Tonya & Andrew
Many people would be incredibly offended if someone spilled a cocktail on them, but when Andrew Troy Hansel spilled his drink on Tonya Renee Cross while out with friends, it was love. To make up for his clumsiness, Andrew asked Tonya on a date and the two dated for more than three years before Andrew popped the question on Valentine’s Day – Tonya’s favorite holiday.
He made her dinner and when she finished the big meal, she wasn’t really in the mood for dessert, but Andrew insisted. He came into the room with a giant cake with “Tonya, Will You Marry Me?” written on it. He presented her with a bracelet that belonged to his late mother and let her choose her own ring from Adler’s. She picked a single solitaire with a platinum diamond band.
Tonya had thought about having the wedding in Texas, where her family is from, but in the end decided New Orleans, her newfound home, was the place she wanted to marry the love of her life. The couple knew that they wanted their wedding to be all about music and music was definitely the theme of the rehearsal dinner at Rosy’s Jazz Hall where Kermit Ruffins performed.
Andrew, partner and CEO of Eclectic Investment Management and Tonya, instructor of clinical psychology at Louisiana State University Health Science Center, were married on the Ides of March – March 15, 2008 – at First Presbyterian Church on South Claiborne Avenue. The ceremony was traditional with aspects of a Greek Orthodox ceremony, honoring Andrew’s family heritage.
Tonya looked glamorous walking down the aisle wearing a strapless organza gown encrusted with platinum, crystal and pearl detailing. Her bridesmaids wore platinum taffeta gowns in a style of their choosing, while the groomsmen donned sophisticated morning suits.
“Meade [Wenzel] did a fantastic job,” the bride says about the bouquets and floral sprays that filled the church and reception, which was held at Andrew’s parents home near the New Orleans Country Club. “It was nice to have [the reception] in a family home,” she says.
When guests arrived to the outdoor reception, they were each handed a mint julep, the bride and groom’s signature drink for the evening. Given the musical theme of the wedding, guests were treated with passed hors d’oeuvres so they could eat while dancing to the sounds of Atlanta Sound Band. And keeping with the theme, the bride and groom danced their first dance to Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” joined by the rest of the bridal party.
Tonya wanted her guests to dance all night long and did they ever! They even had to extend the band two extra hours after the newlyweds left the party because everyone was having such a blast. Fine Art Exposure Photography was on hand to capture everyone’s dance moves, giving Tonya and Andrew some very treasured memories.
Rebirth Brass Band led a second line out of the reception with the bride and groom on their way to a suite at the Ritz Carlton on Canal Street. The couple honeymooned in the Dutch Antilles, visiting Curacao and Bonaire.
Looking back on her wedding, the bride gushes, “It was everything and more! I just had a great time.” Tonya and Andrew currently reside in Uptown New Orleans. •
The bride and groom with: back row: Adam Reeves, Nicholas Hansel, Edward Keenan, Derek Hansel, Alexander Hansel, Daniel Green and Josh Goldberg; middle row: Stacey Carmen, Ashley Cross, Tara Teague, Marcy Hicks, Casey Mallory, Misty Will and Jennifer Salbolchick; and front row: Paige Breaud, Elizabeth Hansel, Corinne Hansel, Savanna Teague, Emma Hulce, Sophie Hulce and Nina Hulce.
Tonya dancing with the groom’s father, Steve Hansel and Andrew dancing with his stepmother, Dana Hansel.
Dana Hansel, Tonya Renee Cross Hansel and Andrew Troy Hansel with Steve Hansel.
The bride’s cake.