Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, recent medical school graduate Michelle Leigh Juneau was busy with her internship in New Orleans when she was asked to be in a friend’s wedding in Atlanta. As her friend’s big day drew near, the busy intern was looking forward to getting away for the weekend with her college friends. Meeting someone was the furthest thing from her mind, but as luck would have it Robert Ford Willis III was also part of the wedding party. The two struck up a friendship and stayed in touch throughout Michelle’s internship, but they didn’t really start dating until she took a job in Atlanta a few years later.
After dating for a long while, Robb planned an intimate proposal at Michelle’s house after the two went to dinner. Of course, Michelle said “yes!”, and the couple celebrated by flying to Miami for the weekend. When they returned, they began planning a wedding that centered on family and close friends.
Many of their friends were from out of town, so after their rehearsal dinner at Restaurant R’evolution, they welcomed folks to the city with a party at the Bourbon House. The memories made with friends that evening fit right in with the feeling of celebration and tradition that would carry over into the wedding and reception.
On December 8, 2018, Michelle and Robb were married by Father Allan Weinert at St. Mary’s Chapel on Jackson Avenue. The couple was surrounded by loved ones, many of whom played important roles in the ceremony. Michelle’s sisters were the maid of honor and matron of honor, and Robb’s father and brother were his best men. Their godchildren proudly stood up as flower girls and a ring bearer. After the wedding, the party continued at Arnaud’s.
Michelle chose Arnaud’s for the reception for many reasons: she wanted to give out-of-town guests a taste of the French Quarter, she loves the food and her family has spent many a special occasion there. Like the ceremony, the reception reflected the importance of family. While sipping Arnaud’s signature French 75 cocktail, guests learned that the topper on Michelle and Robb’s wedding cake was the very same one that her grandparents had used for their own wedding 67 years ago!
The reception also allowed guests a glimpse of Michelle and Robb’s favorite things. The couple incorporated UGA arches and golf balls into the ice bar, and they shared their first dance to a song that makes them both smile: “Warm Love” by Van Morrison, played by Rhythm Nation, a band from Atlanta. The dancing continued throughout the reception and into the street, when the evening ended with a second-line.
After the wedding, Michelle and Robb enjoyed their first Christmas as husband and wife before heading to New Zealand and Australia for a two-week honeymoon. They returned to their home in Atlanta, where Michelle is a dermatologist at Dermatology Consultants and Robb is a lawyer/lobbyist and chair of Troutman Sander Strategies.
Reception décor & Florals: Flowers by Dunn & Sonnier Antiques • Florals • Gifts
Coordinator: an.gle events
Celebrant: Father Allan Weinert
Ceremony Music: Jack Craft, cello; Harry Hardin, violin; Barney Floyd, trumpet; Sheila McDermott, vocalist; Francis Scully, violin; Robert Zanca, organist/leader
Wedding gown: Sareh Nouri dress, Neiman Marcus Atlanta; Rl Couture Bridal Design veil, custom made in Atlanta
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Black dresses of their choosing
Bride’s wedding band: Diamond eternity band as well as gold band, Friend and Company
Groom’s wedding band: Gold band, Friend and Company
Invitation: Ginna Dunlap calligraphy
Wedding cake: Royal Cakery
Groom’s cake: Ice sculpture bar with UGA arches and golf balls
Photographer: Julia Bailey
Videographer: Vieux Carre
Hair: Sarah from H20
Makeup: Sarah Walsh
Music: Rhythm Nation, Atlanta