Written by: Natalie Pompilio
Photography by: Calvin Gavion, Jr.
Say what you want about the drawbacks of social media. Kristin Byrd and Brandon Bush are forever fans.
In 2009, Kristin posted a video of herself “dancing silly” on Facebook. Brandon, who’d connected to Kristin via a mutual friend but had never met her, saw the clip and was drawn to the fun-loving dancer. After hours of messaging, they exchanged phone numbers.
Brandon was a student at the University of Louisiana Lafayette while Kristin studied at Xavier University. After two months of exchanging messages, the pair met face-to-face — for real – when Kristin was visiting a friend in Lafayette. A few months after that, they were a couple.
Kristin loves Disney World. Brandon had never visited. Their first trip together came early in their relationship.
“I was a bit nervous it wouldn’t meet his expectations … but going to Disney brought out the kid in him,” Kristin says. “We had such an amazing time. It’s the first big trip he ever took and it’s the first vacation we ever went on together.”
They had such a great time that they went again. And again. On that third trip, they were watching evening fireworks from their table at the California Grill when Brandon asked their server to take a photo of them with the bright lights exploding in the background. When Kristin turned from the window, Brandon took a knee and said, “Since we are in Disney, I want you to be my princess forever. Will you marry me?
“Of course, I said yes and cried like a baby,” Kristin says. “The week before, he’d asked my dad for my hand in marriage. He even asked my four-year-old niece for her permission, which I thought was so sweet.”
On November 4th, 300 guests gathered to watch the couple exchange vows at St. Peter Claver Church, the same church where Kristin’s sister and two cousins had married. Her maternal grandmother, the only living grandparent on either side, sagely declared the bride “beautiful.’
“My grandmother is a very strong woman and not very emotional, but on my wedding day, she cried as I walked down the aisle,” Kristin says.
A reception followed at The Cannery. The New Breed Brass Band got the party started with a Second Line. A food truck from Café du Monde serving coffee and fresh beignets helped close the evening.
“Seeing everything come together – after all of the phone calls, the meetings, the stress – was so worth it,” Kristin says. “It was amazing.”
Bridal Gown and Bridesmaids Gowns: Town and Country | Getting Ready Locations: The Windsor Court/The Embassy Suites | Ceremony Location: St. Peter Claver Church | Officiant: Father Asari | Reception Location: The Cannery | Rehearsal Dinner Location: Rock n Sake | Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Durand’s Tuxedos
Photographer: Calvin Gavion, Jr. | Videographer: Dyle Films | Florist: Nola Flora and Hiram Style | Bakery: Sucre | Ceremony Music: Harlequin Chamber Music and Veronica Down Trio Choir | Reception Entertainment: DJ Raj Smoove | Second Line Band: The New Breed Brass Band | Transportation: Bonomolo Limousines and Riculify Limousines | Makeup: Makeup by Meggan | Hair: Lazondria Cleveland and Tawanna Laurent | Wedding Planner/Designer: Hiram Smith | Candle Décor/Lighting: Nola Flora | Caterer: Toulouse Gourmet Catering | Jeweler: Jewels by Panie Prater | Coffee & Food Truck and Favors: Café Du Monde | Invitations: Scriptura | Caricature Artist: Paper Doll Promotions | Zulu Warriors: James Ross and Edward Sipio