It took Zoya a long time to find a Volga driver prepared to try and make it through the checkpoints.
When she finally succeeded, he turned out to be tipsy - but somehow he persuaded the soldiers to let the car through.
And so the wedding went ahead, following Chechen tradition with neither the groom nor the bride's parents taking any part in the ceremony.
In Chechnya people are still talking about an even more astonishing story, when a bride found her village surrounded on her wedding day by federal troops aiming to "cleanse" it of any rebel sympathisers.
The teacher training institute is a good place for young people to meet
Not a single car entered or left the village - but the bride got a lift out in an armoured vehicle.
While young couples used to court each other for two or three years, the process is now greatly accelerated, and can be over in weeks.
Chechen psychologist Fariza Musaeva says it's not just because people have nothing else to do, it's the "thirst for life".
"People who spend a long time in a situation where they could be killed want to live, they want to prolong their lives via their children," she says.
"And there is another factor. Children mature early in such conditions, and they understand the value of life and the meaning of death."
Mothers on the look-out
Grozny's teacher training institute is now one of the few places in the city where young people can get together.
People in Chechnya are only too aware of how much the war has destroyed, and of the need to start a new life
Students don't just study there, they also arrange dates there - and the mothers of young men driven abroad by the conflict go there to spy out suitable daughters-in-law.
"They are usually immediately obvious. They stand around observing how this or that girl behaves herself, for two or three days, and then they introduce themselves to the girl they like best," one student told me.
"They ask where she comes from, how old she is, and they bring photographs [of their son]. In this way a couple gets together - through an intermediary."
It's a far cry from the way Chechen couples have traditionally met one another, at the spring or water pipe - a scene celebrated in countless folksongs and dances.
But people in Chechnya are only too aware of how much the war has destroyed - and of the need to start a new life.