Bunko Babes enjoy a day of wedded bliss

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2007

It was an evening of &#8220white lace and promises,” photos and celebration foods, and the tossing of the bouquet.

No, it wasn't a wedding, but the brides certainly were there – 14, to be exact, plus one single gal looking lovely in hot pink.

It was June, and Greenville's Bunko Babes social group was enjoying a wedding-themed get-together…so here come the brides!

Photographs and memories

Hostess Jill Stallworth held the event at her sprawling Fort Dale Road home, with guest asked to wear white, don wedding veils and bring photos from their weddings.

The photos were displayed on Stallworth's dining table, along with an array of foods perfect for a bridal tea, from spicy southern cheese straws to sweet bite-sized carrot cakes. Traditional wedding music played in the background as the ladies enjoyed their refreshments.

The guests declared it an enjoyable evening.

&#8220The pictures were my favorite part – looking at all the photos of the girls from their weddings,” said bunko bride Sue Arnold.

Ginger Norman agreed.

&#8220It was so neat to see all the different styles of wedding gowns. Some weddings were 20 or more years ago and some were very recent,” Norman said.

&#8220The pictures were fun, for some of us oldies – we have changed more than the younger girls,” Stallworth laughed.

Fit for a princess

The bunko brides' attire for the tea was another source of entertainment for the ladies.

Olivia Idland Autrey, who, at seven-and-a-half months of marriage, was the newlywed of the group, delighted in seeing &#8220everyone's creative side with their ‘costume.'”

&#8220Since I didn't wear a veil at my wedding, I decided to wear my actual wedding dress – I love wearing it and I got another use out of it. I added a gardenia corsage for something extra,” Autrey said.

Bunko bride Jennie Hamilton made her veil from a toy crown and some fabric.

&#8220My son told me I looked like a princess. I had to go through the CVS drive-thru on the way to the party, and the girl behind the counter asked me if I had just gotten married. The girls at the party later said I should have corrected her by telling her I was a princess!” Hamilton laughed.

&#8220Jill does everything to the nines. Her flowers, food and decorations were perfect…seeing all the brides sitting at the little round tables with the white cloths…we were quite a sight!”

Jennifer Burkett, the sole single gal in the group, decked herself out in hot pink, and later got to toss her fuchsia bouquet to her fellow guests.

Fun and games

After enjoying Stallworth's culinary creations, the brides played bunko and enjoyed reception party music like the classic, &#8220Going to the Chapel.”

The ladies also shared funny stories about their own weddings.

&#8220I almost fell in the pool while trying to navigate the crowd – but someone grabbed my arm, thank goodness,” said Stallworth.

Debra Arthur, whose 23 years of marriage made her the longest-married attendee, almost had her wedding cake knocked over (a clever guest caught it in time).

&#8220I guess the funniest part of my wedding was when Todd looked into the preacher's eyes and repeated his vows. He was so nervous, he forgot to look at me while saying the vows. I remember pinching his arm and trying to get him to look at me. I could hear some people in the audience snickering,” Norman recalled.

All the brides seemed to agree: the most special part of their weddings was sharing the momentous occasion with those near and dear to them.

&#8220I loved my reception. All the stress and worries gone and I danced the night away with my family and friends,” recalled Jana Ealum.

&#8220My favorite part was having my family and friends around me on my special day. During the ceremony I would make eye contact with different people and just kind of giggle,” Hamilton remembered.

&#8220It was surreal, an event you look forward to your whole life, and it was happening to me!”

Now the bunko brides can chalk up another memorable occasion, with great food, fun and friends.

Stallworth has provided some of the toothsome recipes featured in the bunko brides' menu for our readers.

&#8220We had a wonderful time, and it was great to see everyone enjoying the bridal tea items, the music, decorations…the whole evening!” Stallworth said with a smile.

&#8220The bunko group meets once a month with one or two hostesses. We have 21 members in all, with a different theme each month. We are often asked to dress a certain way or to bring an item from home that coordinates with the theme. It's a fun group!”