At a party for the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day parade, Charlotte Clare Colton found herself standing next to Peyton Walker Lasiter. A native New Orleanian, Clare could tell by Walker’s accent that he wasn’t from her hometown, so when he asked where she had gone to school, Clare responded “Alabama.” Though he had indeed grown up in Little Rock, Arkansas, Walker immediately responded “No, where did you go to high school?” which let Clare know that he knew his way around. Before they could exchange numbers, Clare left with a friend. Walker ended up playing detective, tracking her down and asking her out.
On their first date they stopped by YLC’s Wednesdays at the Square before heading to dinner at Pêche. After hours at the oyster bar the restaurant was getting ready to close, but Clare and Walker didn’t want the date to end. They decided to go to the Howlin’ Wolf to check out another band. A few days later they met up again, and from then on they were a couple.
Three years later, Walker and Clare planned to bring the story full circle and hold their wedding on the same day as the St. Patrick’s Day parade. When a global pandemic threatened to put a damper on their big day, the couple decided to roll with it, realizing that being married was more important than the wedding going exactly according to plan.
The festivities began with a rehearsal dinner at The Lighthouse, with a southern-style buffet and music by WoJoJo Brothers with a special guest appearance by Spyboy Honey Bannister of the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians. The next day, Saturday, March 14, guests gathered at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, which was decorated with white flowers, greenery and just a hint of blush. Clare’s three goddaughters made everyone smile as they walked down the aisle, where Fr. Tony Rigoli was waiting to say the wedding Mass. After the couple said “I do,” the celebration continued in front of the church.
Because it was no longer possible to second-line from the church to the reception, guests were given kazoos and tambourines, and they became impromptu wedding musicians! Champagne in hand, everyone happily joined in as they walked toward Brennan’s – everyone except Edna Colton, Clare’s 98-year-old “NaNa”, who shook her tambourine from the comfort of a decorated pedi cab the family had arranged for the occasion. When they arrived at Brennan’s, the SOUL Brass Band was waiting to welcome them. Clare and Walker went up on the balcony, and seeing their loved ones dancing in the streets below became a moment they’ll treasure forever.
As guests entered the reception they were greeted by Ralph Brennan, who had a special gift for the newlyweds. In their honor he christened two new turtles, Shamrock and Magnolia, in the restaurant’s courtyard pond. Brennan’s wowed the crowd with a meal including crabmeat pasta, oysters on the half shell and Bananas Foster. After the couple’s first dance as husband and wife to “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, everyone partied like it was their last hurrah! As keepsakes of that special evening, guests took home custom designed cups, koozies, napkins and handkerchiefs made by Ella Paperie.
After breathing a sigh of relief that – in spite of everything – they were married, Clare and Walker spent a week relaxing in Belize. They then returned to New Orleans, where Walker is an attorney at Manard Law and Clare is an interior designer and works for Flavor Paper, a Brooklyn-based custom wallpaper company.