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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Biker weddings simple or whole hog affairs

Off the Wire News
DAYTONA BEACH -- Don't look too deeply for reasons couples choose to get married biker-style at Bike Week.
"We were going to take the week off for Bike Week and planned on getting married and thought it would be cool," said Joe Bralick, 46. He spoke moments before exchanging "I do's" with bride Wendy Dellasala, 38, in front of a dozen mostly leather-clad friends and family members at Frank Rendon Park in Daytona Beach Shores on Wednesday.
Roger Luznar sees about two to three weddings a year at his father's business, Sopotnik's Cabbage Patch, in Samsula. An on-site vendor named Lord Michael Christ is always available to perform the nuptials.
"I'd say it's probably part of their biker lifestyle," Luznar said last week. "We've got a big venue. All their friends are there. They don't have to go through the expense of hiring a band and all that. That's there to begin with."
Roger Pleus, 43, and his bride, Andrea Bloyd, 39, chose the beach in front of the Daytona Beach Regency, where they stayed last week, for their simple ceremony Tuesday. The couple dated as teens. Roger had a motorcycle when Andrea was too young to drive. Twenty-three years later, he found her on Facebook. Andrea didn't respond to his messages until December and since then, "it was like we've never left off," she said.
Tuxedos and dresses? Forget it. The couple bought button-down silk shirts for Roger and his three buddies at a Harley-Davidson dealership in Illinois. The bride wore a T-shirt and sandals. Everyone wore jeans.
Ginny Holder, co-owner of Affordable Weddings in Port Orange, officiated. She and her husband, Ed, have been offering biker wedding packages since shortly after starting the business in 2001.
"People kept calling and asking for it," Ginny Holder said.
The business is easy for betrothed bikers to find. The Holders maintain two Web sites that appear as the top Google search results for the phrases "bike week wedding" or "biker wedding daytona."
Couples choose between a $375 "sweet and simple" ceremony or a $999 "whole hog" affair.
Holder insists that couples make a genuine commitment before she'll sign on. "Some only want to commit to " 'for as long as love lasts,' " she said.
A lot of Bike Week weddings are hastily organized and most wedding parties are small because they are from out of town, she said.
Bill Holder, 55, (no relation) and Shawn Balyeat, 46, of Corpus Cristi, Texas, decided to get married and called Ginny Holder just a week before arriving in town. With only Bill Holder's daughter and son-in-law as guests, they exchanged vows at Buschman Park in Port Orange on Feb. 26.
Shawn shopped for her bridal outfit the day before the wedding. She decided on a black leather vest over a lacy black top, black jeans, leather chaps and boots, but it wasn't her first choice. "You'd be surprised how hard it is to find a black leather dress," she said.
One of Ginny Holder's most memorable biker weddings involved a bride wearing a white bustier, leather vest and jeans. The groom wore boots, jeans, suspenders, a white tuxedo shirt, bow tie and derby hat.
They sat on a bright red three-wheel Harley and as the ceremony began, eight to 10 friends on bikes revved the engines of their own bikes. "I said, 'Bikers, cut your engines, please!' " Everyone laughed and complied. "We did a sweet wedding and they all roared off into the sunset."
There's an even less expensive biker wedding package, and the frills don't get any fewer.
The number of couples filing for wedding licenses at the Volusia County Courthouse Annex in Daytona Beach doubles from the normal five or so a day to about 10 each day during Bike Week, says Debbie Ruger of the recording division. Courthouse staff members can conduct civil ceremonies under a wedding arch outside the office. The price: $123.50.
Original article...