There, the couples were helped to prepare for the celebration. Given the shortage of those years, it was very relevant. In Happiness wedding suits and dresses were sewn to order.
Here are approximate prices for clothes for the bride and groom of the mid-1980s: a women’s suit – 140 rubles, a men’s shirt – 14 rubles 50 kopecks, women’s shoes – 42 rubles, men’s – 33 rubles.
Other non-food items could also be purchased there: wedding rings, cosmetics and perfumes, crystal and dinner sets, electrical appliances and bedding.
The products needed for the wedding table were sold at the Impulse store. But since all that was a terrible deficit, the trade went on only by special invitations, which future newlyweds got. The most cunning citizens applied for marriage to get the coveted coupon, bought scarce goods, but did not appear at the wedding.
In the Happiness salon, the young people could rent a car and decoration of the wedding procession. That gave birth to a new city tradition: immediately after the registering marriage, the newlyweds with the guests went to the Valyok sanatorium – to feed the monkeys, take pictures at the pool with ducks, and at parting throw a bottle of champagne into the lake near the sanatorium building.
One such visit ended in an unpleasant incident for the newlyweds: the monkey Mashka tore off the bride’s veil… along with the wig. It turned out that the girl had had her hair permanent-waved before the wedding and it was burned. They had to call the duty officer, who went into the cage to the monkeys and hardly persuaded Mashka to give the trophy back.
In the last issue of the History Spot photo project we told about the ‘Budargin’s era’ in Norilsk.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive