Erin Romney and Jonathan Hunter Cazes, who goes by Hunter, met in one of the cutest ways possible: a blind date. Their mutual friend, Dathel Georges, made the comment that the two should meet, and upon hearing this Hunter wasted no time. A coffee date was set the same day and after one cup Hunter felt he had to ask Erin out again. The following evening, she accompanied him to a Hornets game. The two were inseparable from that day forward, literally, and just six months later, Hunter decided to ask Erin to marry him.
On a romantic trip to the Maldive Islands in May of 2008, Hunter decided to propose to Erin underwater. After his first plan to propose at an underwater restaurant didn’t pan out, he decided to ask her while they were scuba diving, an activity the couple loves. The following day, while they were 40 feet below the surface and drifting with the current along a beautiful reef wall, Hunter found an opening in the reef and got actually got down on one knee! He began fumbling with the ring, which was on a string around his wrist, causing Erin to think that he was having trouble with his oxygen tank. When she swam over to see what was going on, he took his mask off and asked her (through many bubbles) to marry him. Though a little taken aback at first, Erin said yes – and the fish applauded!
The ring is a rose-cut, conflict-free diamond from India, designed by Jennifer Dawes of Dawes Design, who only uses recycled gold.
The couple decided to wed on the anniversary of their first official date to the Hornets game, November 1, 2008. However, when it came time to pick where they wanted to have the wedding, things got a little complicated.
Hunter and Erin are close friends with local Federal Judge Stanwood Duval and his wife, Janet. A marriage presided over by Judge Duval was Hunter’s goal, but due to laws in the state of Louisiana, a marriage by a federal judge isn’t valid. In order to get around this, the couple explored the option of marrying on the Mississippi River, where maritime law would come into effect. To cover their bases, the couple worked to have a law passed to grant Judge Duval a one-month window to marry them. They began to like the idea of a riverboat wedding so much that they then decided on the Steamboat Natchez for their ceremony and reception (where Hunter’s stepfather, Boysie Bollinger, proposed to his mother 13 years ago).
The rehearsal dinner was a costume party held at Arnaud’s, in the Bourbon Street balcony room, on Halloween night. The groom came in dressed as a policeman with his bride-to-be in prison garb, in tow. His father appeared as Elvis, and both his mother and stepmother wore beautiful witch hats. Even the bride’s parents, in from Salt Lake City, got into the Halloween spirit by masking.
A pre-wedding reception was held on the upper Texas Deck of the Natchez as guests boarded to the sounds of the band VaVaVoom. The traditional civil ceremony took place as the Natchez cruised up the Mississippi river. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and his wife Brittany gave a reading before the couple recited their self-written vows. Erin wore a custom gown by local designer Yvonne Counce, which mimicked an Oscar de la Renta gown she loved. The gown had an antique French lace overlay covered with appliquéd antique French flowers over a powder blue satin silk underlay. She carried a stunning bouquet of French tulips, accented with long Lady Amherst pheasant tail feathers, designed by Dunn & Sonnier. The groom wore Armani, and Erin’s three sisters, who stood as bridesmaids, wore champagne gowns accented with black lace overlays.
After the couple exchanged vows, the boat turned right back toward port as the reception got underway. Rockin’ Dopsie got the crowd going as guests hit the dance floor, but not before the newlyweds danced their first dance to “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers.
Guests enjoyed a feast fit for a king, catered by K-Paul’s, and a wedding cake of three square layers covered in buttercream frosting, plus the two-layer chocolate truffle groom’s cake, both created by Maurice’s French Pastries.
By the time the boat docked and the reception came to an end, the bride and groom had to drag people from the dance floor. “It was just the best day of my life,” the bride gushes. “A perfect day.”
The bride and groom appeared the following day for their wedding brunch at The Plimsoll Club before leaving for their honeymoon in Aspen.
They currently reside in New Orleans where Erin is owner of Romney Pilates Center on Magazine Street and Hunter is an Investment/Real Estate Asset Manager for Bollinger Shipyards and co-owner of Cypress Property Group.