While students at Loyola University, Rosa Teresa Balaguer Arostegui and Alla Fouad El-Jaouhari never crossed paths. A few years later, a mutual friend celebrated her birthday in Pass Christian, MS and invited a few close friends, including Rosa and Alla. Rosa needed help baking the birthday cake and Alla volunteered. Because Rosa wore a ring on the third finger of her left hand, Alla was unsure of her relationship status. He enlisted a friend to scope out the situation and learned she was single. The two chatted throughout the weekend, and Alla made sure to save Rosa’s number from the group text among the guests. After they were back in the city, he invited Rosa to dinner at La Boca Steakhouse.
Six years later, Alla planned a proposal using French Quarter Fest as the perfect opportunity to ensure Rosa would be completely surprised. The two decided to stay at Alla’s family’s condo with his sister and brother-in-law for the festival, and on Saturday morning Alla asked Rosa to go out onto the balcony to see if his sister was trying to get into the building. When she looked down, Rosa saw Alla’s sister below, holding a sign that said, “Did You Say Yes?”. She turned around to find Alla down on one knee as he played their favorite song “To Love Somebody” by the Bee Gees. After Rosa accepted, the couple’s family and friends, who had been waiting at a nearby bar, joined them. Rosa’s parents live in the Dominican Republic, so she was especially happy to have her brothers there to celebrate.
Just as during the proposal, music played a key role in the wedding and reception, which took place at the Orpheum Theater on March 4, 2023. The ceremony began with Harry Hardin’s orchestra. After the couple was pronounced husband and wife, an electric violinist took over for cocktail hour; a second line then marked the transition from cocktail hour to reception. During the reception, DJ James Park and The Sax Man took the celebration from traditional to modern, and LadyBeast Productions orchestrated an interactive performance that combined Rosa’s Dominican culture with Alla’s Mediterranean culture. Guests joined in for “la hora loca” (the crazy hour), complete with fog and bubble machines.
Of course, all this entertainment paled in comparison to the newlyweds’ first dance to the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody,” which brought the moment of the proposal full circle. The contemporary art nouveau decor surrounding the couple created an atmosphere that felt like a capsule in time. This classic feel was highlighted by two signature cocktails, the dirty martini and the paloma. These cocktails perfectly complemented the menu created by Brennan’s, which introduced their international families to upscale Creole cuisine.
After an unforgettable celebration filled with great food and great music, Alla and Rosa spent a week-long honeymoon sipping wine in Napa Valley. They currently live in Old Metairie, where Rosa is Digital Director at Renaissance Publishing and Alla is Senior-Vice President of Private Banking at The First.
Rehearsal Dinner Location: Marche
Coordinator / Reception Decor: Stacey McCarthy, Blue Gardenia Events
Officiant: Isabelle @templeblacksnake
Ceremony Music: Harry Hardin
Wedding Gown: Vivian Westwood, Loho Bride in Los Angeles
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Revelry
Groom’s Attire: Dior
Groomsmen Attire: Black tuxedo
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Jack Sutton Fine Jewelry
Florist: Kim Starr Wise
Invitation: Dogwood Blossom Stationary
Wedding Cake: Bittersweet Confections
Photographer: Catherine Guidry
Videographer: Tres Bien Photo & Video
Makeup: Flawless Bride
Bride’s Hair: Kelly Pedersen, Paris Parker
Music: James Park & The Saxman + Harry Hardin (cocktail hour) + Kinfolk Brass Band Second Line
Additional Reception Decor: Pop Nola, Element, Firefly Ambiance, Alpha-Lit, AFX PRO