Aside from our own nuptuals-- which took place a mere mile from our condo in Chicago--this wedding, and all events leading up to it, was impossibly, wonderfully, joyfully close.
The couple, my second cousin and his stunning bride, spend half of their time living in L.A. and another large chunk of the year, amazingly, right here in NOLA. Here's the kicker: their second home is 4 blocks from ours here in the Bywater! Incredible.
Of the many reasons they come here are the two bars they own. Both located in this part of town. So, while the wedding weekend included a night at one of the bars, followed by a backyard BBQ at their home and then the actual ceremony at the Marigny Opera House , we never had to start a car! Everything was within easy walking distance.
By the way, I strongly encourge all of you to read up on the venue. I cannot say enough about the charm, history and resiliance of this old church. My pictures surely won't capture what the live version can. I run past this building all of the time and have always wanted to attend an event there.
[On an entirely different note, the aMAzing food and specialty cocktails all weekend did NOTHING to help me with the first days of my Whole Life Challenge, but more on that later this week. I'm totally back on the wagon now that the champagne bubbles have settled.]
Not only was this wedding dotted with traditional New Orleans style, the ceremony itself was moving in a way that stood out from other wedding's I've attended. The intense, unguarded, genuine emotion of the day soaked into all of us.
-The couple walked up the aisle together.
-Once they reached the alter, they stood, holding each other and swaying together until the song ended.
-Their 2 year-old daughter ran up to them before the ceremony begin to give mommy a handful of rose petals (which I later learned was completely unplanned). It worked perfectly. The bride threw the petals in the air with a smile that was almost audible. The little flower girl, pleased with her completed mission, returned to her aunt's lap.
-While not uncommon for a friend to perform the nuptuals, this close friend of theirs was equal parts funny and warm. It was one ceremony we wouldn't have minded being a bit longer.
-Half of the promises were vowed in unison, as bride, groom and audience were weeping uncontrollably.
-After they were declared married, their daughter ran after them, arms stretched, begging to be included. What choice did dad have but to scoop her up and carry her the rest of the way?
[Traditional New Orleans music filled the air all afternoon & evening]
[As we re-entered the transformed space for dinner, I couldn't help but be reminded of the coloring and effects of Meg & Max's wedding]
Cheers to the happy couple, their two beautiful daughters and loads of quality time with my family...right here in my town!