WIth This Ring: Sanford–Bland

Kim Sanford’s and Will Bland’s paths crossed many times in high school, but it was not until he returned from Washington D.C. to enter law school that they formally met and began dating. Kim was attending Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans and Will was in Baton Rouge attending LSU Law School; he traveled back to New Orleans nearly every weekend to see her.

On December 23, 2010, Will proposed to Kim. He chose the day before Christmas Eve because Christmas is Kim’s favorite time of the year and because he knew that many of their friends would be in town for the holidays. He also planned a surprise engagement party at the home of his parents, Julia and Will Bland, inviting their family and friends to celebrate the wonderful news.

On August 6, 2011, Kim and Will wed at the Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church. Father Harry Tompson had made a lasting impression on Kim when she attended church with her family there during her teen years.

Reverend Michael Dooley, S.J., officiated the wedding, assisted by Reverend Michael Kuhn from Trinity Episcopal Church. Trish Foti Genco sang throughout the ceremony and was accompanied by an organist, a trumpeter and a flautist.

Kim wore a strapless, ivory silk organza and Alençon lace gown designed by Jim Hjelm, which was purchased from Town & Country. Her gown featured an empire bodice with a trumpet skirt and chapel-length train. The body of the gown had a figure-skimming silhouette accented with ivory satin ribbon at her waist. Her veil was chapel-length tulle, which was also worn by her mother, Karen, 30 years ago on her own wedding day. Kim also wore her mother’s diamond and pearl drop earrings that her father, Mahlon, gave her mother for their 30th wedding anniversary, just two months prior.

The bride carried a hand-tied bouquet of roses, dahlias, hydrangeas and gardenias. Her hair was softly pulled back into a chignon with a cymbidium white orchid adornment styled by Jesse Houidobre. Kim’s makeup was done by Tisa Camet of Tisa’s Beauty Bar.

Kim’s bridesmaids wore strapless mint-colored crinkled chiffon dresses by Lela Rose purchased from Wedding Belles. Each bridesmaid wore matching clustered pearl earrings accented with rhinestones, which were a gift from the bride. They carried a hand-tied mix of café au lait dahlias, pale yellow roses and peach lisianthus.

Meade Wenzel prepared all of the floral designs. Dr. Erika Vogel, a longtime friend from Sacred Heart and medical school, served as Kim’s maid of honor.

Will and his groomsmen wore white linen suits accented with pink Nola Couture Gulf Oyster ties, all purchased from Perlis. The ties, a symbol of Louisiana’s seafood industry, were a gift from the groom to his groomsmen. Will’s best man was his father, Mr. Wilton Ellwood Bland III.

After the ceremony, guests gathered for the reception at the New Orleans Country Club. The wedding cake was a four-tiered traditional white almond flavored cake with pineapple and buttercream filling. Between the tiers and atop the cake were fresh green hydrangea blossoms, one of Kim’s favorite flowers. The cake was created by Swiss Confectionery. Continuing the garden theme was a room transformed into a French Quarter courtyard appointed with wrought iron furniture and garden urns filled with local tropical foliage.

In another room, a 12-foot-tall ice sculpture, created by John Albrecht and banked with garden blossoms and candles, accented the display of boiled shrimp, crabmeat ravigote and oyster shooters.

Will’s groom’s cake was designed by Shane Gorringe of Zoë’s. The two-tiered chocolate cake had chocolate buttercream filling and a recreation of Cassidy, the groom’s black Labrador, sporting a bright orange collar.

Sha’on and the Girls with Success provided the musical entertainment. The happy couple’s first dance was to “In My Life” by the Beatles.

Mike Posey Photography took the photos of the wedding and reception. The extended family included people traveling from all corners of America and Great Britain. There was also a group photo of alumni from Sewanne University, Will’s alma mater, and Washington and Lee, Kim’s alma mater.

After the reception, Kim and Will honeymooned in the British Virgin Islands, where they spent the first five days at Peter Island and then traveled to Cap Jeluca in Anguilla for another four days.

They now live in Uptown New Orleans where Kim is currently pursuing her residency in anesthesiology at Ochsner Medical Center while Will is an associate at the law firm of Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand and Brackett. 

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