Victoria Knox McHenry and Derek Michael Smith were both first-year medical students at LSU, and neither was looking to meet someone. That all changed when Derek’s lab partner, who was also a good friend of Victoria’s from college, invited them both to her birthday party and introduced them. Derek casually asked Victoria “F&M’s or Grit’s?”, and from there sparks flew. Their first date was dancing at an outdoor concert in New Orleans, followed by a small show at the House of Blues.
Seven years later, Victoria treated Derek to dinner for his birthday at Ralph’s on the Park. Afterward, they went for a walk in City Park. As they were walking over a scenic bridge, Derek surprised Victoria by asking for one more birthday gift – her saying yes to his proposal!
When the time for the wedding came, Derek and Victoria began the celebration with a rehearsal dinner at Broussard’s, where guests chatted and got to know one another. Having everyone able to mingle comfortably was a priority for the couple both during the rehearsal and on the wedding day, which is one of the reasons that they chose Il Mercato for both the ceremony and the reception. The indoor and outdoor spaces at Il Mercato were the perfect spaces to make their décor, inspired heavily by Monet and French Impressionism, come to life. The structured setting of the venue complemented the abundance of greenery and flowers, and An.Gle Events created a whimsical feel to the celebration by perfectly blending navy blue, whites, golds and a touch of blush.
On October 12, 2019, Victoria and Derek were married by Reverend Dr. William MacIntosh – the 95-year-old minister who married Victoria’s parents 33 years ago – in an elegant ceremony featuring music from the Harry Hardin New Orleans Finest Musicians trio. Derek had added a touch of playfulness to the elegant event: his groomsmen wore cufflinks in the shape of Play Station controllers and socks with Drew Brees’ face on them!
Derek’s love of the Saints also inspired his groom’s cake, a replica of the Halo Saints Helmet. This cake and the wedding cake, both by Flour Power, were the perfect sweet treats after everyone enjoyed a reception menu created by Joel Catering, which featured beef tenderloin, Louisiana lump crab ravigote and a raw oyster bar. Guests enjoyed these dishes and more as they sipped on the
bride’s cocktail, a jalapeño margarita, and the groom’s cocktail, a Moscow mule.
Victoria and Derek chose “Coming Home,” by Leon Bridges for their first dance, because the song feels timeless and because they had found “home” in one another. Afterward, Big Bling & the Funk Machine stole the show and kept guests dancing all night!
After the festivities, the newlyweds spent five days in Tulum, Mexico. They relaxed at a small resort on the beach and ate lots of tacos. They then returned to New Orleans, where they live in Mid-City. Victoria is in her last year of OB/GYN residency at Ochsner, and Derek, who finished his training last June, is a full-time hospitalist.
Coordinator: An.Gle Events
Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier, I Do Bridal Boutique, Baton Rouge
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Watters Bella Bridesmaids
Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: Classic black tuxedo from Perlis
Florist: Kim Starr Wise Floral Events
Photographer: Paul Morse Wedding Photography
Videographer: Nathan Willis Wedding Film
Hair: Marcia Gauthreaux and Dale McElwee
Makeup: Andrea Wyman, Wyman Studio
Ceremony music: Harry Hardin New Orleans Finest Musicians
Second line band: Kinfolk Brass Band
Solo violinist for cocktail hour: Saun Ward Xperience
Dance Band: Big Bling & the Funk Machine