When Elizabeth Ashley Geary moved to Los Angeles, she was focused on graduate school, not romance. She and some friends joined a dating app just to meet new people. Michael Kent Philips was also using the app, and he and Libby “swiped right” for each other! After a few months of getting to know each other over text messages and phone calls, the couple finally met in person for a concert at the House of Blues, and they never needed the app again.
Three and a half years later, Michael asked Libby’s father for her hand in marriage. With his future father-in-law’s blessing, he set about planning the perfect proposal. He decided on a trip the Cayman Islands, where his parents had gotten engaged, and invited both of their families to be part of the surprise. Michael’s parents invited Libby to go on a trip with the Philips family for “Michael’s mother’s birthday;” meanwhile, Libby’s family secretly flew in. After Michael popped the question and Libby said “yes!,” everyone celebrated the newly engaged couple.
The wedding festivities took place in Libby’s hometown of New Orleans. Before the big day, Libby pampered her bridesmaids with a luncheon on the lawn of Longue Vue House and Gardens catered by Ralph Brennan Catering Company and coordinated by Z Event Company. The Roosevelt Hotel was the perfect choice for the rehearsal dinner. After a cocktail hour on the roof with passed appetizers and the Roosevelt’s signature beverage, the Sazerac, guests enjoyed a seated dinner in the beautiful historic Blue Room.
On April 21, 2018, Libby walked down the aisle of the chapel at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, where she had gone to school from Nursery through 12th grade, to Pachebel’s “Canon in D Major.” In his white linen suit, Michael beamed when he saw Libby in a custom wedding dress made by Kate McDonald, and their smiles continued as they were married by Reverend Monsignor Christopher H. Nalty and Reverend Gregg Grovenburg, S.J.
After the ceremony, guests were off to Arnaud’s for the reception. Libby loved the idea of a garden party with lots of white, peach and pink flowers, and Z Event Company made her vision come to life. They created a garden party for Libby right in the middle of the French Quarter by blocking off part of Bourbon and Bienville streets to create an additional space for the “Garden Room.” It was in full splendor with lounge seating, grass turf, hedge walls and suspended florals.
Guests sipped Arnaud’s signature cocktail, the French 75, with a nasturtium floating in it, and marveled as the mixologist created the couple’s custom cipher in foam on top of a second signature drink! The menu included a smoked Pompano station, a truffle mac and cheese bar, boudin wontons with pepper jelly sauce and many more amazing items. Bittersweet Confectioners worked the garden party theme into a six-tier wedding cake adorned with fresh flowers, and they created a tribute to Michael’s alma mater with a groom’s cake shaped like Stanford University stadium.
For their first dance, Michael and Libby chose “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy,” and guests danced the night away to the music of Surround Sound. The music stopped only briefly, when Michael’s groomsmen serenaded Libby with Sigma Chi’s “sweetheart song” and presented her with white roses.
After the honeymoon of a lifetime in Bora Bora, Libby and Michael returned to New Orleans, where they live in the French Quarter. Libby is a Tax Accountant at Ernst and Young and Michael is founder and CEO of One80, a healthcare app.
Bride’s Dress: Custom wedding dress by Kate McDonald, Wedding Belles New Orleans
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale light blue chiffon dresses, Wedding Belles New Orleans
Groom’s Attire: White linen suit, Perlis, with a light green, peach and pink tie, Vineyard Vines
Groomsmen’s Attire: White linen suits, Perlis, with peach and pink ties, Vineyard Vines
Bridesmaids’ Gift: Watercolored Jenny Yoo silk robe
Engagement Ring: Diamond solitaire on a diamond crusted band, Friend and Company
Bride’s Wedding Band: Diamond crusted band, Friend and Company
Groom’s Wedding Band: Simple gold band, Friend and Company
Coordinator: Z Event Company
Florist: Kim Starr Wise
Photographer: A Bryan Photography of Birmingham, Alabama
Videographer: Bride Film
Hair: H2O Hair Salon
Makeup: Flawless Bride