June 25, 2016
Touching handwritten letters, swigs of bourbon, nautical accents and traditional NOLA second-line band performances may not seem like they have much in common, but it all came together flawlessly when these college sweethearts took the plunge this past June.
By Grace Kelly
How and when did the two of you meet?
We met at Tulane University in 2006. We met through Greek life. I was a Kappa Kappa Gamma and Joe was a Pi Kappa Alpha.
Were you surprised when Joe proposed?
Yes, very surprised! We were staying at the Ocean House to celebrate my birthday. We went for a walk on the beach before dinner and he proposed. There was a photographer there taking pictures of the whole thing, it was incredible.
What are those letters being read in some of your photos?
Joe and I wrote letters to each other to read on the day of the wedding. In this photo [below] I am reading the letter that Joe wrote me. It was the most touching and beautiful letter I have ever gotten.
Tell us your pre-wedding thoughts, what was going through your mind leading up to that trip down the aisle?
Joe: At this moment [see pic below] I was surrounded by all of my best friends, reminiscing about fun times together and sharing our excitement for the day ahead. Any stress was washed away by the anticipation of marrying the girl I knew I was going to marry since the day I met her; all while surrounded by our closest friends and family.
Anne: The most relaxed I was the whole week of the wedding, was actually the day of the wedding. I was so excited to see the look on Joe’s face when I walked down the aisle. Once I got to the front of the church and we were holding hands it felt as if we were the only two people in the room. I couldn’t stop smiling!
Where did your ceremony take place?
The ceremony was at the Watch Hill Chapel, a beautiful small wooden chapel. My family has been going there for many years. It’s a beautiful chapel with an intimate feel. When you turn around to walk down the aisle and you see the view of the ocean it’s just breathtaking!
Who are these dudes?
This was a surprise my parents set up. They are a traditional second line band. Joe and I met in New Orleans and it’s a New Orleans custom to parade down the streets with umbrellas dancing to a second line band after you are married. We brought a little bit of New Orleans to Watch Hill!
Why did you pick the Misquamicut Club for your venue?
I grew up going to Watch Hill and Joe and I were engaged in Watch Hill. My grand parents and parents have belonged to the Misquamicut Club for many years. It is a special place that we wanted to share with our friends and family!
What was the inspiration for your menu and drinks?
For appetizers we had a honey goat cheese salad with oranges and raspberries, and for entrees we wanted to do surf and turf, it gives everyone a taste of everything- land and sea! The club did a wonderful job with the food.
Speaking of drinking, what was going on in the pic where you’re taking a swig of some hard liquor?
There is a southern tradition that you bury a bottle of bourbon upside down at your event venue a month before your wedding. You dig it up on the day of the wedding and it’s supposed to bring you good weather, and if it doesn’t you have the bourbon to drink anyway! We shared the bourbon with our families and wedding party.
Your photos, from the golf-cart parade to the cabana photos, really show how much forethought must have gone into creating a truly special day. How long did it take you to plan all of this? Did you have any outside help?
We got engaged in May of 2015 and were married in June of 2016, so we planned for over a year. Yes, we had a wedding planner, her name is Jennifer Brinton. She was wonderful and very, very helpful. My mom, myself and the wedding planner planned everything. It was a stressful process at times! But the beach photos were my idea, I really wanted some photos down there. It’s just beautiful!
What was each of your favorite moments from that day?
Joe: By far the best moment of the day was watching Anne walk down the aisle. She looked radiant and her dad couldn’t have been prouder. I knew it was the beginning of something amazing and it was a moment I will never forget.
Anne: My favorite moment was when we were standing outside the tent watching everyone dance. We were officially married, and everyone was there to celebrate us. We realized how lucky we were to have all our friends and family together for such a magnificent day. It was an incredible feeling.
Any advice for recently engaged couples?
Enjoy being engaged, don’t let the planning consume you. Remember the day is about the two of you. The wedding day flies by, so take a few moments to just soak it all in and be thankful that so many people who love you came from near and wide to support and celebrate you as you start your life as Mr. and Mrs.!
Photographer: Brad Smith Photography // Anne’s rehearsal dinner dress: Johnathan Simkhai, Saks Fifth Avenue // Rehearsal dinner favors (Koozies): Totally Promotional // Ceremony venue: Watch Hill Chapel // Reception venue: Misquamicut Club // Hair & Makeup: Bella Vita Salon // Bridal gown: Oscar de la Renta, Saks Fifth Avenue // Bridal Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Groom’s Suit: Monsieur Brunold // Bridesmaids’ dresses: Amsale // Groomsmen’s formalwear: Stubbs and Wooton // Catering: Misquamicut Club // Cake: Vesta Bakery // Floral design: Blue Butterfly // Music: The Sultans of Swing // Wedding planner: Jennifer Brinton