A Jazz Brunch Wedding in the New Orleans Garden District
Every year on their anniversary, Garrett Pinder and Peter Testori try to do something special. In June of 2017, that meant a picnic in the park, followed by an afternoon at the spa. "We were playing Scrabble in the park, and I was focused on winningâ€”and not being late for our appointment!" Garrett recalls. Peter took advantage of his distraction, subtly swapping out the remaining tiles in the letter bag for a David Yurman ring. "Garrett won more than the Scrabble game that day," Peter adds.
The two men had visited New Orleans separately before, but on their first trip together, they really felt the magic in the air. "All of our senses were tingling," says Garrett. After getting engaged, they visited again with their mothers, who fell in love with the city's historic charm as much as their sons had. "We toured the Terrell House in the Garden District, and we all knew it was exactly what we wanted," Peter says.
The grooms wanted something a little different, opting for a morning ceremony followed by a New Orleans jazz brunch reception. "The courtyard, wrought-iron fences, and trailing vines in the Garden District fit right in with our vision, and having a brunch reception made it feel like us," Garrett explains. They hired Clark & Kelly to help with planning their destination weddingâ€”and to keep them on budget!â€”and were so grateful for the creative and professional guidance. "They really helped us be practical and realistic, and they relieved a lot of stressâ€”at least for Peter!" Garret says with a laugh.
For their wedding on October 7, 2018, the two grooms invited 72 guests to a jewel-toned brunch wedding celebration that was enchantingly masculine. Keep reading to see all the photos by Lance Nicoll below.
"Our inspiration came from the Garden District's iconic architecture, as well as one of our favorite books, Le Petit Prince," Garrett explains. Their blue and gold invitation suite combined scrollwork inspired by the iron fences with natural motifs that recalled the city's lush gardens. Both Garrett and Peter selected a braided David Yurman wedding band.
"Our color palette started with images of suit combinations we found on Pinterest," says Garrett. "Our favorite colors are green and purple, but our planners cautioned that it could look a little too much like Mardi Gras. When we spotted two grooms in navy and burgundy suits, we knew we'd found it!" Garrett wore a burgundy suit from ASOS, which he paired with a light pink dress shirt and a sage floral bow tie. Peter wore a navy suit from Brooks Brothers, also with a light pink dress shirt and a burgundy tie to match Garrett's suit.
Garrett's cousins served as flower girls, in tulle and lace dresses tied with navy sashes. "They can be very shy but were so deliberate and careful as they placed petals walking down the aisle," he says. Flowers were not a priority for Peter and Garrett, but they wound up being one of the things guests noticed the most. "Pistil & Stamen grows their own heirloom plants and are a queer company," Peter says. "We were so thrilled to work with them, and their talent is beyond compare!" The grooms wore boutonnieres of heirloom zinnias in shades of burgundy and green, while their honored guests carried bouquets of roses and astrantia.
The ceremony took place on the courtyard steps, with guests seated on the brick patio. "We walked down the aisle together, which was a really special moment," says Peter. The couple wrote their own vows, setting a word count to keep them the same length. Garrett used quotes from some of his favorite authors, while Peter infused stories of their relationship along with hidden meaning that only Garrett would understand. Instead of an official wedding party, they asked close friends to offer readings, both during the ceremony and the reception. "We asked them to keep our color palette in mind, but to otherwise dress however they chose," says Garrett.
The reception took place in a gorgeous courtyard complete with a bubbling fountain and a canopy of cafe lights. Tables were topped with sage linens and colorful arrangements of dahlias, zinnias, astilbe, and eucalyptus in shades of blush, peach, and burgundy.
"Our menu included New Orleans favorites, like grillades and grits and the Terrell House's gumbo, as well as classic brunch cocktails like Bloody Marys and Mimosas," says Garrett.
The grooms shared their first dance to "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop" by Landon Pigg, then danced with their mothers to "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. "One of our planners is friends with Calvin Johnson Jr., and after hearing a number of other bands, we felt like Calvin really captured exactly what we were looking for as a jazz performer," says Garrett of the live jazz that was played throughout brunch.
Dessert was all about macarons. Peter and Garrett's wedding cake was a petite almond cake set atop a tower of chocolate, blackberry, orange blossom, and mint tea macarons. "We also had boxed macarons as favors," Peter adds.
The grooms truly reveled in having their family around them for a day that Peter's grandfather described as "glorious." "Remember that all of the planning and stress is leading to your wedding day," says Garrett. "Savor that timeâ€”and every moment once your day arrivesâ€”because it will will be over before you know it!"