While living and working in New York City, Francine Davis met New Orleans native Westervelt “Westy” Terhune Ballard one night out with friends. A year and a half later, Westy proposed at Francine’s family’s beach home in Melbourne Beach, Fla. He presented her with a radiant cut diamond in a platinum setting, flanked by two diamond trapezoids, a ring he designed with the help of Tommy Aucoin of Aucoin Hart Jewelers.

For most of their relationship, the two lived in New York City but when Westy moved back to his hometown of New Orleans for a new job, Francine soon followed. So it only made sense to have the wedding in – where else? – The Big Easy.

Francine liked the idea because she and all of her friends hail from the West Coast, and most of them had never been to New Orleans.

The rehearsal dinner took place at Arnaud’s, where guests enjoyed a traditional Arnaud’s menu, including Shrimp Arnaud for an appetizer and chantarelle veal or trout with lump crabmeat as the choice for entrées. A jazz band was on hand for guests to enjoy traditional New Orleans music. The night before the wedding, Westy’s aunts and uncles gave the couple a fantastic party at the home of Anne and Billy Grace on St. Charles Avenue.

The couple exchanged vows in a simple but elegant ceremony Uptown at Trinity Episcopal Church. The bride walked down the aisle in a creation designed by her friend and college classmate from Loyola Marymount University, fashion designer Monique Lhuillier. The gown was a stunning confection of antique French lace, V-cut down the front with a low-cut back. Having worked for In Style and Lucky magazines in New York, the fashion-savvy bride knew exactly how she envisioned her gown. She also wore pearl and diamond jewelry purchased at Friend & Co. in New Orleans, and Jimmy Choo shoes.

Francine, not wanting to go a traditional route, chose to have one attendant stand for her: her maid of honor Linda McDonough, who wore a sleek black Michael Kors gown. Seven of Francine’s closest friends also represented her, each wearing black gowns of their own choosing.

Similarly, Westy had his two best men, James Reiss and Perry Eastman, stand for him. Wearing their own tuxedos, seven of his closest friends also represented the groom.

Following the ceremony, guests joined the couple for a reception at the Ballard family home in the Garden District. Guests enjoyed cocktails and dishes such as Creole crab cakes, flash-fried oysters, seared ahi tuna, mushroom truffles, jumbo gulf shrimp, roasted tenderloin in pinot noir sauce, shrimp ravigote, various risotto and gnocchi dishes. There was also an antipasto bar, and crepe and seafood stations.

BRW performed for guests, playing all kinds of music including jazz and songs from a playlist Westy chose himself. The couple danced their first dance to Etta James’ “At Last.”

The cake, created by Zoë’s Bakery, was a six-tier wound layered cake inspired by Wedgwood. The layers mirrored the textures in Francine’s gown, with each layer a different flavor including chocolate, carrot, almond and lemon. Zoë’s also did a fantastic job creating the groom’s cake, a giant replica of a Mount Gay Rum bottle – Westy’s favorite drink.

The newlyweds honeymooned at the One & Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. The couple will reside in New Orleans where Westy works as the Vice President of Corporate Development for Superior Energy Services and Francine works at the News Desk at WWL-TV.
Davis - Ballard Wedding
The groomsmen: Andre Hooper, John Randle, Christopher Kerr, Richard Montgomery, Michael LeBourgeois, Perry Eastman and James Reiss; and the bridesmaids: Julie Riven, Leilani Augustine, Lisa Fitzgibbons, Linda McDonough (front), Tracy Matthews (back) Shannon Bornheimer and Tasha Pappas; with the bride and groom.
Davis - Ballard Wedding
Back row: Bill Walsh, Westervelt Ballard Sr., Charles and Helen LeBourgeois. Middle row: Eleanor Walsh, Cecile Walsh, Mrs. Cecile Ballard, Westy Ballard Jr., Francine Davis Ballard, Kate Werner (holding Thomas Werner) and John Werner. Front row: Liam Walsh, Clay LeBourgeois, Caroline LeBourgeois and Jack Werner.