Pleasant Hills wedding party is fit for a future king and queen

| Saturday, April 30, 2011

Scones and tea — check.

Ladies in giant hats — check.

A cardboard cut out of Prince William and his bride Kate — check.

A group of Thomas Jefferson High School alums and their friends and family had everything they needed to watch Friday`s television coverage of the royal union of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London`s Westminster Abbey.

Altman`s Tavern in Pleasant Hills opened at 6 a.m. Friday to accommodate the more than 30 royal wedding watchers.

'It`s like buying into a Disney fairy tale myth,' said event organizer Junemarie Brandt of Jefferson Hills as she watched the wedding. 'It`s like true love conquers all. Kate went in as a girl and came out as a princess.'

'I loved the wedding,' said Tammy Logue of Jefferson Hills. 'It was a magical fairy tale. You get so engrossed watching it. It`s hard to turn away.'

Refreshments for the party also included 'biscuits' — the British term for cookies — as well as heart-shaped Dunkin` Donuts royal wedding donuts, mimosas and wedding cake made from the same recipe as Prince William`s groom`s cake. Wedding partiers washed it all down with beverage made with official Will and Kate Tea Bags.

In addition to the large hats, some of the female guests wore a replica of Kate`s 18 carat sapphire engagement ring. Party attire ranged from gowns to casual dress.

There were royal trivia and best-hat contests, and a raffle.

Brandt said it took approximately a month to organize the party with the help of Altman`s owner Rick Altman and Logue, both graduates of Thomas Jefferson High School.

'When the Will and Kate cutout arrived, my kids said, ‘Mom, you`ve lost it,`' Brandt said.

'She`s been looking forward to this since she heard the news of the wedding,' Brandt`s daughter April Brandt of the North Hills said. 'I`m so happy for her. This turnout is amazing.'

Party plans were set in motion in December when Brandt and a few friends were at Altman`s discussing a party where they`d had to watch the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer 30 years ago.

'We said we wanted to have a party, and Rick said we could have the party here,' Brandt said.

'It`s a history-making event,' Altman said. 'It gives people a chance to dress up and fantasize that they are part of the royal wedding.'

Altman donated a replica ring for a door prize.

Brandt, a 1980 Thomas Jefferson High School graduate, spent a year in England when she was a junior at West Virginia`s Bethany College, and became an expert on English culture.

'This is how I was raised — on Princess Diana and the history of England,' said April Brandt, a 2006 Thomas Jefferson High School graduate. 'There was no escaping it.'

North Huntingdon Township resident Marian Park hosted a tea party Friday morning, with guests Judy Bisig and Nancy Stove having the honor of pouring the tea. The breakfast was served on Royal Doulton china and the ladies donned vintage hats.

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