Written by: Jessica Burke | Photos: Tia Nash
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
“Our story starts in Little Rock, Arkansas almost 5 years ago. Lance was working as a nurse in the Neurocritical care unit and Neal was just starting residency in internal medicine at a different hospital. Shortly after moving there, Neal volunteered to help a fellow resident move into his new home/propose to one of Lance’s old friends. At the suggestion of this very friend (and a thus far dormant online dating match) Lance reached out. Three years later, Neal had 7 plans to propose (all of which were during an end-of-residency trip to London) and the final one was successful. 1. Propose at the airport, if security ended up finding the ring and asking about it. 2. Propose during a picnic in the park (but never actually had a picnic) 3. Propose at actual 9 3/4 (too many people in line) 4. Propose at the Harry Potter Studios (not a good spot there) 5. Propose at London Pride (there wasn’t a good time and it was sorta cheesy). 6. Propose outside of the bathroom in the hotel (this was a last ditch effort and somewhat of a nod to Neal’s parents’ proposal story) 7. Row out onto the lake in Hyde Park and hand Lance the golden snitch that Neal had brought with the ring inside (successful).”
the wedding colors
Neal chose the color red for his bow tie and pocket square and Lance chose the color blue. Attendants for each groom wore their respective colors.
the wedding ceremony
The entire wedding included subtle nods to Harry Potter and as Lance and Neal put it, the “irony of the match of a Slytherin (Lance) and a Gryffindor (Neal).” The couple’s pup, Patronus, took part in the wedding ceremony, wearing a tiny tuxedo with a purple bow tie, and the ceremony backdrop was built by friends of the grooms and included a greenery wreath to form the Deathly Hallows. Lance and Neal made the Quidditch goal decor themselves and included small trinkets and charms in the ivy.
Lance and Neal incorporated several readings into their wedding ceremony including a quote from their favorite headmaster, Albus Dumbledore and Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s statement regarding the Court’s landmark decision confirming marriage equality:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
-Justice Anthony Kennedy
the wedding reception
After the ceremony, Lance and Neal’s guests joined them for a three course banquet dinner and dancing. Guests discovered wands from Lance and Neal’s personal collection in the floral arrangements on the tables. Guest were asked to “capture the mischief” of the reception with a Polaroid camera and sign the guest book using a rainbow of colorful markers.
the wedding cake
The decadent wedding cake by Kimbla’s Cakes was full of surprises, including a different flavor for each layer as well as beautifully crafted, edible elements such as two Golden Snitches that the grooms fed to each other after cutting the cake.
The couple’s photographer, Tia Nash, made sure to capture the glorious sunset over the city of New Orleans the evening of Neal and Lance’s wedding along with portraits of the newlyweds lit in their respective wedding colors.
FEATURING NEAL + LANCE’S WEDDING::
NOW FEATURED VENDORS:
EVENT PLANNER/DESIGNER: Alchemy Events
PHOTOGRAPHY: Tia Nash
BAKERY: Kimbla’s Cakes
WEDDING VENUE: Hotel Monteleone | OFFICIANT: Danielle Nodurft | GROOMSMAID’S GOWNS: Kennedy Blue + Cocomelody | MENSWEAR: Indochino (Grooms), Men’s Wearhouse (Groomsmen) | PHOTOGRAPHY: Tia Nash | FLORIST: Berry Blossom Flowers | | CEREMONY MUSIC + RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Khancept Entertainment | HAIR + MAKEUP: Cam Stromboe | JEWELERS: David Yurman, Sissy’s Log Cabin (Little Rock, AR) + Lee Michael’s Jewelry | INVITATIONS: Shutterfly
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::AS SEEN IN THE AUGUST 2021 ISSUE OF NOW WEDDINGS MAGAZINE:: Written by: Jessica Burke…