The wedding cake was six feet high!
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Haylie and Brad
For a high school boy, there are few things more terrifying than asking a girl to a dance. So in September 2007, Bradley St. Angelo had to build up his courage before inviting his pretty friend Haylie Foley to their senior homecoming. He hovered by the cash register at Smoothie King, where she worked, while she busily blended drinks for customers. Haylie hadn't even thought about homecoming, but when Bradley finally blurted out the question, she said yes. Soon after that, the Mandeville, Louisiana, natives were a couple.
Seven years later, Bradley caught Haylie off guard again when they went to cut down a Christmas tree. Only this time, he was more confident, and ready with a solitaire diamond from Tiffany & Co. in his pocket. After all, they had weathered a long-distance relationship during college and a joint move to South Bend, Indiana, where he was in law school and she taught preschool. Still, Haylie was shocked when Bradley got down on one knee and proposed in front of a six-foot conifer ("I put the saw down first," he jokes).
Just across Lake Pontchartrain from Mandeville, where they returned to live, New Orleans was the natural place to marry. Their first step was to reserve the city's atmospheric St. Louis Cathedral—large enough to seat their 500 attendees. Its sister building, the Old Ursuline Convent, had elegant courtyards where Haylie, who now works in interior design, could realize her vision of a "beautiful, timeless" garden party, inspired by her parents' own nuptials. For his part, Bradley, an attorney, wanted a luxurious, over-the-top reception. "I had to hold him back," laughs Haylie.
The week of the wedding, rain threatened the alfresco plan, forcing them to add more tents, but skies cleared in time for the 3 p.m. ceremony on March 12, 2016. Afterwards, guests walked to the convent, where they drank craft cocktails and feasted on Louisiana classics like crawfish pie. When all eyes turned to the couple for their first dance—"You're My Home," by Billy Joel—Bradley again had the jitters. He stepped on Haylie's dress, and she got tangled in her train. No longer awkward teenagers, they just laughed and kept twirling.
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Before the ceremony, Haylie looked out at the French Quarter from her bridal suite at Soniat House. "New Orleans is home," she says. "The culture has always been a part of our lives, wherever we were living."
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Just the Guys
Walking to the ceremony, Bradley posed with a groomsman and ushers, all friends from Georgetown University, in an alley in the French Quarter.
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A Historic Landmark
The couple wed at one of the country's oldest houses of worship: The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint-Louis King of France, which dates to 1794. Its iconic spires rise above Jackson Square in the heart of the city.
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The Church Ceremony
William Bilinsky, a friend of Bradley's family and their parish priest, officiated the ceremony at the historic cathedral.
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A garland of hydrangea, roses, and limonium hung over the entrance to the Old Ursuline Convent, where the reception was held. Magnolia foliage wreathes dotted the French Colonial façade. Dating to 1752, it is the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley.
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A foil-stamped menu, by Lehr & Black, listed the evening's six specialty cocktails. Bartenders from The Grand Bevy mixed inventive libations like a rhubarb-infused negroni and a "cotton crocus," prosecco with ginger honey and white cotton candy, which was Haylie's favorite.
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Beers on Tap
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Elegant Reception Tables
Arrangements of roses, lilacs, hydrangeas, and tulips adorned the dining tables, which were crowned by foliage topiaries.
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A Floral Focal Piece
Valerie Gernhauser of Sapphire Events conceived and designed the inverted garden of tulips, which honored Haylie's Dutch grandmother. The 24,000 cut flowers, shipped from Holland, were hung individually from a metal frame, a process that took nine hours. The checkered dance floor echoed the black-and-white marble floor at St. Louis Cathedral.
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Dancing with Dad
Haylie and her father danced to “Unforgettable,” by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole.
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All Lit Up
A floral projection illuminated the entire façade of the Old Ursuline Convent.
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Ceremony location, St. Louis Cathedral
Reception location, Old Ursuline Convent
Event planning and design, Sapphire Events
Beverages, the Grand Bevy
Flowers and design, Kim Starr Wise Floral Events
Photography, A Bryan Photo
Cinematography, Le Cape Weddings
Stationery and calligraphy, Lehr & Black
Cakes, Melissa's Fine Pastries
Bride's shoes, Jimmy Choo
Hair and makeup, Flawless Bride
Bride's reception dress, Alexis
Bridesmaids' dresses, Joanna August
Lighting and custom rentals, Luminous Events
Lighting design and environmental projection, DJ Jacob Towe
Lighting, inverted garden, and custom fabrication, Raven Production Management Group
Transportation, Millennium Limousine Service of New Orleans
Tent and installations, Scurlock Tent Rentals
Welcome boxes, A Signature Welcome
Getting-ready and honeymoon suite, Soniat House
Ice Sculpture, Albrecht Ice Sculptures