Throw a new kind of wedding party

Published 11:05 am Friday, February 4, 2011

I have a confession.

I am a self-avowed Royalty Wally — “Wally” being Britspeak for “nerd” — and I suppose it began with the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

Having English parents and being roughly the same age as Diana, I arose with my friends at 4 a.m. to watch this Cinderella story unfold “across the pond” with eyes as big as saucers and an enormous amount of envy.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Most of us were very plain, ordinary girls with boyfriends who were either mechanics or struggling through community college. And here was a young woman just our age who actually snagged a prince, and, best yet, we were told by a fawning media, it was a true “love match.”

Afterward, there wasn’t a magazine with Diana on the cover that I did not purchase.

Pouring over copies of People and The Enquirer, I was enthralled with her stardom and later, devastated to learn that indeed she had been regarded as little more than a broodmare for an heir, had great emotional difficulties and was adored by everyone but her husband.

So, naturally, it is with more than a passing interest that I have watched her charming and handsome son, William, come into his own, and now he is to be married to Catherine Middleton, a strikingly attractive young woman he truly seems to love.

Diana’s legacy of compassion runs deep through William’s veins. I was delighted to read that this young couple has hoisted the monarchy into the 21st century by issuing a statement that has shocked the palace: They wish not to receive wedding gifts but instead request contributions to be made to worthy charities.

Naturally, I am beside myself over the prospect of spending another Cinderella-smattered morning watching royal nuptials.

The dress, the carriage, the horses! And then I had a brainstorm:

Why not extend the charity on this side of the Atlantic?

There are wonderful organizations, right here in our backyard, to which we could give tremendous aid by holding a series of ‘Wedding Parties.’

My plan is well under way after visiting Zenzera restaurant in my local town of Landrum. The owners, Bob and Debbie Briggs, have agreed to host this rather girly event (and yes, gentlemen are invited, but you must dress): a catered English tea at noon, April 29.

For the price of a minimum donation, tea, scones and sandwiches, along with the obligatory strawberries and cream, will be daintily nibbled by white-gloved ladies in their spring florals and, naturally, hats (that’s the best part of going to an English wedding — one really must buy a new hat) as we watch the great event unfold wide-screen, having been cleverly recorded in the wee hours.

My vision includes a “best hat” contest and all sorts of fun. And proceeds, we have decided, will go to our local chapter of Mobile Meals.

As the event draws nearer, there will be further information. But for now I toss my idea out to all of you — each town, each church, each temple could easily hold its own wedding party and do a greatly needed thing for the charities nearest and dearest to your hearts. Let’s do it for William and Kate. And especially, Diana.

Comedienne Pam Stone writes her column for The Tryon Daily Bulletin twice each month from her office at her home in Gowensville. Want a chance to respond to this column? Go to Pam’s blog at