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Out-Of-Town Weddings Offer Convenience
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Marrying "back home" is not possible for many engaged couples, while others look at their options and leave town for the wedding.
In 1996, 65,000 couples married away from home, according to Modern Bride magazine findings. Some chose to marry in exotic locations, while others married in the town they were currently living, but not their hometown.
Depending on the circumstances, having a wedding away from home can either be a breeze or double trouble. Numerous resort and vacation spots offer wedding packages at affordable rates. While flexible enough to allow the couple to personalize their event, these packages make all the arrangements and the bride and groom need only show up.
But short of jetting off to an exotic wedding location, many couples decide their best plan is to get married where they are rather than "back home."
James DelPrince, with the University Florist at Mississippi State University, said many engaged couples have established lives, jobs and routines and simply can't take the time away to plan a wedding in their hometown.
Others see the opportunity to have a smaller wedding and avoid the difficulties of coordinating a huge event and keeping all parties satisfied.
"The upside is you get to have a more intimate wedding," DelPrince said. "And the wedding and reception can be more lavish because the money for food and flowers won't have to be spread out as much."
At MSU, the Chapel of Memories is a very popular place for weddings. The Chapel hosted 78 weddings in 1995 and 87 in 1996. August was 1995's most popular month with 16 weddings, while December was 1996's busiest with 16 weddings.
Vanessa Cunningham, MSU events coordinator, said a growing number of couples are marrying at the Chapel as students, area residents, MSU alumni and others plan their weddings there.
"If the couple lives here and their home is away, they often pick the Chapel because it's convenient, and they don't have to handle the arrangements long-distance," Cunningham said. "Others come back to the Chapel to get married even after moving away."
Whatever the reason, couples are no longer feeling required to have their wedding in the community they call home.
"No matter where it is, when the couple puts meaning into their wedding, things work out beautifully," DelPrince said. "I think the critical thing is to remember what the event is all about and not get lost in the frills and plans."