After years of focusing exclusively on their studies, Maja Elizabeth Sherman and Jesse Hamilton Hudson were in their final semester at Tulane Law when they attended a mutual friend’s Krewe Du Vieux party. Despite being in the same class, they had met only in passing until that day, when they struck up a conversation as the group was walking to the parade route. 

Not too long after Mardi Gras, they had their first date at Avo on Magazine Street. Knowing they would both leave New Orleans after graduation, they made it a point to try as many places as possible during their first few months of dating. They made it to N7, Oxalis, Bacchanal, Bouligny Tavern, Coquette, Cellar Door, Barrel Proof, and many more!

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Three years and many wonderful meals later, Maja and Jesse were living in Chicago. Jesse proposed to Maja among the Jazz Totems in front of the Field Museum. Maja happily accepted, and the couple began planning a wedding in the city where it all began.

The two had fond memories of Jewel of the South, and with its proximity to the French Quarter it was a fantastic place for a welcome party for their wedding weekend. Following the party, Jesse, Maja, and their immediate families enjoyed a rehearsal dinner catered by Coquette-at-home at the Jon Vicari house.

With its classic New Orleans ambiance, the Jon Vicari house also provided a lovely backdrop for photos of the wedding party getting ready the next day. Once everyone was picture-perfect, they headed to another venue unique to New Orleans—Il Mercato, which ties into the city’s multicultural history.

Before the wedding began on December 12, 2021, Maja and Jesse had a Ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) signing ceremony in the library bar area of Il Mercato. They treasured the chance to gather with the officiant and family members for an intimate moment before all the guests arrived at Il Mercato, where both the ceremony and the reception took place.

The venue’s indoor and outdoor spaces were enhanced with classic, white florals, a nod to the winter season. These flowers beautifully complemented the wedding colors of sage, gold, ivory and dusty blue. Guests took in the décor as they sipped classic New Orleans cocktails, such as the French 75 and Pimm’s Cup. These libations paired nicely with a menu created by Joel Catering, with the sea bass getting rave reviews.

While the sea bass may have been the highlight of the meal, nothing could outshine the moment when Maja and Jesse took to the dance floor. The newlyweds, who had taken dance lessons in the months leading up to the wedding, chose John Legend’s “All of Me” to mark their first dance as husband and wife. 

After a weekend celebrating the start of their lives together, Jesse and Maja took a two-week honeymoon trip to the Amanyara in Turks and Caicos and the Amangiri in southern Utah.  They currently live in Chicago, where both work as attorneys. 

Reception Décor: Distressed Rentals
Coordinator: Lonney Jane Productions
Celebrant: Rabbi Alexis Evans, Congregation Gates of Prayer
Ceremony Music: String Quartet, Harry Hardin; Second line, Kinfolk Brass Band
Wedding Gown: Mira Zwillinger / Ultimate Bride Chicago, IL
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Needle & Thread
Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren / Ralph Lauren Flagship Chicago, IL
Groomsmen attire: Their own tuxedos, Eyewear by Krewe
Engagement Ring: Stephanie Gottlieb Fine Jewelry
Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co.
Florist: Duia & Jean
Favor:  Custom drink cozies, to-go cocktails from Jewel of the South, Hove Parfumeur mini veterver soaps, and assorted local New Orleans snacks
Invitation: Scriptura
Caterer: Joel’s Catering
Cakes: Bittersweet Confections
Photographer: Greer Gattuso
Videographer: Genuine Collective
Hair & Makeup: Faces of Virtue
Music: NOLA Dukes