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Christopher Gibney and Alysha Hines (donyafaith photography)

Local couple will kick off 2016 with New Year wedding

On Jan. 2, 2016 Christopher Gibney, 25, of South Attleboro and Alysha Hines, 25, of Union Beach, N.J., will kick off the New Year with a new life as a married couple.

Planning for their winter celebration began more than a year ago after their September 2013 engagement when Gibney proposed in true "Officer and a Gentleman" style. He surprised Hines at her job while carrying roses, proposed and carried her out of work.

They met in August 2008 while freshmen, living in the same hall at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

The couple's ceremony will be held at St. Theresa's of the Child Jesus Church in South Attleboro with a reception at Hillside Country Club in Rehoboth following.

"Our main concern was making sure the majority of our families could attend the event," Hines said. "With the holiday week, it gave people more time to travel. Plus, with most of our family being spread out across the country, it meant that the bachelor and bachelorette parties would be on New Year's Eve. What's more fun than that?"

Holiday festiveness also played a role.

"With it being so close to the holidays, people will still be in good spirit and we hope that carries over into our wedding," Hines said.

But, she said, winter weddings come with some considerations.

"One of the biggest disadvantages when planning a winter wedding is playing roulette with Mother Nature. For all we know, she is planning on dropping 2 feet of snow and that would cause serious problems," Hines said.

Having a venue that understands the uncertainty of New England weather is crucial to the success of the event.

"Hillside is being very accommodating," Hines said. "The date can be postponed or moved to another location if some unfortunate weather event occurs."

While weather contingency plans must be considered, winter weddings offer many advantages.

"The winter setting fit more with our red-and-black color scheme. Plus, with the cooler weather, the bridal party and guests will be more comfortable than being tortured by the humid New England summers," Hines said. "It also makes it easier for reserving vendors and venues, since they are fairly open."

With a mid-afternoon ceremony the couple won't have a lot of time for outdoor photos before nightfall, and it may be too cold to take many anyway, but that may lead to some amazing shots.

"We hope that there will be a flurry or two, which will make for some awesome photos," Hines said.

While planning a New Year's wedding is fun and different, Hines says that in the end the couple is most excited "about finally getting married and having a good time with our family and friends." Which, in the end, is all that matters for any wedding, regardless of the season.