The Best Thing I Never Knew I Needed.
Story by: Starlight Williams
They met in college. She was Phi Mu. He was a Sigma Tau Gamma. They both had hopes and dreams, but never did they expect that one night while hanging out with mutual friends that they would meet their other half.
As their love grew and their time at Southeastern Louisiana University ended, Jonathan knew that Samantha was not only his present, but also his future. So surrounded by family and friends at a crawfish boil Samantha’s parents held to celebrate their graduation, Jonathan dropped down to one knee and asked for Samantha’s hand in marriage. The crawfish boil quickly turned into an engagement party when she said, “Yes!”
With their Louisiana roots, Samantha and Jonathan had a Southern wedding heavily focused on family. From the windowpane memorial featuring their departed grandparents to the handkerchiefs carried by Samantha’s mother, grandmothers, and paternal great-grandmother on their wedding days, the Ricau and Bel Edwards experienced a wedding that was an expression of their love to each other and their family.
“We really wanted our family to play a big role in our wedding. All of our immediate family members participated in some way,” Samantha said. “It was wonderful to have them be a part of our big day.”
Married in the church that Samantha grew up and her parents and grandparents were married in, Samantha and Jonathan began their Southern “happily ever after.”
See Samantha + Jonathan’s feature in our 2016 Fall+Winter Print Edition below and click through the gallery above to see additional photos!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Lee Wheeler | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: The Phunky Monkeys | CEREMONY: St. Helena Catholic Church, Amite | OFFICIANT: Father Mark Beard | REHEARSAL DINNER: Claire’s on Mulberry, Amite | RECEPTION: The Louisiana Governor’s Mansion | BRIDE’S GOWN + BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: (Bride) Allure Bridals (Bridesmaids) Jasmine Belsoie, Ashley Renee Bridal | MENSWEAR: Jos A. Bank | CEREMONY FLOWERS: Big C’s Garden of Flowers | RECEPTION DECOR + FLOWERS: Judge Blair Edwards (Bride’s aunt), with family and friends | BAKERY: The Cocoa Bean Bakery and Cafe’ | HAIR: Vicki Travis | MAKEUP: Lauren Michelet | INVITATIONS: The Mulberry Tree | JEWELERS: (Engagement Ring) O’Hallorans Jewelers, Baton Rouge (Wedding Bands) Anne Dale Jewelers, Mandeville
"Tucked into my bouquet were the handkerchiefs carried by my mother-Donna Edwards, grandmothers — Helen Hutto and Dora Jean Edwards — and her paternal great-grandmother on their wedding days. I also held close a rosary blessed by Pope John Paul."
"Even though my parents live in Baton Rouge now, it was very important for me to be married in the same church that I grew up in, where my parents and grandparents were married. Having the ceremony in Amite at St. Helena Catholic Church made it so much more special."
Samantha chose aquamarine and blush as her wedding colors. "I just love these colors together! They're fun spring colors, but also elegant."
"We also had a lot of southern/Louisiana elements, from using magnolias and hydrangeas to decorate the reception."
"My father and I danced to "Butterfly Kisses," the same song we danced to at my sixteenth birthday party. The song tells a beautiful story and had us both in tears!" - Samantha
The reception featured a "Family Favorites" table including take-home recipe scrolls for each treat!
"At the end of the night the band lead us in a second-line out of the ceremony in true Louisiana fashion, complete with decorated umbrellas carried by the bride and groom, and personalized handkerchiefs for the guests to wave!"