Candice Sherrie Cook and Harry Simmons wed

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 10/24/2013, 11:47 a.m.
Intoducing Harry Simmons III and Candice Cook, Esq. (Yvonne DeLaney Mitchell photo)

Little did the guests know what was in store for them once they returned inside the real-life castle, where the ceilings were high and the rooms were huge. It was more than a reception, and more than a party; it was a feast of gigantic proportions. The cocktail reception was held in a room the perimeter of which was covered by food stations. There was a seafood gumbo station, pasta station, carving station with ham and tenderloin, jumbo shrimp, gumbo seafood with dirty rice (OMG! Dee-lish). All of the food was tastefully prepared, seasoned and served. I couldn’t get enough. I went back for seconds, maybe even thirds, which is rare for me. Had I known what was next, I would have slowed down a little; it was all so good.

Guests were soon led into the dining room. The room was alit with silver-colored linen tablecloths and napkins. The harpists had retreated and were now replaced by a band that was out of sight. Immediately, following the traditional first dance, everybody got up. The only time everyone stopped dancing was to watch the band perform a song and dance number that was worthy of a place in a Beyoncé concert. Yes, they were that good. It was like church; I was moved to another level, an otherworldly experience—so much so that it took me a while to reconnect back to Earth.

By this time, dinner was served (yes, it was served by a bevy of waiters and waitresses who attended to the guests’ every need, wish and desire). Needless to say, the champagne flowed like water and whatever was your pleasure, it was there, all top-shelf.

Dinner consisted of good old Southern comfort food: fresh whipped potatoes and carrots, along with a choice of baked chicken, filet mignon or Chilean sea bass. Although I wanted all three, I stuck with the filet, though I’m sure if I asked, I could have had a tasting of all three choices—it was that kind of party.

Toasts were made: Sharon Simmons wished the couple a beautiful life and hoped that they would keep themselves open to all the universe had to offer, and Betty Ann Cook went around to every table thanking guests for coming, when it should have been the guests thanking them for hosting the grand wedding of a lifetime.

Things did get solemn for a moment when the bride and all of her Delta sisters gathered in the middle of the dance floor to sing their Delta songs. A chair was placed in the middle of the circle where Candice Cook sat, surrounded by her Delta sisters. She clearly and unabashedly sang a solo. The girls joined in the chorus as they performed what was obviously their tradition.

With all the food that had already been presented, it was only hoped that guests saved some room for dessert, for in yet another room were desserts—more than the eye could behold in one glance and more than one can imagine. It was all there, set up for the taking. The wedding cake was at least seven tiers high, alternating between red velvet and vanilla cake. Then there was the variety of cheesecakes, sherbet, chocolate mousse, ladyfinger cakes, cannolis, chocolate covered strawberries, brownies and cupcakes. You name it, they had it, and I couldn’t believe it. Was I stuffed? Yes, I was.

The love that was shared, commitments that were made, vows that were exchanged, joy that was felt, wishes that were sent, good time that was had and memories that were made were all to last for a lifetime. To Harry and Candice, the best of everything life has to offer and the faith to see it through.

Until next week … kisses