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Wedding Night

A Waldorf Story by Bianca Russo

My husband and I were married on June 18, 1983 in Manhattan. We also lived in Manhattan, but instead of spending our wedding night at our apartment, he told me before the wedding that we were staying at a hotel, but he would not tell me which one. His college buddies had a habit of pulling pranks on each other at their weddings and he wanted to outsmart them and didn’t trust me to not tell them where we were staying!

Our reception wound down around 2:00 AM when we left, still in our formal wedding attire. I was carrying a bottle of champagne given to us by the restaurant where we held the reception. We hailed a cab, and my husband told the driver to go to the Plaza. “Great,” I thought. When we got to the Plaza, we went through the reception, past the elevators, and my husband headed to another exit to leave, but it was closed at that hour. I was so confused when he turned around and said we were leaving, and I followed him back past the reception and out the main door. The doorman even said “That was quick!” I asked where we were going, and he just said to follow him as we hailed another cab. I was afraid he was too drunk to remember where we were staying, and we would have to sleep in Central Park! We got into a second cab and he said “The Waldorf.”

I kept asking him if he knew where we were staying and he insisted he did. We got to the Waldorf and again, he went past the reception and past the hotel elevators. Now I was really worried, but I kept following him. He went to the elevators for the Waldorf Towers and we took that to our suite. It was his company’s corporate suite and they had given us the use for our wedding night. He planned the fake trip to the Plaza in case his friends were waiting to follow us! The suite was lovely, and his company had a beautiful cheese and fruit arrangement waiting for us. We of course enjoyed that and our bottle of champagne at 3:00 AM. A truly memorable stay at the Waldorf!