Anna Nelson and Wilson Allgood
When we were in elementary school, boys and girls had cooties and neither wanted much of anything to do with the other. And to suggest that two classmates were going to get married sometime in the far away future? Never! Gross! Such a ceremonious and “mushy” consecration of love was impossible. But not for Anna Nelson and Wilson Allgood.
Both of their families attended First Presbyterian Church when they were young and both started preschool at Westminster Schools of Augusta. “We claim that we officially met when we were eight years old,” says Anna. But shortly thereafter, their lives went separate ways and it would be 15 years before the two ever interacted. Anna and Wilson crossed paths again at a wedding shower for mutual friends who were, coincidently, in their third-grade class.
“We reconnected,” says Anna, and the rest soon blossomed into a romance of two sweethearts. “Wilson said that when he went home that night he asked his mom, ‘Do you remember Anna Nelson?’ And then she went on about how I was this sweet girl that she used to take care of in the church nursery.”
Wilson would become so taken by this sweet girl that he later surprised her with a day trip to Wolf Mountain Vineyards in the North Georgia mountains. During a walk through the vineyard, Wilson dropped down on one knee and proposed. He then drove Anna to Atlanta for a surprise dinner at a restaurant where months earlier they had one of their first big dates. When they arrived, the maitre d’ led them to a private dining room packed with the entire Allgood/Yawn and the Nelson families ready to celebrate the engagement.
“Our wedding was very family oriented,” says Anna, whose brother was one of the officiating ministers for the ceremony at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church. “I wore pearls that my parents gave me and carried a handkerchief from my grandmother and another from my late-grandmother. I also had extra length added to my train so that I could wear my mother-in-law’s cathedral-length veil.” To contribute to the bride’s collection of family-bestowed accessories, Anna’s sister-in-law gave her blue “I do” sequined shoe appliqués to wear on the bottom of her wedding shoes.
Despite all of the planning and precisely thought out touches of detail, there always exists the opportunity for something unexpected to happen at a wedding. When Anna appeared at the back of the church wearing an elegant, flat lace, A-line gown with a satin cummerbund as the backdrop for her petite bouquet of white roses, the groom started to cry as he waited at the end of the aisle. “I wasn’t nervous at all and normally I am the emotional one,” says Anna. “But I think he was just so overwhelmed and that made our wedding memorable for me.”
Though the ceremony was held at high noon, the church glowed with the ambiance of an evening wedding as full silk swags, adorned with ivy, roses and candelabras, draped the outer church pews. The bridesmaids were striking in floor-length gowns of brilliant fuschia and the groomsmen wore morning suits.
An equally formal reception followed at the Pinnacle Club, where Anna’s parents had their reception more than 30 years ago. The setting beamed authentically traditional Southern elegance with crisp white linens, a display of front-porch portraits of the bride and groom, and floral arrangements of bundled pink roses, green and white hydrangeas, bells of Ireland, green berries, stephanotises and ivy. Guests danced to live shag music provided by the Friends Band and enjoyed a lavish buffet of seafood and Southern cuisine.
When asked about the wedding cake, Anna’s immediate response was an expression of longing for that baked, sugary delight. “The cake was so good. I really wish I could have a piece right now,” she says. The five-tier masterpiece covered in butter cream icing featured a bottom, second and top layer of butter cream cake with a Bavarian cream and raspberry filling, a third layer of strawberry cake and a fourth layer of chocolate cake.
From preschool, nurseries and elementary school, the wedded couple has come a long way from cooties and boys versus girls. Using their new Bible from pastor Leslie Holmes of Reid Memorial, Anna says she and her husband will build a strong foundation for a marriage that will last as long their parents’ and breed a new set of family traditions.