Monday, February 19, 2007

Graveyard wedding

PACIFIC, MO. — It's not the traditional "till death do us part," but Scott Amsler and Miranda Patterson believe getting hitched in a graveyard is just thinking outside the box.

Come September, the Illinois couple expects to pledge their undying love among the dearly departed in a St. Louis suburb's city cemetery, even though those who approved the request are dead set against seeing it become a trend.

The wedding wouldn't be out of character for Amsler, 27, a computer expert for a financial company by day and rehabber of old hearses by night.

The graveyard, he said, just has a certain tranquility and thriftiness for nuptials the young couple insists will be small, private and traditional — except for the bagpipes, Amsler's refurbished hearse and the throng of eternally silent witnesses.

"People are going to think how they want. I don't actively try to convince people that my interests are normal or logical," Amsler said. "I'm not a freak or Satan worshipper or cult member. It just goes with our theme."

Deep down, the couple said, it just seemed right.

Amsler and Patterson, who recently moved to Collinsville, Ill., became an item not long after they met in November 2005 at a birthday party where Patterson, 21, was to have been the celebrant's blind date. Amsler showed up in a retooled hearse that caught Patterson's eye.

"I wanted a ride in it but I chickened out at the last minute," she said.

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