News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


High praise for beach weddings

The bride wore white and no shoes; the groom wore khaki-colored pants, Guayabera shirt and no shoes.

The brideís father succumbed to his daughterís wedding-day wishes and shucked his shoes, too. The groomís father negotiated himself sandals.

The guests came in casual clothes and sunglasses. Panama City beaches are hot and bright at 6 p.m.

Iím in favor beach weddings. They get you in and out quickly. There is no showing up an hour early to sit and wait.

And they draw a crowd that doesnít follow you to the reception. Thatís a plus for the brideís parents.

Decorating is no problem either.

My nephew Brian Wilbanks married his long-time sweetheart Andi Collins last month in front of the Majestic Beach towers.

Watching from our balcony, we determined decorating for the ceremony was a breeze. Majestic employees began promptly at 5 p.m. Out came white wooden chairs arranged with a wide aisle that separated his and her guests.

The bridal arch wasnít as simple because the wind kept tumping it over until immediately before the wedding.

So, with freshly scrubbed grandchildren, we caught a slow elevator to the ground floor, walked across the beach and took our seats.

Andi stopped the beach crowd. Even the sea fowl circled overhead for a birdís- eye view.

When the minister announced the couple husband and wife a solid wall of cheering went up from behind us. The balconies were lined with people watching and clapping.

One woman on the beach said she was from Tennessee. She was radiant, too.

ďToday is our 22nd wedding anniversary,Ē she said, as we went off to the reception.

We didnít go, however, until 4-year-old Emma Grace had her picture taken in the bridal arch. Then she was ready to get back into the Gulf.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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