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Catherine Pate McCalip & Benjamin Allan Byrd

January 16, 2016 | Natchez, Mississippi

photography by Anne McDaniel Photography

Catherine Pate McCalip and Benjamin Allan Byrd were united in marriage at six o’clock in the evening on Saturday, January 16, 2016, at Stanton Hall in Natchez, Mississippi. The Honorable Walt J. Brown officiated at the double-ring ceremony held in the front parlor with the antique pier mirror.


The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Conn Kenneth McCalip of Natchez and the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Rushing of Meadville, Mississippi, and Mrs. Gwen S. McCalip and the late F. Kenneth McCalip of Natchez. The bride is also the great granddaughter of Mrs. Lily Yelverton of Natchez. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Allan Byrd of Natchez and the grandson of Mrs. Nancy Newman Day, the late Adrian Day of Natchez, Mrs. Gayle Hammett Byrd, and the late Dexter Byrd of Meadville.


Mr. David Troutman, violinist, and Mr. David Goldblatt, pianist, performed selected music for the prelude, “Hallelujah,” during the honor seating; “Canon in D Major” for the processional; “A Thousand Years” for the bridal processional; and the traditional wedding march for the recessional. Mrs. Jan D. Scarborough served as wedding coordinator, and Mrs. Brenda Zerby was the floral designer. Handing out programs were Presley Martin and cousins of the bride, Macy McCalip, Sydney Roberts, and Ryleigh Rushing.


The bride, given in marriage by her father, wore a strapless creation of silk organza overlay accented with Alencon lace and heavily embellished with crystals and sequins around the neckline and belted waistline. The elongated fit flared to a beautifully scalloped self-train. Her veil was a single layer of illusion with a matching crystal and sequin border. She carried a European Garden Clutch fashioned of white hydrangea and blush peonies and wore a cameo ring traditionally worn for McCalip weddings and a pinkie-ring with the initial “B,” both belonging to her great-great grandmother, the late Hattie Bass McCalip.


Attending the bride as matron-of-honor was her sister, Meagan McCalip McLeod of Prairieville, Louisiana. Serving as bridesmaids were Malori Byrd Giannaris, Shannon Mire, and Taylor Trippe, all of Natchez; Laura Perilloux of Vidalia, Louisiana; Caroline Roberts of Meadville; and Hannah Stuckey of Vicksburg, Mississippi. They wore simple but elegant green chiffon halter gowns. Serving as flower girl was Ava Knapp. The late Sarah Zuccaro was remembered as a bridesmaid-in-spirit, and honorary mothers-of-the-bride were Mrs. Nikki Barry of Lafayette, Louisiana, and Ms. Cathy Fitzpatrick of Natchez.


Serving as best man was the groom’s father; and groomsmen were Cory Anders, Casey Calcote, Zack Cangemi, Kaleb June, Matthew Kaiser, and Hayden Newman, all of Natchez. Serving as ring bearer was Cam Giannaria, who carried a heart-shaped pillow first used at the groom’s parents’ wedding in 1989 and for other family weddings thereafter. Serving as “BB, Here Comes Your Bride” placard bearer was Cole Giannaris. Both are nephews of the groom and of Natchez.


After the nuptials, a cocktail hour was held in the dining room of Stanton Hall. The wedding party and guests then followed the bride and groom to The Carriage House to dine on southern cuisine, featuring a roasted pig, jambalaya, and other favorite foods of the newlyweds. “Super Dave the DJ” from Lafayette provided music for dancing and listening enjoyment.


The wedding cakes were served in The Queen’s Room where a hot chocolate bar was also available. The aunt of the groom, Mrs. Cookie Atkinson of Laporte, Texas, made the bride’s delectable cake that featured six tiers of alternating handmade antique-white ruffles and antique-beige marble with a candy pearl drop garland. Hand-sculptured love birds for the “Love Byrds” topped the layers of traditional wedding cake, Italian cream, and strawberry.

 The groom’s cake was created by Edna Welch and was a chocolate doberge cake fashioned as a deer feeder complete with a deer head logo and candy corn. Antlers and trays of camouflage petit fours and deer-shaped and hunter-related cookies surrounded the cake.


Amidst a shower of glitter confetti, the bride and groom left the reception in a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon driven by “Chauffeur” Tod Doughty, uncle of the bride from Cypress, Texas. The couple honeymooned at the Polynesian Village Resort in Orlando, Florida, and enjoyed Disneyworld and Universal Studios. They are at home in Natchez.


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