The memories of my youngest daughter racing from the car across Baylor's campus dressed in her red plaid skirt with book bag in tow are crystal clear. But fast-forward eight years ...
This past Saturday, I witnessed her graceful walk across the same campus, dressed in her beautiful bridal gown, as she came down the aisle in Baylor's Lupton Circle ready to say her vows and become a married woman. Where did the time go?
Besides the primary focus on the happy couple, Sam and Taylor Shapero, the wedding weekend placed a strong emphasis on food. It began with a fun and funky rehearsal dinner at Champy's and ended with the wedding reception, under the watchful eyes of Baylor's catering manager, Gary Klein. Every aspect was a feast for the eyes as much as for the palate. The cake from Kimmee's was spectacular, and instead of a traditional groom's cake, the groom's preference in sweets brought specialties from Scenic City Cheesecakes.
Many of our out-of-town guests stayed at Stone Fort Inn, where we enjoyed a wonderful post-wedding brunch with Sam and Taylor, thanks to the inn's new executive chef, David Mitchell. Three days of feasting and celebration couldn't have been filled with more fun and flavor.
So my last walk down the aisle as mother of the bride is done. When Dr. Phyllis Miller delivered this baby girl, she didn't say, "It's a girl!" Instead, knowing we had two daughters already, she said simply, "Do you know how expensive weddings are?"
They can be, but there are ways to keep your expenses down. Here's something I learned: Attend the wedding shows. There are several happening in the coming months, and I would recommend attending each of them, especially the next Times Free Press Formal Affair, scheduled Feb. 17 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. It's a good resource for finding every vendor you'll need, from chairs and wedding venues to music, cakes and catering.
Now, onto an important, tasty happening: Don't forget to buy a ticket to Taste of the Northshore and Sample of the Southside, an event to support the Northside Neighborhood House. It's an all-in-one-place eating blowout with 28 restaurants, caterers and other food vendors serving tastes of some of their best dishes at one of downtown's most exciting venues, Track 29. The evening begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, with the food tasting and a silent auction. At 7 p.m., the fun continues with a live auction. Tickets are just $55 and can be purchased at www.nnhouse.org or by calling 267-2217.
On the restaurant front ... If you've not yet tried Ruby Tuesday's new menu, it's worth a visit. The steak and lobster is a prime example -- excellent flavors and a very good bargain for $14.99, which also includes the popular salad bar and one side dish. It's a lot of food for the price, so much that you might opt for a takeout box. The fish tacos also are new to the menu and, for $9.99, are even a better bargain. That price also includes the salad bar.
Email Anne Braly at email@example.com.