Once a year, St. Charles Avenue Magazineexpands its real wedding spotlights to a full wedding feature in the magazine. Each extended profile includes interviews, details and photos compiled by contributing writer Mirella Cameran. Below is the nuptials of Elise Springer Guidry and Ray Elliott Williams Jr.
Elise Springer Guidry loves strolling on a beach and picking up seashells, so when her boyfriend, Ray Elliott Williams Jr., pointed out a particular shell in her net, it was the perfect way for her to find her engagement ring. When they returned to New Orleans the following evening the couple celebrated with a family dinner at Commander’s Palace.
Elise’s mother Chickie and stepfather John Martin’s best friends, Jan and Armin Moeller (who live in Jackson, Mississippi) are Ray’s aunt and uncle. Ray was visiting Chickie and John when Elise stopped by one evening. At first sight of Elise, Ray knew she was the one, but it was a year later at the opening of Hungry Howie’s in New Orleans that he saw her for the second time and he asked her to dinner.
The couple began their wedding celebrations with a sumptuous rehearsal dinner held at Mansurs on the Boulevard in Baton Rouge. The next day, June 25, 2016, Elise and Ray were married under the ancient oaks at the beautiful Houmas House Plantation.
Elise walked down the aisle with her father Doug Guidry and stepfather John Martin to “Canon in D” played by The Original Magnolia String Quartet. The bride wore a Justin Alexander strapless A-line gown featuring floral Alençon lace from France. Her cathedral length veil, also in French Alençon lace, was borrowed from the bride’s mother’s sorority sister. Marguerite Blount and Meredith Duke, the matrons of honor, and eight bridesmaids wore blush pink gowns.
The bouquets and floral décor featured peonies, hydrangeas and roses in pinks and whites with accents of coral and citrus green.
After a cocktail hour in the lush Houmas House gardens, guests enjoyed dinner and dancing in The Pavilion to the sounds of the Phunky Monkeys.
The bride and groom played out their university rivalry – Elise attended Ole Miss and Ray LSU – with a playful groom’s cake featuring a football field with their alma maters and a score of 25 Old Miss and 6 LSU reflecting their wedding date.
Favors in Ole Miss and LSU colors incorporated the couple’s names with the date and location of their wedding on one side and “pinch me, we’re married” on the other. The groomsmen also wore LSU Tiger cufflinks.
The newlyweds honeymooned for two weeks in Hawaii and returned to Baton Rouge, where Ray is the Louisiana franchise owner of Hungry Howie’s Pizza and Elise is taking time off from her 13 year career as a teacher at McGehee’s Little Gate in the Garden District of New Orleans.
Celebrant: Reverend Dr. Donald Frampton
Bride’s Gown: The Bridal Boutique by MaeMeBridesmaids’ Dresses:Bella BridesmaidsGroom’s Suit:Perlis ClothingGroomsmen’s Attire:Rome’s TuxedosWedding & Engagement Ring:Rothschild’s DiamondsGroom’s Ring:Hannon JewelersWedding Cake:Chez Ru ReneGroom’s Cake:Gambino’s BakeryInvitations:Betty Hunley DesignsFlorist:Billy Heroman’s FlowersPhotographer:Natalie S. Miller PhotographyVideographer:Studio Vieux CarreMakeup: Luxe Esthetics by Deana
Hair: Lindsay Terrell