plans.  May left the barracks understandably upset and also extremely angry at all the other soldiers who kept whistling at her as she walked away in her new outfit.  What May did not realize that day was that she would not see her Bernie again for four long years.

While Bernie was overseas, May she not only missed him, but feared she would become an old maid as all of her friends and cousins were getting married and having babies.

Finally, on August 17, 1945, Bernie was given a 45 day leave for recuperation. He was due to report back to Fort Dix, New Jersey on October 2, 1945.

Bernie was sent home and within a month they planned their wedding.  There was so little time to plan that May rented her wedding gown.  She was still very shy, so Bernie’s sister, Mildred, went all around with Bernie to make the wedding arrangements.

(note the postage was 3 cents)

The wedding was to take place right after a Jewish holiday and the bakers would not have time to open their bakery and bake a cake.  On the head table, sat a bride and groom figurine which normally would have been on top of the cake.

Wedding Cake Top
The wedding cake bride and groom figurine

The wedding took place at  Temple Sinai on Eastern Parkway on Tuesday, September 18, 1945. They were married by the twin cantors, Maurice and Bernard Epstein. The reception was in the famous Twin Cantors catering Hall on Eastern Parkway  and Utica Ave. in Brooklyn.

part of the Katubah of May and Bernie

May’s father was not invited to the wedding.  Minnie and Irving had been divorced for many years and May had had minimal, if any, contact with him.

May’s cousin, Mollie, was supposed to be the Maid of Honor.  However, Mollie got sick at the last minute.  Before May found out and could get upset, Bernie asked his cousin, Mickey  (Myra) Blieden, to fill in for her.  Bernie’s sister, Mildred, was sad that she was not asked to perform this honor, but  Mickey might have been the first person Bernie saw after finding out that Mollie could not be there.

Cousin Millie Abramson remembers that at the wedding, Uncle Harry Leiber went around the room telling people not to mention May’s adoption, as she did not know that she had been adopted.  May’s mom, Minnie, had asked her brother, Harry, to do that.

After the wedding, May and Bernie honeymooned at Swan Lake Hotel in upstate New York.

Relive their wedding by browsing through their wedding album, reading  the telegrams they received in honor of their wedding, and also take a look at some of their honeymoon pictures.

May and Bernard Blieden Wedding Portrait

The wedding photography was done by Renard Studio, 289 Utica Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.

I remember my mother telling my how excited she was after returning from her honeymoon to walk past their studio and see her wedding portrait in the window.

She loved that picture. It was always in our living room and one of the last things she did was to buy a new frame for it.