Southern Debutante Cotillion’s 41st Ball

Photo: Beautiful debutantes presented at the Southern Debutante Cotillion. Front row from left, Miss Bradley Ann Hicks, Miss Sydney Ann Weverink, Miss Allyn Elizabeth Browning, Miss Laurie Ileen Wakefield. Back Row, Miss Anna Lee Tucker, Miss Margaret Elizabeth Head, Miss Margaret Anne McNeill, Miss Hannah Virginia Hale, and Miss Hayden Randolph Tipton.

Friday, July 16th was a night to remember for nine of Montgomery’s loveliest young ladies. The Southern Debutante Cotillion continued a time-honored tradition of 41years, introducing debutantes to society in a grand and beautiful fashion.

The debutantes began their special day with a Mother-Daughter luncheon hosted by the Southern Debutante Cotillion Board in the Beauvoir Room of the Montgomery Country Club. Retiring board member Kim Kirkham presented a welcome to the debutantes and their mothers and blessed the food. Each debutante was given a beautiful monogrammed jewelry tray to remind them of their special day.

As the evening commenced, guests were greeted by board members and guided up the staircase where they enjoyed arrangements of summer flowers woven throughout the newel posts and railings leading to the ballroom.

Upon entering the ballroom, guests were met by the talented work of Sarah Spratling and her creative team. Using seasonal flowers to fill every available space, they successfully transformed the grand ballroom into a lush summer garden for the evening. An ornate gazebo of scrolled ironwork served as the presentation area for the debutantes and was artfully adorned with large sprays of French and Limelight hydrangea from the garden of Tracye Blackwell, touches of Kiss Me Kate and blue delphiniums punctuated by Ming ferns. Floral-covered iron candelabras complemented the gazebo and added additional glow to the evening.

At the appointed hour, guests excitedly gathered to await the presentation. The mothers of the debutantes regally entered the room, signaling the Ball to begin. The Fountain City Players set an elegant mood playing soft background music as the presentation began.

Mr. Lonny Harrison, Director of Theatre at Saint James School, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening and introduced the debutantes, their presenters, and their escorts.

The debutantes, stunning in traditional white gowns and formal elbow-length gloves, each carried an artfully designed bouquet of Geraldine and Marlysee roses, Shasta daisies, colorful spray roses, and blue thistle, each crafted by Ms. Spratling.

Standing under the floral covered gazebo, each debutante was formally announced and then, gracefully guided by their father, made a traditional curtsey to guests, family and friends.

Miss Allyn Elizabeth Browning, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Steven Browning, was presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Foster Payne Middleton. Allyn is not the only Southern Debutante in her family, her sister; Paden was a Southern Debutante and was presented in 2016.

Miss Browning wore a diamond pendent necklace that belonged to grandmother on her special night. Allyn is a graduate of Saint James School and is now attending Auburn University. Miss Browning is majoring in microbiology and plans to attend physicians associate school upon graduation. She is a Phi Mu at Auburn and hopes to study abroad in Spain next summer. Allyn’s grandparents, Charles and Judy Lamon of Tuscumbia, AL, hosted out of town guests to a brunch Saturday after the ball.

Presented by her father, Miss Hannah Virginia Hale is the daughter of Ms. Claire Hannah Austin and Mr. Stan Baker Hale. Hannah’s escort for the evening was Christian Gerard Cusimano, Miss Hale carried a white beaded clutch throughout the evening belonging to her late grandmother. Hannah is a graduate of The Montgomery Academy and currently attends The University of Alabama where she is majoring in Political Science and honoring in Criminal Justice and International Relations on the Pre-Law track.

After graduating from the Capstone, Hannah plans to further her education by attending law school. Miss Hale is a member of an APA chapter on campus and is serving as the Vice President of the Alabama Panhellenic Association. She is a 2-year member of SGA, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Alumni and Event Coordinator for Greek Unite Ministries. Hannah is on the outreach team for Alabama RUF, Beat Auburn, Beat Hunger Outreach Team, Alabama Boy’s State Facilitator, University Steward, Greek Programming Board, and Pre-Law Student Association. Miss Hale currently works on campus as a student worker with the office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and a law firm in Tuscaloosa, AL. Hannah hosted a Sunday brunch at her home for her out of town guests.

Ms. Margaret Elizabeth Head is the daughter of Ms. Lara Elizabeth Lawrence and was presented by her grandfather, Mr. Henry Carl Lawrence. Margaret’s escort for her special evening was Mr. Lee Ayers Sahlie. Margaret attended Montgomery Academy and currently attends Louisiana State University. Ms. Head is a member of Chi Omega social sorority and participates in Best Buddies and Elevate. Upon obtaining her undergraduate degree, Margaret plans to attend Law School. Ms. Head wore earrings gifted to her by her mother on her special evening. It was a fun filled weekend as she hosted sorority sisters from Louisiana. Margaret was also looking forward to her trip to the Bahamas later in the summer before heading back to LSU.

Miss Bradley Ann Hicks is the daughter of Ms Michelle Bradley Hicks and Mr. Michael Granger Hicks. Bradley was presented by her father and was escorted by Mr. Preston Kass Beesley.

The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Randall McNeill, Miss Margaret Anne McNeill was present by her father and was escorted by Mr. Kenneth Dallon Wallis, IV. On her special night, Miss McNeill wore her mother’s pearl and diamond necklace that was an anniversary gift from Margaret’s father. Margaret attended Saint James School and currently attends Mississippi State University. She is a member of Phi Mu Sorority, The National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars and Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership Honor Organization. Margaret’s 79-year-old Grandmother from Chattanooga, TN and her brother from Huntsville, AL were among the out of town guests.

Presented by her father, Miss Hayden Randolph Tipton is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Laurence Buell Tipton, III. Her escort for the evening was Mr. Grayson Thomas Woodling. Hayden attended Trinity Presbyterian School and is currently attending Auburn University where she is majoring in Business/Marketing. On Hayden’s special night, she wore the same white gloves her sister, Mary Stuart Tipton, wore when she was presented in 2018.

Miss Anna Lee Tucker is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rocky Dale Farmer and Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Keith Tucker. Anna was presented by her father and Mr. Michael Scott Nicklaus, II was her escort for the evening. Miss Tucker attending Trinity Presbyterian School and currently attends Auburn University where she was accepted into the school of nursing. Anna is a member of Tri Delta Sorority and was selected as a Pi Chi Recruitment Counselor for Auburn Panhellenic. Miss Tucker hosted a meet and greet in her home for fifteen out of town guests, including her sorority sisters and other Auburn University friends.

Presented by her father, Miss Laurie Ileen Wakefield, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Gid Wakefield. Mr. Robert Eugene Dickinson junior escorted Miss Wakefield for her special evening.

The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Lee Weverink, Miss Sydney Ann Wevenrink was presented by her father and escorted by Mr. Logan Brooks Goree. Sydney attended Macon East Academy and currently attend Auburn University and is majoring in Apparel Merchandising and minoring in Marketing. Sydney holds a position in her sorority as a chaplet representative on conduct committee. She served as a Pi Chi Recruitment Representative this summer and is a member of the Apparel Merchandising and Design Association of Auburn. Sydney attended a marketing internship in Arkansas with an IT staffing company.

In late July, she started another internship with a showroom for Atlanta market. Many of Sydney’s guests traveled from out of town, including Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, and Fairhope,

After the beautiful presentation, the night’s festivities began with a father-daughter dance. The debutante’s escort quickly tapped in allowing the fathers and mothers a quick spin around the dance floor before it was opened to all. The Fountain City Players entertained the crowd throughout the night with fabulous music, and brought everyone to the dance floor to celebrate with the 2021 debutantes, their family and many, many friends.