Although Kathryn “Katie” Carrère Smallpage and Thomas Cameron Gilly both grew up in New Orleans, and knew each other casually in high school, it took old-fashioned college football pride to finally unite the happy couple. “We started really hanging out our junior year during football season,” says the bride. While attending the University of Alabama, the two hit it off at a Georgia game and the rest is history. After graduation they both returned to New Orleans, she to pursue a teaching vocation at Trinity School, and he to launch his career in the marine sales industry.

It wasn’t long after that when Thomas popped the question at her mother’s home on May 2, 2008. The engagement ring has a beautiful antique setting, with the center stone originally belonging to his grandmother. This heirloom ring set the tone for their wedding; nearly everything worn by the bride belonged to preceding generations of women in her family.

The early fall wedding took place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 13, 2008. St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church was the locale chosen by the bride. “I grew up there,” she says, “and it’s where my parents were married.” The bride wore her mother’s wedding gown, a stunning pearl and lace dress with an empire waist, squared neckline and cap sleeves. The dress was purchased by her mother in New York more than 30 years prior.

 The bride also wore her great-grandmother’s veil and sea pearls, a family tradition carried out by all the women in Katie’s family. “So I had my something old and my something borrowed,” laughs the bride. The bridesmaids wore black strapless gowns with short bubble hems and green floral sashes.

In lieu of tuxedos, the groom and his groomsmen opted for less formal attire. The gentlemen wore white linen suits, completed with NOLA Couture ties with hurricane symbols, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the couple getting hitched during hurricane season.

Down the aisle, the bride carried a bouquet of gardenias, roses and hydrangeas, created by Meade Wenzel Flowers, while the bridesmaids carried simple bouquets of hydrangeas only. The couple said “I do” to a large wedding crowd, full of their family, friends and other loved ones.

After the ceremony, the celebration continued at the New Orleans Country Club, where guests gathered for the reception. The bride opted for simple décor and instead of flowers everywhere chose a fresh approach with what she describes as “lots of greenery.” The NOCC catered the soiree, where guests enjoyed lamb chops, various crabmeat dishes and an open bar. Atop the bride’s list of food for the evening, however, was the Lucky Dog stand, a truly New Orleans touch. “I didn’t eat much at the reception,” jokes the bride, “but I definitely made sure to grab a Lucky Dog on the way out!”

Guests danced the night away to the sounds of Harvey Jesus and Fire, who played the best of oldies tunes to the delight of the happy couple. When it came time to cut the cake, they went traditional with five-tiers and butter cream icing, and her initials in green piping. The groom’s cake, much to the humor of the bride and guests, was festive indeed: a yellow cake with chocolate butter cream icing, all topped of with an actual pair of shrimp boots.

After the wedding and joyous reception, the couple honeymooned in Mexico, returning after the weeklong trip to their jobs and home in Uptown New Orleans. The bride says the whole thing was a great experience and a carefree success.
“We’d definitely do it all over again. We had such a blast!”