Sophia Claire Palley arrived at Tulane University for her freshman year, and she and her mother Jill Morawski were greeted by family friends Steven and Dana Hansel, who introduced Sophie to Cathy and Andy Burka. A year later, Sophie attended a similar welcome cocktail party and Cathy decided to bring her son along so he could meet Sophie. Casey offered his business card to Sophie – suggesting that they get together sometime. Little did she know, her future mother-in-law was acting as their matchmaker.
Sophie, then in her sophomore year, was acquainted with the local bars and restaurants in the area. When Casey first asked her out in September 2007, she suggested they meet at The Boot. On that first date they talked for almost three hours and didn’t even realize time had passed.
On July 20, 2013, Casey secretly planned a memory-making adventure at Audubon Park. Casey told Sophie that they would be meeting his family in the park and then they all would go to brunch. As the two sat on a park bench waiting for the Burkas, Casey became very quiet and suddenly dropped down to one knee to propose. While Casey was proposing a life together, he had a photographer hiding in the trees to capture the entire event – including Sophie’s tears of joy. Afterwards, he suggested that they walk over to his parents’ house to share their news, but little did Sophie know all of her best friends, including two from Connecticut, were there to celebrate their engagement. Sophie spotted her mother and sister, also from Connecticut, and was both ecstatic and honored to see how extensively and thoughtfully her future husband planned for this proposal. The entire group toasted the newly engaged couple, but Casey had even more plans up his sleeve – he arranged a brunch for everyone at The Rib Room to continue the celebration.
After a two-week long honeymoon in Thailand, the two settled into their house in Uptown. Sophie is a registered nurse at Ochsner’s Cardiac and Neuro Critical Care unit and Casey works in commercial real estate at Corporate Realty.
Bride: Sophia Claire Palley
Groom: Casey Andrew Burka
Bride’s Parents: Jill Morawski, Thomas Palley and Margarita Cereijido
Groom’s Parents: Andy and Catherine Burka
Date of Wedding: March 22, 2014
Ceremony Location: Cecile’s Crepe Myrtle Grove, Audubon Park
Reception Location: The Windsor Court
Coordinator: Grand Events New Orleans: Kenny LaCour and Laura Monk
Celebrant: Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn
Ceremony Music: Harry Hardin
Wedding Gown: Martina Liana from Town & Country
Maid of Honor: Davia Palley
Bridesmaids: Molly Giorgio, Merrin White, Ashley Lengsfield, Emily Roth, Caroline Jacobson, Cecilia Cereijido and Aden Burka
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaid
Flower Girl: Cecile Usdin
Ring Bearer: Lyle Usdin
Groom’s Attire: Perlis Tuxedo
Best Man: Aden Burka
Groomsmen: Alfredo Sanchez, Bradley Feingerts, Ryan O’Dwyer, Ben Jacobson, Dan Wright, Bond Lengsfield, Daniel Rubenstein and Martin Fischman
Ushers: Matthew Usdin and Craig Baum
Groomsmen’s and Ushers’ Attire: Tuxedos from Perlis
Rings: Friend and Co. Fine Jewelry
Florist: Giverny Design
Favor: A bottle of Connecticut maple syrup and bottle of Louisiana Hot sauce – “Sweet and Spicy!”
Caterer: The Windsor Court
Wedding and Groom’s Cake: Zoë’s Bakery
Photographer: Meg Baisden
Videographer: Bride Film
Hair: Bella Bride