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The Wedding of the [Past] Century


The invitation read: “The wedding is an antebellum themed party. Come dressed in your favorite 19th century attire. Classic antebellum 19th century or any riding or driving attire is encouraged.”

 A lush lawn at the Germantown Charity Horse Show grounds was the scene for the wedding of the Mid-South Horse Review’s own Pam Gamble and Billy Anderson on Saturday August 17. The groom wore the finest Butternut Cavalry uniform, riding into the ceremony on his horse Galeah. Shortly thereafter, the bride, wearing a stunning 19th century silk riding habit, rode in sidesaddle on her reliable horse Rebel. The altar, created with a jump fence and two standards, provided the equestrian-themed backdrop for the ceremony.

“Billy has asked me many times through the years about marriage,” Pam said. So, after 16 years together, when Pam finally accepted his proposal, the couple started thinking seriously about what kind of ceremony they would like.

“The first thing that came to mind was that I wanted to ride in on my horse; after all, he is white (gray),” Pam explained.   “I thought it might be nice to ride side saddle. So I picked up a side saddle on ebay and starting reading and watching YouTube videos.  It's amazing what you can learn from the computer!  I am far from an expert with the side saddle, but I am able to walk, trot, and canter a bit and trot a few cross rails. I thought that this would be enough for what I would be doing at the wedding. Of course, the dismounting with the habit and petticoat was the most difficult part, and Rebel had to be perfectly still, which he was.  

“The habit was made by Cindy Westbroek at  Cindy is an avid Civil War reenactor and an actor who specializes in side saddle roles.  In fact, she was working on my gown and had only finished the skirt when she had to go to the Gettysburg reenactment. She finished the jacket when she got back in town, but that was cutting the time a little close!  

“The habit is Dupioni silk, a type of silk that changes color depending on the angle that you look at it.  It is blue one way, silver another, and a little greenish from another view. A bright fabric like this one would not have been worn unless you were ‘husband hunting.’  Otherwise, the lady would wear a darker color. The silver piping on the habit displays Austrian knots, which are also on Billy's uniform.  Austrian knots and Hussar bars were often seen on the officers’ wives habits, but not in silver. In other words, this pattern is specific to an 1862 pattern, but we took a few liberties with the fabric, especially the trim.

“Since I was getting my horse into the ceremony, Billy wanted to as well.  Billy has always been fascinated with the 19th century militaria.  He jokes that he was born into the wrong century!  His uniform was a Confederate officer’s Cavalry uniform with European Hussar influences. The fabrics and construction were authentic, but the design was somewhat unique, custom made by C and C Sutlery.  His horse Galeah, a Swedish Warmblood seemed to enjoy playing the cavalry mount, even though his first ride with sword at his side was definitely a learning experience for her.”

The couple’s Groomsmen were: Best Man Ken Daniels, Jason Salomon, Trey Lawson, Damon McDermot, Shelby Payne, Chris Stanley and Brian Robison.  Bridesmaids were: Maid of Honor Chrissy Saylor and Linda Monier, Pam's sister.

Friends and family seemed quite excited about the antebellum theme, and many attendees wore antebellum and/or riding attire. At the reception, after the bride’s and groom’s first dance together, attendees got into the party mode, dancing anachronistically in their ball gowns to modern hip-hop and disco music, complete with a mini disco ball!  
The couple ride with the Longreen Foxhounds and are members of the Nashoba Carriage Association.  Billy is a polo groom and resident trainer at Oak View Stables. He is a Certified English Saddle Fitter and a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist.  Pam is Vice-President of the Nashoba Carriage Association and an alumna writer and photographer for the Mid-South Horse Review.

The Mid-South Horse Review toasts the happy couple and wishes them many years of happiness.

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