May, Mars exchange wedding vows Aug. 6

Georgia Caroline May and James Fenton Mars were united in marriage Saturday, August 6 at 6 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson. The service was officiated by The Reverend David Felker and The Reverend Dr. Gabe Fluhrer. 

The bride is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. George William May Jr. of Jackson. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Deloy Thomas of Hattiesburg and the late Mr. and Mrs. George William May of Jackson. The bridegroom is the son of James Montgomery Mars II of Philadelphia and the late Kimberly Gamblin Mars of Philadelphia. He is the grandson Joan Madison Gamblin and the late Thomas Davis Gamblin of Philadelphia and the late Mr. and Mrs. William Montgomery Mars of Philadelphia.

Nuptial music was presented by Dr. Bill Wymond, organist, and Grace Shumaker, pianist. Instrumentalists were Alejandro Junco, Marlene Gentile and Nancy Bateman. Rene Young was the soloist.

The flowers in the sanctuary were placed in memory of the bridegroom’s mother and included Alaskan peonies, David Austin garden roses, tardiva hydrangeas, green bittersweet, stock, snapdragons, ranunculus, cream colored double tulips, blueberry viburnum, cranberry viburnum and campanula. The family rows were marked with similax and white campanula bundles tied with an ivory silk ribbon. The banisters were adorned with loose garland.

Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a trumpet designer gown of ivory lace. The gown featured a sweetheart neckline and princess seam skirt with a chapel train. She finished the look with a matching high-neck long sleeve lace jacket for her ceremony. She wore a cathedral tulle veil for her walk down the aisle. 

The bride carried a soft palette of pastel and cream-colored garden roses, peonies, and butterfly ranunculus. Wrapped around the stem of her bouquet was an ivory linen handkerchief carried by her sisters at their weddings. It was hand-embroidered with initials and dates. Also wrapped around her stem was a portion of lace from the bridegroom’s mother’s wedding dress.

Matrons of honor were sisters of the bride, Elizabeth Meadows and Laura Cate Permenter. They wore black, a-line maxi length dresses with a pleated off the shoulder neckline which offered a swag detail. Bridesmaids were Rachel Garner, Ellen Graves, Madeline Griffin, Kate Hall, Lizzie Hannon, Haisten Hardin, Allison Douglas Huffman, Sydney Kennedy, Holly Melcher, Margaret Milner, Madeline McPhail, Courtney Newsome, Claire Robinson, and Caroline Shaffett. They wore black fluid satin gowns with a drape across the bodice supported by delicate straps. It featured a low backline and high slit.

The bridesmaids carried garden roses, peonies, and butterfly ranunculus.

Honorary bridesmaids were Molly Chain, Keaton Cook, Sarah Martin Maxwell, Isabella Moak and Airston Small. The bride’s proxy was Eliza Neely. They also carried peonies, garden roses and ranunculus. Programs attendants were Hayden Hudson, Jordan Jackson, and Helen Wooley. Nieces and nephews of the couple rang silver bells ahead of the bridal procession. They were Della, Landry and Rowan Burkhalter of Northport, Ala; Karsten Mars of Philadelphia; Read Meadows Jr. of Jackson; and George Permenter and Sally Permenter of Oxford. The girls each wore flower crowns.

The bridegroom’s father was best man. Groomsmen were Ty Barber, William Cole, Gage Graham, Keaton Lang, Adam Mars, Sam Mars, Abe Mars, Gray Moorehead, Reed McCool, Charles Silva III, Judge Sheppard, John Harold Smith, and William Smith. Ushers were Cole Burkhalter, Read Meadows, and Cooper Permenter.

Flower girl was May May Meadows. She wore an ivory Swiss heirloom batiste dress which was adorned with ivory French lace and trim. French seams ran throughout the dress and several heirloom beauty pins were used in the back as buttons. One pin had the name Bessie inscribed in memory of the bride’s great-grandmother. She carried a silk woven basket filled with cream colored rose petals which had been used at the wedding of the bride’s parents in 1983. She wore a flower crown made of Abelia and white Majolica spray roses. 

Ring bearer was Griffin Mars of Philadelphia. He carried an ivory pillow made from French antique lace with the couple’s monogram and date. 

On Thursday evening before the wedding, the bride’s parents and aunts hosted a “Spicin’ It Up” welcome dinner featuring gumbo and red beans and rice. Guests included the bridal party, friends and family of the bridegroom and family of the bride. Music was provided by violinists, Alejandro Junco and Marlene Gentile, as guests arrived in the front yard and by Cole Ketchum and Wesley Walker of the Wesley Walker Band in the back yard. Guests also brought their favorite spice for the couple.

The bridesmaid’s luncheon was held at the home of Karen and Jeffrey Taylor the day before the wedding. Hostesses were Allison Barrett, Vicki Garner, Leigh Graves, Kim Hall, Tracey Melcher, Melanie Milner, Lydia Moak, Beth Newsome, Rebecca Small, Brenda Smith, Robin Tucker, Margaret Waller, and Marla Watson. Groomsmen gathered at Walkers Drive-In for lunch and afterwards went bowling. Hosting the Friday lunch and bowling were Dawn Lea and Jeremy Chalmers, Brandy Gamblin, Sherry and Dan Mars, Cheryl Mars and David and Debbie Webb. 

Following the rehearsal, the bridegroom’s father hosted a dinner at the Lake Cavalier Clubhouse. Guests were greeted upon arrival and were able to cruise around the lake in pontoon boats. Music was provided by A’akeela.

Wedding day festivities started at the home of the bride where the bride and bridesmaids had their hair and makeup done. Brunch was provided. The groomsmen had brunch at Keifers 

Following the ceremony, a reception was held at the Country Club of Jackson. Upon arrival guests entered the main doors and walked through three arches of Alaskan peonies, alstroemeria, ranunculus, snap dragons, spray roses, tulips, and stock to create a modern secret garden. The traditional five-tiered bride’s cake was located under a floral arch of cream and blush colored roses and peonies. It featured horizontal and vertical line finishes and had cascading blush and cream garden roses, snapdragons, and peonies. On the top of the cake was a vintage bride and bridegroom topper that belonged to the bride’s grandparents. The bridegroom’s cake was a three-tiered replica of the Neshoba County Fair. It showcased the Ferris wheel, horse track, and cabins. The flavor was chocolate fudge and peanut butter.

Guests enjoyed dancing to the sounds of The Walton Stout Band. The bottom portion of the stage was lined with garden boxes filled with greenery and soft pastel roses, peonies, and ranunculus. The couple’s first dance was to “Tupelo Honey.” The bride and her father danced to “I Feel Good” and the bridegroom and his aunt, Brandy Gamblin, danced to “Days Like This.” A Neil Diamond impersonator, Tim Beasley, joined in with the band and surprised the everyone with the song “Sweet Caroline.”

Following the reception, the couple exited the country club amidst a spray of cream-colored rose petals thrown by guests. They left in an antique El Camino sitting in the back amidst a firework tunnel.

After a wedding trip to Antigua, the couple is at home in Jackson where the bride is a fourth-year dental student and the bridegroom is an engineering technician with Terracon, Inc.