A casual meeting among mutual friends at a chic Georgetown bar was the perfect setting for Neal Wallace Kaye III to meet the love of his life, Nicole Marie Yannacone. Following four years of courtship, the two were engaged in May 2008 in Portovenere, Italy. Neal, an eighth generation New Orleanian, wanted to be married in his beloved hometown and Nicole loved the idea.

The night before their wedding, Neal and Nicole were honored at a masquerade ball at the Montegue House hosted by Neal’s mother, Pamela Pipes, his aunts Elizabeth Swanson, Chiqui Stahl and Ashley Bowen, and his sister Ashley Bernon. At the ball, guests were greeted by jesters on stilts and milling mimes. Jugglers and xylophone music entertained guests as they walked through the courtyard. A light misty rain added to the ambiance of intrigue, mystery and fantasy.

Hometown icon Charmaine Neville played upstairs while guests nibbled on barbeque shrimp and grillades, corn roasted grits, a Mediterranean vegetable star pasta and beef penne pasta. There was a Swanson wine bar, compliments of Neal’s uncle and vintner Clarke Swanson, which ensured that guests were in the best of spirits. There was a dessert bar that included three flavors of ice cream with a choice of  toppings; for the final effect one could drizzle chocolate, caramel, cherries or whipped cream to make the perfect masquerade sundae. The evening was a great hit and prepared all in attendance for a spectacular wedding.

The following day, October 10, 2009, the wedding ceremony was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel. The Golden Voices Gospel Choir provided a musical performance worthy of Jazz Fest, and Father Anthony Rigoli spoke loving words of wisdom to the young couple. White hydrangeas, peonies and roses flanked the altar.

Nicole wore a white, strapless dress made of silk organza with cascading ruffles and a sweetheart neckline, purchased at Hitched in Georgetown. She paired the dress with a soft bolero, made by her grandmother. She wore her hair in a simple yet beautiful chignon, with a graceful veil flowing behind her. Mitch’s Flowers created a French bouquet for Nicole using white hydrangeas, chartreuse cymbidium blooms, green dendrobiums and white phalenopis blooms.

The stems of the bouquet were left exposed and wrapped with Nicole’s grandmother’s heirloom handkerchief.

The bridesmaids wore navy, V-neck, short dresses with a ruched bust and a bow at the back, designed by Priscilla of Boston. The bridesmaids carried nosegays of green hydrangeas and cut philodendron leaves with exposed stems. The groom, groomsmen and ushers wore green hydrangea and green dendrobiums orchids with a hint of greenery as their boutonnières. The groomsmen and ushers wore navy blue poplin suits with Nola Couture ties featuring a Louisiana Pelican motif.

After the ceremony, the bride, groom and bridal party second-lined to Latrobe’s led by the Storyville Stompers Brass Band. Guests were greeted by massive arrangements of white hydrangeas, white lilies and white roses in silver epergnes, designed by Perfect Presentations, and hundreds of tiny candles twinkling in the night. The chandelier in the cake room was dripping in white orchids, hydrangeas, lilies and roses.

Nathanial Zimet of Boucherie catered delicious appetizers and entrées including: imported cheeses, Boudin Balls with garlic aoli, crawfish spring rolls, wild mushroom and goat cheese pinwheels, cane sugar glazed pork loin, grilled vegetables, jambalaya and spinach with wild mushroom pasta.

The couple had a traditional, four-tier wedding cake from Flour Power Confectionery, intricately decorated with a delicate design that included edible flowers to mimic those in the bride’s bouquet. There were also three doberge groom’s cakes from Gambino’s – two chocolate and one caramel with Neal’s initials.

The couple booked one of the first vendors that they met with, Joellynn Jones Photography. Jones was a perfect fit for Neal and Nicole’s New Orleans wedding because she’s a personal friend and sister-in-law of Neal’s best man. Jones took traditional photographs for the wedding – including a special photograph of the bride’s bouquet wrapped with a family heirloom handkerchief.

Deacon John and the Ivories played at the reception well into the night. The happy couple left their reception in New Orleans to fly the British Virgin Islands, where they boarded their private yacht for a week, went scuba diving and toured the islands’ white sands.

Neal is a graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts and Nicole is a graduate of Clemson University if South Carolina. The happy couple is now living at home in Washington DC where Neal works for GMG Consulting and Nicole is a forensic scientist.