In June 2007, Sudie Sutter invited her good friend Abigail “Abby” Anne Gravois to attend a March of Dimes fundraiser in New Orleans. Abby wasn’t sure if she was going to accept the invitation, but after a little push from Sudie, she attended the event.
At the March of Dimes event, Abby had a fabulous time with her friends and met quite a few people – including Robert Thomas “Tom” Smith Lupo, who was one of the hosts for the evening. Although the two weren’t able to spend much time together, they made plans to go out on Tom’s boat with a couple of friends the next day. After spending the rest of the summer together, they knew that they had something special.
On Friday, April 10, 2009, Tom and Abby went for a walk along the lakeshore. After walking for a while, Abby stopped to take a few pictures of the Mardi Gras fountain, and when she turned around she found Tom on one knee.
He asked her to marry him, and she immediately said, “Yes!” The couple spent that Easter weekend celebrating with friends and family.
The couple decided to have a daytime spring wedding on May 15, 2010. As an alumnus of Jesuit High School, Tom always knew he wanted to marry at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Baronne Street. His family has ties to this church stemming from Tom’s great-grandfather, who attended Jesuit at its original Baronne Street location.
Abby wore a Paloma Blanca wedding gown of natural Alençon lace. The gown featured a wide scooped neckline, fitted bodice and an A-line skirt with Alençon lace scallops at the hem leading to a chapel-length train. Covered buttons highlighted the entire center back of the gown to the edge of the train. Instead of a traditional wedding veil, Abby wore a flower made of matching Alençon lace surrounded by Russian tulle in her hair.
Both the dress and the flower were purchased from Gabrielle’s wedding boutique in Baton Rouge. She accessorized with pearl and diamond earrings, a wedding gift from Tom. Her “something old” was her late grandmother’s rosary, which she carried with her flowers, and her “something borrowed” was a pearl and diamond bracelet from her new sister-in-law, Francesca Lupo.
The bridesmaids wore strapless, cocktail-length, silk faille, fig-colored Priscilla of Boston dresses with a diagonally draped bodice and a pleated skirt purchased from Wedding Belles. They wore matching chandelier earrings, which Abby gave them as a gift, and nude-colored shoes with silk petal details.
Tom chose New Orleans-style attire, and opted to wear a white linen suit from Perlis. The suit was paired with a fig-colored tie to match the bridesmaids’ dresses. The groomsmen, fathers and ushers also wore white linen suits from Perlis with the same fig-colored ties, which Tom gave as a gift.
Glenda Ivy created all of the flower arrangements for the wedding. Abby decided she wanted all pink flowers, but with her own flair. She choose five different types of flowers – peonies, hyacinths, tulips, sweet peas and lisianthus – and each bridesmaid held a different pink flower with a mix of green berries. The bride’s bouquet was a combination of all of their flowers plus white stephanotis. Tom wore a small stephanotis with green berries as his boutonniere. The mothers of the bride and groom each carried a of nosegay of gardenias and green berries. The groomsmen, fathers and ushers all wore green berries with their suits.
The reception was held at Broussard’s Restaurant in the French Quarter because Abby loved the courtyard and knew she wanted to have an outdoor reception to enjoy the New Orleans spring air.
Broussard’s served New Orleans favorites including: shrimp remoulade, spicy andouille sausage, mini crab cakes and parma ham and asparagus rolls for the hors d’oeuvres. Chicken and andouille gumbo, gulf fish dore, chicken and sausage jambalaya and veal medallion with artichoke marcus were options for the main selection.
Haydel’s bakery created both the wedding and groom’s cake. The wedding cake was a five-tiered almond pound cake with butter cream and assorted fruit fillings, and decorated with ribbons of off-white butter cream icing, with the bottom of each tier finished with a small beaded border of butter cream. The same flowers Abby chose for her bouquet served as a wedding topper.
The groom’s cake was a two-tiered red velvet and chocolate cake, topped with the University of Alabama logo and surrounded by chocolate dipped strawberries, which were created to look like miniature footballs.
Joe Simon’s Jazz Trio greeted guests at the reception, which featured MoJEAUX Band. Sam Gregory photographed the event, while Shannon Talamo served as videographer.
It rained on Abby and Tom’s wedding day, which is often considered good luck. A friend of the couple was able to capture some of the rainwater and gave it to the couple to be blessed and used to baptize their future children.
Guests signed a copy of Broussard’s cookbook instead of a traditional guestbook; which Abby and Tom chose to remember their reception and those who made their wedding special.
The happy couple lives in Lakeview; Abby works for Phelps Dunbar LLP as a marketing coordinator and Tom works for Lupo Enterprises as a property manager.