After a Minneapolis couple hears what the groundhog has to say about spring this Friday on the Woodstock Square, they’ll say, “I do.”
Both fans of the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” – filmed in Woodstock and the inspiration behind the town’s Groundhog Days festivities, running Feb. 1-4 – Mary Taylor and Andre Nault are having a Groundhog Day wedding.
They’re staying in what is known as Bill Murray’s room at Cherry Tree Inn – known as Cherry Street Inn in the movie – and they’re going to get married at noon Feb. 2 on the Woodstock Square. It’s a spot the fell in love with both while visiting years ago and seeing it as Gobbler’s Knob in the movie.
“We both have our own reasons for being just really charmed by that town,” Taylor said. “We were trying to figure out where to get married. We’re in our 50s, and you get to do whatever you want when you’re our age.”
Having met through Match.com in 2014, the two clicked for many reasons, including a shared love of movies, especially “Groundhog Day.” Nault is a bigger fan than Taylor, she said.
“I think he has probably seen it more times than I have, but it’s really high on both of our lists because it’s so charming,” she said. “The main character is such a dislikable wretch at first. It’s a hard trick in fiction or art to start out with someone despicable and reform them. I always get a kick out of watching that happen in fiction.”
The previous owners of the bed and breakfast would open up phone lines on Dec. 4. The first callers were able to book the rooms during Groundhog Days. So Taylor had 10 people at the ready to call for them.
Then she found out in November the inn had been sold. When she called, the rooms already had been booked, but she found out about three weeks ago a reservation had fallen through.
“It makes it perfect,” she said “It makes it meant to be.”
The couple intends to go to as many of the Groundhog Days festivities as possible – the Prognostication, of course, the Drink to World Peace, the breakfast, the free movie at Classic Cinemas Woodstock Theatre.
“We’re going to sort of revel in the day with everyone else,” Taylor said.
A second marriage for both, Taylor said they hadn’t planned anything too elaborate for the actual wedding. They were going to try to find a couple in the Square that day to serve as witnesses, but Lorie Miarecki, the owner of Cherry Tree Inn, has said she’d try to track down a longtime Woodstock couple.
“It’s going to be cold, quite freezing that day. I have a feeling I’ll just be bundled up from head to toe,” Taylor said of her plans to likely wear warm clothes instead of a formal wedding dress. “We’re really just eloping.”
Woodstock officiant Jennifer Fox, an ordained minister through Universal Life Church, is booked to perform the ceremony. The couple has planned a separate party with friends and family, including Taylor’s grown son, when they return home to Minneapolis. (At a tiki bar, that one’s going to have a “Gilligan’s Island” theme with Taylor dressing as Ginger and Nault as Gilligan.)
As for their upcoming wedding, they intend to relive it again and again and again. So that makes a “Groundhog Day” theme fitting.
“For some people, it’s sort of like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ It’s soothing. You watch it every year. It touches your heart, restores your faith a little bit,” Taylor said.
“We’re very excited to be doing this and to have this as part of our memories because we’re just so fond of this town, and it just represents something special to us.”