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An October Wedding with a Spectacular Pink Floral Chuppah at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Catherine Guidry Photography

|Planning by 

Elyse Jennings Weddings

“The gods of Bumble connected us in July of 2017, but it took a few weeks for any flirtatious banter to commence,” Rachel “Richie” Jolivette Brown shares of how she first met Andrew Barrett Golden. “Committed to reviving a match that went unanswered, Andrew resorted to Instagram DM.” After three or four great dates, he asked her if she wanted to join him and his friends on a trip to Mykonos over Labor Day Weekend. Something sparked for Richie, and she agreed. “It also didn’t hurt that Andrew was admittedly intimidated by my mother being a federal judge and that she and my father ran a full background check on him before we left!”

After a year-and-a-half together, Andrew proposed two days before Christmas while on a trip with her family in Park City, Utah. It was the Browns’ first time on the slopes, and black diamond run-regular Andrew found his girlfriend traumatized with four broken nails one day. “Knowing he would be proposing, he rushed me to four different nail salons, until we could find an appointment,” Richie remembers.

That night, they went for drinks at the Washington School House. When they got to the rooftop, he pulled out a gold pendant necklace with that day’s date on it. “As soon as I saw that, I knew. He dropped down on one knee, professed his love, and proposed with a beautiful pear-shaped solitaire diamond that belonged to his mother.”

The couple decided to host their wedding weekend in New Orleans, and Scriptura set the tone with a beautiful invitation suite. For their autumn rehearsal dinner, Richie last-minute ordered a strapless Katie May dress and changed into a Bronx and Bianco feathered number for the welcome party.

“I was admittedly a bit late with choosing my wedding gowns,” the bride shares. “I didn’t realize how early you had to order them to get them on time!” Richie headed to Mark Ingram Atelier, per her sister-in-law’s recommendation, and she and Mark bonded over their southern roots. They both agreed that the skirt of a Marchesa gown was perfect for the ceremony; however, the top was off. Mark hopped into action and designed a new bodice.

Wearing a veil was a last-minute choice for the bride. “A wonderful Etsy vendor out of Vietnam custom-made my veil with ombre silk pedals and express shipped it less than two weeks before the wedding—all for less than $100!!” she exclaims.

On the day-of, Richie got ready with makeup artist Amanda Lee Harvey and hairstylist Courtney Bradberry. Bridesmaids complemented her well in custom dresses by Flo Atelier.

Andrew looked handsome in a custom Knot Standard double-breasted midnight blue tuxedo with a contrast lapel. After the service, Richie changed into a Mira Zwillinger gown with a tulle bow on the back, and her groom put on a dark purple velvet dinner jacket with custom embroidery. And the bride’s third and final look was the same Vera Wang dress Zendaya had worn to the 2019 Emmy’s but done in a bridal white.

On October 9, 2021, Richie and Andrew were married at the Audubon Nature Institute at the colonnade that used to house the Audubon Zoo’s sea lion exhibit. “The long walkways surrounding the fountain and the 100+ year old oak trees are just so quintessentially New Orleans,” Richie says. The florals started with the chuppah, and Bella Blooms made the bride’s princess dreams come true. “My husband is Jewish, so it was important to me that we incorporated his religion and made that the focal point. I didn’t convert, but we had a rabbi who married us alongside my mother.” Their dream day was so perfectly captured by Catherine Guidry Photography and Nathan Willis Wedding Film Co.

As a surprise to the guests, Kinfolk Brass Band played the recessional song and met the new mister and missus at the end of the aisle to lead a second line parade to the Audubon Tea Room for dinner. Planner Elyse Jennings Weddings and See-Hear Productions brought Richie’s mood boards to life. Guests sat a mix of wooden tables from Distressed Rentals & Revival featuring Silk & Willow runners and light pink Nuage Designs linens. Element Rentals even purchased a new line of plates, glassware, and flatware for this soiree.

The music was inspired by Bridgerton, and T-Ray the Violinist reimagined hip hop and pop hits during the meal, which was filled with New Orleans classic dishes like crab beignets, shrimp & grits, and short rib. The father of the bride’s speech brought the house down, complete with a powerpoint presentation, mic-drop, and standing ovation.

Richie and Andrew cut their cake by Chasing Wang Baking Studio, before leading everyone to their Parisian nightclub outside. “I really leaned on Elyse to take my overall vision and turn it into a reality,” Richie explains. “I sent her photos of places like The Rose Bar, The Seville, and the Boom Boom Room and that’s what I got—down to the branded napkins, oversized disco balls, and the 1 Oak-inspired ‘Ended Up at Golden’s’ sign.” Together with Tents by Design, the great production and rental companies, and Boogie Booth, her vision was brought to life. Nola late-night foods included Blue Oak BBQ, Dat Dog, and Plum Street Snowballs.

After The Phunky Monkeys played their last song and DJ Pat Black started his set, the couple surprised their guests with a special performance by their friend, Pell. And as the party ended, everyone went back to the presidential suite at Windsor Court for more late-night food and music. “Many of our friends changed into more comfortable clothes—some even came in their PJs!—and we all danced, chatted, and reminisced until the sun came up,” Richie recalls. “Truthfully, I’m surprised we all made it to the brunch the following day!”