Monday, September 19, 2011

Yes, There is Such a Thing as Red Velvet Cake Shooters.

I’ve been away... did you notice? I was in South Carolina for the wedding of my husband’s cousin... and what a wedding it was! I am pretty sure you’ve never been to one like it... It began on Friday night with a big party - a “Low Country Boil.” Tons of seafood, two roasted pigs, great salads and breads, followed by peach cobbler and a s’mores station, plus all you could ever hope to drink. They had a live band, and a little kiosk of candy. They gave speeches, a few people danced, and we all left the gorgeous venue by the river stuffed and happy.

The place they chose to have the wedding and all its festivities was called Palmetto Bluff, a lovely resort by the May River in South Carolina – not too far from Hilton Head. I have really never seen anything like it... forests draped with Spanish Moss... cute little buildings among the ruins of an old country estate. 

Palmetto Bluff used to be a country estate, now it's
a place for rich people to vacation or get married.
But that was just the setting... Tom and I spent Saturday in Savannah, then arrived back at the Bluffs around 5pm for the “pre-wedding cocktails.” People in fancy clothes strolled around the grounds sipping on gimlets and champagne, waiting for the wedding... which lasted all of 10 minutes. It was a lovely ceremony, though, performed in the name of Jesus Christ and accompanied by a string quartet playing familiar wedding tunes.

The reception followed, of course, under a huge gossamer-y tent. Again – a full bar, really tasty appetizers (deep fried macaroni and cheese balls, antipasto, shrimp, sushi, bruschetta, little goat cheese tarts... I don’t even think I can name all the things we had.)

After this... dinner to a mellow jazz band. Steak and fish both... salads, vegetables, risotto cakes, wine... The bride and groom danced, the bride and her father danced, the groom and his mother cut a rug... they gave toasts and speeches... people cried. The groom told us all, “I know this is lavish, but consider it our thanks to you for all you’ve done for us.” Of course, I didn’t really know the couple well at all, so I was just enjoying the benefits of everything everyone else had done. But I’m not going to say no to that!

This is where we ate cake and watched the fireworks.
The cake was a beautiful tower of sugar and fondant - vanilla layers and chocolate layers, with pecan pie filling.... insanely delicious. So the bride and groom performed the traditional cake cutting ritual, we all applauded and... over the river... fireworks!! For about 5 minutes we all ooh-ed and ah-ed over the beautiful display, then milled around eating the cake, plus brownies, red velvet cake shooters(?!), pecan tarts, key lime tarts... and, of course, a full bar. 

So this all sounds... well, like how could there be more, right? But there was. Soon we heard rock music and were told to make our way upstairs for dancing... The band was one of those that plays covers for corporate events, but it was actually just right for what it was. We all danced and drank more and enjoyed being with each other... and that’s when it hit me...

It was a like a picture of heaven... the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. There were some unique things about this particular wedding that really resonated with me, made me think of our heavenly reward. First of all, the groom himself planned this amazing celebration. I heard one of his friends say, “He said he wanted to give her the wedding of her dreams... but I don’t think she could have dreamed of this...!” In the same way, when the bride, the church, finally meets her groom, Christ, at the altar, it will be more than and other than she (we) could ever dream of. Every time we turn around, something will happen that will surprise and amaze... like fireworks!

While we were dancing to hits like Tom Petty’s American Girl, Steve Miller’s The Joker and Ce-Lo Green’s Forget You, I looked around the dance floor and thought... “it’s just like heaven!” Not everyone was a good dancer, the music may not have been everyone’s favorite... but there we all were... friends and family, old and young, the Marine general, the attorneys, the car salesmen from the groom’s dealership... cutting our fabulous rugs and celebrating the union of the happy couple. 

Speaking of amazing surprises, while we were all dancing, waiters circulated with little plates of tiny hamburgers and fries, and little cups of tomato soup with a cube of grilled cheese sandwich on top... I’m not sure who had room for more food... but it was still amazing! We left around midnight, but I’m told that around 2am, just before the party shut down, they brought out freshly baked cookies!

My husband and I joked that they might have purchased a deluxe wedding package – most likely called, the “more-money-than-sense” wedding package. It reminded me of the story about the woman anointing Jesus feet with perfume and people judging her for “wasting” money that could be used to feed the poor. I told my husband this and he said something like, “Joe’s not Jesus!” And he’s right... the amount of waste involved at this particular event does seem kind of obscene... but the symbolism is not wasted on me at all... I have a huge hunch that Jesus, our groom, will not spare any expense when it is time for us to be united with Him. And as for the constant open bars... well, didn’t Jesus turn water into wine for the pleasure of some wedding guests?

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