Written by: Natalie Pompilio
Photography by: The Rylands Photo Co.
It was a proposal that Justin Small – and British pop star Jessie J — will never forget.
The singer was on stage at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Justin and his long-time partner, Kane Honea, were in the audience. Kane and Jessie J locked eyes and the singer leaned down to talk to him. The next thing Justin knew, Kane was on stage, mike in hand, making jokes and winning over the crowd.
“I stood by confused and clueless about what was happening,” Justin recalls. Then “Kane pulled me up on stage with him and asked me to marry him in front of everyone. The crowd went absolutely wild! It was a moment I will never forget.”
Their love story had begun a decade earlier, when both were in college. Despite having grown up in the same small town of 13,000, the pair knew of each other, but they didn’t know each other, until a mutual friend brought them together. As Kane likes to say, “Justin went to a different high school and was two whole grades ahead of me.”
Although they’d called California home since graduating college, the two Southern men chose New Orleans for their wedding. On May 11, they exchanged personalized vows in front of 170 guests at The Civic Theatre. The celebration that followed included a Second Line which featured both grooms waving gold-fringed black umbrellas.
Justin, the party planner, had designed nearly every detail of their big day. When he couldn’t find a guest book that was up to his standards, he decided to make his own, taking recipes from both men’s families and compiling them in a book illustrated with photos of the couple and the meals. Guests could sign on any page.
“This book is now one of my favorite possessions because each time I use it to cook I get to read a sweet message from one of our wedding guests,” Justin says.
There was one thing that happened on the wedding day that not even Justin the planner expected: Jessie J sent them a video congratulating them and wishing them the best.
“It was a really cool moment,” says Justin, noting he couldn’t choose just one favorite moment from the day. “The most memorable thing of all was the overwhelming love and support we felt being surrounded by our families, friends and loved ones. Looking around the room at our guests’ faces, all the smiles and laughter, was truly one of the most touching things in the world.”
NOW Spotlight Wedding Pros:
CATERING: Pigeon Catering and Events
FLORALS: Herbivore Floral Designs | REHEARSAL DINNER + GETTING READY LOCATION: Jon Vaccari House | CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION: Civic Theatre | OFFICIANT: Kim Bui | MENSWEAR: Hugo Boss (Justin’s tuxedo) + Tom Ford (Justin’s shoes); Suit Supply (Kane’s tuxedo) + Hugo Boss (Kane’s shoes) | VIDEO: Congo Studios | BAKERY: La Louisiane | CEREMONY MUSIC: T-Ray the Violinist | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Gearbox Productions | TRANSPORTATION: Riverbend Charters | HAIR + MAKEUP: Blush and Bashful | HONEYMOON DESTINATION: Anguilla | WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER: Kelly Sherlock Events | DECOR + LIGHTING RENTALS: Luminous Events | JEWELER: Cartier | INVITATIONS: The Keeping Room | SECOND LINE BRASS BAND: Kinfolk Brass Band