Genevieve and Dalton met through mutual friends, in a van on a group trip to Disney World. After a bathroom break, the group members chose new seats. A copy of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce sat on Gen’s new seat and she asked who it belonged to. “This is a great book,” she said.
Dalton’s deep voice answered form the front: “Mine.”
From the Bride: I knew right then that I was in trouble.
Dalton and I were the only two on the trip who drank coffee in the morning. Each day, we walked to the food court alone before going out to the parks with everyone else. One morning, after making small talk while pouring the coffee, I looked at him and impulsively said, “You’re a good human being.” It was a very out-of-character move for my normally introverted self. He looked surprised and embarrassed. I just made this awkward, I thought to myself.
Things were indeed awkward for a while. We got home from the trip and began communicating in typical millennial fashion: over text and Facebook. Our first date was to see a production of The Screwtape Letters.
I learned over time that Dalton was indeed a good human being, perhaps the best I had ever met. He was kind and thoughtful. I never had to wonder if he liked me, or if I might do something to make him suddenly lose interest in me. From the beginning, he made it clear that he dated with the intention of finding someone to marry. I found his openness to be highly attractive, very masculine, and utterly refreshing. We started dating on March 19th, St. Joseph’s feast day. Dalton proposed on my birthday at St. Joseph’s Church, the place we would be married about one year later.
From the Groom: For me, I think it was the Boba Fett headphones Gen was wearing on the way to Disney World that had me smitten when we first met. There's a whole canyon between that first feeling and getting engaged, but in the interest of brevity, I'll just say we had lots of coffee dates and stargazing in my red truck, making it the best seven months of my life to that point.
I was so nervous the day I proposed. My brother was helping me orchestrate everything, and he went to the wrong church. St. Joseph really came through for me. I proposed in front of a statue of him, and the basket of petitions at the statue’s feet gave me a great segue into the proposal. All of my nerves quickly went away after she said yes. (continued below)
Genevieve: At our rehearsal dinner, I looked around at our family and friends laughing, eating, and talking with one another. Jesus' comparison of the kingdom of God with a wedding banquet suddenly became so real to me, and I was overcome with a desire for heaven.
That joy and peace continued into the day of our wedding. I wore my godmother's Juliet cap, which my grandmother had carefully saved. My mom gave me a pair of opal and blue topaz earrings--my birthstone and Dalton's, respectively. After a beautiful morning spent getting ready with most of the closest women in my life, I arrived at St. Joseph's Church and walked down the aisle to "The King of Love," a song which has been special to me in moments of great joy and of great sadness.
I tried to sing, but I got teary. On my arm, I saw that my dad was teary too (which, of course, made me even weepier.) I also didn't know where to look: at the tabernacle or at Dalton? There was just so much love coming from both places.
Our wedding Mass was a small taste of eternity. We chose familiar, simple Mass parts to encourage our guests to sing. The priests and altar servers were all dear to us, including Fr. Brent Maher, who had been with us on that group Disney trip. Surrounded by our family and friends and in front of God, we said our vows and became husband and wife. Receiving the Eucharist at our wedding Mass was a moment I hope to remember forever. We placed flowers in front of the statues of both Mary and St. Joseph, in the same place Dalton proposed.
Our reception flew by. It was a whirl of dancing, toasting, and red roses. We chose to have our reception at Rock N' Bowl, a New Orleans favorite combining a bowling alley with a live music venue, primarily because we knew how fun it would be. But also because Dalton is a great bowler. Our wedding colors were red, navy, and copper in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season.
I was especially happy with a few particular reception details. The first was a vintage cake topper I found online and re-painted to look like us, Juliet cap and all. The second was a selection of our favorite poems and songs, used as table centerpieces. After our wedding, I arranged all of the papers into a large frame which now hangs over our fireplace.
Our "guestbook" was a Christmas tree covered with wooden ornaments that our guests signed. We now place them on our family tree and pray for our guests as we do so. The cake pulls--a Southern tradition--were small lockets shaped like books. Inside each locket was a quotation about marriage, travel, babies, or friendship.
Dalton's groom's cake was a pile of Mr. Ronnie's Famous Hot Donuts, another Louisiana tradition. Several people confessed to me that they ate one before we did the cake cutting, which, in my opinion, was exactly the right thing to don. The toppers for that "cake" were Superman and Belle, our wannabe alter-egos.
The morning after our wedding, Dalton and I went to Mass and then hopped in the car for another road trip to Disney World. This time was better--it was our honeymoon.
Dalton: The day of our wedding...how can I summarize this in a couple of sentences? I didn't sleep the night before. I picked Gen's brother up from her house where she was getting ready, and I just wanted to run in and grab her and get married already.
Ever since our wedding Mass, I feel like I understand the Eucharist just a little bit more. The sacrificial love of Jesus became even more real that day.
At our reception, I just remember standing in the middle of the dance floor, incredibly happy. It was the best day, but they only get better.
Genevieve: Our wedding was the best day of my life. It’s true that the dress, the dancing, the flowers, the music all helped to contribute to the beauty of the day. But what really made it so wonderful was the glimpse of the eternity it provided. Surrounded by loved ones, full of joy, in front of God--it was a foretaste of heaven. Dalton and I are pilgrims on the road that leads there, bound by the vows that we exchanged on our wedding day. And donuts. There were donuts.
Genevieve's sister, Katherine, also had a beautiful New Orleans wedding! See her celebration here.
Photography: Marroquin Photography | Church: St. Joseph's Catholic Church - New Orleans, LA | Wedding Reception: Rock 'n' Bowl | Videographer: Randy Diddly | Liturgical Music: Kathleen Lee, Eric Wilkes and James Rosenbloom | Reception Band: The Boogie Men | Flowers: The Crystal Vase | Cake: Haydel's Bakery | Groom's Cake: Mr. Ronnie's Famous Hot Donuts | Dress: Willowby by Watters | Shoes: Modcloth | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Weddington Way | Men’s Suits: Tuxedos to Geaux | Handkerchiefs for parents and grandparents: Larkspur and Linen on Etsy | Bridesmaids’ robes: ComfyClothing on Etsy