Flora Fenner met Ron French during her debut year when she was queen of Carnival in 1959. Her brother had introduced them the year before, and Ron was her escort in Atlanteans. Ron, who was from Houston, was attending medical school at Tulane and Flora was at Goucher in Maryland, so it was a long distance relationship until Flora came back to New Orleans to make her debut. Believe it or not, Flora and Ron had the same birthday, August 18, so I think this wedding was meant to be!
Ron asked Flora to go with him to Houston to meet his family, but before the trip he went to ask her father, Darwin Fenner, for permission to marry her. Ron had a fabulous ring for her and on the way to Houston, on the beautiful Rice campus, he proposed and she said yes!
Mr. Fenner was on a safari in Africa for two months, so Flora and her mother went to New York for the summer and stayed at the Barclay Hotel where they could make all of the wedding plans. Ron found a summer job at Sloane Kettering and stayed with friends, and they had a ball going to dinner and the theatre with Mrs. Fenner.
The wedding was at Trinity Church at 8 p.m. in the evening. The aisle was accented with candelabra holding long ivory tapers and there were huge bouquets of white summer flowers flanking the altar. Flora was wearing a silk organdy gown with antique rose point lace in her collar and in her veil. The lace had been worn in her great grandmother’s wedding and passed down for generations! She carried a bouquet of white lilies of the valley and white orchids.
The reception was held at Flora’s aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Eben Hardie’s, house on State Street, where they added an air conditioned tent decorated with smilax, tiny white lights and flowers that included white orchids, snapdragons and gardenias. There were 12 bridesmaids and groomsmen and little Mary Jane Fenner was the flower girl.
After the reception, Flora changed into her going away outfit and they were off to a honeymoon in Las Brisas, Acapulco!
Ron and Flora are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this year! They have five boys and 13 grandchildren who all live in New Orleans.