AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Like many brides, Opelika native Donna Wood has imagined what her wedding will be like down to the very last detail.
Unlike other women planning to walk down the aisle, however, Wood’s vision for her wedding day involves an officiant dressed as a referee, an inflatable Aubie and the “Monday Night Football” theme song.
On Saturday, Wood will marry her fiance Todd Rowey at the University Station RV Resort in Auburn, Ala. While the couple lives in Boise, Idaho, Wood said they couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere but in the South. Though the decision to get married below the Mason-Dixon line might have been an easy one to agree on, that’s where the harmony ended.
See, Rowey is from Warner Robbins, Ga. and is a die-hard Georgia Bulldogs fan, which put the duo at a bit of a headlock until they came up with the wedding theme “A House United,” which allows both of them to sport their team colors during the big day.
“We just love to watch football and wanted to play up the rivalry,” said Wood. “We really wanted to go to an Auburn vs. Georgia game, and this off weekend just fell right after so it was perfect. We went to the game on Saturday and let that kickoff the festivities.”
Wood, whose father and stepfather both played for the Auburn University football team in 1964, said the couple came up with the idea to get married at the RV resort her parents stay at during the football season while walking around the grounds one day.
“A year ago, we were walking in the woods and thought ‘wouldn’t it be funny if we got married here?’ and it all just came from that,” said Wood.
Since then, Wood and her parents, Diane Jones and Ken Jones, have spent the past six months sorting out the details. In hopes of creating a tailgating atmosphere for guests to enjoy, Wood said they would be serving low country boil, taco soup, barbecue sliders and more.
In keeping with the theme, there will also be a cheerleader in place of a flower girl and a football toss as opposed to a garter. In addition, the decorations will represent both teams and the officiant would serve as the only neutral party present. Well, sorta.
“My brother-in-law is a big Alabama fan,” said Wood. “He is going to be the officiant and he’s going to be in a referee outfit. He’s going to work in a lot of football terminology during the ceremony. We don’t really know what he’s got planned.”
While the concept of wearing white cowboy boots with an orange-and-blue dress down the aisle might make some brides cringe, Wood, who has three children from a previous marriage, said she doesn’t want the fuss of a traditional wedding. Instead, she wants the atmosphere to be fun and laid-back.
“I’ve already done a glitzy wedding,” said Wood. “This is going to be a tailgating wedding. I just want it to be very relaxed so people have a good time. I want everyone to leave Auburn fans.”
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