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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2006
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Coordinators offer creative wedding ideas

By Danielle Komis
DAILY Staff Writer

danielle.komis@decaturdaily.com ˇ 340-2447

Wedding planners Calandra Terry, wedding coordinator and owner of An Event to Remember in Huntsville, and Teri Appleton, wedding coordinator and owner of She Said Yes! in Hartselle offer some nontraditional wedding ideas for the bride willing to think outside the box:

  • Stand up and eat: Sit-down dinner receptions are losing popularity as couples opt for cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres such as bread and spinach dip. French fries, cheeseburgers and chicken fingers have even gained popularity, if those are the bride and groom's favorite foods.

    Amanda Lovelady of Decatur, who married Jason Jackson, also of Decatur, on May 6, offered a potato martini bar at her reception. Guests could choose a sweet or regular potato in a martini glass, and then dress it with a variety of toppings.

    "It was something they(the reception site) offered and I had to have it," she said.

    The food was a hit with guests, too. It was gone before she and the groom could box some up for later, she said.

  • Changing the flame: The tradition of the unity candle has evolved to include candles for children, too, as more brides and grooms already have children when they get married. Some couples combine decanters of sand to symbolize their union instead of lighting the candle, especially if the ceremony is outdoors. Bride-to-be Courtney Woodall of Decatur said she and her fiancé don't plan to light a unity candle at all, because usually "it's kind of drawn out and uncomfortable."
  • The sneak peek: More couples are nixing the age-old tradition that it's bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony. They are opting for a tete a tete before the ceremony.

    "A lot of people get nervous and they feel like they just need to see each other," Terry said.

    Photographers usually love this idea too, because they are able to sit in on that moment and capture intimate, candid photos of the pair before the big moment. The groom turns around once the bride is present, so the photographer can capture the groom's reaction to the bride. And when it's time for the ceremony, the couple's feeling of awe is still present, Terry said.

    "It really doesn't take anything away from that moment," she added.

  • Play ball: The state's love of football even sneaks its way into weddings nowadays. Die-hard fans often incorporate Alabama or Auburn fight songs into the ceremony, or use their team's colors as their color theme. Lusk has already picked out an Auburn-themed groom's cake, because she and her fiancé are both students at the university and big football fans.
  • Not just toasters and china: Online gift registries has opened a new world of wedding gifts and other possibilities. Couples getting married a second time or at an older age don't necessarily need a toaster or china set like a young, first-time couple might, Terry explained. Now, guests can go online to pay for things on a couple's honeymoon, such as swimming with dolphins or a spa treatment/ Also, couples with specific interests such as hiking or fishing might register at an outdoor store.
  • Mix up the music: The traditional "Bridal Chorus" doesn't cut it for the walk down the aisle for some modern brides.

    "A lot of my brides are choosing to go away from that," Appleton said. "They want something more fun, more personal to them." A recent bride chose the theme song from "Shrek" for her walk down the aisle, and another with a sense of humor chose Johnny's Cash's "Ring of Fire" for the recessional.

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