Dreams Do Come True: The South Meets City Wedding Reception

April 20, 2011

In a tear-stained reflection on her Facebook page, the bride described this day as a lifelong dream that had become her reality. As a sorority girl from the South, I’ve been to more weddings that I can even remember. However, this wedding was a personal favorite of mine because the little details that brought her special day to life reminded me so much of home. The bride chose to wed her best friend in a quiet meadow under a sprawling live oak tree covered in irish moss. This serene landscape evoked fond memories of lazy summers I spent in South Carolina playing barefoot hide and go seek with my sister as our grandmother cracked fresh pecans on the front porch.

Ray Charles crooned his timeless classic “Georgia” as we filed into the rows of white chairs and when the usher handed me a little wooden fan, I felt transported back to the days when women wore fancy hats and lace trimmed gloves to church. Despite the mild weather, I sat back, crossed my legs and fanned myself just because it felt like the thing to do and secretly hoped someone would start up “This Little Light of Mine” so I could clap and sing along.

After the ceremony, we were led to a nearby tent for the cocktail hour. The bartenders served up Arnold Palmer cocktails (a traditional mix of sweet tea and lemonade with a splash of 40-proof joy) in old mason jars with straws bearing messages like “life is sweet” “how sweet it is” and “he loves me!”

On an old wooden table sat the South Meets City guest book where friends and family could leave well wishes for the bride and groom. Black and white portraits from their engagement photo shoot adorned the table in assorted vintage picture frames while the seat assignments hung behind them in an old window pane.
To the right of the table was this empty window pane that I thought was a bit random at first but soon realized was a photo booth complete with props for guests to have fun little photo shoots! Since professional photo booths can run in the thousands of dollars, this creative substitute was a huge win in the do-it-yourself wedding bag of tricks and an innovative way to keep guests engaged in the experience before dinner was served.
After nibbling on sliders and fried macaroni & cheese balls (the Trinidad Workout Plan is officially over) we sat down to enjoy dinner at Mathieu’s Dining & Dancing. Old school diner menus outlined the buffet selections, complete with a kids meal option served in a fun little bucket with toys.
After finishing up a hearty feast of southern fare, it was time for the reception festivities, beginning with the bouquet toss. Now, I have nothing against the age-old tradition of beating a chick down for a few rose petals, but being that I already have 2 bouquets under my belt, I had no interest in vying for a third. However, a certain friend of mine (who will remain nameless but knows I am giving her the evil eye all the way from Brooklyn to Port St. Lucie) convinced me to join in on the bridal shenanigans. As the DJ cued “Single Ladies” I wanted to jump out of that photo shoot window into a place far away from the mob of young women who were lining up behind the bride in the classic pre-bouquet-toss stance which inevitably looks something like this:
I wish a single lady would…
Once I was in the lineup however, it was game time. I felt obliged to at least play along so when Latoyia gave a surprisingly weak (have you seen her arms?) toss, I lunged forward to grab the bouquet. I’ve been in a bit of an awkward phase for about 20 years now so I lost my balance and in an effort to avoid ending up on the floor in a Twister-style matrix of sandals and limbs, I skipped away from the crowd, hoping to aviod the maylay. But when the dust settled, I looked down on the ground surprised to find the beaten up bouquet calling out to me.
“Please. Help. I’ve fallen and I can’t..”
“Nope, not today. Not playing this game with you today” I replied
“Oh really? It’s like that? Where’s your ring, huh? I don’t see a ring on it”
She taunted me for an eternity, in a desperate plea to be rescued from the cold lonely asphalt and her bruised petals begged for mercy as….Okay now I’m being dramatic. I picked it up. People cheered. The end.
Or so I thought. If it wasn’t enough to participate in the Running of the Brides-to-Be for the 25th time, my friends thought it would be hilarious if we added the garter game to the lineup. Before I could object, I was sitting in a circle of bachelors cheering on an extremely eager young gentleman on his knees with a garter in his mouth. As I slipped into selective memory subconsciousness the last thing I remember is seeing a man slowly crawling on knees towards me in a routine straight out of a late 90s R. Kelly video and feeling an ever so faint wind of human breath on my big toe.
I woke up to someone fanning me and judging by the lack of children in the vicinity I assume that the garter game was a hit. 3 or 7 cocktails later I was handed a little plastic jar of bubbles and was told it was time to send off the newlyweds. We blew bubbles into the warm evening breeze, and watched as they climbed into a cream Rolls Royce and set out on their lifelong journey together.
Because of an epic 15 minute Def Comedy Jam standup routine during the open mic portion of the reception, I was unable to give my well wishes to Latoyia and Kevin in person. However, it would have gone something like this:
*grabs the microphone from Cousin Chris Rock and clears throat*
It is a rare thing to find someone with the same thirst for God as you have found in each other. You are equally yoked and have grown stronger in God as a result of meeting one another. Never let that thirst die as it will keep you passionately in love with each other in ways that no physical or financial attraction could ever do. I wish the both of you eternal happiness and as long as I’m down the street you’ll always have a babysitter. Sometimes. Maybe on Fridays. If I’m home. And he’s potty trained. Maybe.
Love you guys!

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  • Reply melody April 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    ♥ this one + adore the decor + theme, simply fab!

  • Reply acb32cba-6b9d-11e0-8b87-000bcdca4d7a April 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Simply fabulous, Tracey. I felt like I was right there. I'm trying to pull myself back to reality but your description makes it hard!! Your message to the newlyweds was "Classic Tracey" lol. Absolutely, love it.

  • Reply Mahogany April 21, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Love this.;)

  • Reply Alison April 22, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Great job…I'm a friend of latoyias fom polo long ago…lol you created a wonderful portal of imagination for me to share in her ceremony. Thank you!

  • Reply Meagan April 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I LOVE the R Kelly throw back!!
    Of course the story, Kevin and Toyia too.

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