Carrie Lynn Bart and Austin David Weaver Marks met in sixth grade at Isidore Newman School and started dating during their junior year. The high school sweethearts decided to take a break from their romantic relationship, but wanted to maintain their friendship when they graduated. Carrie went off to Indiana University and Austin to Syracuse University, each wanting to experience college life on their own. But, during the summer before their senior year of college, they found themselves back in New Orleans and spending more time together. It wasn’t long before they were inseparable once again.
Three years later, on a trip to the Bahamas, Carrie and Austin went on a nighttime stroll on the beach. Austin led the way to a gazebo filled with candles, chocolate and flowers, then pulled out a beautiful diamond ring and asked Carrie to marry him. Later, Carrie found out that Austin had gone to lunch with her father a couple weeks before the trip to ask for her hand in marriage.
The wedding weekend began on May 29, 2010 with a Caribbean-themed welcome party hosted by Hertha Bart, Carrie’s grandmother, family and friends at the home of Vivian and Richard Cahn. The band Rudy Mills and The Caribbean Funk band added to the island atmosphere, which was carried through to mango and vodka snowballs and Caribbean-style food.
The rehearsal dinner, hosted by the groom’s parents Dr. Ronald Marks and Dr. Carolyn Weaver, was held Saturday evening at the Pelican Club. Guests second-lined from the Ritz-Carlton to the restaurant to celebrate the couple’s New Orleans heritage.
Herbert McCraver and the Pinstripes played the rehearsal dinner. Carrie’s sister, Michelle Bart, decorated second-line umbrellas and personalized handkerchiefs, and Mardi Gras beads were thrown to the crowds on Bourbon Street.
On Sunday evening, May 30, 2010, Carrie and Austin wed at the Ritz-Carlton under a bronze-tone cast iron chuppah crowned in white hydrangea, cream Tibet roses and white cymbidium orchids set among magnolias. The chuppah and all other floral arrangements were created by Urban Earth.
Rabbi Robert Loewy officiated the ceremony and was accompanied by cantorial soloist, Victoria May. Rachel Van Voorhees played a mixture of classical and traditional Jewish music during the ceremony.
Carrie wore a strapless ivory, modified mermaid gown by Vera Wang with a plethora of lilies of the valley embroidered on the skirt and a bodice wrapped with ivory grosgrain ribbon crisscrossing with bows in the back. Barrie Stevens, Carrie’s cousin and a makeup artist at Earthsavers, created her makeup and Steven Sobel styled Carrie’s hair.
She carried a traditional bouquet with a soft, cloud-like silhouette that included white hydrangea, white peonies, white double-bloom lisianthus, white parrot tulips, white cymbidium orchids, lilies of valley and green and white parrot tulips. Accents of camellia leaves complimented the bouquet and the exposed stems were hand-tied with ivory satin ribbon.
The bridesmaids wore strapless, champagne-colored long dresses with a decorative ivory bow by Bill Levkoff purchased at Pearl’s Place. Steven Sobel also styled the bridesmaids’ hair. Carrie’s sisters, Michelle and Jennifer Bart, stood as maids of honor.
Austin wore a Calvin Klein tuxedo with a white bowtie and cummerbund. The groomsmen also wore Calvin Kelin Tuxedos black bowties and cummerbunds. Jeff Good stood as Austin’s best man.
As a very special token, Carrie’s wedding ring was a family heirloom originally worn by her great-grandmother and worn by all the women in her family for their weddings.
The reception was also held at the Ritz-Carlton. Next to the photo album guest sign-in book, photos of each of Carrie and Austin’s grandparents’ and parents’ weddings were displayed.
Ice sculpture martini luges were a big hit at the reception, as were some fun hors d’oeuvres such as Indian-style fish and chips, and Shami kebab sliders on biscuits.
The dinner menu included a gravlax carving station; confit duck and foie gras ravioli; beef medallion; and blackened red fish with crushed Yukon gold potatoes and a Tabasco béarnaise sauce. The dessert stations included Ponchatoula strawberries and a coffee bar.
Deacon John and the Ivories played at the reception where the couple was introduced during their first dance to their song “At Last.”
Each table setting included a box of chocolate “red beans and rice” from Blue Frog Chocolates with a label that read “Carrie and Austin: some things just go together.”
Shirelle Royal from Royal Cakery created a traditional-style wedding cake modeled after Carrie’s grandparents’ 1957 wedding cake. The cake pulls all featured New Orleans symbols. The groom’s cake, also created by Royal Cakery, replicated a bucket of Abita beer – Austin’s favorite – created out of chocolate. The bottles were all fully edible and made of sugar.
Following the festivities of the wedding and dinner reception, members of Deacon John’s band led guests to the Jeremy Davenport Lounge where they continued their party into the early morning, dancing to the music of the Coolbone Brass Band.
Photographer Oscar Rajo and videographer Bill Blanke beautifully documented the event. Michele Adams was the wedding planner for the weekend.
Carrie and Austin spent a honeymoon in Paris before returning home to New Orleans. Carrie teaches eighth grade history at Newman, and Austin is the chief of staff at Greater New Orleans, Inc.