When Mary Lou and Bill Christovich asked Claudia Kelleher and I over to discuss a beautiful party that they wanted to have for all of their family, friends and co-workers (including those involved with their myriad philanthropic activities), we were overwhelmed by their excitement and their hands-on approach. From invitations to party lists, to food choices, to cake and decorations! Celebrating their 60th anniversary is a great accomplishment in itself, and to see how much this couple adores each other is inspirational!

First, we went to Betty Hunley and designed several invitation choices. They chose a picture of the two of them in Pass Christian, Miss., on the beach where Mary Lou is looking very “coy” – we even had a stamp made of the two of them to place on the invitation. The Christoviches have so many different friends from all of the boards on which they have served – Bill has served on numerous boards including Tulane Law School, as former managing partner of Christovich and Kearney, as past chair of the Louisiana State Museum and as past-president of the New Orleans and International Association of Defense Lawyers just to name a few. Mary Lou is chairman of the board of the Kemper and Leila Williams Foundation, founding member of the Friends of the Cabildo and Save Our Cemeteries and co-author of six volumes on New Orleans Architecture.

Fred Starr and his orchestra wowed guests. The cake was created by Swiss Confectionery Bakery, the same bakery that made the Christoviches’ wedding cake 60 years ago. Before the cake and the ever-popular chocolate fountain, there were delicacies including lambchops, a steamboat round of beef, crabmeat, shrimp and, of course, champagne.

The biggest surprise for Bill was Mary Lou popping out of a 10-foot-tall cake designed by Mardi Gras Productions.

Right before Mary Lou and Bill’s first dance, Fred Starr created a flourish while Bill was standing near the band, and the staff rolled out the giant cake with Mary Lou standing in the center! What a great surprise for Bill and everyone else at the party. Afterward they began the dancing, and everyone joined in. What a night!