In the presence of family and friends, Erica Michelle Cummings and Dr. Jay Michael Culpepper were united in marriage in a candlelit ceremony at 6 p.m. on May 19, 2012 at First Presbyterian Church in Greenwood, Miss. The double ring ceremony was officiated by Dr. Rusty Douglas.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Jerry Charles Martin of Spring Hill, Tenn. and Mr. Robert Henry Cummings of Alachua, Fla. She is the granddaughter of the late Ms. Dollie Harkins Cummings and the late Mr. Henry Oliver Cummings, both of Columbus, Miss. and Mrs. Jean Nanney Beggs and the late Mr. Robert Howard Beggs and the late Mr. James Weaver Smith, all of Tulepo, Miss. She is a formerly of Pace and a graduate of Pace High School.
The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Michael Culpepper of Clarkesville, Ga. He is the grandson of the late Mrs. Betty Andrews Harrell and Mr. James LaGrande Culpepper and Mrs. Pauline T. Powers and the late Mr. Thomas Owen Powers, all of Livonia, Ga.
Guests were greeted at the guestbook by Adrian Jean-Elizabeth Smith of Greenwood, Miss. and program attendants Brooke Mayo of Shreveport, La. And Maisie Price Lee of Ackerman, Miss. The bride’s proxy was Jill Wilson of Shreveport, La. Adrian and Maisie were also scripture readers. Prelude music was presented by Ray Smithee, organist.
The vocalist was Connie Black, who sang “The Prayer”, “The Lord’s Prayer” and “Go My Children with My Blessing.” Cheryl Ewing served as wedding director.
Upon the chiming of the hour, the bride, given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father and step father, entered the beautiful historic sanctuary to Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus”. She wore an elegant off white gown of organza over soft satin featuring a strapless crescent neckline and fitted bodice. The gown was overlaid with ivory Alencon lace of sequins that flowed into an exquisite chapel train. Wearing a fingertip silk illusion veil embellished with matching Alencon lace, and a pair of rhinestone earrings, she carried a hand-toed bouquet of white roses and hydrangeas. The bouquet was banded with a lace handkerchief that belonged to the bride’s maternal great grandmother. Pinned to the handkerchief was a satin ribbon holding the wedding rings of her maternal grandmother and late grandfather.
Vows were pledged at the altar with the backdrop of large garden urns filled with white hydrangeas, snapdragons, roses and lilies. The soft glow of candelabras enhanced the ethereal aura surrounding the couple.
Smith Greeg McIntosh of Madison, Miss. served as matron of honor, and Lauren Lorraine Jones of Madison, Miss. served as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Melissa Lambert Austin, of Pensacola; Jenna Culpepper Benge, sister of the groom, of Madison, Miss.; Dr. Anna Thames Biggers of Memphis, Tenn.; Meighan Leigh Hobbs of Pensacola; Laura
Elizabeth Martin of Kosciusko, Miss.; Lindsey Griffin McKinney of Watkinsville, Ga.; and Ellise Lyn Taylor of Stuart, Fla. The bridesmaids wore black one shouldered floor length gowns and carried bouquets of white hydrangeas. Flower girl was Ella Wilson of Shreveport, La. Serving as ring bearer was Collin McKinney of Watkinsville, Ga.
James Michael Culpepper served his son as best man. Groomsmen were Dustin Bradley Benge, brother-in-law of the groom, of Madison, Miss.; Dr. Marcus Daniel Biggers of Memphis, Tenn.; Adam Patrick Brooks of Athens, Ga; Dr. Thomas Matthew Harmon of Olive Branch, Miss.; Jeremy Ryan James of Shreveport, La.; Dr. Gary Monroe Nash, Jr. of Greenwood, Miss.; Dr. Brett Jon Person of Greenwood, Miss.; and Casey Myrick Summerhill of Madison, Miss.
Antique lantern candle stands lined the walkway as guests entered Yianni’s where the bride’s parents hosted a reception.
The entire restaurant was transformed into a warm, elegant southern venue. The dual food rooms were draped with floor to ceiling sateen fabric with dramatic up lights. The food table displays in the center of each room featured a mash potato martini bar, shrimp and grits, catfish fingers, roast beef, fruits and elegant displays of assorted dips, cheeses, southern caviar, chicken salad and bacon tomato canapés.
The bride’s cake table was placed in a beautiful sateen draped alcove, complete with up lights and a large hanging floral display of white hydrangeas, lilies and orchids. The white ribbon taffeta cloth was accented by the antique silver cake plateau, which held the bride’s four-tier exquisite wedding cake of a pearl-laced pattern created by That Special Touch of Jackson, Miss. The groom’s cake, resting atop a clustered plateau of tree slices, was a traditional chocolate iced cake with a monogrammed “C” topped with chocolate covered strawberries. A hunting motif completed his table.
The entire patio ceiling where the guests danced on the black and white dance floor to the music of Swing Shift of Columbus, Miss. was swag draped with the same sateen fabric as used inside the restaurant.
The couple danced their first dance to “Come Live With Me”. The bride and her fathers danced to “Wonderful Tonight”.
The groom and his mother danced to “Georgia” and then the bridal party danced to “Stand by Me”.
At the end of the evening, guests waved goodbye with sparklers as the bride and groom made their exit in a chauffeured limousine.
On the eve of the wedding, the couple was honored with a formal rehearsal dinner by the groom’s parents at the Greenwood County Club.
The morning after the wedding, the bride’s grandmother hosted a brunch for the family at the Greenwood Country Club as a final farewell to the bride and groom.
After a honeymoon to Sandestin, Fla., the couple is at home in Bossier City, La.