Katherine Barkley Rafferty’s friends were tired of her staying home all the time, so they dragged her to the Bachelors’ Club ball on the night before Thanksgiving. Of course, the event turned out to be a blast, and she kept noticing a certain guy. As the party entered the wee hours of the morning the guy, David Christopher Villere Tidmore, walked up to her and said, “We’ve been looking at one another all night. We might as well dance.” Barkley and Christopher danced for about 30 seconds before heading to the Hilton Bar, where they talked until 4 or 5 in the morning. Just two nights later, the day after Thanksgiving, they went to “Christmas in the Oaks” and Morning Call on their official first date.
Two and a half years later, Barkley decided to join Christopher for a few days at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama, where he had been out of town working for a couple weeks. They were walking to dinner along the water on a beautiful spring night when they spotted a hammock. Christopher asked Barkley to sit down in the hammock, and then he got down on one knee and proposed.
This natural, organic proposal was reflected in their wedding, starting with the save the date designed by Scriptura, which included a satsuma tree branch that would later make an appearance at the reception. Their friends and family went the extra mile to make the wedding festivities special. Christopher’s family hosted a rehearsal dinner on the Thursday before the wedding at Crescent City Steakhouse. They had a big family-style steak and sides dinner: Caesar salad, hand-battered onion rings, chateaubriand, two types of potatoes, creamed spinach, asparagus, broccoli and big slices of key lime pie. The next night, a huge group of friends hosted a Welcome Party at Lulu and Billy Freiberg’s home on Audubon Street.
On Saturday, October 13, 2018, Barkley walked down the aisle at Trinity Episcopal Church wearing a dress designed by Suzanne St. Paul. Christopher – along with ushers, readers and several wedding guests – accented his suit with a Blenhein Tie as a nod to his love of Winston Churchill. After Reverend Kit McClean pronounced Christopher and Barkley man and wife, the celebration moved just three blocks away to Katherine and Tony Gelderman’s home. There guests saw the real-life satsuma tree pictured in the save the date, as well as a gorgeous hanging centerpiece with lots of paper flowers and twinkle lights designed by Barkley’s mother.
Family friends Courtney and Brett Sutton, owners of Flavor Box Catering, wowed the crowd with an array of food including chicken-and-waffle passed hors d’oeuvres, roasted red pepper pasta and a giant seafood station with shrimp remoulade, marinated crabmeat and smoked salmon. At the end of the evening Flavor Box served meatball sliders, and the Cafe Du Monde food truck pulled up in front of the house to serve beignets and cafe au lait.
The couple’s no-fuss, elegant style was reflected in little items like personalized napkins and go-cups. After cutting a delicious cake created by Royal Cakery, dancing to the sounds of Bobby J and Stuff Like That gave the evening a perfect finishing touch.
After the wedding, Barkley and Christopher headed to their family condo in Florida to relax for a bit, and then flew to California for a wonderful friend’s wedding in Palm Springs! They are planning a trip to Portugal and Spain in January. Barkley and Christopher now live on Magazine Street. Barkley is the co-founder of Royal Merchant Trading Company.
Ceremony Location: Trinity Episcopal Church
Reception Location: Katherine and Tony Gelderman’s home in the Garden District
Coordinator: An.Gle Events
Celebrant: Reverend Kit McClean
Ceremony Music: Albinus (organist), AnnaLotta Smith (pianist) and Rebeccka Coe (vocalist)
Wedding Gown: Suzanne St. Paul
Flower Girls’ Dresses: Lylian Shop from Pippen Lane
Engagement Ring: Friend & Company
Bride’s Wedding Band: Friend & Company
Groom’s Wedding Band: Friend & Company
Florist: Meade Wenzel
Caterer: Flavor Box Catering
Wedding Cake: Royal Cakery
Photographer: Paul Morse and Elizabeth Dondis
Hair: Rachel Reed of Hinge Salon
Makeup: Andrea Wynman of Wynman Studios