Family, Friends, and Love

ms mag jan 2014Mississippi Magazine
January 2014

It was a chilly, crisp evening in October when friends and family came together to celebrate the engagement of Callie Mounger and Reid Wesson.  However, the atmosphere inside the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Mounger II of Jackson, was warm and inviting.

During her off time, one can frequently find Crisler Boone moonlighting as event planner and wedding coordinator. It’s a skill that proves to be invaluable in her full-time job as head of external affairs at Jackson Prepatory School. Boone previously worked with the Moungers on a capital-raising project for the school, where her abilities to host a good party soon became apparent.

“Cissye [Mrs. Mounger] told me, ‘Whenever one of mine gets engaged, I want you to plan it,” Boone says.

The opportunity finally arose when several of the Mounger’s close friends came together to throw the young couple an engagement party to end all parties. As the initial planning phase began, Boone knew she wanted every aspect of the night to be representative things that were important to the couple – family, friends, good food, and great music.

The role of the Mounger home played a significant role in Callie and Reid’s time together as a couple. In fact, Reid proposed to Callie while sitting by the fire pit in the Mounger’s backyard. Boone used that as the starting point, using the Mounger home not only as the backdrop for the party, but also incorporating it into other elements. Fresh Ink was recruited to design the party invitations. A watercolor print depicting a scene from the Mounger’s backyard was used as the background.

Wendy Putt of Fresh Cut Catering and Floral oversaw the menu and floral arrangements. As guests approached the Mounger’s home, they were greeted by two vibrant topiaries made of apples, oranges, and artichokes flanking either side of the front door. The couple’s initials fashioned with moss-covered letters hung from each of the doors. Before entering, guests could leave their well-wishes on panes of glass in a reclaimed glass window that would later become a priceless memento for the newlyweds.

Once inside, a romantic pomander of delicate peach roses hung from the chandelier in the foyer. Guests then made their way to the beautifully landscaped backyard which overlooked the Mounger’s in-ground swimming pool and picturesque waterfront views just beyond. Floating lanterns, votives, and elegant lanterns provided soft and romantic lighting throughout the property.

Boone incorporated the couple’s initials “C & R” into several details throughout the party – from the cocktail napkins and menu place cards to the water feature in the center of the swimming pool. Neutral linens in bronze and taupe allowed the bright colors in the floral arrangements and surrounding landscape to pop.

Putt also found unique ways to incorporate the couple into the menu selections. The father of the bride provided vension for the wild game table, which was served alongside other unique dishes such as micro-deviled quail eggs and grilled quail legs with bourbon sauce. A s’mores station paid homage to the night the couple got engaged as well as allowed guests to indulge in a favorite childhood pastime. Graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows were on hand, as well as a few gourmet touches such as peanut butter and flaked coconut.

Guests mingled and danced to the soulful sounds of Pryor Graeber and the Tombstones.

“The party was very Callie and Reid,” said Boone. “The Moungers have such big hearts and are so generous in the community.  You could tell that everyone in attendance had a love for the Moungers and this young couple embarking on a life together.”

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