This weekend Auntie M went to a lovely summer wedding with two female friends.  Down south it’s common for the bride and groom to issue an ‘open’ invitation in the local paper, where anybody and everybody is invited to attend.  I know the bride’s parents slightly and my two friends know all of the wedding party, so I was convinced to attend with them.

It was an interesting experience being at the wedding of two people I really don’t know.  There was no pressure on me to have the perfect outfit, so as it was outdoors, I wore a comfortable long skirt and blouse, a pair of flats and my straw hat which is my souvenir from the Covered Market in Oxford.  I like it because the brim fits me well and it has no real trim–I add ribbons or a clutch of flowers to match whatever I wear it with–this time I tied on a pretty flowered scarf that matched my outfit.

Under the expansive tent, sitting in the shade, waiting for the bride, I fanned myself with the programs which had conveniently been glued to stick holders for just this purpose.  The pianist needed more practice, but once the bride arrived, who really cared?  She was lovely, in a strapless dress with a beaded bodice and full chiffon skirt, a simple short veil at the back of her head.  Her tall groom was equally good-looking, a southern Pierce Brosnan type (now you know why I wanted to go), all long legs and nice smile and eyes.

The reception at a southern wedding is different from back home, too, in that once the newly married couple are introduced, the toast is given and the cake is cut.  This is to allow it to be served to the oldest people who eat and immediately leave, before the dancing starts in earnest, my friends explained.

We stood on the long buffet line and I chatted with several people I know.  It was relaxing to have no responsibility for refilling the food trays or making sure everyone was having a good time.  Once we’d eaten and had our cake, along with the ‘old’ people, the three of us hightailed it out of there.  An interesting afternoon, a delightful day, free food and no pressure.  Just what I needed.

Until the next day and today, when I’ve been running to the john…hmmmm…then my two friends called to see if I was vomiting.  Not me, but they both were.  By the afternoon we’d heard of almost twenty other people who were at that wedding with us and all have food poisoning, some severe.  Two have had to get IV fluids.  It’s been traced to the crab dip, which I’d only nibbled at–thank goodness.

So much for the relaxed freebie afternoon  I wondered if the honeymooning newlyweds were affected~not quite the memory they’d hoped for, I suspect.

What wedding disasters have you been a party to??