When and how did the two of you meet, and what is most memorable about your first meeting?
Ashley: Andrew and I met on a dating app and decided to meet at a bar/restaurant. I remember as I was walking in, I saw a tall, handsome man opening the door, and I hoped it was him. It turned out it was, and we had a fun night during which we instantly felt comfortable with one another and sparked a connection.
Andrew: It was my third or fourth date with someone from a dating app. I remember talking a lot and Ashley laughing at my jokes, whether or not they might have been funny.
Waking up the morning of our wedding was pure excitement. I couldn’t believe we had made it through all the stresses of planning a wedding and that it was time to just enjoy it.
On your day, what was your first thought when you woke up in the morning?
Andrew: My first thought was how excited I was to marry my best friend.
Ashley: Waking up the morning of our wedding was pure excitement. I couldn’t believe we had made it through all the stresses of planning a wedding and that it was time to just enjoy it. My second thought was to check the weather forecast. We really wanted the ceremony to be held in the hotel’s outdoor courtyard, but there was a possibility of rain. Luckily, Mother Nature cooperated.
The first look moment was intimate and brought out the strong love and connection Andrew and I have for each other.
What was a highlight of your wedding day?
Ashley: I had so much fun during our first look, which was taken in the courtyard where our ceremony would be held. The moment was intimate and brought out the strong love and connection Andrew and I have for each other. After the first look, The Day team took us on a creative photo shoot in the French Quarter. We had the best time, with so many laughs. It was such a great way to calm our nerves before the big night. It was also entertaining to see the crowd get involved in our photos and congratulate us.
Andrew: The highlight for me was when we were under the chuppah with the rabbi, with all our family and friends there to celebrate.
I am originally from New Orleans, so we had traveled there many times to visit. We visited the hotel for so many festivities and holidays that I couldn’t have imagined having it anywhere else.
What did you base your choice of location on?
Ashley: I am originally from New Orleans, so we had traveled there many times to visit. The Ritz-Carlton is intertwined with the heritage of New Orleans and the decor is luxurious and representative of the town. While dating, we would spend many nights at our favorite nearby lounge, The Bombay Club, and then head to the Ritz-Carlton to hang out at the Davenport lounge, which has jazz several nights a week. We visited the hotel for so many festivities and holidays that I couldn’t have imagined having it anywhere else.
Andrew: With New Orleans being Ashley’s hometown and from all our travels there, it was the perfect city to host our wedding.
How did you feel during the ceremony?
Ashley: Walking out and seeing all of our family and friends who had traveled to celebrate with us meant the world to me. The ceremony was pure bliss, and it was held in the courtyard where we had so many fun memories from our dating years. Rabbi Lyon had been there every step of the way during the planning, and he felt like family as he married us that day.
Andrew: I felt very connected with Ashley and the Rabbi, as well as with our friends and family surrounding us. It was a great feeling. It was important to us to have a Jewish ceremony and keep within Jewish traditions.
Walking out and seeing all of our family and friends who had traveled to celebrate with us meant the world to me. The ceremony was pure bliss, and it was held in the courtyard where we had so many fun memories from our dating years.
Which feature of your wedding was the most unique?
Ashley: The night of our rehearsal dinner, we had planned a second line parade around the French Quarter after the meal. The parade was orchestrated through permits with the city. We had a police escort and a New Orleans marching band along with a grand marshal that led us and our guests through the streets. Most of the guests were from out of town, and it was great to introduce them to this New Orleans tradition.
Andrew: Having the wedding in New Orleans, we wanted the food to be perfect. The night of the rehearsal dinner we rented out Galatoire’s restaurant, a mainstay on Bourbon Street since 1905. The food on our wedding day represented a true taste of New Orleans through the hors d’oeuvres and main course.
What is the most valuable thing that you have learned from each other?
Ashley: Andrew is a very confident person, whereas I can be shy and timid at times. Being with Andrew gives me a sense of certainty, while also learning to be patient with the unknown.
Andrew: Throughout our years together, we have learned to see each other’s viewpoints and remain open and respectful of one another. We have also expanded our ability to communicate with one another.
I really wanted us to have the time to enjoy both wedding cakes. Andrew had many meetings with the chef to have his groom’s cake created accurately. I was excited to see the final product!
What was on your wedding day wish list?
Ashley: I really wanted us to have the time to enjoy both wedding cakes. Andrew had many meetings with the Ritz-Carlton chef to have his groom’s cake created accurately. I was excited to see the final product!
Andrew: I was excited to drive away with Ashley in my Porsche 911 that we had shipped to New Orleans for the final send-off.
What wedding planning decision was the easiest one to make? What was the most difficult?
Ashley: When I saw the photos on The Day Collective, I knew instantly I wanted them to capture our wedding. The decision we were most nervous about revolved around the music and entertainment. We went back and forth between having a band versus a DJ. We decided on a DJ, and it worked out great. We meshed well with Matthew from Flashdance, who flew in from Los Angeles and was able to incorporate his own artistry to the music. We also decided to have the best of all worlds and hire the New Orleans jazz band Phillip Manuel to set the mood at dinner as well as a pianist during the cocktail hour.
Andrew: The location was by far the easiest decision. We had so many memories at The Ritz-Carlton from when we were dating, and it was the perfect fit.
I was excited to drive away with Ashley in my Porsche 911 that we had shipped to New Orleans for the final send-off!
- Photography Lauren Larsen
- Planning Unique Weddings in New Orleans (Michele Adams)
- Venue Ritz Carlton, New Orleans
- Second Photographer Lina Shteyn
- Floral & Event Design Kim Starr Wise / New Orleans Candlelight Decor(Event Design)
- Dress Mira Zwillinger from Joan Pillow Salon
- Hair Vita Mutari Salon (Houston)
- Make-up Andrea Wyman
- Invitations Invitations by Joan (Houston)
- Program Scriptura in New Orleans
- Catering Ritz Carlton
- Lighting See & Hear
- Music Phillip Manuel Band and DJ – Flash Dance – Matthew
- Rentals Yur Event Rentals