In January 2009, during a busy family trip to Disney World, Gregory Paul Aycock proposed to Emily Gibson Smith, his longtime girlfriend, in a place where dreams do come true.
The two met in the fall of 2002 while Emily was in her second year at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Emily expressed interest in Greg to a mutual friend who then invited both of them to a Halloween Party.
This encounter was the reason why Emily and Greg decided to marry on October 31, 2009.
During the rehearsal dinner at the Hubbard Mansion, Greg’s brother and best man, Jamie Aycock, made a photomontage of baby pictures of the couple; Jamie wanted to showcase the similarities the two had before they even met. Pictures included first birthdays, messy-faced food pictures and pictures with Santa Claus. The gift was a touching way to begin the celebration of Emily and Greg’s matrimony.
The couple married at Trinity Episcopal Church on Jackson Avenue, which Emily attended growing up. Emily and her mother, Karen Smith, decided on special music for the ceremony and asked the soprano Diane Jennings to perform “O Mio Babbino Caro” by Puccini just before the entrance of the wedding party. The flowers girls, Rachael Aycock and Emma Preston, tripped down the aisle, literally, to “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. The bride entered to the breathtaking Simon and Garfunkel’s piece “For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her,” the same music the groom’s parents danced to at their wedding.
Emily wore an exquisite princess style V-neck gown that was selected at Yvonne LaFleur and adorned with antique Italian ivory satin underlay with ivory Alençon lace over it. The gown had a sweeping train, with a convenient French bustle in the back, for the reception, and a matching sash that tied in front. In her hair, she wore a combination of satin and organza ribbons, accented with a large Swarovsky crystal ornament with crystals attached to the tips that she found in Boston. The hairdresser wove ribbons throughout Emily’s curls.
Most brides tend to stick to the “Something old …” tradition, but Emily pointed out that the actual end of that saying is supposed to be “And a six-pence in your shoe.” Emily had an actual six-pence in her shoe, provided by Yvonne LaFleur. Emily’s “something old” was a cameo that belonged to her mother-in-law, Patricia Ernst; it had been handed down from Ernst’s mother. She borrowed her mother’s pearls to fulfill the need of something borrowed. A locket, which Emily’s mother-in-law gave her as a graduation present, was attached to her bouquet for something blue; inside was a picture of Emily’s parents and Greg’s parents on their respective wedding days. Of course, Emily’s lovely gown, shoes and even her husband acted as her something new!
The bridesmaids’ dresses were simple black dresses with scooped necklines, accented by orange sashes, purchased at Watters Bride line in Baltimore. The flower girls wore white organza tea-length dresses with fitted bodices and full skirts trimmed with a pocket filled with floating black petals. Greg and his groomsmen wore tuxedos from Men’s Warehouse because of the ease of having all of his groomsmen fitted all over the country.
Greg’s father James Aycock, a retired Episcopal minister, blessed the happy couple during the ceremony. The celebration then proceeded to the reception that was held at the Orleans Club. Guests dined on hors d’oeuvres, seafood and other locally inspired dishes.
The bride’s cake, a four-layer almond cake topped with flowers, was designed by Epsy Hennesy; the flower and stenciling was an interpretation based on the wedding invitation. The groom’s cake was a Dutch chocolate cake with chocolate icing to look like Batlimore’s icon, “The Natty Boh Guy;” it was created by Stephanie Kreamer, a co-worker of Emily’s at Michael’s, as a wedding gift.
The Full Circle, a band from Baton Rouge, performed rock and popular tunes, which kept the guests dancing late. Emily and Greg had their first dance as a newly married couple to an acoustic version of the Beatles’ “In My Life,” performed by Roland Miller and Steve Gopaul, two of Greg’s groomsmen. The couple wanted to share this special moment with two people they cared about and had such musical talent.
Greg and Emily currently reside Uptown and Emily works as a framer at Michael’s Arts and Crafts in Harahan. Greg is a field supervisor for the Old City Building Center and the LA Green Corps. These two groups, along with the Alliance for Affordable Energy, work with at-risk 17- to 24-year-olds in New Orleans and train them to find greener construction jobs.