Who doesn’t love a good wedding? I mean, you’ve got food & drink & cake & music & friends & mingling & can-you-believe-what-she’s-got-on all in one space — and when the bride and groom truly love each other and are looking forward to beginning a life together … well, that’s even better. Like a recent wedding Husband JP and I went to in Oxford, Mississippi — Ole Miss territory. It was sweet and simple and festive. Not over- or under-done. The young couple were joyously delighted to be getting married and sharing their day with their special people, and that spirit shone through every detail. At the ceremony — held in an Oxford church north of downtown — the bride was beautiful, the groom was adorably nervous and the church’s minister blended humor and faith with a dash of irreverence and a healthy respect for marriage that resulted in perfect officiating. Then came the mad dash and eternal quest for parking space in Oxford’s downtown square as folks drove back for the reception at the Oxford University Club. The gorgeous fall evening meant the party took full advantage of the club’s outstanding second-floor outdoor space for dancing, dining and drinking al fresco, while the inside dining room was just right for cozy meeting and greeting. Despite a minor mishap at the mashed-potato bar — who knew a pyramid of martini glasses could be so unstable? — it was a fun night and a lovely wedding and we were honored to be a part of it.
I love weddings of couples who already have been there and done that and have no need to try to impress anybody. Such as the recent wedding of our friends Ted and Elayne, in Brentwood, Tennessee. It was simple and elegant and completely who they are, all at the same time. For the ceremony, family and friends gathered at Owen Chapel, on Franklin Road near Nashville — a 140-year-old brick church that was elegant and dignified all on its own without added frills. Everybody was joyful and relaxed, which is the only way to run a wedding, I think. Then we made our way over to their house — Elayne has lived there for years and Ted was moving in right after the wedding — for the outdoor reception, which was fantastic. We’d spent Wedding Eve in their kitchen, drinking wine and eating pizza and I was amazed at the couple’s calm — if I were having 65 people over to my house the next day I think I’d be bouncing off the walls. But Ted and Elayne are those kind of low-keyed folks who believe that everything will turn out OK, and they were right. It did. Even the threat of rain — which tends to make Nashvillians extra nervous these post-flood days — didn’t matter. We sat under a tent and talked and drank and dined on the fantastic reception menu that Ted had created: Bacon-wrapped shrimp, little sandwiches of Canadian bacon and fried green tomatoes, smoked salmon and bruschetta with excellent pesto were my favorites. And the cake! Oh, that cake!!! I’ve had some marvelous wedding cake at some great weddings, but I’m telling you this was the best. Ever. It was a rich and moist yellow buttercream and white-chocolate fondant and raspberry filling. It was gorgeous inside and out, and those flowers decorating it were rolled fondant. Beautiful! And dear husband and I had a part, too. We begged Ted to let us do something to help and feel useful, so our assignment on wedding day was to decorate their mailbox with balloons. Honestly, I was afraid that metallic lavender (OK, they actually are pink but the color theme was lavender so that’s what we’re calling it here) and white hearts might be a bit much, but Ted said it was “spectacular” and everybody said they looked good. Mainly, they said that when I asked them, but I’ll take it. So now I believe that Dear Husband and I could go into the mailbox-decorating business. Call us.