Hurricane Katrina will always be remembered for the vicious spell it put on Louisiana back in 2005. But for Moriah and Kevin, it was "Katrina" that brought them together. Moriah remembers their first encounter," We had only been there for one or two days when Kevin came to introduce himself. My sisters and I were sitting in our pajamas in the living room of our aunt’s house, completely depressed and disappointed in our parents’ decision to move to Atlanta, when Kevin comes through the door wearing some sunglasses, a “bad boy” shirt, holding a basketball with a big smile on his face! (He was trying so hard to be cool!) He and my cousin, Jason, were best friends, and Jason told him that he had girl cousins come to town! Without so much as a sideways glance, I said hello and went up the stairs to go to bed, unimpressed. But when I started high school the following week, Kevin and my cousin were the only people I knew besides my sisters, and most of the other seniors already knew and were very close to their friends. Before I knew it, Kevin and I had gotten close. I loved to hang out with him because he made being away from New Orleans okay, not to mention, he could always make me laugh. Kevin and I quickly became inseparable, best friends, and then boyfriend and girlfriend, and really, so much more. Six and a half years later, here we are! Married, with a two year old, living in Okinawa, Japan! Going through hurricane Katrina was personally very challenging, and it’s something I continue to deal with, but I’d do it all over again to meet Kevin Thompson, my sweetheart." Their cute and intimate New Orleans wedding was done totally their way, and we loved every bit of it.
Meet the couple:Bride: Moriah Thompson Groom: Kevin Thomspon Ages: 23/23 Occupations: Registered Nurse/USMC Wedding date: 10.21.2011 Venue: Benachi House and Gardens, New Orleans, LA Photographed by Amanda Summerlin Photography
From the bride:
"I did not want a traditional white dress. I'm not a "traditional bride", and we obviously had a baby already, so why wear white? My mom had made all of mine and my sisters prom dresses, and so she was definitely going to make my wedding dress as well. We searched for fabric for a while, and finally found a lady who sold African lace, which is what we both had our hearts set on. When we went to see the fabric, we both fell in love instantly! My mom made a prototype dress from a cheaper fabric, and then she started the real deal! When it was finished I was just blown away by how perfect it came out. I couldn't have dreamed of anything better. (Not to mention how cute Kaia's dress turned out!)
(On the ceremony) Kevin's father is a pastor, and had asked if he could marry us. We obviously loved the idea of having our officiant know us so well and it be personal. We also had our close friends sing one of my favorite artists, Adele, for the processional. We lit a candle for those who have passed away, we took communion together, wrote our own vows, tied our hands together, and jumped the broom. All of these things meant a lot to Kevin and I.
(On the reception) I had a bunch of things that I wanted to happen during the reception, and because I had the best wedding coordinator in the world, (who also happens to be one of my best friends), it came together perfectly. Kevin and I entered the reception and began our first dance, which was interrupted (on purpose), by my aunt who "got the party started" with a traditional, New Orleans second line. Right after the second line, we went over to cakes to cut them. The wedding cake had "cake pulls" which is also a New Orleans tradition, where single ladies are asked to pull a piece of ribbon, in hopes of receiving the symbol of marriage attached the end of the ribbon, which is hidden in the frosting. There are also symbols such as a button, which means the lady is destined to be an old maid! (My sister got that one!) After a quick bite to eat and a couple beautiful sunset pictures, I performed three of my dad's favorite songs and then invited him to dance with me for the father-daughter dance. Right after the father-daughter dance ended, my sisters and friends surprised me with an African dance performance with my brothers and dad playing the drums. After this, the dancing began, and it didn't stop until the wedding ended! We also did the bouquet and garter toss before being showered with prayer and leaving in our car that my sister decorated for us!
(On the decor) I love the color olive and also knew from the start that olive would be one of my wedding colors, and I would have ivory instead of white to compliment it. But I wanted an accent color and picked a red-orange type of color. The flowers that the bridesmaids held were orange, and the guys boutonnieres were orange. My mother also made her dress, which was orange and beautiful. Most of the decorations were holiday lights wrapped in tulle around the house and trees in the backyard, which looked beautiful at night. We also came up with the idea of mason jars of various sizes filled with tan stones, topped with a tea light candle, with raffia tied around the rim and a flower cut out from the fabric on my dress as the centerpieces. (We saved a lot of money, and personally I thought it was beautiful!)
(On culture and significance) In the past few years I have lost an uncle, two of my grandparents, and also some cousins and other relatives, so I knew I wanted to recognize them. I felt spiritually, that if I lit a candle and had a moment of silence, that their presence could be felt. Most people light unity candles, but this candle had another purpose. And, we tied our hands together after reciting and vows and giving and receiving rings as a sign of unity anyway! I found that tradition when searching on the internet! We also jumped the broom, which is a well-known tradition that dates back to slave days. I put that broom over the doorway to our house so that whenever we walk in, we remember our commitment.
New Orleans has a very special place in my heart, and so things like the second line and cake pulls were things that we didn't even have to think twice about doing. There's something about dancing to second line music that makes me feel completely liberated, relaxed and happy. It's a soothing thrill! Something like a party lullaby, if that makes any sense."
Most Memorable Moments
"I'd say that one of the most memorable moments of the night was when my father-in-law asked for the rings, I asked my maid of honor, who asked my aunt, who paused for a moment, totally confused, and then jumped out of her chair saying, "That's what you told me to hold!? OOH! I'm so sorry!" She ran the the car, grabbed the rings and ran back, while everyone boiled over in laughter!
The other moment that stands out, is when Kevin and I came out as Mr. and Mrs. Thompson. We came out on the balcony of the house, and I could see everyone. All of my family and friends in one place, smiling, dancing, eating, drinking, and happy. That was a moment that I'll surely never, EVER forget." - Moriah
Kevin says, "I like that she is an individual. She doesn't fall into any category or stereotype. She can be herself around anybody. She's not materialistic, but she puts her own twist on her fashion and style. No name brands needed. That's MY baby. :)
Moriah says, "Kevin is a natural leader. In the almost seven years that I have known him, he has always "marched at the front of his own parade." He is not afraid to be himself, and his confidence rubs off. I'm so glad I get to be in his parade now. I'll follow him wherever he goes. (Heck, we've already moved to Japan, what could be further away!?)
Congrats Moriah and Kevin and may your marriage be filled with many blessings...and Kaia is such a cutie! All the best.
- Ceremony/reception location: Benachi House and Gardens, New Orleans, LA.
- Photographer: Amanda Summerlin
- Wedding Planner: Lynei Woodard (Best friend)
- Florist: Adrian's Christian Florists, New Orleans, LA
- Cake: Swiss Confectionary, New Orleans, LA