Written by: Jessica Burke | Photos: Your Day Video & Photography
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
(be sure to scroll to the end to see the wedding video!)
“So many people have said to me that when something big or life-changing occurs, you’ll know in that instant that it’s happening. I was on lunch in my classroom, standing behind my desk, tidying things up, waiting to have a sit down meeting with the director of the new performing arts center in our school district…anxious to share my ideas about my newly developing program at school and curious about this new performance center, I was looking forward to this meeting. A knock on my door interrupted my organizing and my supervisor walked in. Following her was a handsome, tall, blonde, blue-eyed gentleman, who had the most genuine smile on his face. The kind of smile that you can’t help but smile back at. The kind of smile that incites an internal giggle that just almost makes it out. When they talk about knowing it the moment it happens, it really is true. I knew right then that this person, whose name I still did not know, was going to be someone immensely important in my life. I didn’t know how or why, but I knew that he would forever be a part of my life’s journey from that moment forward.” -Christopher Aucoin-Melohn
As you may have guessed, that man’s name was Kyle.
“One evening, on a trip to Chicago, Kyle and I were caught in a torrential downpour on our way back to the hotel. I asked, “Should I grab an Uber?” He said, “I’m okay, if you’re okay,” not yet knowing that walking in the rain is my favorite pastime. I knew then this was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.
As Kyle and I jogged, strolled, laughed, and moseyed our way back, I thought of all of the ways I could try to make this man happy for the rest of his life. Since then, I had been waiting for the perfect storm. I waited and waited and waited.
I started to second guess this silly proposal idea. Maybe I could just make him dinner and put the ring inside a fortune cookie? Or write to Ellen Degeneres to pop the question in a high speed round of Heads Up!
September 20, 2018, the rain came. I immediately asked if he was up for taking a walk in the rain the instant I came home. Kyle snubbed the idea. My devastating, “okay,” must have been truly pathetic, because he sweetly appeased me and said, “Let me get my rain boots.”
Shortly after, we set out on the stroll that would change both of our lives. We made it around the block and I couldn’t find the perfect place. How did I think through everything else and not WHERE I would do it? As we arrived back in the driveway, I thought, “this is the place – our home.” I let him trek a few steps ahead and got on one knee. Sufficiently soaked, I muttered, “Babe, can I ask you something?” “What?” Kyle spoke aggravatingly (I mean, I had already dragged him unwillingly into the pouring rain). I am sorry that none of the photos our neighbor was able to take captured the next moment. The smile I saw staring weepily back at me when he turned. That is the moment I got to ask the question I had been waiting so many months for. Waiting, since that rainy night in Chicago. It took Kyle a moment to realize he was supposed to answer the question, but once he did I heard his resounding, ‘YES! YES! YES!'”
the wedding ceremony
The couple shared their wedding vows in New Orleans City Park with family and friends looking on. “I was so excited to be able to have one element of surprise for Kyle,” shares Christopher. “He asked a few times if there could be a way to incorporate our four dogs into the the wedding. I would remind him of the logistical nightmare it would be to get four dogs to City Park and have someone get them back home…and on and on. All the while I was working with my amazing cousin, Crystal, to make the impossible possible. She, along with a few of her closest friends, were able to show up and surprise Kyle so much that he didn’t even realize they were our dogs when he first saw them!”
kyle’s favorite part
“My favorite aspect of our wedding was not one, but two things. Or rather two things that intertwined with one another. Getting to see all my friends and family on such an important day in my life was an indescribable feeling. It was happiness, thrill, excitement, and utter joy all mixed in to create this palpable feeling of pure bliss. Knowing that they were there in support of my union and to celebrate and commemorate such a momentous day is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Walking around, visiting with each of them, sharing in a congratulatory hug, exchanging smiles, and sharing stories is the thing I remember most about the day.
“Which ties into the other part of the day that means the most to me – the day itself. Somewhere in my childhood, I accepted that I would never have a wedding. I was never going to marry. And even when the tides started to roll in a different direction, and I actually could legally do it, I chalked it off to just not being in the cards for me. I was married to my career and living happily and comfortably. And I was very okay carrying on that way. In conversation with friends and family, I always expressed content with my life’s companion being Dolly (my sweet mutt). And I really had. So to then have met Christopher, developed a strong bond with him, get engaged, and then, on that day, get married…it was a moment of the simplest surrealness. A peace that for so long I thought was actually settled, but in those moments, it actually was settled. I’m a musician by trade and I enjoy expressing my feelings through music more so than words. There’s a wonderful song called “A Quiet Thing” from the musical Flora and the Red Menace by Kander and Ebb that perfectly articulates this moment – “When it all comes true, the bells don’t ring, there are no exploding fireworks, and I don’t hear the band…it’s a quiet thing.” Everything in those moments felt right; and it really is, a very quiet thing.”
christopher’s favorite part
“I was so excited to be able to have one element of surprise for Kyle. He asked a few times if there could be a way to incorporate our four dogs into the the wedding. I would remind him of the logistical nightmare it would be to get four dogs to City Park and have someone get them back home…and on and on. All the while I was working with my amazing cousin, Crystal, to make the impossible possible. She, along with a few of her closest friends, were able to show up and surprise Kyle so much that he didn’t even realize they were our dogs when he first saw them! This moment has become all the more precious after the passing of our beautiful Mina. I cannot begin to describe the immense joy it brings me to have her in those photos and to know she was there with us for the most pivotal moment of our lives.”
the wedding reception
The wedding reception featured a live band, Fat City Swing, and a snowball station!
the wedding cakes
“Since we did not go with a traditional tiered wedding cake, we were thinking of ways to display the five doberge cakes…yep…FIVE!” shares Christopher. “We settled on obtaining plates, platters, and cake stands from both sides of our families to display the cakes. It became a symbol of our families coming together on one table to celebrate our union.”
FEATURING KYLE + CHRISTOPHER’S WEDDING::
NOW FEATURED VENDOR:
PHOTOGRAPHY + VIDEO: Your Day Video + Photography
ADDITIONAL CREDITS: GETTING READY LOCATION: Mid City AirBnb | WEDDING CEREMONY LOCATION: Owen-Butler Memorial Fountain, New Orleans City Park | OFFICIANT: Laura Theriot | WEDDING RECEPTION LOCATION: New Orleans Jazz Market | REHEARSAL DINNER: Skull Island Scream Park, New Orleans City Park | FLORIST: Naomi Lewis | BAKERY: Debbie Does Doberge | CEREMONY MUSIC: String Quartet | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Fat City Swing | TRANSPORTATION: Riculfy Livery | HAIR: Adam Cosgrove | MAKEUP: Flawless Bride | HONEYMOON TRAVEL ADVISOR: On A Whym | WEDDING PLANNER: Unoaked Event Design & Production | DECOR RENTALS: Fleur De Lis Event Rental | CATERER: Manish Patel, Tava | JEWELER: Forever Wood Rings | FAVORS: Discount Mugs | INVITATIONS: Kyle Aucoin-Melohn (design), Mele (printing) | WEDDING BRUNCH: Vessel Nola | SNOWBALLS: Casey’s Snowballs
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::AS SEEN IN THE AUGUST 2021 ISSUE OF NOW WEDDINGS MAGAZINE:: Written by: Jessica Burke…