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Preparing for prom season
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Becky Rutledge, owner of Candlelight Bridals in downtown Covington, recently created a teen board to help her prepare for the upcoming prom season.

"I really wanted their input on what they like for prom and what they expect," Rutledge said.

Currently, 16 girls from Newton, Rockdale, Jasper and Walton counties sit on the board.

They will provide dates for their proms, go to market with Rutledge to help her pick dresses to stock, plan a fashion show and promote the store in their schools.

"What I did this year," Rutledge said, "is instead of doing a lot of fashion shows and spending a lot of money, we decided to just give the girls 20 percent off."

Candlelight's teen discount also will be extended to guys who can receive 10 percent off of their tuxedo rentals.

Lacey Wheeler, sophomore at Eastside High School, and Ashley Tindall, senior at Newton High School, represent Newton County on the board.

"My mom is the accountant for Candlelight, so I'm always up there at Becky's," Wheeler said. "At first I wasn't sure if I really wanted to because I didn't know if I would have enough time, I do a lot of stuff after school, but when Ms. Becky explained it to me it sounded like a lot of fun."

Wheeler said at the board's first meeting they discussed the styles of prom dresses they and their friends liked for this year.

 She said she has already purchased her prom dress, which is a sequined green ball gown.

Tindall said styles this season range from the traditional embellished ball gown, to slender-cut satin numbers, to cocktail-length lacey dresses.

"Everything is really in style this year," Tindall said.

She added colors this year are bolder than in previous seasons.

Members of Candlelight's Teen Board may serve as long as they are in high school, and pick their replacement when they graduate.

Candlelight Bridals is located at 1109 Reynolds Street S.W.