Beth Albright, author of the new Wedding Belles, shares tales of a Southern wedding ….
Beth: Down South, we do things a little differently. Especially weddings. Oh yes, there are the debutante, pageant-style weddings, complete with dresses to rival princess Diana’s (that was mine), a perfect strand of pearls hanging delicately around the tan neck of the bride. And we certainly know how to do the attendants. It is seriously not uncommon to have 12 bridesmaids in a Southern wedding. Make no mistake. It is almost always a humongous production — a beauty pageant of one, and everyone running around to please her. (I loved my wedding day and would live like this if I could.).
The Southern wedding is never complete without a groom’s table. I remember having to explain this to my new in-laws-to-be. The most common cake is a red velvet cake shaped like an armadillo. That way when you cut it, it looks like road kill. I admit, we did not have an armadillo cake at my wedding!
There is one major rule in the South, though, for a Southern wedding. If your college football team (and everybody has one) is in the SEC (Southeastern Conference) you NEVER EVER schedule your wedding during football season, and it is the worst sin of all to schedule your wedding on a football Saturday during a home game. The traffic snarls alone are a nightmare. But rest assured, if your wedding is anywhere near game-time, which is pretty much all day because of the pre-game shows, the men and even some of the women will have no idea your wedding is even going on! This is exactly what happened to my best friend when she got married on game day.
Just like in my new book, Wedding Belles, my friend booked her wedding on Saturday, Nov. 1, and the Alabama Crimson Tide was playing Ole Miss. I was one of her bridesmaids and felt so sorry for her when all the groomsmen began raising hell. My poor friend tried her best to get it all changed, but it was too late, all the venues for her wedding and reception were booked with other events, most of them having to do with alumni parties for the season. She was stuck! We had no choice but to get on with the show and have her game-day wedding. As a friend of mine recently said, “I had my wedding on an Alabama game day. If you want anyone to come, don’t do that.”.
She had an OK turnout, despite the date. About 250 were invited and 125 showed up. She thought it a success, considering. But looking at her pictures a little closer, we can see all the groomsmen had in their earbuds and were listening to the game, with their devices tucked neatly into their inside coat pocket. They barely heard the “I do’s.”.
Though all of that was pretty troubling, it wasn’t the worst part of this wedding. Really. Not only was it a football Saturday, but another event called CityFest was going on with a charity bicycle race scheduled about the time she would make her grand entrance to walk down the aisle. There was an announcement in the paper the week before that all roads around University Boulevard would be shut down. You guessed it; her church was on University Boulevard. All her guests would have no way to get to the church, let alone park. Now my friend is no bridezilla, but this pushed her right over the edge. She called the mayor’s office and told them a thing or two in a voice several decibels above normal. The next day it was announced in the paper, “The route for the charity bicycle race has been changed due to an irate bride.”.
The South is unique and wonderful all at the same time. And the women are most definitely Steel Magnolias. The Sassy Belles are certainly no different. “We take care of each other, stand our ground and do it in high heels, big hair, and lots of lipstick.”.
To find out more about Beth and her books, visit www.Thesassybelles.Com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter (@beththebelle).