St. Charles Avenue’s Weddings
St. Charles Avenue magazine is delighted to present its 16th compendium of our curated selection of locals’ weddings. Whether you’re in the midst of planning your own wedding, dreaming of one in the future or just like to view how people have celebrated their “big days,” you can find inspiration, beauty and those special touches that only New Orleanians add to their weddings, all in the following pages.
Victoria Michelle Cambise was on Bumble, a dating app, one day when Aaron Michael Williams’ profile appeared on her screen. Victoria sent Aaron a causal “Hey, what’s up?” and the two texted back and forth on the app for a few weeks before setting up a date.
Their first date was at a Mexican restaurant, followed by miniature golf at City Park. The two made a bet that the loser would buy the next two rounds, and Victoria lost by one stroke! From there, they went to the Bulldog in Mid-City, followed by Tchoup Yard. Finally, Aaron said he wanted to show Victoria one of his favorite spots in the city, the Port of New Orleans.
Within a few months, Victoria had introduced Aaron to her parents, and her father knew that this relationship was different. Not long after, her father became ill. Aaron visited him privately in the hospital and confided that he intended to spend the rest of his life with Victoria. Aaron shared the details of the conversation with Victoria’s mother after her father passed away, and he proposed the next month, on their one-year anniversary.
For the proposal, Aaron tried to recreate their first date; unfortunately, Victoria had to leave work later than expected. The two met up at the NOPSI Hotel for champagne, then Tchoup Yard to have a drink and then went to the Port of New Orleans. After a few selfies and conversation about the past year, they were walking back to the car when Aaron stopped on the railing and got down on one knee. Aaron had arranged for photographer Oscar Rajo to hide behind the statue, and a dear family friend, Joey, flew his drone over their heads, so the whole moment was captured!
Of course, Victoria said “Yes!” and the planning began. She and Aaron chose a New Orleans gem in the Garden District, the private room above Tracy’s on Magazine Street, for the rehearsal. Chef John Folse created a special menu that brought the couple’s favorites together with a real New Orleans feel.
On November 10, 2018, Victoria walked down the aisle of St. Francis of Assisi Church carrying a locket with a photo of her late father. After being married by Reverend Kenneth Allen, the couple headed for their reception at the New Orleans Country Club.
Victoria and her mother, Terry, a wedding planner, chose The New Orleans Country Club because it has multiple rooms. They took all Victoria’s wishes for her big day and created a different experience in every room, ensuring that Victoria had everything she dreamed of for a romantic, elegant and timeless celebration. The NOCC prepared the menu, which included crispy fried oysters with Crystal beurre blanc, crabmeat ravigote, Beijing duck crepes and butternut squash bisque. La Louisiane Bakery stunned guests with a gorgeous cake. Victoria and Aaron danced their first dance to Aaron Lewis’ “Tangled up in You.” The band, A-Town A-List, kept the guests on the dance floor all night. The band and guests were caught by surprise when the groom got up and sang a few lyrics, too! Guests who stayed late into the evening were treated to petit grilled cheese and thin-cut fries. Artist Frenchy created a live painting of the event, giving the couple a special memory to last a lifetime.
After the wedding, Victoria and Aaron, who love the tropics, spent a week-long honeymoon in Barbados. They live in New Orleans, where Victoria is in the event and hospitality industry and Aaron is a nuclear operator for Entergy Nuclear-Waterford 3.
Coordinator: Terry Cambise Wedding & Event Consulting with the help of industry friends Wyeth Furlong, Lisa Lafrance, Kim Starr Wise, Colleen Page and Krystal Touchet
Ceremony Music: Seth Board (tenor), Dreux Montegut (organ), Harry Hardin (violin), Natalia Cascante (violin), Susan Boldissar (cello), Steven Orejudos (trumpet), Craig Heinzen (trumpet) and Guy Gauthreaux (timpani)
Wedding Gown: Monique Lulliha, Joan Pillow, Buckhead Atlanta, Georgia
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy for Bella Bridesmaid, Bella Bridesmaids, Covington, LA
Groom’s Attire: Custom made from Luca Falcone
Groomsmen’s attire: Perlis Clothing
Engagement Ring, and Bride’s and Groom’s Wedding Bands: Aucoin Hart
Florist: Kim Starr Wise (reception); Ambrose Garden (church & personals)
Décor: Luminous Events (rehearsal, ceremony & reception)
Rentals: Event Rentals
Linens: Event Rental, La Tavola Fine Linen & Table Wraps
Invitation: Scriptura; Maria Helena (calligraphy)
Photographer: Oscar Rajo; Paul Morse
Videographer: Studio Vieux Carré
Hair: Erin Guarisco & Nicole Klein,
The Parlour Salon
Makeup: Tisa Comet
Alvin Adam “Pepper” Baumer III was meeting friends at Superior Seafood for a drink when he noticed Katie Ann Deshautreaux. Knowing he couldn’t let her get away, Pepper walked over and asked when Katie was going to let him take her to dinner. That first dinner together took place at Cavan, followed by drinks at Barrel Proof. From then on, they were a couple.
Almost two years later, Pepper was planning a proposal and knew the timing had to be just right. He had to change his plan a little because Katie’s grandmother wanted to go to Beau Rivage for her 80th birthday, so the proposal ended up happening on January 18 – when the interstate was closed due to the hard freeze. Katie finally made it to Pepper’s house Uptown after work for an “event at Commander’s” (a family restaurant), and when she went inside he had the back doors open and was outside in the yard with champagne and flowers on a white tablecloth that his cousins Sally and Lindsey helped him set up! Of course, Katie said “Yes!” and they began to plan their wedding celebration.
Though an event at Commander’s was just a ruse on the night of the proposal, Katie and Pepper played no such tricks on their guests. Their rehearsal dinner was held in the Garden Room of Commander’s. The elegant atmosphere set the tone for the black-tie wedding, which took place on January 26, 2019, at Our Lady of The Rosary Church. The church has been one of Katie’s favorites since she was a child, and she walked down its aisle wearing an Anne Barge Camelot Gown with custom sleeves from I Do Bridal Couture. Father H.L. Brignac pronounced Pepper and Katie husband and wife.
Katie, Pepper and their guests then headed to Metairie Country Club for a reception, where they passed out pepper hats and flower crowns to add to the festive feel of the evening. Metairie Country Club created an elegant selection of food that included lamb Bolognese, parmesan risotto and tuna wontons. As the night continued, the couple cut a delicious wedding cake created by La Louisiane Bakery and danced their first dance to their favorite song, “Best of My Love” by the Emotions. Katie and Pepper then treated guests to some late-night snacks: chicken tenders and mini burgers!
The newlyweds visited Anguilla for a six-day honeymoon, enjoying the tropical scenery while not being too far from home. They then returned to New Orleans, where both are involved in family companies. Pepper is COO of Baumer Foods Inc, and Katie is an Operation Administrator at Gallo Mechanical, LLC.
Coordinator: Elizabeth Burkhardt
Ceremony Music: Brian “Seth” Board
Wedding Gown: Anne Barge Camelot Gown with custom sleeves, I Do Bridal Couture
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo Madelyn Gowns in black, Wedding Belles New Orleans
Groom’s Attire: Custom velvet shawl collar, Luca Falcone
Groomsmen’s attire: Black shawl collar,
Engagement Ring: Pepper’s mother’s emerald cut stone, reset at Wellington and Co.
Bride’s & Groom’s Wedding Bands:
Wellington & Co.
Florist: The Plant Gallery
Invitation: Paper N’ Things, Baton Rouge
Wedding & Groom’s Cakes: La Louisiane Bakery
Photographer: We Are The Rylands
Hair: Julie Brauner and Allison Groetsch,
Makeup: Katie Malone Make Up
Music: Surround Sound Band
When Caroline Alder Kappelman matched with Nigel Bruce Rafferty on a dating app, a mutual friend insisted were a perfect fit and that they meet right away. So the weekend before Jazz Fest, Nigel and his dog, Booker, met Caroline at The Bulldog for a drink. Nigel wouldn’t date someone who didn’t love his dog, and by the end of the afternoon Caroline was Booker-approved!
Caroline and Nigel are both big Jazz Festers, so some of their first dates were at the fest and at night shows. They both knew sparks were flying when they danced together at the Saenger Theater to George Porter Jr. covering the Grateful Dead’s “Sugaree” onstage with Gov’t Mule. Caroline and Nigel spent much of the remaining days by each other’s side, and by the end of the weekend they were a couple.
Exactly three years after that first Jazz Fest, Caroline and Nigel were on Easter holiday in the south of France. After a long day of dealing with a broken-down rental car, they finally ended up on the beach at sunset in Nice. There, Nigel popped the question with a ring that had the same ring setting Nigel’s paternal grandfather and namesake had given his grandmother, Brucie Rafferty. Of course, Caroline said “Yes!”
Caroline and Nigel wanted a unique, laid-back vibe to their wedding that reflected their personality as a couple, and Belinda Belk with Blue Gardenia Events joined forces with the mother of the bride, Julie Adler McAndrews, to give them the wedding of their dreams. Festivities began at with a rehearsal at Nigel’s parents’ home. The amazing party included lots of food, drinks, fun and of course Sam the Oyster man, a Rafferty family staple, shucking oysters..
The celebration continued the next day at Il Mercato, where both the wedding and the reception were held under a picturesque sunset. Though it’s an unspoken rule that nobody should upstage the bride on her big day, one member of the wedding party didn’t get the memo. Booker, the “Best Dog,” stole the show as he sauntered down the aisle on March 30, 2018. Standing with his fellow groomsmen, he looked on in approval as his parents were married by Caroline’s uncle, Judge Scott Gardner.
After the ceremony, guests were treated to a feast by Joel Catering and watched the newlyweds cut a beautiful cake created by PURE Cake. The guitar-shaped groom’s cake told the story of the couple’s mutual love of music. For their first dance, Caroline and Nigel wanted to recreate the magic of dancing to “Sugaree” at the Saenger. Not only did they want to dance to that song, they wanted George Porter Jr. to sing it. Everyone at their wedding got a taste of real New Orleans funk, as George Porter Jr. and his Runnin’ Pardners played the first dance and then kept the dance floor going all night long! Then Caroline and Nigel, with tambourines in hand, departed the reception in a sea of bubbles and rode in their pedicab chariot down the street to the Tchoup Yard, where they, along with their closest friends and family, continued the party well into the early morning.
After the wedding, the couple enjoyed a ten-day honeymoon to Northern Italy – Lake Como, Tuscany, Milan and Cinque Terre. The cherry on top of an already-sweet trip was a quick trip to Paris. They then returned to New Orleans, where they live Uptown. Nigel owns a Creative Services company called Nouvelleo Creations, and Caroline is in Sales and Marketing for a startup company called Levelset.
Ceremony Music: Harry Hardin & John Rankin
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Joanna August
Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: White Dinner Jackets, Perlis
Engagement Ring: Stone & customization, Friend & Co.
Bride’s & Groom’s Wedding Bands: Friend & Co.
Groom’s Cake: PURE Cake
Photographer: Eau Claire Photography
Hair: Ali Vasquez
In 2016, Melissa Manget Lyman had just ended a long-distance relationship. She didn’t anticipate that a guy she had once vaguely known as a teen would end up living around the corner from her, and that he would ask her out, but that’s exactly what happened. She and her neighbor, Hansford Perdue Wogan, set their first date for a Tuesday at Kenton’s Restaurant, but two days before Ford called Melissa and suggested getting together for some wine. He walked to her house, and they spent the next four hours on her front porch talking. Melissa was struck by Ford’s sense of humor and sincerity, and by how much they had in common as New Orleans natives. They kept that Tuesday date, and two more dates quickly followed.
Ten months later, Ford had decided to propose to Melissa, and he was working to find a balance between a private moment for them as a couple and a family celebration. He chose a weekend when Melissa’s family would be in New Orleans. Earlier in the day, he suggested that they take a walk. Melissa wasn’t very interested, but Ford was insistent. They walked past the front porch where they had their unofficial first date, and Ford suggested that they sit on the steps. Melissa suspected something was up, and she was right – Ford proposed right there! Later that evening, the newly engaged couple met their families at La Crêpe Nanou.
Leading up to the wedding, Melissa’s family let their creativity shine. In addition to designing the invitation, Melissa’s mother learned calligraphy so that she could hand-letter the envelopes. Melissa’s mother and sister created the wedding guest book, which featured individual photos of Melissa and Ford side-by-side, from childhood until they met, and one last photo of them together.
The couple brought the special people in their lives together for a rehearsal dinner at Ralph’s on the Park the night before the wedding. Melissa spent the morning of the wedding at Cindy’s Nails, where two of her mother’s friends hosted a manicure/pedicure party for the bridal party. Ford spent the morning with his groomsmen relaxing and watching football before heading to Felicity Church for the ceremony and reception.
Originally built in 1888, Felicity Church’s architectural design was the perfect backdrop for a fall wedding. They chose a décor of dark greenery with white flowers, and Melissa walked down the aisle on October 27, 2018, wearing white roses and sasanqua leaves picked from her mother’s garden in her hair. After they said their “I dos,” guests enjoyed a rather nontraditional wedding dinner. Frencheeze food truck pulled up outside the venue and served all night! They prepared a few variations of sliders and sandwiches, mac and cheese bites, truffle fries,and beignets, creating a meal that was fun, different and easy to eat before a night of dancing. For their wedding cake, Melissa and Ford served beignets!
Melissa and Ford kicked off the dancing with Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.” The band played a special version at a slower tempo for the first minute of their dance. Then the band picked up the pace, and family and friends joined them on the dance floor! When the reception ended, Frencheeze handed out personalized “to go” bags so that everyone could take a late-night snack to the after party. They boarded school buses and headed to Tchoup Yard to continue the celebration.
Melissa and Ford live in Uptown New Orleans, where she’s an English teacher at the Louise S. McGehee School and he’s an attorney. They have planned a two-week honeymoon to France, Italy and Switzerland this summer.
Celebrant: Reverend Martha Clinkscales
Ceremony Music: BRW
Wedding Gown: custom gown, Sareh Nouri, New York.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo,
Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: black tuxedo, Perlis
Engagement Ring & Bride’s & Groom’s Wedding Bands: Keith Miller
Florist: Harkins the Florist
Caterer: Frencheeze food truck
Photographer: Laura Flannery Photography
Hair: Gerald W.
Makeup: Tisa Camet
Music: Harlequin Chamber Music (cocktail hour); BRW (reception)
Charlotte Anais Young had just left her hometown of New Orleans for Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, when she happened to meet Robert Merritt Henry during freshman orientation. The two had Spanish class together freshman year and they traveled in mutual circles of friends, but they never dated during those early college years. However, during Charlotte’s junior year abroad she was back at Rhodes for a visit, and during a party with mutual friends Robert decided he wanted to ask Charlotte out when she returned to school the next semester. Once back at school, Charlotte was travelling back and forth to New Orleans for Mardi Gras balls. She had previously invited friends to a ball, but not Robert. Robert asked if he should go, but she said he wasn’t allowed since they weren’t dating. A few weeks later, they went to Charlotte’s Tri Delta Valentine’s Day formal together and he asked her to be his girlfriend.
Six and a half years later, Robert planned a proposal in a place particularly special to Charlotte: Highlands, North Carolina. Charlotte went to camp there for over 10 years, and the Young family has fond memories camping, hiking and enjoying time together in the cool mountains. The family has a home there and had long-planned a trip there for the Solar Eclipse, as it was in the zone of totality in August 2018. A few months prior, the Young family thought it would be fun to invite Robert’s family to join them, since the Henry family was also intrigued by this natural phenomenon. As is tradition, the Youngs always take a morning hike up the mountain their house is on called Satulah Mountain. On the first morning of their trip to Highlands, the Henrys and the Youngs made the trek up Satulah for their morning “eye opener” hike. Within minutes of reaching the top of the mountain, Robert pulled Charlotte aside, got down on one knee and proposed. Charlotte’s mom and sister came out with champagne and the families celebrated with a toast on the top of the mountain!
Charlotte and Robert chose to hold a simple, traditional and elegant wedding in Charlotte’s hometown. The celebration began with a rehearsal at Brennan’s, followed by an after party in Brennan’s courtyard to welcome guests.
The next day, October 6, 2018, Charlotte walked down the aisle of the church she grew up in, Trinity Episcopal Church, where she and Robert were married by Rev. Henry Hudson and Rev. Andy Thayer. Rev. Hudson was asked to give the homily during the ceremony because he holds a special place in both families’ hearts. Rev. Hudson was Robert’s childhood priest (who baptized him in Little Rock at Trinity Cathedral) and was also the priest throughout Charlotte’s adulthood at Trinity Church in New Orleans. When it came time for the vows, Charlotte placed a gold band made by Robert’s mother, a jeweler, on her new husband’s finger.
After the ceremony, the celebration continued with a reception at Il Mercato. Joel Catering created a wedding feast, including ahi tuna cornette, fried oysters, turtle soup and a St. James cheese table. The newlyweds enjoyed their first dance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley, a nod to the city of Memphis where they first met.
Charlotte and Robert took a week-long honeymoon to Argentina, including Buenos Aires and Mendoza, before returning to their home in Dallas, Texas, where Charlotte works in staffing for Robert Half, and Robert does commercial real estate brokerage for Henry S. Miller.
Coordinator: An.gle events
Celebrant: Rev. Henry Hudson and
Rev. Andy Thayer
Ceremony Music: Albina Prizgintas (organist), Elizabeth Overweg (violinist), Reception music: Jazzman Brass Band & the SoulSations from Memphis, TN
Wedding Gown: Suzanne Perron St. Paul
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhullier,
Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: Perlis
Engagement Ring: Davenport
Bride’s Wedding Band: Davenport
Groom’s Wedding Band: His mother,
Florist: Mitch’s Flowers
Wedding & Groom’s Cake: Royal Cakery
Photographer: Paul Morse
Hair: Marcia Wehr, Salon Dante
Makeup: Katie Malone