My journey to Georgia, destination wedding. The event took place on a hot day where the forecast was for clear skies with a slight possibility of rapture. The CDC, not a two-hour drive away, had recently created a zombie-preparedness plan which resulted in jokes (many from me) about unwanted guests arriving at the ceremony. For that, I apologize. Unwanted guests there were however, as the gorgeous plantation on which the ceremony was held was ground zero for a pestering hoard of 13-year cicadas. These red-eyed locust-like insects do not sting or bite, but had a habit of bombarding members of the wedding (primarily myself and one of the photographers) who were unaccustomed to their ways. For my part, I shrieked during the rehearsal as not one but two headed straight for that layer of air that occupies the space between my glasses and face. During the ceremony, again not one but two, pelted me between my shoulder blades. I took the action as the cicadas willing me to stand straighter, and I prayed silently that they would not travel down my bodice. Even more heroically, one cicada flew into the cleavage of the wedding photographer and soundlessly she retrieved the insect and flung it away from her person in one graceful, Chorus Line-like action.
The wedding was the beautiful dream of the bride, soft golden late afternoon southern sun, peach and light teal accents everywhere. The bridesmaids were decked out in the most amazing vintage ware, 1950s prom dresses that accented the theme. Here I insert the claim that had the zombies taken us right there, the bridal party couldn’t have been decked out in more appropriate costumes. The ceremony was a unique declaration of love, performed by the bride’s father in a manner that made it even more personal. There were no wedding marches nor canon in D, no “love is patient” scripture readings, no unity candles or blending of sands. The bride and groom held hands, the grooms voice cracked as he took his vows, and their union was acknowledged by a family friend on the porch singing Ben Folds “The Luckiest” and “One Hand, One Heart” from West Side Story.
The reception seemed minutes long and was all cake, and savannah trifle, and champagne. At least for me it was. It took place on the town square in the beautifully restored 1890s Fitzpatrick Hotel. The bride had inserted her peach and teal accents in sheers over the white traditional tablecloths, in depression glassware on which a tantalizing bevy of desserts were presented, and in the flowers. English roses, hydrangeas, ranunculus in creams, peaches, soft pastels sat in overflowing arrangements in hobnail milk glass vases.
Long after the formal guests left, the close friends and family of the bridal party took the remaining champagne and bottles of bubble solution out into the late evening to toast the new couple, showering them in bubbles. Some, ahem, more aggressively than others. When a patron of the hotel, an older man in white boxer shorts and matching tee commented on our increasingly boisterous celebration, someone made the suggestion that we move our party to the Huddle House. For those not from the south, Huddle Houses are a chain of breakfast-anytime greasy spoons where one instantly regrets the intake of the menus offerings before the checks even arrived. Because they are open all-night, they are prey to the drunken antics of bar hoppers not quite ready for the night to end and, on this particular night, a wedding party reaching the same conclusion. The photos will tell the events of the night better than I ever could. Just note, should you find yourself in similar circumstances, the pecan waffles are not a bad way to go.