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It's Official

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"In the Mississippi Delta, funerals bring out the best in people, while weddings ... bring out the worst."

So write authors Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays on the opening page of Somebody Is Going To Die If Lilly Beth Doesn't Catch That Bouquet: The Official Southern Ladies' Guide to Hosting the Perfect Wedding (Hyperion, $19.95), their follow-up to Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies' Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral.

Being dead, however, sounds like a great excuse if it means escaping the ground rules for a proper Southern wedding. As Metcalfe and Hays explain -- and will be happy to re-explain at their booksigning on April 10th at the Church of the Holy Communion -- if you're a bride-to-be: be perfect (skinny and tan, if you can). If you're a groom-to-be: be presentable (and preferably sober). And if you're the MOB (that's the mother of the bride): You rule! But "don't spend more time planning the wedding than the marriage is expected to last." It's bad form in the Delta, home base for Metcalfe and Hays, two writers who look to be heading for a "Southern ladies" franchise in publishing. And why not? The Greenville natives know their do's and don'ts, and they know how to take a satirical turn every sentence or two.

Years ago, Hays took her own turn -- north. From Greenville, she headed to Lausanne, then to Rhodes College, then to New York City, where she wrote for the New York Post's gossipy "Page Six" and for New York magazine, Spy, Town & Country, and The New Republic. Today, she lives in Washington, D.C., and works as senior editor at the Independent Women's Forum, whose motto reads: "All Issues Are Women's Issues." For proof, ask Lilly Beth.

Booksigning by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays, Church of the Holy Communion, Cheney Parish Hall (4645 Walnut Grove), Tuesday, April 10th, 7 p.m. To reserve a copy of "Somebody Is Going To Die if Lilly Beth Doesn't Catch That Bouquet," call Burke's Book Store at 278-7484. For more information, go to www.burkesbooks.com.

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