9 May 2015
New Orleans, Louisiana
Barry and Laurén remind me…so often…without words…that life is good. They are light: grinning, fostering conversation and hugging the moment.
Barry and I met through Harry (they went to college together), but Barry, like so many of Harry’s friends, took on my relationship with him with rigor. For Harry’s friends, if Harry loved me, that meant they loved me too.
In 2011, when Barry was gathering the courage to ask Laurén on their first date, he would sometimes update me (via instant message and email) about conversations they were having (they worked together). I didn’t know Laurén, but I was excited because he was excited. I laughed at my computer screen as I read his updates. He was was very smitten with this girl from his office. Of course! Laurén was making him smile.
Fast forward 4 years, it feels like Laurén and Barry had been together forever. So many collective memories of impromptu cookouts, late night conversations, Superbowl parties and other friends’ weddings. It makes me so happy to see them come through our door — usually early — Laurén and Barry smiling big and ready for a festive evening.
Laurén will tell you, she didn’t love the wedding planning process, but Barry and her took it on together (they are truly partners in life) and made it a weekend to cherish. What I loved:
The Corner of Race and Religious
I had never been to New Orleans, so I was generally confused about my surroundings (especially because, per usual, Harry and I didn’t do a ton of research, we just hopped on the plane and hoped for the best…). Barry and Laurén instructed us to go to the corner of Race and Religious (the wedding venue and our lodging quarters for the weekend). From the outside, it was an old house with a gate. But when you walked inside it was old, urban bliss with modern essentials. A summer’s dream.
Holy Cow! Barry and Laurén wrote their own vows and didn’t share them with each other until the ceremony. Laurén was casually working on hers while she was getting ready. Little did I know at the time that those words held the truth, conviction, love and authenticity that so many of us search for but can’t quite articulate. Someone said to me later that there was a wisdom in those words beyond their years. Their love isn’t young or naive.
Right after the ceremony, a brass band beckoned us onto the street for the second line parade — a New Orleans tradition that signifies the the beginning of life between the bride and the groom. Over the years, Harry and I have witnessed many wedding traditions which I adore and I have added this to list. Why aren’t there more parades at weddings!?
The Extended Time Together
Instead of flying off to their honeymoon, Barry and Laurén invited friends and family to stay a few days after the wedding to enjoy the city together. We had huge family dinners and walks around the city (including Magazine Street which I loved!). This was time we all cherished away from the hustle of work and life. As I have mentioned before, this group of friends is like family and there is such joy in that. More photos here.
I am behind on wedding posts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t on the way. Too much joy in writing these (even though I am not as fast as I used to be!).