I’m getting married, y’all.
Don’t anyone panic. I have no idea when, or more to the point, to whom. But as of Friday night, I have a Where: The Haw River Ballroom. Have you been yet? Saxapahaw is a cool place to start with. And now it’s even cooler.
I’ll back up. Friday night we all went to The Monti at the Haw River Ballroom. This was my first full-length Monti, featuring five storytellers speaking on the theme “The Good Life.” The stories were fascinating, as was our discussion in the car later about which stories managed to stay true to the theme, and which were a bit of a stretch. I think the Monti is a fabulous thing, and a strong addition to the culture of the triangle. If you go, you’ll be hooked as well. Word to the wise: tickets sell out every time in something like ten minutes. So get online promptly and elbow your way in.
The star on Friday night, though, was the ballroom. It’s housed in an old cotton mill. Sight unseen, I announced in the car (following our seriously excellent Pat Benetar singalong) that, should I ever happen to marry, I’d do it at the Haw River Ballroom. The girls said, mumble mumble mumble, whatever, yeah yeah yeah. (They’d have been more excited about the topic if there were a groom anywhere on the horizion.) We had dinner on the porch at the General Store, and then strolled around the corner and saw this:
The outside is exquisite. There’s also a gorgeous auditorium, with a pub and a coffee shop, and outside terraces and patios and a the sound of the river in the background. And an amazing array of stars, and all of the exposed structure and brickwork and loving details that make an architecture geek say, “Oooo! Saxy.”
It’s as great inside as it is outside. We’ll set up chairs with ribbons and I’ll steal my friend Veronica’s idea of the handmade paper flower garlands she’s using at her wedding. We’ll have a band, or ten, and no dance floor because if I am the bride, I do not have to do anything I don’t enjoy at my wedding. Guests will mingle on all the patios , and the groom and I will linger on the upstairs terrace and enjoy the sound of the river, and we will not miss a note of the music, or a crumb of the food catered by the General Store.
As soon as we walked in, there was a kerfuffle among the rest of the girls. Julia said, “Wow, leave it to you to pick the perfect spot for a wedding, sight unseen. Where are you putting the bridesmaids? Will we camp? I think we should camp.” And Betty walked up and said, “Hey! Wouldn’t this be a great place for a wedding?” And I almost fought her, right there on the terrace. “DIBS! I called dibs in the car. You’ll have to race me.” “Double wedding?” she suggested. “Maybe,” I said with a raised eyebrow. Julia was a calming influence. “Ladies. I will come to two weddings here. Let’s not be hasty. No need to race to the altar. This need not be an episode of Bride Wars.”
I conceded that, having no groom in mind, this was a reasonable plan. And Betty and I would have a phenomenal double wedding. But first things first: my next birthday party will be at the Haw River Ballroom, when my favorite band plays on December 18th. I won’t do paper garlands and caterers, but I will have a fabulous bluegrass evening and celebrate turning 29 again. Saxy, indeed. Hope to see you there!