a sentimental affair
It’s not every day that I book a bride with a shared love for Bob’s Burgers (although I wish it were). Ava knew we were meant to work together the moment I sent her a Linda GIF. And it has been one the greatest pleasures and privileges of my career to serve this incredible couple. Never have I shot a more sentimental wedding than Ava & Henry’s. Ava’s father, Glenn R. Wolf, passed away in August of 2017 and it was very important that her father’s memory be present throughout the wedding.
Ava wore the most beautiful dress from Town and Country Bridal by designer Martina Liana. And as if it weren’t jaw-dropping as is, it has pockets! Absolute cherry on top. Her bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses with pearl earrings to complete a simple but elegant look. Magnolias throughout the wedding were symbols of Ava’s father, and this includes the magnolia pins in the girls’ hair. Ava chose to have a first look with her grandparents and brother. Her grandfather’s reaction was the sweetest! The bride and groom then shared a private first look in a court yard at the Omni Royal Orleans. There, Henry showed Ava his cufflinks, which she recognized immediately. It was her father’s cufflinks, gifted to Henry by her brother. As they both teared up, it was hard to not tear up with them.
The ceremony took place at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in New Orleans, Glenn’s home parish. It’s also Loyola University’s Church. Henry, Ava, and Glenn have all attended their graduation masses there. Before her father passed, Ava told him she’d get married at there. Ava was walked down the aisle by her mother and carried her father and his rosary in her bouquet. And while he couldn’t be physically present to witness, a memorial photo frame was placed in the front pew in his honor. They had a traditional catholic mass and you could see how much love their friends and family had for them as they raised their hands in prayer of blessing over the couple. We took a few more pictures outside the church before they headed off to their reception.
The reception was held at the Omni Royal Orleans ballroom. It was the perfect atmosphere for Ava’s vision of “Midsommer Night’s Dream meets The Great Gatsby.” Henry & Ava waltzed so beautifully for their first dance you wouldn’t believe it wasn’t rehearsed! For the father-daughter dance, Ava danced with her maid of honor, Erin, her bridesmaid, Regan, along with their fathers, Peter and Phillip. These two men stepped up to the plate and have been her “dads” since her father’s passing. Ava says, “It was an honor to share that dance with them and my best friends!” Once the dance floor was open, the party was non-stop. How could one not want to be on the dance floor with a band like The Top Cats.
The couple had a beautiful 5-tier cake crafted by the iconic Gambino’s. Their cake was their deliciously famous almond wedding cake flavor, decorated with florals by Pine Hills Floral. A New Orleans Wedding is incomplete without a cake pull! Nine girls surrounded the cake and pulled out a charm, each with its own meaning. The ring charm symbolizes the next person to get married. Ava’s bridesmaid, Lauren, pulled out the ring and she is the next of Ava’s friends to be married! And if the 5-tier cake wasn’t enough for you, they also had a cookie cake and cookie sandwiches! Those Gambino cookies sandwiches were SO good that Henry & Ava had to dance a little while taking a bite.
Henry and Ava’s wedding was beautiful, sentimental, and above all so much fun! They are both so incredibly joyful surrounded by people who love them so dearly. It was infectious. Not only were they amazing clients, but they have become dear friends. And the silent star of the whole event was Ava’s father, Glenn. Though I haven’t had the privilege of meeting him, the unified love of everyone there made it clear that he was a man who left great impact on all he met, and even on those he didn’t. The night ended with a song in Big Glenn’s honor — Country Roads, Take Me Home. And if there was dry eye left in the room, I couldn’t see them through the tears in mine.
~Please see to the end of the blog for some words by Ava.~
I asked Ava to share some words about her father, here’s what she had to share:
“My Dad was my best friend; I’ve always called him my main man. I could talk to him about anything and everything. He gave the best bear hugs and always rolled your knuckles when you held hands. He loved my mom so much that I can’t even describe the way he looked at her. It was magical. My Dad loved until he couldn’t love any more. I am who I am because of him. My love of baseball, NCAA football, traveling and planes, snowballs come from him.
One time, I left my childhood teddy bear, Teddy, in the Delta Sky Lounge at O’Hare Airport, but I didn’t realize that until we got home (2 hours away). My Dad immediately got back in the car and picked up my bear without a complaint. That’s just who he was…my main man.
But, relating my Dad to my wedding – He predicted Henry. A few weeks before he passed, we had one of our big life chats, and I asked him for his best advice. “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone. I think you worry about that sometimes,” is what he said. At the time, I was so mad because I wanted the advice to be about law school or my career. His thoughts on that? “I have no doubt that you’ll be a great attorney.” Well, when I first met Henry, he was wearing the same type of Sperry’s my Dad always wore. I knew in that moment I found that “someone.” So, when Henry wore my Dad’s cuff links on the day of our wedding, it was a full circle moment. I no longer had to “worry.”
I’d give the moon and the stars and my law degree to have one more day with my Dad.”– Ava M. Wolf
Venue & Catering : Omni Royal Orleans Hotel
Church : Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church
Planner : Lisa Clapper-Smith
Florist : Pine Hills Floral
Cake : Gambino’s Bakery
Band : The Top Cats
Stationery : Gem Printing Company
Hair : Alexandria Brown
Makeup : Bell Beauty
Dress : Town and Country Bridal
Tux : John’s Tuxedo’s
Bridesmaids Dress : Pearl’s Place
Live Painter : Torre Grossa Fine Art
August 20, 2022