Engagement Ring: Blake designed the ring with a Houston jeweler
Bride’s & Groom’s Wedding Bands: Friend and Company
During this uncertain time, many of us have had to pause and reflect on what’s really important in life. That is exactly what happened to Elizabeth Ashland Hines and Blake Turner Odom, who found themselves in the unexpected position of having their meticulous wedding plans brought to a halt by a global pandemic. Forced to cancel their plans, they realized that being married was, at the end of the day, the only thing that mattered.
Ashland and Blake’s story began with a chance meeting at mutual friend’s house during Mardi Gras. As Ashland was leaving the party, Blake asked if he could join their group for dinner. Though he was living in Baton Rouge, Blake just knew he had to drive back to New Orleans and take Ashland out on a proper date. That date, dinner at Meril, led to more dates and a year and a half later Blake was ready to propose, which he did while on a trip with his family in Sea Island, Georgia. Wanting it to be a true family celebration, Blake had let Ashland’s parents in on the plan. After she happily said yes to his proposal outside the Cloister Hotel, her parents surprised her! The soon-to-be family all had dinner at the Georgian Room.
With this family-focused first step toward a lifetime together, it’s no wonder that Ashland and Blake’s family rallied around them as the country began to shut down due to COVID-19 just two weeks before their scheduled wedding date. Everyone came together to make a new plan – a wedding in the Hines’ garden attended by just their immediate family.
On Saturday, March 28, Ashland and Blake were married by Judge Dennis Waldron. The greenery of the garden was perfectly complemented by flowers from Meade Wenzel. Ashland looked stunning in a dress that she designed and had made by Mary Williams. While it was originally her going-away outfit, it was perfect for the small ceremony. Blake also revised the plan for his attire, wearing a dashing Norton Ditto suit he had bought for the rehearsal dinner.
Following the ceremony, everyone enjoyed caviar and champagne. To their surprise, Ashland and Blake’s close friends re-imagined a second-line, driving by the house and honking their horns. Seeing the smiles on their friends’ faces made the newlyweds’ day!
The family also re-imagined the wedding reception, transforming it from a large party to an intimate meal. Chef Sue Zemanick of ZaSu restaurant prepared a dinner for the nine people in attendance, who enjoyed gnocchi, heirloom tomato salad, red snapper and duck confit. They paired it with delicious wine from Mr. Hines’ collection. They finished dinner off with Chef Zemanick’s lemon sorbet and sugar cookies, and a two-tier wedding cake from Beth Biundo.
The day after the wedding, the couple packed up and drove to Houston, where Blake is from and where they currently live. Ashland works as the senior account manager for South House Public Relations, and Blake is a trading analyst for Enterprise Products. They plan to eventually take a honeymoon trip to France, and they look forward to a larger religious ceremony at Sacred Heart Chapel on March 27. 2021.