I am Southern, but coming back from a perfect wedding weekend in Natchez, MS makes me feel really blessed to be from the South. It's not anything in particular that makes me feel so blessed but the mixture of it all, just like a big pot of gumbo. The weather, the city, the history, the tradition, and most of all the family. But family is not limited to blood relatives in the South. And here is where I have to make a confession.
You see, when Philip and I were to wed almost seven years ago now, the the dilemma was how to accommodate two large families along with a myriad of well wishing guests. For me, I could not resolve the girlish visions I'd had for my wedding with the growing number of guests. I had imagined more flowers than you could ever imagein, silver platters filled with delicious gourmet foods, open bars in every corner, and a band that would make anyone dance the night away. But as any wedding planner will tell you, the best way to cut the cost of a wedding is to cut the number of guests. So Philip and I were in Lexington one day having lunch with his parents, about three months before the wedding. As one would expect, the conversation was all about the wedding to be. At the time, I was stressed out that in Brownsville, TN, you did not send invitations. Instead, you announced the wedding in the town newspaper and invited all family and friends. There was simply no way to estimate what the attendance would be at the wedding. As I politely tried to share my anxiety on this point, Philip's father explained to me how many family and friends had been in Philip's life over the years, supporting him and the family, and how weddings are a time to celebrate the life of two people who would not be where they are on that altar if not for the love and support of family and friends. He ended by saying that this might mean serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on paper plates at the reception but in the end, true friends don't care what they eat, they only want to be there in support of such an important day in our lives. I seem to recall nervously asking what kind of jelly the Moss family preferred. In the end, our wedding was beautiful, with just the right mixture of flowers, food, beverage, and yes, there was dancing.
I knew George was right but perhaps age and almost seven years of being a part of the Moss family has helped that thought to marinate and stick in my heart, mind and soul. So this weekend, being there to celebrate the marriage of Marcus and Hannah provided yet another reminder of what family is all about. While the beautiful background of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss in the yards of historic homes was lovely, the real beauty was in the warm embraces and memories made among family and friends.