November 17, 2013

Zombies for your wedding

‘How could you go wrong?’

Misty Watson
mistywatson@daltoncitizen.com

— Christina Barrett-Laney knew she wanted a small cozy wedding at a bed and breakfast south of Atlanta.

But it was Sam Laney who suggested they get married on Halloween.

Why?

The Dalton couple married in Senoia and incorporated nearby Woodbury into their wedding and honeymoon celebration. “Walking Dead” fans might recognize those towns as filming locations for the popular AMC zombie apocalypse television drama.

“Halloween was unreal,” said Laney, a volunteer firefighter with Whitfield County Station 9 and an employee of EPB in Chattanooga. “How could you go wrong with Woodbury on Halloween? What’s better than where ‘Walking Dead’ was filmed?”

Laney and Barrett-Laney, a paramedic with Hamilton Emergency Medical Services, are huge fans of the show. So much so, the couple made Atlanta’s Walker Stalker convention part of their honeymoon where they were able to get the majority of the “Walking Dead” cast to sign their marriage certificate, including stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Laurie Holden, Danai Gurira and Vincent Ward.

“We’ll never forget it as long as we live,” Barrett-Laney said. “There was only a few important ones missing from the cast.”

Lincoln, who plays a Georgia sheriff’s deputy, Rick Grimes, doesn’t often make appearances for autographs. The couple waited in line almost seven hours for his signature.

 “They were all gracious and friendly and approachable,” Barrett-Laney said. “They appreciate their fans. ... We had a good time. The cast gave us handshakes and hugs. It was amazing. They were grateful and amazing, beautiful people. They’re grateful to everyone who watches the show.”

The couple hadn’t thought to ask cast members to sign their marriage certificate. Barrett-Laney and Laney had come to the show with items like posters to collect signatures. But when they checked in at the convention, which was inspired by “Walking Dead,” officials found out it was their honeymoon. They suggested the couple ask cast members to sign the marriage certificate.

“They said (cast members) will love it,” Barrett-Laney said. “(Cast members) said no one has asked us to sign a marriage license before.”

Cast members took time to talk to the couple, even those who had long lines of people waiting. Gurira told them, “Tell me this isn’t your honeymoon!”

“It was like, ‘You want me to sign that? Really?’” Laney said. “They appreciated us. They wanted to talk to you. It was a ball. We had a good time. I used to make fun of people who went to those type of conventions, but ‘Walking Dead’ got me into them. It was karma.”

Barrett-Laney even pitched a commercial using the idea of a Febreze commercial where people are blindfolded and taken into a dirty room where they are asked to describe what they smell. She suggested blindfolding people and having them walk into a room of zombies and ask what they smell, which wouldn’t be pleasant.

The couple met while on the scene of a cardiac arrest call about three years ago and began dating shortly after.

“Sam told them I’m a paramedic and he’s a firefighter, and they said, ‘Oh, you have real jobs! Thank you for what you do,’” Barrett-Laney said.

The couple plans to attend next year’s convention to celebrate their first anniversary.