"Doesn't Beŕnerd need to consult with me before then? After all, he has assured me that he himself would be handling the design."
The young man replied, "Yes, Mrs. Quinton. I will personally tell him that you called."
"Well, I appreciate that. Beŕnerd will be most excited that Kathleen is engaged." The young man agreed and they rang off.
As he put the phone down, the assistant announced, "Thank God that Quinton child from Gallagher has set her date. Do you realize for 4 years now, her mother has reserved the 3rd Saturday in May, insisting that Beŕnerd personally design the cake. And then, in early April each year she has 'cancelled' saying that this is not the year."
One of the bakers laughed, "Sounds like the mother was putting the cake before the wedding."
"Chateau Belmont? Mama, we never discussed that. Why there? That place is just outside of Mobile."
Nonchalantly, Dixie replied,"Well it's the only appropriate place for a wedding such as yours." She took a biscuit from the basket on the table. While buttering it, Dixie added, "After all, there are very few places that can accommodate 300 wedding guests properly."
Kathleen looked at her father,"Dad, did you know about this?"
Harrell just shook his head. "Honey this is news to me. I was not consulted either."
"Oh, Kathleen, it will be lovely. After all Jennifer Garner got married there. And, Julie Anne Moore wanted her daughter's wedding there but a date was not available. That was what first gave me the idea."
"Well, if Julie Anne Moore could not get a date, how are you going to get one."
"Your mother has her ways. The Belmont owners know what publicity they will get out of your choosing their venue."
Kathleen started to argue, but backed down.
Dixie kept on, "I just happen to know the 3rd Saturday in May is available, so I went ahead and booked it." She smiled very pleased with herself. "And I have Beŕnerd from La Petit Maison de Délice, in New Orleans, confirmed to design your wedding cake. You know these days, everyone looks at the cake as the most important part of the wedding. Anyone can have a fancy wedding cake, but brides dream of having Beŕnerd personally design a cake just for them - a cake that makes a statement."
"Well, you have been busy since we only announced our engagement last week." Kathleen glared at her mother. "Mama, I don't care where Jennifer Garner got married. I don't have to have some high brow French Pastry Chef 'design' a cake for me." She looked at her father, then back to her mother. "Jeb and I don't want 300 people at our wedding."
"Oh honey, the guest list has to be that long. In fact 'we' have had to make some difficult decisions of who we would not be able to invite. With only room for 300 guests, well, some people will not get an invitation. I realize this may cause some ill will. But, as much as everyone wants to come to your wedding, we just cannot invite 'everyone'. The important thing will be to make sure that 'right' people are included."
"Um, and when did you make this guest list?"
"A night or 2 ago, I went through my address book and made a short list. Then I consulted with Amy, my old college roommate. She works at the Mobile Register. She was able to get me the names and addresses of the 'elite' in Mobile. They were not all in my address book. And, Lord, can you imagine leaving those folks off the list?"
"Mama, I do not know who the 'elite' of Mobile are, nor do I care. How many of those 300 are friends of mine and Jeb's? And have you already spoken to Jeb's mother for her list."
"Kathleen, I didn't need to. Anyone who is anybody is already on the guest list. I'm sure Charlotte will appreciate my including all of our well to do friends. I doubt she has access to such."
Kathleen stood up, threw her linen napkin on the table. "This is not what I want. This is not what we had in mind. God, you are being rude and arrogant - just assuming that you know all the right people to invite and that Jeb's mother will be thrilled. Honestly, I'm so angry right now, I am going to leave before I really tell you what I think - as much as I want to."
She stormed out of the dining room. Dixie looked across the table at Harrell. "I've never seen her so upset. I know brides can be a little difficult, but I never thought Kathleen would be that way. What has gotten into her?"
"Dixie, maybe she would like to plan her wedding, not yours." He paused, "You need to back off or there may not be a wedding."
"Harrell, Kathleen knows I just want the best for her. At her age, she does not understand the complexities of society and planning a proper wedding. Why, if it wasn't for me, we would never have Beŕnerd designing the cake." Dixie rattled on about venues, menus,and flowers.
Harrell just said, "What if they don't want a wedding?"
Dixie just stared at him in total disbelief. "Not have a wedding? Why would she not want a wedding?"
"Have you ever asked her if she wanted a wedding?"
"Of course I have. We used to talk about it all the time. Why, she told me, 'Mama I want a dream wedding, just like Cinderella'. Now, how can a mother deny her daughter her dream."
"Really! And when was that?"
"Oh, I think she was 8 at the time."
Harrell shook his head once again. "Dixie, she may have changed her mind since then." Before she could say anything, he stood up, "I enjoyed supper . . . at least the meal. Next thing we know, you may have secured a dancing bear, a champagne station serving the guests in Waterford crystal, or better yet, a unicorn."
"Harrell, you need to be serious. A dancing bear is absurd, and a unicorn? Honestly!" Dixie paused for a moment. Then as if she had had an epiphany, she said, "A champagne station serving in Waterford crystal, now that is an idea. I bet they did not even have that William and Katherine's reception."
Harrell laughed at her, "You better start looking for that unicorn because Waterford crystal is not in the budget." He stopped,"There is a budget, right?"