A Southern Wedding
This post is in remembrance of a wonderful, strong Southern woman, Meme Dupes. Being Michael’s grandmother (and lovingly adopting me as a granddaughter), she was one of the greatest pillars in our relationship. Weeks before the wedding, she became ill and passed just 2 days before the ceremony. Honestly, her presence was very much there in every moment of our wedding and her memory lives on with us everyday.
The air was cool and crisp on the night before our wedding day. Family and friends gathered in an old, historic home in Courtland, Alabama. The grounds were laced with magnolias, charm, and the heavenly smell of beef roasting away on the bricked patio. Galvanized tubs, filled to the brim with glass bottles of Coca-Cola welcomed guests as they made their way across the threshold into a moment in time. Antique silver platters and vases were strewn across the dining table. White orchids, ranunculus and hydrangeas filled silver vases throughout the house and the flicker of candles created a warm glow on the evening. Just as Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” commenced, I walked into the living room where a roaring fire had been set ablaze, and I couldn’t help but feel I had been transported into another world. A world of Southern elegance, grace and charm.
After a dinner of perfectly cooked beef tenderloin, charred-roasted tomatoes, and one of the most wonderful salads in the world, we gathered around the hearth and Michael’s family welcomed me as one of their own with the kindest of words, the best of wishes, and the most overwhelming sense of family, warmth and love anyone could ever ask for.
The skies were overcast the next morning, but faithfully we gathered at the Tennessee River. The breeze tossed my hair as I walked down to meet Michael on the moss-shrouded grounds. I was covered in a billowing white dress laced with pearls and Michael was decked out in a navy blazer and his infamous smile.
We met with the rest of the family at a reception held in the historic town of Mooresville, Alabama at the Limestone Bay Trading Co. Life flooded the building as we arrived, and we were embraced with such love and warmth and happiness. Dinner was delicious as we were served brisket, roasted potatoes, heavenly creamed corn and the best broccoli salad I’ve ever had. The rest of the evening was a blur of laughter, cake and candlelight. We drove off into the night, leaving the closest of our hearts behind, cheering us on in this new venture of life.
Amber Ryder-Wilson was born into a Cajun family in which making roux became a rite of passage. She is a freelance writer and the author, recipe developer and photographer for the Southern memoir-style blog www.fortheloveofthesouth.com.