Wedding planning can be both joyous and perilous. The stakes can be high and much can go wrong (food poisoning, canceled flights, a poorly timed revelation of an affair).

Take it from couples who lived through a particularly bad disruption: the largest blackout in American history, 20 years ago this month.

On a hot night in August 2003, the power went out in eight states across the Northeast and Midwest. The blackout stranded wedding guests in transit, turned off a blow dryer as a bride was getting ready, and cut the lights and sound at reception halls. Still, many couples went ahead with their ceremonies. Now, as they approach their 20th anniversaries, my colleague Sadiba Hasan called some of the couples and asked: Did a wedding day crisis set up your marriage for success?

For Dr. Dvasha Stollman, the answer is yes.

On the morning of her wedding, she had been worried about the flowers. “I thought that the shade of purple of the flowers was not what I thought it was supposed to be,” Dr. Stollman, 44, a dentist, said. “I was getting really upset, but in the end, that was hardly the biggest problem.”

Her entire wedding took place during the blackout. By the time her 7 p.m. outdoor ceremony was over, darkness had set in. The reception carried on indoors at the Surf Club on the Sound in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Candles and the lights from boats outside the window provided the only light as people found their tables. Caterers kept food hot with portable warmers. Three hundred of their 450 invited guests managed to make it to the wedding.

Despite inconveniences like a lack of air-conditioning, everyone was dancing. A band played traditional Jewish music acoustically and guests danced in a circle, shedding layers of clothing and tossing them into a garbage can. By the end of the night, it was full of discarded pantyhose and stockings.

“It was a very campy feel,” Dr. Stollman said. “Anyone who went to our wedding had really the best time,” she added.

Now, when Dr. Stollman goes to weddings, she tells the couple: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

She and her husband, Nachum, are still married, and they have five kids. She believes the disruption on her wedding day was a good omen — setting up her partnership for adaptability.

“It definitely was a good lesson to start out,” she said. “Whatever was going to come at us after that, we could weather the storm.”

Read Sadiba’s article about other blackout weddings, including one about a bride wandering the streets of Manhattan in a wedding gown in search of an elusive cab.

? “The Guest” (out now): All of a sudden, it feels as if this Emma Cline book, which came out in May, is getting the “last gasp of Northeast summer vacation” stamp of approval, with pieces in Time magazine, Vanity Fair (spoilers!) and New York Magazine. As our reviewer wrote, it’s “a deceptively simple story about a young woman kicked out of her rich lover’s Long Island beach house in the final days of summer.” That young woman, Alex, decides to stick around those wealthy environs for several more days, essentially scamming her way into parties and houses. Juicy!

? “Red Dead Redemption” (Thursday): And now for something completely different: This classic open world Western (gunslingers, cowboys, hats, horses) that owned a large part of my 2010 comes to the Nintendo Switch, which means that not only can I carry around a bit of the Old West with me, but I can also do it with zombies — the “Undead Nightmare” expansion pack is included.

The difference between an excellent gazpacho and a take-it-or-leave-it one comes down to the olive oil. You need to use enough to give the chilled soup a rich flavor and velvety texture that’s balanced by a shot of vinegar and plenty of ripe, sweet tomatoes. Julia Moskin’s best gazpacho has just enough olive oil to meld with the vegetables. And unlike many other gazpacho recipes, it doesn’t need bread for thickening. You can serve this either in a bowl with a spoon or in a glass for sipping; this vibrant blend is as thirst quenching as it is cooling.

Tiny space: She made all 475 square feet in Brooklyn count.

What you get for $3 million: An Arts and Crafts house in Minneapolis; a Tudor Revival home in Asheville, N.C.; or a Mediterranean-style retreat in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The hunt: A couple wanted a place in Chicago near a new grandchild for less than $400,000. Which home did they choose? Play our game.

Layers and stripes: They’re the new look for cocktails.

Libido differences: What to do when one partner wants more sex than the other.

Thirst quenchers: Americans are buying billions of dollars’ worth of water bottles.

Twenty percent rule: A dermatologist asked for a gratuity. Is tipping getting out of hand?

Entering its prime: Spend 36 hours in Prague.

Everyone knows that feeling of sweat beading down your legs as you stand over a hot stove in the dead of summer. But eat you must. On the hottest days, Wirecutter experts suggest skipping the stove and taking stock of the small appliances that may be lurking in your pantry. Use an electric pressure cooker to simmer the baked beans and pulled pork for your next barbecue. That farm-stand corn? Microwave it. And while a blender won’t cook your food, it can blitz enough dips and cold soups to tide you over until fall. — Gabriella Gershenson

England vs. Colombia, Women’s World Cup: With the U.S. eliminated, this World Cup is anyone’s for the taking. England is among the favorites to win, but the team’s chances took a hit last match when Lauren James, a breakout star of the tournament, earned a red card for stepping on the back of an opposing player. James is suspended for today’s match, and the next if England wins. “On a team already weakened by injuries, the ejection of James could be a game-changer,” The Times’s Andrew Das wrote. 6:30 a.m. Eastern on Fox; re-airs at 11 a.m. on FS1.

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