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STOLEN RINGS, LICENSE JEOPARDIZE WEDDING PLANS

Another Western New York wedding may be in peril, but in this case a charred wedding dress is not to blame.

Wedding rings and paperwork related to Sunday's planned union of a Buffalo native and a Florida woman are among the items in a purse stolen Friday afternoon.

Earlier Friday, the weekend weddings of at least two local women were in chaos after the bride's gowns were destroyed in a fire at a Blasdell bridal shop.

Lisa Leitner said her purse was on the floor of their vehicle, which was parked Friday afternoon near the Delaware Park Casino. She and Frank Priola were there to check out the park's rose garden, where they planned to hold Sunday's ceremony.

"We were walking in the rose garden. . . . It ended up taking us longer than we expected," Ms. Leitner said.

"We expected to be out there for five or 10 minutes," Priola added. "The next thing you know, half an hour passed."

While they were gone, someone smashed the passenger-side window and stole the purse.

Among its contents: diamond-studded engraved wedding bands -- his bears a scripture notation and hers includes the date 7/2 7/9 7, a marriage license obtained Thursday afternoon in Cheektowaga and divorce decrees from their previous marriages.

Ms. Leitner also lost a diamond necklace that had belonged to her late mother.

For the time being, the missing marriage license is uppermost in their minds.

"We just barely flew in in time to get it yesterday," Ms. Leitner said. "It was, like, five minutes to four when we pulled in the parking lot."

The couple went to Cheektowaga Town Hall because it was closest to the airport, she said.

"We're hoping the pastor (whom they haven't met and is out of town until this afternoon) will still marry us," Ms. Leitner said.

Besides trying to replace what was stolen, the couple also is looking for a new site to exchange their vows. "We're not getting married now at the Rose Garden -- forget it," Ms. Leitner said.

Priola said his family has been brainstorming to come up with a scenic, quiet setting for an outdoor ceremony, preferably in North Buffalo. He said they plan to exchange vows at noon Sunday.

While Priola sounded understandably glum about what happened, Ms. Leitner appears determined to get over the obstacles thrown in their way.

"It's not going to stop us," she said of the theft. "But it's definitely going to put a crimp on things."

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