In each issue, St. Charles AvenueMagazine highlights the real wedding of a local New Orleans couple. The “With This Ring” section includes details and photos of the couple and their Big Day. Below is the nuptials of Ashley Whitworth and Mark Stich written by Avenue contributor Mirella Cameran.
When Ashley Whitworth set off to spend a week in the Hamptons in the summer of 2014, she thought the only love affair she was going to have was with her young niece and nephew.
She stayed with her brother Scott, his wife Lisle and their two children Rhett and Wesley, and, as serendipity would have it, some family friends dropped by for drinks one night. The group included Mark Stich, and they stayed for hours. The next night, when Mark invited Ashley for dinner and then to see a band, she didn’t think of it as a date and kept trying to pay for herself. Mark refused, and said she could only treat him if it were in her own town (where she was living) of Los Angeles. Ashley agreed, and Mark bought an airplane ticket to L.A. there and then, in the wee hours of the morning in a bar. The next day Mark had no buyer’s remorse; he phoned Ashley to say he was still coming to see her.
One trip turned into many, and Mark continued to commute from Houston to L.A. to visit Ashley. About one year later, during dinner at her house, Mark dropped to his knee and asked Ashley to be his wife.
Ashley, originally from Austin, Texas, was keen to invite her family and friends to New Orleans, where Mark grew up, for the wedding.
The wedding party enjoyed a sumptuous rehearsal dinner at Arnaud’s, owned by Archie Casbarian, a friend of Mark’s from school.
On Saturday, August 27, 2016, Ashley’s father, Flip Whitworth, walked his daughter, Anne Ashley Whitworth, down the aisle of Trinity Episcopal Church to “Trumpet Voluntary” by Clarke, to marry Mark Nathan Stich.
Guests then joined the couple for a reception at the New Orleans Country Club, which was decorated, as was the church, by florist and designer Kim Starr Wise. Ashley and Mark enjoyed their first dance as a couple to Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable.” They also celebrated with all their guests with a traditional second-line.
Many of Mark’s childhood friends where involved in the wedding, including Tommy Aucoin, of Aucoin Hart, who helped Mark and Ashley with the engagement and wedding rings. Ashley’s step-uncle, Bishop John Shelby Spong, officiated the ceremony.
Mark and Ashley are living in Houston, Texas. Mark, a former New Orleans Police Officer, is now an attorney with the maritime gas and oil company Pacific Drilling. Ashley is an elementary school teacher with a master’s degree as a reading specialist. They are due to go on honeymoon for two weeks in December to Vietnam.
Scott Whitworth (bride’s brother), Lisle Whitworth, Nancy Whitworth-Soong (bride’s mom), Ashley Whitworth, Mark Stich, Flip Whitworth (bride’s father), his wife Suzanne Whitworth, Rhett Whitworth (ring bearer) and Wesley Whitworth (flower girl)
Steve Stich, Ashley Whitworth, Mark Stich and Leona Stich.
Wedding Gown: Vera Wang
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Dessy from Weddington Way
Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Attire: Perlis
Wedding Coordinator: Claudia Kelleher
Invitation: Colorbox Dallas, Texas
Wedding and Groom’s Cake: Pure Cake
Photographer: Archtype, Galveston
Hair: Heather Mahoney, H20 Northshore
Make-up: Kris Lombardo
Music: Sha’on and the Girls with Success