Simonne & Taylor
It was on the tree-lined campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville where Simonne Baldwin Brown, an underwriter for Continental Underwriters, Ltd. and John “Taylor” Wortham, an investment manager for Patriot Investment Management, first met. Though Simonne earning her master’s at Vanderbilt and Taylor moving to Washington, D.C. to earn his master’s at Georgetown University, the two were together for seven years before Taylor asked Simonne to be his wife.
On a weekend trip to her family’s vacation home in Highlands, N.C., Taylor
surprised Simonne by showing up one day with a round-cut diamond ring, flanked by two pear-shaped stones set in platinum (which he designed himself). He took Simonne out to Sunset Rock, which he had park rangers clear out for his proposal, and asked her to marry him.
Simonne knew exactly where she wanted to be married – both sets of her grandparents, aunt and uncles, and other countless members of her family, had all been married at Holy Name Church on St. Charles Avenue. She knew she couldn’t have her wedding anywhere else.
The groom’s parents threw a magnificent rehearsal dinner in the Japanese Room
at Antoine’s Restaurant. It was the perfect way to kick off the couple’s
New Orleans wedding.
For the traditional ceremony, the bride wore a strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline, gathered bodice, full skirt and butterfly train. While wedding dress shopping at Bergdorff Goodman in New York City, Simonne came across a gown she instantly knew she liked but wasn’t sure it was “the one” until a woman in the wedding gown department encouraged her to try it on. The woman wasn’t a salesperson, she was Ines Di Santo, the designer of the dress, in the store doing a trunk show.
After a few sketches and suggestions for changes in the gown, Simonne knew this was the dress she had envisioned and the designer was customizing it just for her. She was also thrilled that the gown went perfectly with the veil she wore, which was a family heirloom first worn by her great grandmother, grandmother and mother.
Her bridesmaids wore pink silk shantung Jenny Yoo gowns from Wedding Belles, while the groomsmen and groom wore white ties and tails from Perlis. Meade Wenzel created bouquets in green and pink for the bridesmaids, as well as the all-white bouquet carried by the bride.
Wenzel also created a glorious ambiance with giant candelabras and flower-filled silver urns inside the rooms of the reception at the New Orleans Country Club, the same place Simonne’s parents held their reception.
Guests enjoyed the music of Jimmy Maxwell, as well as great food, including an entire room filled with nothing but seafood. Royal Cakery created a gorgeous seven-layer all white cake covered with Swiss dots and real flowers as well as the groom’s cake, a three-tiered square chocolate cake with an edible model of a Maker’s Mark bottle on the top, honoring Taylor’s parents, who are originally from Kentucky.
Photographer Trisha Hardin was there to capture every moment, including the couple’s exit from the reception in a 1940s vintage Bentley to their suite at the Windsor Court. They honeymooned for a week in Petit St. Vincent in the Grenadine Islands in the Caribbean – it was so remote, the couple had to take three planes and a boat just to reach it.
The newlyweds currently live in the West Moreland section of Knoxville, Tenn. •
The couple with: back row: Elder Brown III, Taylor Adams, Grant Kinnett, Andrew Myers, Evan Smith, Geoff Gray, Megan Garrison and Alex Vogel; third row: Lewis Leavitt, Tripp Griffin, Dottee Gwin, Amanda Forgason, Elizabeth Brown, Keller Wortham, Marcela Beard, Alex Ryerson and Palmer Smith; second row: Reynolds Allen, Joseph Hayes, Suzanne Deriso, Jocelyn Knight, Miller Moate and Walker Diddle; and front row: Grayson Maginnis, Caroline Maginnis, Haley Devlin, Anna Brown, Margaret Keller and Michael Maginnis III.
Elizabeth Brown, Millie Brown, Simonne Baldwin Brown Wortham, John “Taylor” Wortham, Elder Brown Jr. and Elder Brown III
Dale Wortham, the bride and groom, Wendy Wortham and Keller Wortham