NLR woman finds love and celebrates engagement with a proper British Tea party

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Sir Jim Peckham, Lady Dena, Lady Lisa and Sir Charles Hutchison.
Lady Dena, Lady Valerie and Sir John Peckham.
(Left) Dena Dixon of North Little Rock, Fay Brown of Little Rock, Martha Cantrell of Sheridan, Ruth Grisham of North Little Rock, and Stephanie Rushing of Sheridan. Elsie Dixon is in the Middle bottom of the photo.
Sir Evan Peckham with lady Elizabeth and sir Jeff Jordan.
Jim Peckham of Maumelle and Dena Dixon of North Little Rock recently held a British Tea Party to celebrate their engagement announcement. Here they are climbing the steps at Lakewood Lake in North Little Rock where the party was held.
Here is Sir Jim Peckham and Lady Dena Dixon with Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 2 1960.

Many people who pass the 50-year barrier and have never found love sometimes never do; or, many found it but ended up down the painful pathway of divorce, resulting in a cynical outlook on life and especially romance.

But not Dena Dixon, 52, of North Little Rock. Dixon is on the road to holy matrimony after a lifetime so far of never being married.

But that all changed when her now fiance, Jim Peckham, of Maumelle, decided to pop “the Question” shortly after Thanksgiving.

The couple had been dating for three years.

Dixon said she accepted the marriage proposal and she cannot express how happy it made her.

“He is my knight in shining armor,” said Dixon.

Peckham is a knight.

Peckham said he had been alone for many years and thought he would stay that way.

“But Dena came into my life and I have never been happier and never want to be alone again,” Peckham said.

The couple have not set a date yet but are planning to be married in Scotland, according to Dixon.

Dixon said she wanted a special party to celebrate her upcoming marriage and decided to hold a proper British Tea Party on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Lakewood Hospitality House at Lakewood Lake in North Little Rock.

“I had started planning this started four weeks,” Dixon said, who said her fiancé was fine with having a proper British Tea Party.

The couple invited 130 people and 120 attended with friends and family wearing their proper attire.

Dixon said, “The dress code fit for Kings and Queens, Lords and Ladies.”

The event was a vintage-style engagement tea, with a Traditional English afternoon tea.

“Traditionally, these events include doormen in top hats and gloves who would usher guests into the tea room, which would have been overflowing with sweets and savories, tea biscuits, and scones with jam,” Dixon said.

If the Queen was a guest, she would wear a fine large tea hat, and her body guard, called a “Royal Beefeater”, would attend with her. Ladies always wore their finest tea hats as well, however, tea hats were only allowed until 6 pm, and a fine lady would never wear her tea hat to a dinner event, Dixon said.

“Gentlemen were also a part of afternoon teas,” Dixon said.

“They would wear their classic Prince Charlie Jackets, suitable for every Highland outfitter, as well as for Irish and Welsh dress.”

While Highland dress can be worn for many different occasions, it’s important for a gentleman to choose the correct type of dress for an afternoon tea.

“In this case, the classic Prince Charlie Jacket and a tartan kilt is a perfect selection. Kilts include the decorative kilt pin on the apron of a gentleman’s kilt, along with their ‘skeendoo’, a small bladed dagger with a decorative end that peeks out just above the top of the gentleman’s right sock,” Dixon said.

For this event, the British Motoring Car Club of Arkansas brought their finest assortment of vintage and modern British cars to honor “Sir” Peckham and “Lady” Dixon. Vehicles included a Triumph Spit Fire, a TR3, a TR6, a Morgan, a Jaguar, a Rolls Royce, and a collection of modern mini Coopers.

Dixon said she was surprised at the feedback she received.

“I still keep getting calls and emails about how much people enjoyed it and from others who wished they could have been there,” Dixon said.

Dixon said she isn’t British but liked the idea of a proper tea party.

“I am Norwegian. I have loved this kind of stuff all my life.”

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