Small Talk: Family tradition continues with Laney-Hale wedding
by Annette Maddox
Special to The Star
May 30, 2010 | 1603 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The wedding of Leslie Laney and Scott Hale took place on May 1 at the Walker Reynolds home on Rendalia Road in a lovely evening ceremony. Parents of the bride are Randy and Helen Laney, and parents of the groom are Diane Hale and Delbert Hale Jr.

The outdoor nuptials, planned and decorated by Scott Skinner, were like going back in time, Southern-style. They were held in front of the Jeffersonian-style home of Walker Reynolds Jr., the bride’s grandfather, with Rev. Lee Shafer as celebrant. The bridal party processed out through the front doors into a courtyard area, with guests seated in ivory chairs facing the house, where two urn arrangements of lilies, hydrangeas, Callas and roses created a spectacular display. Three floral cages adorned the front balcony, and ferns filled smaller urns to capture the feel of an outdoor event.

The bride and her father, led by crucifer Carrie Cowan Angell, entered from the side of the house, walked across the lawn and a garden path, and then down the center aisle as the tune “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley played in the background. It was orchestrated by Gerald Roberts, musician for the ceremony, who also played at the bride’s parents’ reception and the bride’s sister’s wedding in 1999.

Six-year-old Thomas Taylor III (nephew of the bride) carried a basket holding the scroll readings, which were read by Laura Lester and Nellie Millsap.

Matrons of honor were Leslie’s sisters, Caroline Kalpinski and Len Taylor, along with her friend Rebecca Eaton. Bridesmaids included Stephanie Whatley, Lauren Draper, Melody Clifford and Tiffany Karl.

Best man was Robert Pruit, and groomsmen included Manuel Abello III, Phillip Friday, John Ozbek and Daniel Low. Ushers were Craig Kalpinski, Tom Taylor Jr. and Walker Reynolds IV.

Leslie’s bridal bouquet consisted of peonies, hypericum berries in green and pink, Vendela roses, blue thistle, protea foliage, white freesia and curly willow.

The bridesmaids carried sofa pink calla lilies and pink hypericum berries, all wrapped in lily grass.

After the ceremony, guests were invited in through the front doors and all through the house to the reception in back, where the band Highly Kind entertained. Overlooking the valley from the Reynolds’ terraced and tented yard, Southern and Asian cuisine (presented as party stations) by David Mashburn added to the ambiance of the evening.

The bride’s cake, which featured tiers resembling flower gardens in a delightful explosion of pastel colors, was placed on an antique cloth (which has now been used by four generations of women in the family) on a table in the octagonal dining room.

Continuing the floral theme, programs (designed and published by Ashley Bass Martin) featuring tulips and an ink sketch (drawn by Helen Laney) of the Reynolds home proved to be charming keepsakes for guests.

The design team of Scott Skinner and Yvonne Booth – with help from the bride’s mother - pulled out all the stops to create a one-of-a-kind event. Scott labels all his brides as “Pottery Barn,” “Restoration Hardware” or another applicable retailer, based on the brides’ tastes and preferences. After meeting Leslie, he appointed her “Miss Anthropologie,” and followed suit with the wedding décor: no bows or frou-frou embellishments; just a natural look, with the venue providing the perfect setting.

The wedding venue was copied from Pavillion VII on the lawn at the University of Virginia, where the late Dr. Reynolds attended school. He chose a Virginian architect to complete the design and decor for the home. Some of the antiques inside are from the first Walker Reynolds plantation home, Mount Ida, at Rendalia, south of Talladega.

Thirty-nine years ago, in 1971, the bride’s parents also celebrated their marriage there, at “the house that Doc built.” The Laneys’ other two daughters, Helen Taylor and Caroline Kalpinski, were also married there.

When it was time to leave, Leslie threw her bouquet off the upper front balcony (which held three floral cages filled with white Casablanca lilies, hydrangeas in soft greens and creams, roses, calla lilies and Bells of Ireland), just as her mother had done almost four decades earlier.

Helen Reynolds, who still lives there, said, “It was a fairytale wedding.”

The evening before, the Berman Museum was the location for a festive rehearsal dinner, designed and orchestrated by Scott Skinner and Yvonne Booth. Under white Chinese lanterns, tables covered with chocolate cloths and burlap toppers showcased Mason jars with bright Gerber daisies, Spanish moss and votives. In the center of the room was a stunning display of exotic plants.

In yet another display of true Southern hospitality, David Ford of the Berman led out-of-town guests through the museum’s exhibits of World War II artifacts during the evening’s festivities.

Guests enjoyed photos of Leslie and Scott, which Scott Skinner had matted in colorful hues (to complement the colors of the daisies) and displayed throughout the room.

After honeymooning at Jumby Bay Resort in Antigua, West Indies, the newlyweds are at home in Hendersonville, N.C.

To share your news with Small Talk, contact Annette Maddox at

Save the date

Attention year 1980 babies: Who says turning 30 is all bad? This summer, celebrate your birthday along with the Anniston Museum of Natural History’s 80th anniversary. For its “80 Days of Summer” celebration, the museum is offering free admission June 1-Aug. 19 for all visitors born in the year 1980, when accompanied by another paid admission. You must provide valid ID with proof of your 1980 birth year. The paying visitor who accompanies you may be of any age over 4, so bring your mom or your granddad, or your own child. Call 256-237-6766 for more information.
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Small Talk: Family tradition continues with Laney-Hale wedding by Annette Maddox
Special to The Star

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