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Alabama Chanin’s Homegrown Gowns | The Well-Tailored Groom | Couples Who Work Together

JAN/FEB 2013 $3.95

noalapress.com


Wall Street Rates * Without the Risk Bank Independent’s Smart Growth programs are designed meet your life’s goals by transferring dollars to special FDIC insured accounts paying rates equivalent to Wall Street alternatives.* Ask about our programs including College Express, Home Express, Retirement Express and Rainy Day Express.

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When it gets cold this winter, take heart. When you Fly the Shoals, you can go anywhere. Warm, sandy beaches. Big cities with bright lights. Or maybe a honeymoon to an exotic locale? Fly Silver Airways from Muscle Shoals, and connect through Atlanta to anywhere you want to go. Our pledge, when you Fly the Shoals, is to give you a no-hassle travel experience right here in your own back yard. Why drive for hours and pay huge parking fees when you can connect to the world from right here at home? Book your flight from MSL through your travel agent, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz or www.silverairways.com. Fly the Shoals...and be amazed at where you can go!

www.flytheshoals.com

Modern Travel Old Fashioned Service


News, classical music and more 88.7 FM Muscle Shoals • 100.7 FM Huntsville www.apr.org 6 | NOALAPRESS . COM | J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2013

For invitations and party supplies for weddings, showers and every kind of celebration, your party source is

Party Works 5000 Whitesburg Drive S., Suite 108 Huntsville, AL 35802

256-881-7780


January/February 2013

20

Some of the most beautiful wedding and engagement photography from the past year—all with a Shoals connection, captured in images that will touch and inspire you.

BY CLAIRE STEWART

110

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Our favorite details from 2012’s most unique weddings.

Alabama Chanin has created sustainable and stylish wedding gowns that are heritage-worthy.

BY LAURA ANDERS LEE PHOTOS BY ABRAHAM & SUSAN ROWE

BY JORDYN DEAN

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It’s not just about the bride, is it? Okay, maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean the groom can’t look his best on his big day.

BY ALLEN TOMLINSON PHOTOS BY PATRICK HOOD

© ARMOSA STUDIOS

PHOTOGRAPHING THE PHOTOGRAPHERS Abraham and Susan King Rowe (left) at their wedding this past fall (photographed by Armosa Studios). The Rowes are frequent contributors to NO’ALA and are responsible for the feature on Alabama Chanin in this issue. See more of their work on page 110.

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Why not have bridesmaids’ dresses they really can wear again?

BY CLAIRE STEWART PHOTOS BY DANNY MITCHELL


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contents

BRIGHT IDEAS Bill and Vicki Yuille create extraordinary lamps from ordinary beginnings.

SHOALS ••••• January/February 2013 Volume 6: Issue 1 ••• C. Allen Tomlinson Editor-In-Chief David Sims Creative Director Contributing Writers Frances Adams, Jordyn Dean, Sarah Gaede, Laura Anders Lee, Claire Stewart, Michael Stewart, Allen Tomlinson Contributing Photographers Alabella Studios, Matt Andrews, Armosa Studios, Christi Britten, Butler Studios, Amanda Chapman, Glass Jar Photography, Patrick Hood, Erin Lindsey, PbK Studio, David L’Hoste, Danny Mitchell, Abraham & Susan Rowe, Simply Bloom Photography, Fallon Yates Marketing Coordinator/Advertising Sales Heidi King Features Manager Claire Stewart Business Manager Roy Hall Graphic Designer Rowan Finnegan Interns Sara Kachelman, Ryan Paine •••

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No’Ala is published six times annually by No’Ala Press PO Box 2530, Florence, AL 35630 Phone: 256-766-4222 | Fax: 256-766-4106 Toll-free: 800-779-4222 Web: www.noalapress.com

Calendar Events for January-February 2013

91

Everybody’s Business

Standard postage paid at Florence, AL. A one-year subscription is $19.95 for delivery in the United States. Signed articles reflect only the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their advertisements.

These Couples Are Working Together— For Better or Worse BY ALLEN TOMLINSON PHOTOS BY PATRICK HOOD

84

Market

© 2008-2013 ATSA, All rights reserved.

The Anniversary Shopping Guide BY CLAIRE STEWART

120

Send all correspondence to Allen Tomlinson, Editor, at the postal address above, or by e-mail to atomlinson@atsa-usa.com. Letters may be edited for space and style.

Food for Thought The Couples That Cook Together… BY SARAH GAEDE

124

To advertise, contact us at: 256-766-4222, or sales@noalapress.com.

Back Talk What Was Your Most Unique Wedding Gift?

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BY CLAIRE STEWART

On the Cover

Bless Their Hearts

Hillary James Panquerne was married at Nottoway Plantation in Louisiana, but our cover shot was taken at nearby historic Belle Mont Mansion by Abraham and Susan Rowe. You can see more of Hillary’s Louisiana wedding on page 32.

Another Royal Wedding BY MICHAEL STEWART

130

Parting Shot

The editor will provide writer’s guidelines upon request. Prospective authors should not submit unsolicited manuscripts; please query the editor first.

No’Ala is printed with vegetable-based inks on 100% recycled paper.

BY ARMOSA STUDIOS Join us on Facebook: No’Ala Mag


editor’s letter « Allen Tomlinson « 11

In each person’s life, there is a series of significant events: Birth. Education. Graduation. Wedding. Children. Retirement. Grandchildren. All of these are significant, but none are surrounded with as much joy and pageantry as a wedding—which is why, every year, we dedicate an entire issue to it. We’ve found, over the years, that women who are planning weddings use this issue as a resource. There are tons of ideas here for the bride-to-be, and you’ll see weddings that run the gamut from casual to very formal. But before you put the issue down, wait! There’s even something here for those who aren’t currently in the throes of wedding planning. In all the years we’ve been putting together the Bridal issue, we’ve noticed that all too often the brides in these photos look fabulous, but the grooms look like they dressed for a different event. Because of that, we went to Billy Reid’s corporate headquarters here in Florence for some tips on helping the groom step up his game. Look for the five rules we learned for making sure the groom is dressed appropriately… and these same rules can be applied if you’re just looking for a new business suit. Marriage is about togetherness, but what happens when you are married and you and your spouse also work together? We interview three couples who own and operate businesses together and ask the question: for better, or worse? There’s more, of course. Our retail shopping guide focuses on anniversary gifts, and there are some unique ideas. (Did you know the traditional gift for the 6th anniversary is candy—or iron?) We’ll introduce you to the No’Ala Charity Project, in which we adopt and mentor a non-profit with marketing advice and exposure for the next year; we ask the members of the Junior League of the Shoals what their best wedding gifts were, and Rev. Michael Stewart writes about some of the more unusual weddings he’s officiated. There’s variety here, even for those who are not planning to tie the knot anytime soon! Next issue, we promise something a whole lot different: it’s our “Why Not?” issue. We’ve asked people from all over the Shoals to dream a little and write about things they’d like to see in our area. Why not? Our intent is to begin some conversations, and we’ll see where it goes. Until then, enjoy this issue—and congratulations to the young couples who are starting their lives together!


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calendar

January 1 Happy New Year! Through January 2 Wanderings: Works by Paula Frizbe Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence; 9:00am-4:00pm, Monday through Friday; admission is free; contact 256-760-6379 or florenceal.org. January 3 Gallery Talk: Paula Frizbe Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence; 6:30pm; admission is free; contact 256-760-6379 or florenceal.org. January 15 UNA Guest Artist Recital Series presents Mike Dugan, Trombone Music Building Recital Hall at UNA, Florence; 7:30pm; admission is free; www.una.edu. January 17 OnStage Presents The Alabama Symphony Orchestra Norton Auditorium at UNA, Florence; 7:30pm; admission is $35 for adults, $15 for students and may be purchased at the KennedyDouglass Center for the Arts or at www.shoalsonstage.com. A Shoals area favorite, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra travels to the Shoals to perform at Norton Auditorium. The orchestra proudly works to produce creative, dynamic programming and to be recognized as an artistically innovative leader in the field— winning ASCAP Awards in 2010 and 2011 for Adventurous Programming and Dedication to New American Music and receiving an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall in May 2012 as a part of the competitive Spring For Music Festival, which was underwritten by a $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation. January 18 Martin Luther King March UNA Guillot University Center, 1 Harrison Plaza, Florence; noon; admission is free; 256-765-4248 January 21 Martin Luther King Day and Presidential Inauguration January 22–March 5 Mixed Media Works by Zdenko Krtic Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, 217 E. Tuscaloosa St., Florence; 6:30pm; admission is free; contact 256-760-6379 or florenceal.org. January 25 UNA Faculty Recital: Mark Huff, Bass Music Building Recital Hall at UNA, Florence; 7:30pm; admission is free; www.una.edu. January 26 Miss UNA Pageant Norton Auditorium at UNA, Florence; 7:00pm; general admission $12 in advance, $15 at the door; 256-765-4248 or una.edu. January 30–31 Riverhill Open House Riverhill School, 2826 County Road 30, Florence; 12:30pm to 2:30pm; 256-764-8200 or riverhillschool.org.

February 14 UNA Studio Jazz Band Concert

Come tour Riverhill School and learn more about the area’s only independent, non-parochial private school. February 1 Singalong Sound of Music Shoals Theatre, 123 N. Seminary Street, Florence; 7:30pm; admission $15. Florence Main Street and Indie Shopography present a kick-off event to begin a fundraiser to help the Shoals Theatre purchase projection equipment and a screen. The new equipment will allow the theatre to present movies and film events. Participants at the Singalong are encouraged to dress as their favorite Sound of Music characters and come sing your hearts out! February 1–2 Step Sing 2013 Norton Auditorium at UNA, Florence; 7:00pm; admission charged; 256-765-4248 or una.edu/boxoffice. February 2 Soup-er Bowl Saturday in Downtown Florence Merchants in downtown Florence will be serving up soups for you to sample and judge - you pick the winning one! Retailers will also offer Souper-Day Saturday specials all day long. February 7–10 Shoals Community Theatre Presents A Musical Revue Shoals Community Theatre, 123 N. Seminary St., Florence; 7:30pm; admission $15 adults, $10 students; 256-740-1700 or shoalstheatre.com. Directed by Alan Flowers. Continued page 16

February 2 Soup-er Bowl Saturday


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calendar

February 9 Luck Be The Lady: The Shoals Heart Ball Marriott Shoals Conference Center, 800 Cox Creek Parkway South, Florence; 6:00pm; admission charged; 800-257-6941, extension 1553 for more information. February 12 UNA and NACOLG Present the Senior Winter Ball A winter ball for area seniors; details to be announced. una.edu. February 13 Sister Schubert and Betty Sims Luncheon and Cooking Demonstration Turtlepoint Yacht and Country Club, Killen; 10:30am; admission $75; 256-764-8200. Just about everyone in Alabama knows these two renowned cooks—Sister Schubert and Betty Sims pair up to present a luncheon and cooking demonstration as a fundraiser for Riverhill School. Lunch, cooking tips, and the pair’s favorite recipes are part of the event. February 14 UNA Studio Jazz Band Concert Norton Auditorium at UNA, Florence; 7:30pm; admission charged; una.edu. February 15–17 UNA Winter Break February 18 Washington’s Birthday (observed) February 19 UNA Faculty Recital: Eddie Elsey, Trombone Music Building Recital Hall at UNA, 7:30pm; admission is free; una.edu. February 22 UNA Faculty Recital: Ariana Arcu, Cello Music Building Recital Hall at UNA, Florence; 7:30pm; admission is free; una.edu.

February 19 Eddie Elsey, Trombone

February 23–24 Basement Burlesque Presents “Keep on Loving” 8:00pm; $15; Location TBA; 256-762-0637; facebook.com/basementburlesque. February 28 UNA Percussion Concert Norton Auditorium at UNA, Florence; 7:30pm; admission may be charged; una.edu.


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scene Stephanie Winborn, Gena McKinney, Lisa Davis, and Sandy Armstrong

Edith and Don Ruggles

Amy Darby and Maray Daniel Rebecca and Greg Hovater

Randy and Stacey White

Doug and Lisa Ruggles with Gift and Paul Visuthikosol

Cindy and Rick Hall

Trav and Ashley Hovater PHOTOS BY LISA RUGGLES

Above: Douglas Ruggles’ 50th Birthday and Yumm Introduction Party

Below: St. Francis Faire/Chili Cook-Off NOVEMBER 10, 2012  TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH

NOVEMBER 5, 2012  YUMM, FLORENCE

Jaina Anderson, Hannah Brake, and Carol Copeland Mike and Kathy Moeller Shirley Self and Bob Osborn Tony Smith Denny Winters

Catherine Schiesz and Mary White

Randall Byrd and Andy Keyse Taylor Daniel and Colter Anderson PHOTOS BY SCOTTY BOBO


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THE WEDDING ALBUM

AYA OZAWA & AKIHIRO KAWASE Nagoya, Aichi Japan April 29, 2012 by Armosa Studios The couple had three separate ceremonies for their wedding— a traditional Japanese wedding, a Western ceremony, and a friend party. In accordance with Japanese tradition, Aya only invited female guests and Aki only invited male guests. Aya and Aki dated in high school in Japan and continued to date through their time at UNA.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

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Call me to help find a threshold to carry the bride over.

I’m Anne Bernauer and I want to be your Realtor® — for life.

Call 256-740-0706 or 256-757-9008 Email anne@annewillsell.com Visit www.annewillsell.com

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

(Clockwise from left)

BREANNE BRANTING & JOSEPH THIGPEN First Baptist Church of Florence Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Muscle Shoals March 3, 2012 by Armosa Studios Breanne and Joseph met in Army training when they were assigned to the same platoon. 

WHITNEY BROOKE LEGG & JEREMY ‘SETH’ WATSON Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Muscle Shoals May 19, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography Whitney’s 2011 Christmas tree had a surprise decoration—an engagement ring tied to one of the branches. 

LIZ WINGO & CHANNING STANFIELD Iuka, MS September 15, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography Liz’s horse attended the wedding with a “Maid of Honor” sign and Channing’s dog had a “Best Man” sign. 

BRAYDEE R AY & ZACH HAWN The Ritz Theatre Sheffield March 18, 2012 by Abraham Rowe Photography Zach proposed to Braydee at an airshow in Cullman, Alabama in a Huey helicopter that had actually flown in the Vietnam War.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

(Clockwise from left)

MARY COX & BRAD GRIER Rockford, IL July 3, 2012 by Armosa Studios Brad proposed at Mary’s aunt’s house in Illinois, which was the same location as their wedding. 

DANIELLE PETERS & DAVID KELLEY JR . Buffler House Florence May 25, 2012 by PbK Studios In honor of Danielle’s late grandmother, Wynell Hancock, who loved hummingbirds, the couple chose to have a hummingbird wedding cake. 

L AUREN MASON & GREG GOBER Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Florence September 29, 2012 by Butler Studios Greg surprised Lauren on their big day by giving her a beautiful pearl necklace. 

EMILY OSBORN & CORY BUFFALOE Riverside Cottage Tuscumbia June 30, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography Cory proposed in December by tying the ring around their dog Pepper’s neck.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

(Clockwise from left)

KRISTI ANN BROADFOOT & CAPTAIN STEPHEN REIFF Central Heights Baptist Church Pickett Place Florence April 4, 2012 by Alabella Studios Kristi’s “something old” was her grandfather’s purple heart, which was tied on her bouquet.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

HILLARY TAYLOR JAMES & JOSEPH CHARLES PANQUERNE Nottaway Plantation Baton Rouge, LA March 24, 2012 by Abraham Rowe Photography At the reception, Hillary’s friend from college caught the bouquet…and then fell flat on her face.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

(Clockwise from left)

BAILEE CURBOW & MATT SMITH St. Florian Fiber Farm, St. Florian September 15, 2012 by PbK Studios In keeping with tradition, Bailee and Matt did not want to see each other before the wedding, so they decided to exchange notes from around a corner doorway, instead. 

MEGAN DUNCAN & BRANT PACE Hudson Family Barn Florence March 24, 2012 by Alabella Studios Because of the rain, the wedding had to be moved inside the barn. The ceremony proceeded with all of the guests in a circle around the bride and groom. Megan says it could not have been more perfect. 

MELANIE SUMNER & JIM SPILLER Riverside Cottage Tuscumbia October 6, 2012 by Christi Britten and Falon Yates Jim proposed on Pickwick Lake at Melanie’s home, just down the road from the site of their wedding. 

CINDY L ANSDELL & JAMES R ANDALL North Wood United Methodist Church Turtle Point Yacht & Country Club Florence June 16, 2012 by Armosa Studios Cindy and James met through a coed kickball league in Birmingham. Near the end of the season, they had their first official date.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

ASHLEY NICHOLE BAKER & JOSHUA PAUL HASELTON The Henry Barn Tuscumbia, AL November 3, 2012 by Abraham Rowe Photography After their wedding, Ashley and Josh spent two months weeks touring Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:30 a.m., Turtlepoint Yacht & Country Club

$75 per person • All proceeds benefit Riverhill School Includes lunch, demonstration, recipes, and opportunity for cookbook purchase and signing Tickets and information: Riverhill School, 256-764-8200

Come See Us in Action! Come to an Open House at Riverhill, Wednesday, January 30, and Thursday, January 31, from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

(Clockwise from left)

LINDSAY NICOLE BALENTINE & JASON HUBBARD First Methodist Church of Florence June 9, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography Lindsay and Jason have always had a love for the beach, and they incorporated that theme throughout their wedding with shell and sand centerpieces, a wave-shaped cake, and seashell fortune cookie favors. 

LIZA MONTGOMERY & ANDREW MAXWELL Robbins Beach Road Killen October 13, 2012 by Abraham Rowe Photography Liza and Andrew were both actors in UNA’s Theatre Department and played opposite each other for a few years before dating. 

SARAH LESLIE SMITH & ROBERT BENJAMIN WRIGHT Smith Family Barn May 25, 2012 by Abraham Rowe Photography Sarah and Ben were high school sweethearts, and even though he went to Alabama and she went to Auburn, the rivalry of SEC football did not come between them. 

L AUREN BARNETT & WESLEY PUCKETT St. Florian Fiber Farm St. Florian June 23, 2012 by Butler Studios The preacher who married Lauren and Wesley also officiated Lauren’s parents’ wedding.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

SHANNON GRAY & SHANE BAKER Home of Joel and Carmen Anderson Muscle Shoals September 8, 2012 by Matt Andrews Photography Shane met Shannon through mutual friends in Florence. While touring as a guitarist with Marie Osmond, Shane had only one day off and he drove from Cincinnati, Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee to take Shannon on their first date.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

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Providing Insurance and Financial Services

Myron Gardner, LUTCF 1819 Darby Drive, Florence, AL 35630 Bus 256-764-2234;Cell 256-335-6080 Email myron.gardner.b17k@statefarm.com

Phil Wiginton 419 Cox Boulevard, Sheffield, AL, 35660 Bus 256-383-4521; Cell 256-762-5859 Email phil@philwiginton.com

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

LEIGH CARL MCELYEA & TYLER CORUM Madelyn’s in the Grove Athens, AL May 26, 2012 by Armosa Studios Instead of worrying about leaving a friend or family member out of the festivities, Leigh Carl and Tyler decided to have an enormous 28-person wedding party so they could celebrate with everyone they love around them.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

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a natural choice for all your special occasions

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

SUSAN KING & ABRAHAM ROWE Cypress Creek Florence September 29, 2012 by Armosa Studios Abraham made all of the benches used for the reception from the wood of old pallets.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

L AUREN ASHLEY WINTERS & THOMAS WILSON MCCUTCHEON Courtyard of Race and Religious New Orleans, LA September 8, 2012 by David L’Hoste The ceremony was broadcast live via Skype for the bride’s grandparents who were unable to make it to the wedding.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

(Right)

MOLLIE WADE & CY ELLIS Bluewater Creek Polo Fields Killen September 1, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography Mollie loves astronomy and wanted to get married under a full moon. She said the lighting was beautiful, and their first dance together in the moonlight was to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.”  (Below)

AMANDA BUTLER & SCOTT HERSTON Burritt on the Mountain Huntsville, AL June 16, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography Scott calls Amanda’s eight-year-old daughter ‘Baby Bird,’ so Amanda found ways to include images of birds and birdcages throughout their wedding.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

A.J. THOMPSON & ANDREW ZIELIKE Grace Episcopal Church Sheffield GAS Design Center Tuscumbia August 18, 2012 by Armosa Studios A.J.’s mother made her wedding gown.

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THE WEDDING ALBUM

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EMILY PRICE & TYLER HUDSON Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Muscle Shoals April 20, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography When they met in 2005, Emily and Tyler bonded over their love of horses. Now that they are married, riding is one of their favorite activities to do together.


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THE ENGAGEMENTS

(Clockwise from left)

A.J. THOMPSON & ANDREW ZIELIKE Grace Episcopal Church GAS Design Center Tuscumbia August 18, 2012 by Armosa Studios Andrew built this boat when he was living on the seacoast in New Hampshire. 

MARY COX & BRAD GRIER Rockford, IL July 3, 2012 by Armosa Studios 

ELISE DENTON & DILLON HODGES Spring Hill, TN October 6, 2012 by Christi Britten and Falon Yates After being pronounced husband and wife, Dillon surprised Elise and held mistletoe over her head as they kissed and the musicians played ‘Joy to the World’ all in honor of Elise’s obsession with Christmas. 

EMILY OSBORN & CORY BUFFALOE Riverside Cottage, Tuscumbia June 30, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography

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THE ENGAGEMENTS

(Clockwise from left)

ASHLEY NICHOLE BAKER & JOSHUA PAUL HASELTON The Henry Barn Tuscumbia, AL November 3, 2012 by Abraham Rowe Photography 

SUSAN KING & ABRAHAM ROWE Cypress Creek Florence September 29, 2012 by Armosa Studios 

AMY ELIZABETH GARRISON & BRIAN KENNETH BEALL Twin Pines Country Club, Russellville, AL June 2, 2012 by Abraham Rowe Photography Amy and Brian are expecting their first child this March. 

BROOKE BAKER & JORDAN BOYLES Oakwood Baptist Church, Phil Campbell, AL September 29, 2012 by Butler Studios When Brooke’s father’s home in Phil Campbell was destroyed by the April 2011 tornados, her family moved to a neighborhood in Russellville, which happened to be a few doors down from her future groom.

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THE ENGAGEMENTS

(Clockwise from left)

LIZA MONTGOMERY & ANDREW MAXWELL Robbins Beach Road Killen October 13, 2012 by Abraham Rowe Photography 

LIZ WINGO & CHANNING STANFIELD Iuka, MS September 15, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography 

KYRIEL JAMERSON & JAMES THIGPEN Muscle Shoals Sailing Club Florence May 18, 2012 by Amanda Chapman Photography After their wedding, the couple went straight to Target, Kyriel still in her wedding gown, to buy all of the seasons of The Big Bang Theory to watch on their honeymoon.

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THE ENGAGEMENTS

(TOP) LUCY BERRY & CHARLIE DEBUTY

LINDSEY CHOWNING & NICHOLAS ROBINSON

Carnegie Visual Arts Center, Decatur, AL November 10, 2012 by Christi Britten and Falon Yates

Macedonia Church of Christ, Central Heights, AL December 29, 2012 by Butler Studios

Lucy and Charlie’s first date was climbing to the roof of a historic building and sharing their first kiss there, overlooking the city.

Nicholas proposed on the beach, with the help of their closest friends, during a mission trip to Antigua.

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scene

Kirk Russell and Robin Horton Kathy Kemp, Becca Sockwell Angi Nutt, and Cathy Call Russell and Allison Mefford Mary Beth and Terry Coplry Lila Stapler, Jimmy and Angi Nutt, Eric Erdman, Emily Perry, and Steve Price

Donnie Fritts and Wayne Bridge

Kelvin Holly and Rob Malone

Mitch and Julie Mann PHOTOS BY DICK COOPER AND DANIEL LEDFORD

Above: Fiddleworms CD/DVD Listening Party

Below: Punch Brothers Concert After Party

OCTOBER 29, 2012  M ARRIOTT SHOALS CONFERENCE CENTER

OCTOBER 19, 2012  BILLY REID, FLORENCE

Dennis and Shelia Upchurch, and Mike Williams Leslie Keys, Audwin McGee, and Lisa Keys

Laura and Jerry Leavitt

Pierre and Donna LeFort

Robert and Noel Beck

Libby and Dick Jordan, and Katherine Rice

Amy Uhlman, and Jeff Hester

Bernie and Beth Borosky, Kim and Barry Williams PHOTOS BY PATRICK HOOD


The Florence Camerata presents

Choral Masterworks Featuring Bach’s Magnificat and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna With special guests: UNA Collegiate Singers and Masterworks Orchestra Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 7:30 p.m. • Norton Auditorium www.florencecamerata.com J ANUARY /F EBRUARY 2013 | NOALAPRESS . COM | 77


DETAILS WE LOVE TEXT BY JORDYN DEAN

A PICNIC RECEPTION

From the Wilder/Mattox Wedding

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© SIMPLY BLOOM PHOTOGRAPHY

“This couple loved to have picnics when they were dating so they thought it would be perfect for their reception. Incorporating fun and hands-on details creates a unique experience for your guests—more than just seeing, but feeling, tasting, and being involved in your special day.”


UNIQUE AND CHEAP! DECOR

Wedding details can sometimes be the most overlooked part of a wedding but also the most important part. The possibilities are truly endless with wedding details. They can be as simple or extravagant as you prefer. No matter your budget, never skimp on your details. Many can be inexpensive or even handmade. Your details are what set you apart from every other bride and wedding. Be unique. Be creative. Choose something special to you as a couple that your guests can experience with you—something they can taste, feel, smell, or experience. Add something they'll always look back and remember fondly among all the other weddings they’ve attended. Details should be the most fun and creative part of your planning process. Have fun and think out of the box!

“I loved this wedding reception! The groom is a pilot so we incorporated his passion in an inexpensive way that really added volume and charm to the reception space. This really took a lot of creativity and time to achieve—but it was worth it!” From the Thompson/Zielike Wedding

© AMANDA CHAPMAN PHOTOGRAPHY

THE ANTIGUESTBOOK

From the Jamerson/Thigpen Wedding

© ARMOSA STUDIOS

“There are endless possibilities for a ‘guestbook’! Come up with something fun for your guests that you will also enjoy re-visiting later on.”

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GILDED MENAGERIE

DETAILS WE LOVE

“Creative details can be simple and inexpensive while still adding charm and personality to your wedding aesthetic.” From the Baker/Carter Wedding

© AMANDA CHAPMAN PHOTOGRAPHY

EDIBLE ART “Adding details through food and desserts is a yummy way for your guests to experience your personalities and passions as a couple.” From the Wade/Ellis Wedding

© SIMPLY BLOOM PHOTOGRAPHY


© ERIN LINDSEY

BROACHES BOUQUET “I am a sucker for fresh flowers, but I also adore the idea of a keepsake bouquet or boutonniere. Also, family jewelry and heirlooms can be showcased in a beautiful way.” From the Vandiver/Eckstein Wedding Bouquet by Anna Sinclair of Atlanta, Georgia

CUSTOM CRESTS

© GLASS JAR PHOTOGRAPHY

“I adore this couple’s family crest idea! No better time to make one than for your wedding day—when you are establishing your new family.” From the Gilbert/Sherrod Wedding

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DETAILS WE LOVE

A PATRIOTIC SENDOFF “Representing the bride’s and groom’s culture and heritage is a wonderful way to add décor and guest involvement. It’s more colorful than bubbles or birdseed, plus the guests can keep them as a wedding favor.” From the Bagwell/Steinhauer Wedding © GLASS JAR PHOTOGRAPHY

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© ARMOSA STUDIOS

ARTSY INVITATIONS The wedding invitation is the guest’s first glance into your wedding. Your stationery sets the tone for the rest of your planning and coordination. Go out of the box and be creative! This couple incorporated their friends’ help and creativity into theirs. From the King/Rowe Wedding Illustration by Chelsea Hollman and lettering by Rowan Finnegan

FAMILY MEMENTOS

© ALABELLA STUDIOS

Incorporating personal touches like family heirlooms really add sweet memories to your wedding. I personally love using these kinds of details because it is usually something sentimental for the couple, and if a loved one is no longer here to celebrate with the family, they are still represented in spirit.” From the Broadfoot/Reiff Wedding

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market » Claire Stewart » Photos by Danny Mitchell

HappyAnniversary! 20TH (CHINA) Country Estate Mug ($38) Country Estate Pitcher ($150) Country Estate Medium Serving Bowl ($125) French Basket (256) 764-1237

55TH (EMERALD) Emerald Earrings ($2,900) Jamie Hood Jewelers (256) 381-6889

25TH (SILVER) Sterling Silver Split Chain Monogram Necklace (prices vary) Sterling Silver Cuff with Gold Monogram (prices vary) Side Lines (256) 767-0925

2ND (COTTON) Vineyard Vines Angler Gingham Shirt ($98.50) JAR & Company (256) 768-1004

85TH (WINE) Chateauneuf Du Pape 2011 White Rhone Wine ($40.99) Elyse 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ($44.99) The Wine Seller (256) 766-1568


15TH CRYSTAL Isabella Tulip Goblet ($68) Amalia Highball ($56) Amalia Stemless ($50) French Basket (256) 764-1237

3RD (LEATHER) Bill’s Khakis Belt ($75) JAR & Company (256) 768-1004 MZ Wallace ‘Hazel’ ($395) Marigail Mathis (256) 764-9444 Pau Patagonia Loafer ($140) Alabama Outdoors (256) 764-1809

60TH (DIAMOND) Diamond Platinum 1c Center With Mount and .25c Band (Starts at $7,500) Parker Bingham (256) 764-2032 35TH (CORAL) Gem Tree Coral Necklace ($70) Firenze (256) 760-1963

9TH (POTTERY) Vietri Incanto Place Setting ($38-$46) Halsey House (256) 764-9294

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market » Claire Stewart » Photos by Danny Mitchell

30TH (PEARL) Pearl Bangle with Diamonds ($4,850) Pearl Ring ($1,990) Parker Bingham (256) 764-2032

11TH (STEEL) Buck Knives Short Revolution ($75) Alabama Outdoors (256) 764-1809 Citizen Radio Controlled Watch ($650) Jamie Hood Jewelers (256) 381-6889

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75TH (DIAMOND & GOLD) Chad Allison 1.91c Champagne and White Diamond Pendant on Woven Silk Chain ($4,000) Grogan Jewelers (256) 764-4013

1ST (PAPER) William McArthur Gray Personalized Envelopes ($174/pack of 25) William McArthur Robin’s Egg Envelope and Kraft Notes ($185/pack of 25) Printers and Stationers, Inc. (256) 764-8061


10TH (TIN/ALUMINUM) Gents 6mm Band Available in Aluminum and Tungsten ($360) Grogan Jewelers (256) 764-4013 Faith, Hope and Love Aluminum, Copper, and Cork Necklace ($48) Relique (256) 767-4810

7TH (WOOL) Cobalt Wrap Coat ($925) Billy Reid (256) 767-4692 Lambswool Men’s 1/4 Zip ($119) Alabama Outdoors (256) 764-1809

4TH (LINEN) Linen King Monogrammed Sham ($125) Halsey House (256) 764-9294

45TH (SAPPHIRE) Blue Sapphire Ring with Silver Halo ($300) Grogan Jewelers (256) 764-4013

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LAST FALL, No’Ala Magazine issued an invitation: Tell us about your non-profit, we said, and we will adopt one of you for a year's worth of marketing advice, mentorship, and publicity. Eighteen non-profit organizations came forward. Some we were very familiar with and have worked with in the past; some we had never heard of, but we were impressed with their good works. The decision to narrow it down to one organization was a difficult one—and, admittedly, a subjective one. But take a look at these organizations, learn more about them, and let us challenge you: won’t you help them in their mission to make this a better place? Each and every one of them could use your help, either financially or simply by having you roll up your sleeves and donate an hour or so of your time every week to helping them help others. HOSPICE OF THE SHOALS provides compassionate care to terminally ill patients and their families, at the end of the patient’s life. They are the only non-profit hospice in the area. 256-767-6699 or hospiceoftheshoals.org. The ARC OF THE SHOALS provides residential care, day care employment, life skills education, and more to those with intellectual disabilities. They are known in the area for their “Hope Haven” facility. Call 256-383-1472 or visit thearcoftheshoals.com. HASRA (Heart of Alabama Save, Rescue, Adopt) HASRA’s primary focus is to promote animal adoptions, to reduce the number of dogs and cats who are euthanized at the local animal shelters. This group is populated with extremely hard working volunteers who have managed to substantially reduce the kill rate in Lauderdale County, and provide a pipeline to adoption agencies in other parts of the country. Contact the Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter, 702 College Street, Florence for more information. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Florence/Lauderdale County supports court appointed volunteers for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in a permanent and safe home. This group has a need to recruit volunteer advocates, inform policy makers, and raise money. Call 256-765-0041 or visit lauderdalecasa@comcast.net. WICP (Westminster Interfaith Caring Place) provides adult day care for elderly patients, in order to give their care givers relief. A five day a week program, it’s growing, and they are looking for a new home since their current location is at Brandon Ministries, the site of the new RegionalCare hospital. Call 256-275-3800 or visit wicpdays.org. NORTHWEST ALABAMA COMMUNITY HEALTH (which will change its name in 2013 to SHOALS COMMUNITY CLINIC), provides medical and dental care to those who cannot afford care or do not have insurance. Located at Handy Homes in Florence: 256-760-4713. AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY focuses on raising money to fund cancer research and eradicate the disease. They currently hold an every-other-year event, Coaches vs. Cancer, that raises awareness and money; the next event is scheduled for the fall of 2013. Call 256-7670825 or visit megan.lovelace@cancer.org.

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DYSLEXIA CENTER OF THE SHOALS provides therapy and resources for dyslexic individuals and families. There are many prominent people in the Shoals who are dyslexic, and this disease is often misunderstood. Call 256-764-0444 or visit dyslexiactrshoals.org. NORTHWEST ALABAMA VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) is a humanitarian association of voluntary organizations to help people who experience disasters (tornado, flood, etc.). They do not compete with other response organizations, but instead offer coordination of response. They serve Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Marion, and Winston Counties. Call 256-764-5892. LIFESOUTH COMMUNITY BLOOD CENTERS, an organization that collects and supplies blood for the Shoals region. They are the primary suppliers of blood for ECM, Shoals and Keller Hospitals. Call 256-383-3535 or visit lifesouth.org. VOCAL (Victims of Crimes and Leniency), an advocacy group that works with victims of crime, including volunteering to transport victims to court, crime scene clean-ups, and follow-up. Members of VOCAL are victims or family members themselves; the Shoals Area Chapter serves Lauderdale, Colbert, and Franklin County. Contact the No’Ala office for more information about how to contact this organization. CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE SHOALS provides hands-on exhibits and interactive programs for toddlers through elementaryaged children. The Museum is now in its 11th year and is expanding its programming and offerings. Call 256-765-0500 or visit shoalschildrensmuseum.org. FLORENCE CITY SCHOOLS EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION is an educational foundation that gives 100% of its funds to classroom learning in the Florence City School System. None of the money raised goes toward athletics; some goes toward installing technology in the classroom. Call 256-768-2690 or visit FCSEF.org. SUCCESS BY 6, an organization that works with children below the age of six to help them get the foundation they need to succeed. The emphasis is on brain development before the child reaches the age of six. Call 256-764-5892. SINGING RIVER EQUINE RESCUE works to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home horses who are suffering from hunger or neglect. The animals they work with are heartbreaking; the work they do with them is uplifting. Call 256-710-7913 or visit srer.org. NORTHWEST ALABAMA READING AIDES offers free one-on-one tutoring in reading, writing and English language skills to anyone over the age of 16 in Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin Counties. Can you imagine being unable to read? You might be surprised at how many in our region cannot. Visit nwalreadingaides.org. SHOALS H ABITAT FOR HUMANITY provides safe, decent and affordable housing and has built 66 homes in the Shoals area—so far. A new campaign, The Women Build Program, is scheduled for 2013, and is focused on empowering and encouraging Shoals women to build a Habitat home. Call 256-710-9515 or visit habitat.org.


AND THE NO’ALA PICK FOR 2013 IS…

THE FLORENCE-LAUDERDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE that the beautiful landmark library building in downtown Florence is ten years old. It’s also hard to believe how the nature of libraries has changed in these short ten years, from simply a place to borrow books to today’s community center, where you are likely to check out your book electronically, grab a cup of coffee and a sandwich at Bookmarks, attend a community meeting, and check email in the computer lab. Because our library reaches so many people, and because it truly is a landmark for our area, No’Ala has chosen to take them on as our marketing project for 2013. As we discussed the organizations who had applied, it seemed that each of us here had warm and wonderful memories about experiences at the library that shaped our lives, and we are excited about some of the things planned for the coming year. We think you will be, too. In the late spring of 2012, my mother, Susanna Tomlinson, lost a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. When I was growing up, my mother and her friends were instrumental in creating a library for Cherokee, Alabama, and she was involved in library work as a volunteer for most of her life. When we announced our intention to take on a non-profit project, we were honest about the fact that there was some subjectivity involved in our choice. It wasn’t black and white— we debated and weighed and measured the pros and cons of each of the 18 organizations who made an application. But when the final decision was made, I have to admit to some pleasure at the idea that my mother’s passion will continue for the next year, through our work. We can’t wait to share some of the exciting community projects that will come your way from the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. —Allen Tomlinson, Editor-in-Chief

© PATRICK HOOD

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scene

Dane Trelles and Austin Holt

Markie Howard, Frances Adams, Beth Cox, Sandra Johnson, Brianna Bolden, and Dane Trelles Mattie Evans and Nick Holley

Pam and Bill McKinney

Sandra Johnson, Teresa Rasch, and Rachel Fraser

Cathryn Whitlock, Frances Adams, and Brianna Bolden

Hallie Mauldin and Chip Rasch Joan Lane and Markie Howard

Above: PSI & Southern Point Co. Trunk Show OCTOBER 18, 2012  PRINTERS AND STATIONERS, FLORENCE

Below: Jude Frances Fall 2012 Trunk Show Presented by Parker Bingham Jewelry OCTOBER 23, 2012  DISH C AFÉ, FLORENCE

Patty Klos and Lisa Gardner

Suzanna Wylie and Amy Darby Pat Slusher and Patty Klos

Tracie Swift and Tashina Southard

Jeri and Aleysia Pons

Emily Ansley, Cheryl Hubbert, Patty Klos, and Rebecca Tedder PHOTOS BY HEIDI KING AND JUSTIN MICHAEL


TEXT BY ALLEN TOMLINSON » PHOTOS BY PATRICK HOOD

BEGINNING A NEW LIFE TOGETHER CAN BE CHALLENGING. There’s a lot of adjustment involved when you are beginning a life together as a couple; you have to learn each other’s habits, preferences and odd quirks, and most couples quickly decide on a division of responsibility so the business of running a home is a smooth one. Sometimes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. For the vast majority of couples, in which both people work outside the home, there is some separation during the day, and the details of the workday are left at the office. But what if you and your new spouse also run a business together? To find out the unique challenges involved when you are wedded to each other and your business, we found three couples to have done just that, and let them tell us the joys and pitfalls of constant interaction. One thing they agree on: if they set the rules at the beginning, it’s mostly for the better—and not the worse!

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TERA AND WES “We are passionate about love,” said Tera Wages of Armosa Studios. “Wes and I love photography, but we’re passionate about showing love between people, whether they are a bride and groom or an older couple who have been together for years. That’s what we love to do—to photograph and show love, because we believe in it.” Tera will tell you that her passion for love is rooted in her Christian faith. “We’ve experienced great love through our faith, and our goal is to make our own relationship an example,” she explained. “Our lives are an open book, and we want to set an example for what happy marriages are like.” Wes and Tera met at UNA. Wes was working at Highland Baptist Church, handling their media, and had an interest in video. Tera’s interest was photography, and although Wes didn’t know much about it when they met, he quickly developed a talent for it as well. They knew each other for two years before they married, and just two weeks after their wedding, Tera shot her first wedding. It was the birth of a business, one that the two could do together. The couple has a talent for telling stories in still photos and moving images. In a recent project for the YMCA of the Shoals, they tell the story of lives changed in a way that makes a point but involves the viewer emotionally. (This video and others can be seen at their online portfolio at armosastudios.com.) The look on a father’s face as he watches his daughter marry, the love between a couple that’s celebrating a milestone event—these are the images the Wages know how to capture for eternity. Today, Armosa Studios is still the go-to photographer for weddings, but that is certainly not all they do. Their portfolio now includes corporate photos and video, and the business allows the couple to indulge another passion—travel. “We love to travel,” said Tera, “and the hardest part of any trip is booking the ticket. Once that’s done, the rest falls into place! We honeymooned in Italy because we’d never been there and wanted to experience it; the name of our business, Armosa, comes from our favorite chateau in Tuscany.”

weren’t together every day,” said Tera, laughing. “In the photography business, especially if it involves weddings, you work a lot of weekends. We know that if we want to be together on weekends, we need to work together—so we do!” But division of responsibility is key, along with a few basic rules. “I handle the video, the commercial work, and the finances,” said Wes, “and Tera is responsible for branding, web work, weddings, and photography. We know each other’s areas of responsibility so we can help each other out at any moment.” “Everything is a team effort,” added Tera, “and everything is ‘we’.” But there is one thing about this twenty-something year old couple that’s a little different: at home, they remove themselves from the world. “We don’t have internet or television at home,” said Tera. “We have learned that we have to set boundaries, so when we get home we cut it off. When we talk about business at home, it’s because we’re dreaming, not because we’re discussing details of running the business.” That is reserved for when they get to their downtown Florence studio, another important decision for the couple; having an office that is distinct from their home makes it easier to draw boundary lines. In the company’s short history, the Wages have traveled the world, and the more they travel and the more stories they tell, the more clients they attract. They still find time for just the two of them, though, and it usually involves travel: they make it a point to take a trip in January specifically to dream and plan for the direction they want the business to take, and every quarter they try to get away to spend time together. “We know that there will come a day when we move into a new phase in our relationship, when children come,” said Tera, “and we want to enjoy each phase while we have it.” Their most important advice to other couples who are considering working together? “Don’t make business the most important thing you have in common,” said Tera. “Enjoy each other and support each other.” And dream together.

How does all of this constant togetherness affect the business—and the marriage? “I think we’d be more stressed if we

“Don’t make business the most important thing you have in common. Enjoy each other, and support each other.” T E R A W AG E S

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MIKE AND CEDA Ceda Hambrick has known the fabric business all of her life. Her parents, Ellis and Lucile Wilson, started Wilson’s Bargain Center on Court Street in downtown Florence in 1949 and successfully ran the business together; when Ceda graduated from the University of Alabama, she went to work for the family business. And when she and Mike met and married, in 1975, it was natural for him to leave his job as Director of Junior Achievement in Decatur and join that business, too. Ceda opened and managed a store on Florence Boulevard, and Mike opened stores in Athens, Decatur, and Huntsville. Things were good, and the Hambricks learned a lot about the fabric business. “We just had this desire to do things on our own,” said Mike, “and we were interested in the wholesale side of the business instead of the retail side.” For that reason, in 1994 Ceda and Mike opened Fabric Finders, a wholesale design, manufacturing, and wholesaler of cotton fabrics. Fabric Finders sells to retail fabric stores, but more and more of their business goes to other manufacturers, who are using the fabrics in children’s clothing and bedding, dog beds, wine bottle covers, shirts, bowties, and more. “There are fewer and fewer brick and mortar stores these days,” said Mike. The business started in their garage, “and we moved the cars out and stacked bolts of fabric in there,” said Ceda, laughing. The business quickly outgrew that and moved to a location on Royal Avenue and then to the basement of the Salvation Army store on North Court Street. “One day, our warehouse manager came and said to me that we didn’t have room for one more bolt of fabric,” said Mike. That’s when they moved to their current location in Industrial Park, in a warehouse that has already gotten full of the beautiful, colorful fabrics that Mike and Ceda have designed and had manufactured. So, how does working together work? “There are some pretty simple rules,” said Ceda. “The first is division of responsibility. There are things Mike is responsible for—selling, design,

working with the customers to determine what they need, going to trade shows and that sort of thing—and there are things I am responsible for, like running the warehouse, making sure orders are filled, and that things here at the office are running smoothly.” According to Ceda, dividing the responsibility and then trusting the other to do what each does best is the only way it will work. “If we sat side by side and were in each other’s business, it would be extremely hard,” she said. “This way, there is no power struggle.” Another rule has to do with talk about business at home. “We try not to discuss business when we’re home,” she said. “It can wait, usually, and there has to be some separation between our business life and our personal life.” Mike laughs and admits to being slightly OCD about things which makes it hard sometimes for him to turn it off when they get home, but Ceda doesn’t have access to business computers or records at home, so it just has to wait. Not only is Fabric Finders an example of how a couple can work together successfully, it’s also the story of family traditions. In their warehouse, surrounded by colorful, beautiful cotton fabrics, the Hambricks obviously love what they do. So do their sons—Michael, who is married and lives in Atlanta, helps the business by processing orders and answering customer questions, and Wilson, who lives in Washington, D.C., handles social media, posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and keeps the website updated. If the boys decide to continue their involvement, or even take a greater role, it will mark the third generation of Wilsons and Hambricks who have made their livings as “rag peddlers,” as Mike calls it. And the idea of working together as a couple isn’t foreign to them. “After all,” Ceda reminds us, “I watched my parents run a business together.” For this family, it’s a proven formula for success.

“If we sat side by side and were in each other’s business, it would be extremely hard, [but by dividing the responsibilities] there is no power struggle.” C E DA H A M B R I C K

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VICKI AND BILL When Bill and Vicki Yuille married, it was not just starting a life together, it was starting a business. Bill, who had been in the lampshade manufacturing business in Mississippi, had an inventory of hardback shades (which are casual in design), and Vicki had an artistic eye and a love of design. “He’s the engineer and I’m the architect,” said Vicki with a smile. Together, they created a business of designing, building and selling lamps— and Southern Shades was born. “I’m the energetic one,” said Vicki, laughing—she always has a smile—“and I’m the one who works with the numbers and the design. I’m the perfectionist. Bill is the steady, easygoing one, and that’s a nice balance.” Other than early mornings, when Bill drives a school bus for Brooks Elementary and High Schools, you can find the couple at their store on Florence Boulevard, or at home right next door. Bill is very mechanical, and he’s in charge of repairing and constructing lamps. In addition to keeping the books, Vicki pairs lampshades with bases and looks for found objects that the couple make into unique lighting fixtures. That’s the fascinating part of their business, the way they are able to take musical instruments, old vases, containers, and even Chinese kite spools and make them into beautiful pieces of art that also happen to light up the room. Lamps and lighting tend to follow fashion, according to the Yuilles. These days, the fashion is more contemporary, and although Vicki tends to favor a classic look “that never looks dated or goes out of style,” she’s quick to remind you that changing a lampshade can make a lamp look completely different. When the business started in 1994, it was located in downtown Florence. It moved to a location on Florence Boulevard, until the Yuilles bought a piece of property where they live now. An old house on the property was actually physically picked up and moved away. The Yuilles built their present

building on the site, designing it to be open, with fabric walls and exposed beams to showcase their products. They opened the doors in their new location on September 1, 2001…just ten days before 9/11. “That’s one aspect of working together,” said Bill. “You live through the good and the bad, and after 9/11, business just stopped. We wondered if it would ever get started again, but it did!” Like other couples who work together, the division of responsibility has been important. “We both know what we are good at, and even though we know each other’s part of the business, and can do it if we have to, our areas of expertise don’t really overlap,” said Vicki. In addition, the couple divides up the day— Bill comes to work at 9:00 in the morning and leaves to drive the bus at 2:00; Vicki comes in at 2:00 and works until 5:00. “There’s a little overlap,” said Vicki, “but we’re not on top of each other.” Because they have such different, but complimentary, personalities, they discuss issues that come up during a typical workday and decide which person is better suited to handle it. What advice would they give to other married couples who are considering working together? “Have a pile of money,” said Bill with a laugh, and Vicki agrees; most people who are considering a retail business don’t have a realistic idea of the capital required to make a business successful. Other than that, “accept each other, remember what’s most important, and allow each other to be themselves.” “And have a sense of humor,” adds Bill. For the Yuilles, that humor is always present. An ad campaign they ran several years ago showed Bill dressed in a white doctor’s jacket, and Vicki tipping a hat made from a lampshade. “Bill is the Lamp Doctor,” said Vicki, “ and I’m the Shady Lady.” Together, they’ve made a successful business of lighting up people’s décor.

“He’s the engineer and I’m the architect.” VICKI YUILLE

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scene

Mary Alice, Eddy, and Hope Brackin

Sandi Hendrix

Sheila Pierce and Tisha Bryner Pierce Hope Brackin and Erin Lough

Hope Brackin, Erin and Ron Lough PHOTOS BY GREG BRACKIN

Above: Book Signing for The Spirit Tree at Toomer’s Corner

Below: Come Home for Christmas to Cherokee DECEMBER 1, 2012  DOWNTOWN CHEROKEE

NOVEMBER 23, 2012  COLDWATER B OOKS, TUSCUMBIA

Renee Landers and Brandi Woods

Sherri Graves Smith, Chuck Smith, and Joyce Smith

Phil Russell Melanie and Terry Cosby

Freida Daily Jane and Kristi Goss

Sherry Levey, Sandi Hendrix, and DeLona Young

Evan Michael Rhodes PHOTOS BY TALLIE JOHNSON AND DAWN MURPH

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TEXT BY ALLEN TOMLINSON » PHOTOS BY PATRICK HOOD


Ten years after your big wedding day, as you look at photographs of the big event, you’ll probably marvel at how young you both look. You’ll smile as you remember the fun you and your guests had, and you’ll remember just about every detail. But unfortunately, many bridal couples will look at the photographs of the groom in an ill-fitting rented tuxedo and the common reaction will be “what was he thinking?” The reality is that the most confusing part of the entire wedding, for the groom, has nothing to do with the caterer, the music, the location, or the day itself. It’s what he will wear, and most grooms are so baffled—or disinterested—by the entire process they ignore it completely or simply go to the nearest tuxedo shop and rent something in a color their bride won’t object to. Ten years later, that leads to laughter or embarrassment at pants that are too long, coats that don’t fit (or no coats at all), or photos of a bride dressed in finery that cost thousands of dollars standing next to a groom who looks like he dressed for an entirely different event. That doesn’t mean grooms shouldn’t rent a tuxedo for the big day, but with a little knowledge of what constitutes a good fit you can save some red-faced moments later. And, according to Brandon Capps of Billy Reid, a wedding can also be an opportunity for a groom to invest in clothing that will last for years, if chosen correctly. “There are five basic rules to follow that can make a tremendous difference,” said Brandon. “The goal is to have people look at the couple and think that they are beautiful together, without being distracted by how ill-fitting the groom’s suit is. There’s no disputing that the wedding is the bride’s day, but that doesn’t mean the groom doesn’t need to pay attention.” So, in order to help the groom make better decisions, here are the five rules for dressing for your wedding day.

THIS IS THE BRIDE’S DAY, BUT IT’S YOUR WEDDING, TOO. SHE IS THE FOCAL POINT, AND IF YOU DRESS APPROPRIATELY, YOU’RE THE EXCLAMATION POINT. —BRANDON CAPPS

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D The key components of a suit that you need to know.

Shoulders The suit’s shoulders should hug yours, and its shoulder pads should not extend beyond your own shoulders.

D

E A Chest You should be able to easily button the jacket without it pulling or straining. There should be no more than a fist’s worth of space between the button and your chest.

Lapels A notch lapel is the standard, and you really can’t go wrong with this option. A peak lapel (at left) is an elegant option that is enjoying a comeback. It makes a statement.

E

A

F B

B Buttons One, two, three? A three-button suit is a trendy look, and if you’re purchasing your first suit, you may opt to go with a more classic look like a two-button suit (it’s a more conservative style). The one-button suit conveys a sleek, high-style look.

C Sleeves Sleeves that drop below the thumb or come midway down the hand are too long; if your wrist bone is showing, the jacket is too short. Trousers Cuff or no cuff? Pleats or no pleats? Brandon recommends going without both, because cuffs and pleats tend to be trendy.

C

F

Jacket Length You should discuss the length of your suit with your tailor. Shorter suits are in style, but by no means should you cling to any trend. As a general rule you should be able to cup your fingers under the sides of your suit jacket. Vents (not shown) A vent is the split in the back of the suit jacket, at the seat. One center vent is all-purpose and is both modern and traditional. Side vents (two splits) is more European and some say more comfortable.


RULE NUMBER 1: D ON’T PICK ANYTHING THAT WILL DATE YOU

You’ve done it—looked at pictures and immediately said, “oh, that’s so eighties,” simply because of the width of the lapels or the width of the shoulders. “Go for classic and not trendy,” said Brandon. That goes for color as well. Remember baby blue tuxedos and light green leisure suits? How dated do they look now, when you see them in photographs? “Gray or black is a safe choice,” said Brandon, “because you can go with a lighter gray for a spring or summer wedding and a darker gray or black for fall or winter. It’s the most versatile color, and it’s timeless.” “You have to follow the bride’s lead when it comes to formality,” he said. “She will determine whether you’ll wear a tuxedo or a classic business suit. But play it safe and conservative—classic always works, and trendy might look good at the moment but you might regret it years later.” And what is it with bridal parties in which the groom wears a tuxedo and his groomsmen are in suits or aren’t wearing jackets at all? “It has to make sense,” said Brandon. Ask your bride what she envisions and plan accordingly. RULE NUMBER 2: FOCUS ON THE TROUSERS

“It’s about proportions,” said Brandon. “Your trousers should not be tight, but they shouldn’t be baggy, either. They need to be comfortable at the waist, but not baggy. As for length, there is room for your personal preference; a classic break is where the pant folds slightly at the top of the shoe. You can make it slightly longer, and you can make it slightly shorter—in fact, the trend right now is toward shorter. But you should never let your trousers puddle on the ground or on your shoe, and it’s never acceptable to show your ankles.” Remember that pants can be altered. A good seamstress can let out or take in the waist, and the length of the pants can also be altered. That’s good to know if you’re investing in a suit for your wedding that will also be used later for business or formal occasions. Waistlines change; so can the dimensions of your pants, within reason. Many times, when men go to a

rental store, they concentrate on how the pants feel in the waist and just live with the length that’s in stock. Ask the store to find another pair that fits in both areas, or ask them to alter to make the fit look better. Remember, one thing people might point and laugh at, when they look at the pictures, is a groom whose pants are so long they puddle on the ground. Cuff or no cuff? Pleats or no pleats? Brandon recommends going without both, because cuffs and pleats tend to be trendy. A cuff-less, pleat-less pant is a more classic look and gives the suit a longer life. “A more streamlined and clean look is timeless,” he said.

and cuff links make the suit more formal. The tie and pocket square can be matched to the bridesmaids’ dresses or the color theme of the wedding, within reason, but pay attention to proportions. You don’t want to wear a skinny tie with a wide lapel, for example, and for a larger guy, a skinny lapel doesn’t work. “ Brandon says the season will also dictate what you can do. “If it’s a November wedding, consider a wool tie,” he said, “and in June, you could bring in pastels, greens, pinks, and spring colors. Just make sure the fabric and style of the suit are appropriate to the season and the overall look of the wedding.” RULE NUMBER 5: RELAX. THIS IS

RULE NUMBER 3: YOUR ARMS

NOT BRAIN SURGERY

MIGHT NOT BE THE SAME LENGTH. PAY ATTENTION TO THE JACKET!

The reality of a wedding is this: the groom is not the focal point of the day. The goal, therefore, is not to detract from the event, and, in fact, to add to it. “Look at movies and magazines and pay attention to what the men are wearing,” said Brandon. “Find a store or a brand that looks good and look at the details that make it look so good. Notice the length of the pants, the length of the sleeve, the accessories and how they all come together to create a look.” If you’re renting, the more educated you are when you walk in the door, the more likely that you will look great on the big day. If you are investing, plan to spend upwards of $900—the average cost of a Billy Reid Heirloom suit is $1,395, and Heirloom Collection suits that are made in the USA start at around $2,000. “Remember, your bride has spent that much or more on her dress, and she’ll only wear it once,” said Brandon. “You’re investing in clothing that you can wear for years to come.” “This is the bride’s day, but it’s your wedding, too,” said Brandon. “She is the focal point, and if you dress appropriately, you’re the exclamation point. One of the goals will be to look at these pictures years from now and take pride in the fact that you are really a beautiful couple, with a perfect sense of style.”

“The mark of a good suit is that it’s tailorable,” said Brandon. “Not only can you let out waistlines and leg lengths in the pant, you can adjust sleeve length and the fit in the shoulders for the coat.” And an ill-fitting jacket makes the groom look awkward and uncomfortable. Sleeves that drop below the thumb or come midway down the hand are too long; if your wrist bone is showing, the jacket is too short. Shoulders that droop or a jacket that’s too tight is also not very good looking. Surprisingly, your arms may not be the same length. “It’s important for a good tailor to measure both arms,” said Brandon, “and sleeve length can be adjusted accordingly. You also want to watch the roll in the back of the jacket, to make sure it doesn’t bunch up.” What about all of those buttons? When do you button and when do you not? “You should unbutton when you sit, but otherwise you should stay buttoned,” said Brandon. “You should especially be buttoned during the wedding itself. It’s much more formal to button, and the ceremony calls for it.” RULE NUMBER 4: YOU CAN TAKE LIBERTIES WITH THE ACCESSORIES

“If you are wearing a gray or black suit, you can add some color to it,” said Brandon. That doesn’t mean a pink or blue shirt, but it does mean that you can add color in the tie or the pocket square. “To be safe, we always recommend a white shirt,” he said, “and French cuffs

Brandon Capps is the Made-to-Measure director for Billy Reid, and is based at the Billy Reid office in New York City. For more information about Billy Reid Heirloom Collection suits, visit www.billyreid.com.

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BY CLAIRE STEWART » PHOTOS BY DANNY MITCHELL

Gone are the days of shiny, identical, ill-fitting bridesmaid dresses! Instead, today’s brides are saying “no” to the traditional taffeta messes and letting each bridesmaid’s personality shine. Make sure your girls look just as fabulous as you on your big day by letting them pick dresses they will wear over and over again.

{ Same Dress, Different Prints } Dresses made from Thread’s fabrics, by Shelly Spidel (fabric prices vary) Thread (256) 383-2223

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{ Different Dresses, Same Color }

Darling Katy Tunic Dress ($110) Audie Mescal (256) 314-6684

Darling Cara Dress ($128) Audie Mescal (256) 314-6684

Darling Ramona Dress ($82) Geranium Necklace ($37) Audie Mescal (256) 314-6684

Models: Chandler Richey, Courtney Bishop, Erica Gholson; Flowers by Lola’s Gifts and Flowers, Sheffield

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{ Same Dress, Dierent Accessories }

Karlie Dress ($110) Brighton Necklaces ($98 each) Brighton Bracelet ($76) The Village Shoppe (256) 383-1133

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Karlie Dress ($110) Queens Pearl Necklace ($120) Queens Pearl Earrings ($34) The Village Shoppe (256) 383-1133

Karlie Dress ($110) Estate Earrings ($84) Estate Bracelet ($92) Estate Necklace ($150) The Village Shoppe (256) 383-1133


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TEXT BY L AURA ANDERS LEE » PHOTOS BY ABRAHAM ROWE PHOTOGRAPHY/ABRAHAM & SUSAN ROWE

HAIR AND M AKEUP: JESSICA ROTHSTEIN, SAFARI HAIR SALON » MODELS: LILY HOLLY (FACING) AND KIMI SAMSON (PAGE 8)


“I love working with all of our clients, no matter what the occasion, but there’s something about a bride’s enthusiasm that is rather contagious.” —Natalie Chanin

It’s not the flowers; it’s not the location. It’s not the food, and it’s not the guest list. If you ask a bride-to-be the most important single element of her wedding, next to the groom, you’ll get the same answer every time: it’s all about the dress. No one understands this better than designer Natalie Chanin. Alabama Chanin wedding garments are considered modern heirlooms; made with 100 percent organic cotton jersey and the strongest of thread, they are extremely wearable and durable. Yet with their intricate designs, they are distinctively elegant; it’s like wearing a work of art. And there are many other reasons to choose a wedding gown from Alabama Chanin, too: There’s the glamour of wearing a designer who has received accolades from Vogue, Town & Country, and the Wall Street Journal; the craftsmanship of artisans honoring age-old techniques; the pride of supporting a North Alabama business; and the environmental responsibility of a garment made with a low carbon footprint. But perhaps the best reason of all is that each bride who slips on a wedding gown from Alabama Chanin feels absolutely special. Since each dress is handmade to order, it’s literally one of a kind. Natalie has been highly acclaimed for her fresh, Americana designs, intricate stencils, artful appliqués, dedication to local artisans, and commitment to the environment. No products are made until an order is confirmed, preserving natural resources and ensuring nothing goes to waste. Scraps are even saved and

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“There’s something about a handmade dress that feels so good on your body and makes you look wonderful.” —Susan Rowe, Bride

recycled for future projects. By consolidating the manufacturing process in-studio, they have narrowed delivery times, have more control over the end product, and have closer relationships with suppliers and customers. The business model may be simplified, but the bride has the difficult task of selecting just one of countless options for her wedding day. First comes the consultation. Natalie or Lyndsie McClure, who handles press, sales, and special projects for Alabama Chanin, sits down with each of the customers to get a sense of their vision and style. Some brides come in with a few ideas sketched out, or Natalie can walk them through a

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library of patterns—there are literally hundreds. The style featured is an a-line long skirt with slight train. “Most brides know exactly what they want; they just need some help expressing and fine tuning,” says Natalie. “Sometimes pouring a couple of glasses of bubbly and really listening is the best way to get started. I love working with all of our clients, no matter what the occasion, but there’s something about a bride’s enthusiasm that is rather contagious.” Next comes choosing the color. The Factory, as it’s called by the staff, contains two large racks of fabrics in numerous shades. The fabric is made from 100 per-

cent organic cotton grown in Texas. The cotton is spun in North Carolina before the fiber is knit into jersey fabric in South Carolina. Then, it’s sent to Tennessee, North Carolina, or New York to be dyed. Brides can select from a dozen or so color combinations from White to Doeskin, Tea, and Blush. The color of the skirt featured is White on White. Then, brides determine the design and the appliqué from some 25 swatch books that hold hundreds of sample blocks, each grouped by color. In the skirt featured, the daisies in the Facets pattern are worked in a negative reverse appliqué with threads and knots exposed on the outside for a three-dimensional effect.


Clockwise from left: Carra-Ellen Russell carefully stitches a work in progress; Carra-Ellen marking and cutting a new gown; An employee’s sketch of two gowns.

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“Most brides know exactly what they want; they just need some help expressing and fine tuning.

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Sometimes pouring a couple of glasses of bubbly and really listening is the best way to get started.” —Natalie Chanin

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Other design choices incorporate relief appliqués, reverse appliqués, and procession, where loose threads dangle like fringe in a 1920s fashion, and more. Brides can even add beading, backstitching, or embroidery floss. “I designed most of the stencils and appliqués,” says Natalie. “They sometimes start as scribbles in my notebook margins, or they are adapted for a specific purpose. We make samples, adjust if needed, and repeat.” Once the elements of the gown are chosen, Diane, the master seamstress, measures the bride before Carra-Ellen cuts the fabric and prepares the pattern. Steven, the production manager, applies the stencil to the fabric using an airbrush technique. And with Natalie’s stamp of approval, Olivia prepares the kits for the artisans. The artisans, who are all from the North Alabama area, are independent contractors, who charge per square inch, depending upon the intricacy of the stitching. This cottage industry-style production model allows artisans to work from their own homes and set their own wages. When it’s all said and done, gowns range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. However, brides who want the Alabama Chanin design at a lower cost can purchase a Do-It-Yourself kit so that they or a family member can make the gown with their own two hands. Brides should allow three weeks for online orders and several months for a custom gown. “It’s a slow process,” says Lyndsie, but it’s well worth the wait. “Some items out there on the market are well designed but use cheap thread that falls apart,” says Lyndsie. “Natalie’s pieces are considered heirloom quality. She uses only the best material and strongest thread so you can pass the dress down from generation to generation.”

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The dresses can even be machine washed or sent back to the Factory to be custom dyed for no extra charge so brides can wear them again. How’s that for practical? “Natalie’s gowns are feminine, romantic, and have the comfort of wearing your favorite t-shirt in a couture gown,” says Lyndsie. “There’s something about a handmade dress that feels so good on your body and makes you look wonderful,” says Susan Rowe, a local photographer, musician, and newlywed who wore an Alabama Chanin gown on her wedding day last fall. So what did Natalie wear on her wedding day? “A handmade silk slip underneath a silk brocade, baby blue fur-collared evening coat from Anna Molinari, heels, and a diamond choker,” says Natalie. “Totally 1996.” Alabama Chanin’s bridal collection features hundreds of combinations for an array of tastes, styles, and budgets. But even with all of those options, Natalie and her many bridal customers agree on one thing: when it comes to their wedding day, it’s all about the dress. A Florence native, Natalie Chanin started her business in 2006 and in a short time has created an impressive brand known throughout the country. She could do business anywhere but she chooses to live and work in her hometown because of “the wealth of artistic talent, incredible family, and the most amazing tomatoes in the world.”

Opposite, clockwise from top left: Fabric in numerous shades fill large shelves a the “factory;” various threads, trims, and beads will add texture and sparkle to a future dress; helping a bride choose the perfect combinations; one of many stencils designed by Alabama Chanin is positioned over the fabric and then airbrushed. This page: One of 25 swatch books that hold hundreds of sample blocks, each grouped by color.

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scene

Wes Brown and Laura Dunlap Dan Hallock and Kathy Eckl Heather Anderson, Ashley Winkle, and Emily Creasy

Chris Anderson and Jonathan Oliphant

Bradley Dean and Marianne Griffin

Savannah Smith and Amy Jackson

Cameron Johnson and Jennifer Cravens

Tate Hipps, Will Riley, Kayla Gooch, and Lauren Franklin PHOTOS BY ABRAHAM ROWE

Above: SET Magazine Launch Party

Below: Riverhill Sunset Cruise Fundraiser

OCTOBER 18, 2012  ABRAHAM ROWE PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIOS

OCTOBER 14, 2012  TENNESSEE RIVER

Lisa and Rusty Alexander

Macke, Mildred and Kim, Becky, and Preuit Mauldin

Chef Jonas Haag Susan Goode and Marty Abroms

Susanna and Terry Wylie Carmen and Joel Anderson

Ashley, Joel, and Joel Jr. Anderson

Suzanne and Jim Cunningham PHOTOS BY JUSTIN MICHAEL


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food for thought » Sarah Gaede

HAVING BEEN BOTH A CATERER AND A CLERGY PERSON, I know a lot about weddings. Having been married for 39 of my 61 years (to two husbands), I also know a lot about being married. The two are not remotely synonymous. Weddings are about one special day. Marriage is about building a life together, day after day, year after year. I am convinced that one of the most important elements of a successful marriage is preparing and eating meals together, first as a couple, and then as a family. Eating meals together won’t absolutely guarantee a life-long union (see first husband) or a harmonious relationship with your children, but it surely does help. It’s a ritual that builds family ties, and, as a bonus, provides an opportunity to teach your children table manners. Over our 31 years of marriage, my husband Henry and I have found the division of labor that works for us. I plan the menus, shop, and cook, all of which I enjoy doing. (I really should have majored in home economics, as we called it in the dark ages, instead of comparative literature.) Henry cleans up, makes coffee at breakfast, grills, fries an occasional egg (beyond me, for some reason), and mixes my martinis.

The Couple That Cooks Together… Henry and I may be old-school, but cooking transcends traditional gender roles. I asked some of my long-time married or partnered friends how they divide the dinner chores, and what their spouse’s favorite dishes are. It occurs to me that they are all Episcopalians, which makes sense. We are all about ritual, and finding holiness in the ordinary, and good food and wine—I think we are imprinted by weekly communion. My friend Stephen Moore, judge and priest in Washington state, has been married for more than 20 years. He writes, “I cook roughly six nights a week, depending upon what is happening in our crazy schedule. This is not work for me; it is often the most fun I have all day. It is also a gift of love to my darling bride, who works hard at her job… I often use food to express love and this is one of those ways.” (I couldn’t have put it better myself, which is why I quoted him.) As for favorites, “she can’t really choose just one thing. When fresh corn is in season, it would be my corn-andpotato chowder. She waxes rhapsodic about my smashed potatoes. And she loves the four-cheese macn-cheese I make her.” The Rev. Dr. Lee Crawford and Anne Brown of Vermont have been together for 22 years. Because they work in different towns, and Lee travels a lot with her ministry, meals together are precious. They have arrived at an interesting division of labor. Lee does veggies and salad, and Anne cooks the fish, chicken, and red meat. Lee loves Anne’s sautéed chicken


with vermouth, lemon, mushrooms, and a side of artichokes. Anne is partial to Lee’s homemade salsa. My dear friends Zac Abramson and Barry Baker (who vehemently does not cook) have been together almost 30 years. Barry is on the road most of the time, so Zac enjoys cooking for him when he comes home. Barry’s current favorite supper is fried eggplant slices on baby lettuce with vinaigrette, and cheese soufflé. But his all-time favorite is the peanut butter pie from the long-defunct Relay House in Birmingham. When I asked Henry to pick a recipe, to my surprise he chose the lamb stew I have been making since I was in seminary in the early 1990s. It’s the ultimate in comfort food, good for Sunday suppers and casual dinner parties. Serve with crusty bread and salad. Henry would add, “and custard for dessert.” But not his mama’s rice pudding, which I won’t attempt, and not just because I hate rice pudding. That would be treading on dangerous ground. An important piece of advice to newlyweds: You will never be able to cook your spouse’s favorites as well as his or her mama or daddy did, so don’t even try!

An urban dining experience in downtown Florence.

Easy Irish Stew • • • • • • • • • • • •

1 pound lamb stew meat (or cut-up leg of lamb) 2-1/4 cups low-sodium beef broth, divided 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) tomato paste 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 cup frozen pearl onions (available at Publix, hallelujah) 1 pound small red or Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered 1/2 pound baby carrots 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 cup frozen baby peas Salt and more pepper to taste

Bring 2 cups broth, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, and pepper to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add lamb, lower heat, and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add pearl onions and continue cooking covered for 10 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes and cook covered until tender, about 20 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup broth with the cornstarch. Increase heat to a boil, stir in cornstarch mixture and peas, and cook, stirring constantly, until stew thickens, about 1 minute. Serve in big bowls with soup spoons. Serves 4. You can substitute stew beef, but cook it for 60 minutes before adding vegetables. This doubles easily, in which case just use a one quart box of beef broth, and dissolve the cornstarch in water.

SSushi. ushi. TThai. hai. AAsian sian Fusion. Fusion. andd M Martini SSake ake an arr tini BBar. ar. Monday M onda y tthru hr u Sunday Sunda nd y Lunch 1111 - 2 . DDinner inner 5 - 9 Lunch DDine ine IInn oorr CCarry ar r y OOut ut

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You are cordially (and stylishly) invited Your invitations should reflect the style of the wedding, as well as the style of the couple. Make sure the guests know if they are going to an upscale affair or a laid-back celebration.

« TRADITIONAL INVITATIONS Save the Date Because you’re only asking guests to reserve a place on their calendars, all you need here are a few basics: the names of the bride and groom, the wedding date, location, and a casual mention that the invitation will follow. These are typically sent at least four months before the wedding and should use the same look, script, and paper as the wedding invitation. Formal Wedding Invitation Traditional invitations are center aligned and almost always use engraved lettering or thermography. (An even more formal option is to create an original template using handwritten calligraphy.) • Titles like Doctor or Reverend are spelled out. • The bride’s and groom’s first and middle names should be the largest type on the invitation. (No last names are needed here; they’re already included with their parents’.) • In the wedding information, spell out times, dates, and states. • Do not include a zip code on a formal invitation. You can include a directions card for that. • Do not include reception to follow. That will be included on a separate card.

BY FRANCES ADAMS » PHOTOS BY DANNY MITCHELL

Formal wedding invitations have two envelopes: An outer envelope, which includes the recipient’s full name and address, and an inner envelope, which includes only the recipient’s name.

« MODERN INVITATIONS Save the Date • Should resemble the theme of the wedding invitation. • Add a pop of color or the use of a pattern in the lining of your envelope. • Remember to keep it simple! Only basic information is needed here. Envelope • Only use one envelope, but use a fun color or embellishments. Always include the return address. Invitation • If including a monogram, try different fonts, sizes, and colors to find what you think will match your wedding theme best. • Alignment can be a fun variation, too. Left or right alignment can make your invitation a little less predictable. • Using all lowercase or all uppercase can give individual sections, like the couple’s names, more emphasis. • Less formal wording is appropriate here. For example, you don’t have to spell out the year or the time. • In a non-traditional invitation, you may include reception to follow.

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back talk » Claire Stewart

What was your most unique wedding gift? “The week we were married, my husband was hired at Florence City Schools. That was a great present to have!” —Jennifer Morgan Jennifer

“A beautiful antique lamp from an elderly man in our community. His wife had bought it many years ago with money from cotton picking.” —Ida Leigh Trousdale Ida Leigh

“We received a very nice toolbox but the note said it was only meant for me and not to be touched by my husband.” —Callie Howard Callie

“A very large beach towel for two.”—Devi Lockley Devi

“A ceramic rooster jar.” —Julie Sak Julie


“A cotton candy machine that my husband had registered for. I made him take it back the next day!” —Jessica Byrd Jessica

“When I went on my honeymoon, my mother hung my bouquet to dry and preserve it. Eleven years later, it still looks beautiful.”—Sue Ann Porter Sue Ann

Jenny

“We had a destination wedding, and the four couples who were celebrating with us in Cabo gave us a sunset cruise around the Sea of Cortez after our ceremony.”—Jenny Kennedy

“When we got home after the wedding, we were locked out of our new house. I crawled through a window instead of being carried over the threshold!” —Carrie Greene

Carrie

“My husband gave me a sand dollar that had washed up on the shore the day he proposed to me on the beach.” —Kimberly Swindle Kimberly

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back talk » What was your most unique wedding gift? “Our most unique gift was a suggestive gift for our honeymoon.” —Susan Brannan Susan

“A vase with dust and dead bugs in it.” —Emily Brown Emily

“A very loud and garish enormous ceramic frame. Somehow, when we moved into our second house it broke…unfortunately.” —Renise Beaver Renise

Stacey

“We had a destination wedding and our friends that could not attend had a dozen chocolate covered strawberries on ice sent to our hotel room.” —Stacy Richards

“I worked at a jewelry store when I was engaged, and the owner gave me a sixpence to put in my shoe during the wedding. It is supposed to be good luck in your marriage.” —Beth Gasque

All respondents are members of the Junior League of the Shoals.

Beth


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(256) 464-0010 450 Production Avenue, Madison, AL 35758

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bless their hearts » Michael Stewart

Another Royal Wedding WE ARE WAITING IN THE NARTHEX OF THE OLD CHURCH FOR THE WEDDING PARTY TO ARRIVE FOR THE REHEARSAL. The gray-haired, 60-something groom pulls me aside, and says, “Preacher, there is something you need to know about my son.” The bride and groom had been first-grade sweethearts. But she moved away that same year. Sixty years later they met again at a church homecoming. Each had lost their spouse of decades in the previous year. A cup of coffee together led to a dinner which led to a supper. The meals led to taking each other on cemetery dates to visit their former spouses’ graves. Before long they were picking out wedding invitations, remodeling her house, and upgrading his wardrobe. “I was bracing myself to explain to the King how ‘A Hunk-a Hunk-a Burning Love’ might not fall within the sacred music guidelines outlined in the Methodist Church’s Altar Guild wedding policy.” In premarital counseling sessions I always asked formerly married persons what they had learned about themselves and life from their previous marriages. This couple, old enough to be my parents, had no hesitancy in answering the question. She said, “I learned how fragile and brief life is, so don’t waste a day of it.” He said, “I learned what the Bible says in Genesis is true; ‘It is not good for the man to be alone’.” The couple’s children and grandchildren were delighted for them. They knew how accomplished their parents had been in their first marriages. They also knew how lonely they each had been in their widowhood. In our final premarital counseling session the bride told me her son was a minister, and she would like for him to escort her down the aisle, and share in officiating. They also agreed they wanted the groom’s son to be involved in the wedding, in some way. So on Friday evening at the rehearsal, just as the groom is telling me there is something I needed to know about his son, the sanctuary door behind him opens and in


walks…Elvis. A mature Elvis, to be sure, with many fried peanut butter banana sandwiches under his belt. But there is no mistaking the man in the gold-templed sunglasses, and black pompadour. As he enters, his dad says, “My son works at a bar in Birmingham as the security man and house Elvis impersonator. And we have figured out what he can do in our wedding.” My mind flashes to some of the awful karaoke vocals I have endured at weddings. More than once this Christian minister has had to maintain the smile of the Buddha while waiting for the tortured solo to end. So frequently they were rendered by the bride’s cousin, who “does not read music, but just sings by ear”. I was bracing myself to explain to the King how “A Hunk-a Hunk-a Burning Love” might not fall within the sacred music guidelines outlined in the Methodist Church’s Altar Guild wedding policy. But a smiling King put his arm around his dad’s neck and embraced him. He shook my hand warmly and introduced himself to me, just like a regular commoner might. Dad said, “I want you to be my best man, son.” They hugged again and both teared up. The wedding the next day was beautiful. The late afternoon sun filtering through the hundred-year-old stained glass windows set the room aglowing. The organ filled the room with Altar Guild-approved Bach. The bride was radiant as she walked the aisle on the arm of her preacher-robed son. And the dad beamed as he stood beside his son, took the hand of his bride, and said, “ ‘Til death do us part.” In nearly 40 years of officiating at weddings, I have never seen a more poised and attentive best man. Elvis was well-turned out in his charcoal business suit and gray-striped tie. He kept his hands at his side during the service, as he had been instructed by the wedding director. He did not slouch. He kept his eyes focused on the couple. He gracefully presented the ring to his father at the appropriate time. But then one would not expect anything less regal from royalty. At the reception, I sidled up to the best man and remarked that I thought he might be providing some of the entertainment. He said, “Oh, no. Not tonight. All the attention should be on the new couple.” But he did cordially invite me to see him perform on Thursday nights in Birmingham. “No cover charge for preachers,” he promised.

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parting shot Âť Armosa Studios

Tyler Corum reads a note from his bride Leigh Carl on the day of their wedding, May 26, 2012.


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No'Ala Shoals, January/February 2013