Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Imagining a Royal Wedding - Southern Style

The royal engagement photo.
All the hysteria surrounding the royal wedding is cracking me up. I saw a commercial on a local station here advertising royal wedding coverage beginning at 4 a.m. on Friday. Are you getting up for that??? I know I’m not, but I will happily watch some clips from the wedding and render my judgment on the grand affair. The media hoopla surrounding the wedding has made me think about the wedding traditions I grew up with. What if Wills and Kate were having a Southern wedding? Not a fancy “moonlight and magnolias” Charleston kind of affair, but a North Georgia, Northern Alabama or Tennessee small town kind of affair.

Here’s how I think it would play out:

First of all, it would be at a Baptist church. Probably the First Baptist given that the “royal family” would probably live in town – perhaps Will’s daddy is the mayor or an esteemed judge. He is also, no doubt, a deacon. The preacher, the Rev. Dr. Fancypants (who is seminary trained) would perform the ceremony. His wife would play the piano and sing “The Rose” and “How Great Thou Art.” Kate’s daddy would clean up nicely, perhaps wearing his first tuxedo ever. Kate’s mama would have fussed over her dress from the local Bows and Beaus Bridal Shop. Will’s daddy, “the Prince” would be well accustomed to finery. His wife (who is a Yankee) had her gown shipped in from New York. Kate’s gown was custom designed by the local seamstress, Miss Betty Jean (who owns Bows and Beaus). Enough about fashion … let’s get to the food.

All Southern wedding receptions must have the following: cake (of course), mints, mixed nuts, cheese straws and sickeningly sweet punch. Ideally, the punch should be made with some kind of sherbet and 7UP. Usually wedding receptions are in the church fellowship hall where everyone eats their nibbles and waits for the arrival of the happy couple, watches them cut the cake, tells the bride how “perdy” she looks and then goes home. However, since we’re talking about the prince here, perhaps they also had a reception and seated dinner at the local country club where the royal family are long-standing members. Having a bar at the reception would have been a subject of great controversy. Granny Queen is a staunch teetotaller on account of her drunkard moonshining uncle who got kicked out of the church years ago. Will and Kate want to have some drinks, dance and have fun with their friends, but Granny Queen does not approve. Dancing is a sin (you’ve seen Footloose, I’m sure). The solution is to discreetly hide the champagne from Granny and tell her that it is sparkling cider. (Confession: We actually did this at MY wedding.)

Check out the hats. Looks like a Southern wedding to me!
Granny Queen finally gives in on the dancing, provided they do not play anything too loud or vulgar. Kate’s mama hits the champagne a little too hard (or maybe it was the nerve pill she took before the wedding) and embarrasses herself on the dance floor. Otherwise, the reception goes off without a hitch. The happy couple leaves in the royal Cadillac that friends have decorated with shaving cream, toilet paper and tin cans. And then they’re off to honeymoon in Europe and perhaps catch a glimpse of Buckingham Palace …

Thanks for letting me indulge in a little creative writing activity. I know this isn’t exactly food related, but it was fun nonetheless. Also, I want to say that this post is quite self-deprecating. The last thing I want to do is to make fun of how “backward” Southerners are. I love the traditions I grew up with and poking fun at them is just another way of honoring the past. Hopefully you found a little bit you can relate to as well!

Finally, just in case you want to whip up some punch for your own little royal wedding celebration, here’s a recipe from an old First Baptist Church, Cumming, Georgia cookbook:

Party Punch

1 large bottle of crangrape juice
1 tub of raspberry sherbet
1 bottle of ginger ale, chilled

Put sherbet in punch bowl. Chop a little with a fork. Add chilled crangrape juice, then add chilled ginger ale before serving.

Enjoy! And happy wedding watching!

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