When Ellie Romair walked down the aisle of Holy Name of Jesus Church last May, she was the fourth generation in her family to do so. For her marriage to Alexander Alford, there was never any doubt about where the ceremony would take place. "My great grandparents, grandparents, and parents were all married here," Ellie explains. "No other venue has such a deep and abiding sense of family history." So on a sparkling, sunny day on Saint Charles Avenue, Mildred D'Aubert Crouere watched her eldest great grandchild take the same joyful steps she did in 1942. Ellie gushes, "I was filled with emotion as I literally walked in their very footsteps. It was by far one of the most memorable moments of my entire wedding."
The weekend began with a rehearsal dinner at Mardi Gras World. Surrounded by amazing floats and romantic candlelight, close family and friends enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres before a dinner of seasonal salad, short rib with polenta, and bananas foster. After the heartfelt toasts, the happy couple joined the Rebirth Brass Band in a second line parade out to the Mississippi River where spectacular fireworks and music filled the air. As the parade made its way back inside, a welcoming party for the entire wedding guest list commenced, setting the tone for the events ahead.
The next day, the entire extended family and bridal party set up camp at The Ritz-Carlton for a day of relaxing, prepping, and just enjoying one another's company in anticipation of the big event. "Our wedding party was made up of mostly family with a few dear friends sprinkled in," Ellie grins. "All of the children in the wedding – two flower girls, six junior bridesmaids, and the little boys – all are my first cousins and only sister. My three brothers were groomsmen. There's a lot of us and we love to be together!" Bridesmaids donned blush tulle gowns with a bit of beaded applique, and the younger girls wore layers and layers of white tulle and satin with fairytale crowns of large white roses in their hair. C'est la Vie Salon stylists created hairstyles especially suited to each girl and makeup artists from Bleu, A Blow-Dry Bar did their magic – all under Ellie's watchful eye. "It was such a fun day mixed with excitement, laughter, and lots of joyful girl-time," says the bride.
Ellie did her own hair and makeup on her big day. "More than anything, I wanted to feel like myself," she explains. "I didn't want to try anything new or unlike what I would ever really wear, so I just amped up my 'dressing up' makeup routine to hold all day and wore my hair down as I always do." This uber-confident, fresh approach definitely delivers the wow factor when paired with a dramatic, strapless ball gown by Romona Kevesa. As Amy Casbarian of Wedding Belles explains, "Ellie was a young bride having a very formal, traditional wedding. This silhouette delivers a lot of drama without a lot of embellishment. Totally clean, modern, and timeless – just like her." The gown features a dramatic raw-cut tulle veil with two flowing cathedral length tiers and a youthful sweetheart neckline. It's elegant and glamorous in its striking simplicity.
The church was filled with romantic candlelight and an abundance of white roses and lush peonies. The mother of the bride, Renee Gamard Romair, wore a pale silver gown with a cascading ruffle down the back, and Ellie's maternal grandmother, Paulette Crouere Gamard, walked down the aisle with Ellie's brother Sam. Her paternal grandmother, Brenda Romair, was stunning in a cerulean blue gown, and the groom's brother, Chandler, served as best man.
After the I do's, everyone made their way to the New Orleans Country Club for a night of celebration. The bride's first dance with her father was My Girl and with her groom it was What A Wonderful World. Once the band, the Phunky Monkeys, finished its last set, the late night DJ Nitro took over (this is one large family that loves a good dance party) while cheeseburger sliders and beignets kept the party well-fueled. "This was a big thing that we really wanted and we picked every song he played," Ellie explains. "We're known in our family for dance parties – the kind where you push back chairs and dance on tables and counters with the lights off and rap music blaring. We wanted to recreate this at our reception and have it be what we call 'lit,'" she laughs.
Ellie and Alexander jumped on a flight to Eleuthera at six a.m. the next morning (ouch!) to honeymoon at two boutique hotels they'd never been to – The Cove and The Other Side. "I wanted to be able to look back at our wedding in fifty years and love every detail just as much as we did on May 19, 2018," she explains. "I wanted it to feel nostalgic yet modern, timeless and rooted in family, with just the right amount of our joyful personalities mixed in. For us, everything was perfect!"
This article appeared in our Bridal 2019 issue.