Bowling –Huray

Lauren Elise Bowling and close friend Sarah Watson Ofner saw John Matthew Hurray around Dallas and wondered if he was a mutual friend’s older brother. In October 2004, Lauren and Sarah approached Matt asking: “Hey! Are you Christian’s brother?” This wasn’t the opening line that Matt expected.

Even though Lauren and Matt had both attended Vanderbilt, it wasn’t until their paths crossed in Dallas that they met and started dating. Lauren held a Mardi Gras party with her roommate and invited Matt to attend. Matt showed up with a big smile and a bottle of Southern Comfort – a proper toast for a Mardi Gras party. That night the two shared their first kiss.

In January 2009, Matt surprised Lauren with a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico as an early Valentine’s Day present. Shortly before sunset, Matt suggested they go for a stroll on the beach. The two found a rock pier on the corner of the property and sat down to watch the sun set over the Pacific. While watching, Matt got down on one knee and asked Lauren for her hand in marriage. Amidst elation and tears Lauren was able to squeeze out a very happy “yes.”

On April 17, 2010 Lauren and Matt decided to wed at historic St. Patrick’s Church.

Lauren wore a Monique Lhuillier white peau de soie strapless gown adorned with a knotted tulip bodice and modified A-line skirt. The back of the gown had a train with two streamers that rested on top. During the ceremony, Lauren wore a Monique Lhuillier pearl and crystal bolero to cover her shoulders. Both pieces were purchased from Kleinfeld in New York City. Her veil was “something borrowed” from bridesmaid Amy Powers Cook. Lauren also wore “something old” – an antique white gold and diamond bracelet that belonged to her great-grandmother Celeste Arnoult and both her maternal and paternal grandmothers’ wedding bands. Stephen Sonnier of Dunn & Sonnier created the flowers for the ceremony and reception, including Lauren’s bouquet of white Phalaenopsis orchids.

The bridesmaids wore Coren Moore dresses in Caribbean blue silk faille. Each chose a different style dress and wore white silk Shantung and dotted tulle wraps to cover their shoulders – gifts from Lauren. They carried hand-tied bouquets of white peonies, freesia and roses tucked into the base of a hydrangea.

Matt wore a white linen suit purchased from Perlis and a blue tie with nautical knots symbolizing “tying the knot” purchased from Vineyard Vines. The groomsmen also wore white linen suits purchased from Perlis. Each groomsman wore a different blue tie from Vineyard Vines – gifts from the groom.

Lauren and Matt love the history of the French Quarter, especially the Cabildo. In 2003, Lauren attended a bicentennial party at the Cabilo and fell in love with the space.

The Cabildo’s entrance gates were decorated with wreathes of hydrangea, peonies and roses. The staircase to the second and third floors was draped in ligustrum garland and accented at the high points with antique green hydrangea. The sign-in table, food station and guest table arrangements consisted of hydrangeas, delphinium, Casablanca lilies, irises, white parrot tulips and Magnolia foliage.

Before the ceremony, Lauren and her bridesmaids went to the French Quarter where Elizabeth Dondis took artistic pictures. As a surprise, Lauren and Matt took pictures in the Cabildo’s cupola. 

A jazz trio played on the second floor of the Cabildo and Powerhouse played R&B music on the third floor.

Daktoa-Cuvee Events created the catering for the reception. Hors d’oeuvres included oyster shooters, crabcakes, duck confit, beet truffles and grazing tables consisting of a variety of cheeses, olives, spreads and paté. The main selection of food consisted of veal grillades, garlic-cheese grits, crawfish etouffee, shrimp-crabmeat stuffed mirliton, Rockefeller-stuffed breast of chicken, lollipop lamb chops, pork tenderloin and crabmeat-brie soup.

To add a little bit of variety for the guests, sushi from Kyoto was served on the third floor along with “late night” sliders and vanilla milk shakes.

Melissa’s Fine Pastries created both the wedding and groom’s cakes. The wedding cake of Vanilla Chiffon with fresh strawberries included buttercream iced layers with graduate pearl décor on each layer and hand-blown sugar bubble accents.. The groom’s cake was a replica of Matt’s ski boat with a miniature Lauren and Matt water skiing from the back. The cake was Chocolate Chiffon soaked in Kahlua with Dark Chocolate Mousse and Caramel Jam.

Lauren and Matt honeymooned a week at Hermitage Bay in Antigua. Lauren is a business consultant for Attain, a boutique firm based out of Washington D.C. and Matt is an associate for the Heathcare Investment group of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The two now live in New York City.
 

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