Published on September 23rd, 2014 | by TLV News0
“Local Wedding for a Couple of Locals” by JoLynn Wells
Photos by Mike Stanton
Earlier this late sizzling summer I was lucky enough to marry the love of my life, local favorite keyboardist (four years running), Bill Perry Jr., right here in our very own Oxford. Blessings flowered throughout the planning process as I managed to secure some of the many gifts and talents that grace our fine city.
Guests drove and flew in from all over the nation (including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin) to experience a smorgasbord of special offerings straight out of Oxford. Festivities began Friday night at the rehearsal dinner where the wedding party gathered in Snackbar’s private function room. Every sumptuous bite that crossed our lips was created and prepared by James Beard Award nominee Vishwesh Bhatt. (Here’s hoping you win next year, Chef!) And of course chidings would follow if I neglected to mention the stellar service. After our delectable dinner the wedding party stepped next door to join other guests and family, including quite a few extra-tall, bearded men with short wives, all sporting thick Massachusetts accents.
The following day guests were shuttled to and from the wedding by Phillip Howard of Austin Taxi (local favorite taxi driver). He also chauffeured me and all my lovely ladies to the site just before the nuptials. The ladies were sporting gorgeous delicate bracelets hand-crafted by local jewelry artisan Dane Noonan. Groomsmen gifts came from Grandma Slackers, as did gifts for the other guests—glass full moons with strawberries designed by local glass-blower Steve-o Morlino.
Both the ceremony and shindig transpired on the idyllic grounds of Woodson Ridge Farm. In addition to an incredible array of vegetables they also offer a pastoral landscape complete with river and an open-air barn (with air-conditioned space) large enough for dining and dancing. There is catering available and space to rent for events in the manor house. We could not have had a more beautiful day nor a more beautiful spot beneath two intertwined trees overlooking the river.
My ladies and I walked down the grassy aisle carrying simple bouquets of blue and purple flowers arranged by Ashley Jordan-Hill of Twisted Twig (who was incredibly easy to work with), and there I met my love, as we’d always dreamed, beneath the trees. Stevi Self and Mary Solomon, co-owners of Southern Star Yoga Studio officiated the ceremony with nothing other than a few typed pages, their calm demeanor and their radiant faces. Although the folks at Woodson Ridge Farm deny owning any, a white horse and a black horse arrived to frolic in the distance just as we spoke our vows.
Local photographer Mike Stanton captured all the glorious moments so that we didn’t have to take a gigabyte of selfies; instead we were free to roam the party and mingle with our loved ones. Guests received bubbly the moment they arrived, and later enjoyed beer and wine served by Snackbar bartender Brian Dorris, notable not only for his drink-slinging skills, but also for his beautiful bushy beard.
Tables, chairs, glasses and napkins were provided by Magnolia Rental, Oxford’s one-stop shop for all your party needs (except food). Every major life event requires a feast of celebration and the kick-ass cuisine of the night before laid a serious challenge for our caterer. I am pleased to report that Party Waitin’ to Happen proved their culinary worth. Our guests sighed with delight over each of the exquisite dishes we chose from their vast selection of appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, and desserts.
After fat bellies were lovingly pat with satiation the music commenced, courtesy of Trey Alexander of Rebels 247. Lionel Ritchie’s smooth voice encouraged everyone to join the dancing and fun for no less than “All Night Long.”
Everything was fantastic thanks to all the wonderful and talented (local) folks who helped us with our special day. I feel blessed to have shared the beauty and magic of Mississippi with my northern, southern, eastern, western and just plain American friends and family.
This article was originally printed in The Local Voice #212 (published September 11, 2014).
To download the PDF of this issue, click here.