In 2013, Deanna Rebecca McLendon was alone at a Jefferson Chamber of Commerce luncheon and had been randomly assigned to a table sponsored by Charles Lee “Chuck” Mutz, who immediately made her feel welcome. Soon after, they saw each other again at an East Jefferson Business Association meeting, and thus began their friendship.
After five years of friendship, Chuck and Deanna suddenly began to see each other differently. While driving across the Twinspan, Chuck remarked that the lake looked so peaceful he might take his boat out. Deanna seemed interested in a cruise around the lake, so Chuck invited her along. Their excursion on the water was followed by dinner at Tiger Eye. At the time, neither considered it special; in hindsight, it absolutely was their first date.
Four years later, Chuck saw the perfect opportunity for a proposal. Deanna was an honoree at the American Cancer Society Ball, so many family members were visiting for the occasion. It happened to be around the same time that Chuck, his mother, his brother, and Deanna’s father all celebrate birthdays. They gathered their families and close friends for a big birthday celebration. Chuck made a speech about his love for Deanna, got down on one knee, and opened a ring box. Deanna said yes, but Chuck didn’t hear her, so he asked again! There was no mistaking the second yes.
Chuck not only shares a birthday with Deanna’s father, but also a love of woodworking, as do her grandfather and brother. When Deanna walked down the aisle of St. Charles Ave Presbyterian Church on January 20, 2023, she carried a bouquet of wooden flowers as a tribute to the special men in her life. She had arranged it by hand, along with all the other wooden bouquets and boutonnieres.
The woodworking motif was also notable at the reception, which took place at the Audubon Clubhouse. The venue was bedecked in ivory and silver, and at the center of each table was a wooden round with the couple’s initials burned into it. In addition, the groom’s cake looked like a tree stump with an axe sticking out of it as a nod to the groom’s firewood company; once cut, it was lumberjack plaid!
This cake and the wedding cake—four tiers of different flavors—were a huge hit. The cakes were complemented by the Blue Dog Martini, Chuck’s signature drink. As they sipped their cocktails, guests cheered on the newlyweds during their first dance to “Joy” by Andy Grammar, a song that reflects the separate journeys they had toward each other.
Their first journey together as husband and wife was a two-week honeymoon to Australia, where they toured a reef by helicopter, took in La Boheme at the Sydney Opera House, and ziplined through a rain forest. They returned to their home, where Chuck is a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist and owner of both Black Tie Auctions and Chainsaw Chuck and Deanna is a Certified Financial Planner at Wells Fargo Advisors.
Rehearsal Dinner Location: Lula Restaurant Distillery
Reception Décor: Michele Zeller, Just Married Y’all
Coordinator: Michele Zeller, Just Married Y’all
Celebrant: Sarah Chancellor-Watson
Ceremony Music: Steven Blackmon
Wedding Gown: Martina Liana Luxe custom gown, Town & Country Bridal, New Orleans
Bridal hair comb: Yvonne LaFleur, New Orleans
Bridesmaid Dresses: Floor-length gowns of bridesmaid’s choosing, in a shade or gray or silver.
Groom’s Attire: Tuxedo by Rubenstein’s
Groomsmen attire: Tuxedos by Men’s Wearhouse
Engagement Ring: Asscher and trillion diamond ring by Ron Jewelers in Kenner
Bride’s Wedding Band: Diamond band by Ron Jewelers in Kenner
Groom’s Wedding Band: Yellow gold and redwood band by Ron Jewelers in Kenner
Florist: Harkins the Florist
Invitation: Designed by Ashley Rosenbaum for Minted
Caterer: Audubon Clubhouse
Wedding Cake and Groom’s Cake: Marian Mote of Better Batter Bakery, Slidell
Photographers: Kathy Anderson and Doug Parker, Kathy Anderson Photography
Videographer: Vincent Eide, of Commercial Media Management
Hair: Candice Kennedy of Glam Nola
Makeup: Ashley Love of Glam Nola
Music: Organ, Steven Blackmon; bagpipes, Bob Grubb