everyday JULY | AUGUST 2018 FREE ROUSES my
Something Bleu: CHEESE WEDDING CAKES Liz Thorpe
The WEDDING ISSUE
MARRY -GO- ROUND: Flowers Second Lines Cigars and Bourbon Bars
On the Cover Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake on page 30 Cover Photo by Romney Caruso • • • Blue Marlin Grand Championship July 10-15 The Blue Marlin Grand Championship in Orange Beach, Alabama, is billed as the Greatest Show in Sportfishing on the Gulf Coast. There are many opportunities for the public to attend this event and join in the fun — but the over-the-top weigh- in is not to be missed. The Wharf So much is happening at The Wharf Orange Beach this summer. Rouses is sponsoring the summer concert series at the amphitheater, which will host a variety of acclaimed music stars: • Jason Aldean with Special Guests Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina and Dee Jay Silver, July 26 • Dave Matthews Band, July 29 • Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town, August 2 • Imagine Dragons with Special Guest Grace VanderWaal, August 7 • Keith Urban with Special Guest Kelsea Ballerini, August 25 ROUSES ORANGE BEACH, AL 25405 Perdido Beach Boulevard 251-272-5034 Hours: 7am-12am daily Shop online at www.rouses.com/shop for same-day grocery delivery to your house, hotel or condo. ROUSES GULF SHORES, AL 1545 Gulf Shores Parkway 251-948-4715 Hours: 7am-12am daily Shop online at www.rouses.com/shop for same-day grocery delivery to your house, hotel or condo.
ROUSES READY We’re only halfway through the year, but I already know that one of my favorite memories of 2018 will be the day before the official grand opening of our new store in Orange Beach, Alabama. It had been just over a month since we’d signed the lease agreement on the store, which previously had been occupied by a national chain. Rouses is very different from other grocery stores, especially the chains — not only in how we look, but how we operate and the products we offer. We immediately closed the location to get the store what we call “Rouses Ready.” We set an ambitious reopen date — the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend. We’d never done a turnaround in such a short amount of time. Our construction, design and reset teams worked ’round the clock to make room for an expanded selection of groceries, fresh food and local offerings. And our IT team replaced all of the register systems for a more efficient checkout experience. I’d been back and forth to Orange Beach all month, but my dad had other business, so he didn’t see the store in all its glory until the day before our official grand opening. I’ll never forget the look on his face. He was so proud of our team. Dad wasn’t the only one who couldn’t get over the transformation. We soft opened that day, giving curious customers a sneak peek of the store. As I watched them push their carts through the aisles, I knew the rush was worth it. Great communities deserve great grocery stores like Rouses. We’re not done, though. A full remodel of the location will begin once the busy summer season is over. But if you’re vacationing on ’Bama’s beaches this season, I invite you to check us out in Orange Beach — or visit us in Gulf Shores.We have the same delicious food and products you get at your Rouses Market at home, plus the largest beer selection on the Gulf Coast. And you can find everything for the beach lifestyle — clothing, accessories, boogie boards, inflatables, even bait and tackle for fishing — inThe Island, our ’Bama Beach Shop. Donny Rouse CEO, 3 rd Generation
table of contents JULY | AUGUST 2018
EAT 26 All Dressed inWhite by Sarah Baird 30 Something Bleu by Liz Thorpe DRINK 40 For Richer or Pourer by David W. Brown 46 Cigars & Bourbon Bars by David W. Brown 48 Joined at the Hip by Sarah Baird
BE MARRIED 14 Always a Bridesmaid by Maggie Robert and Alessandra Madrid 16 The Marry-Go-Round by Ali Rouse Royster 18 Going to the Chapel by Jason Berry 22 Second Lines by Alison Fensterstock 29 Southern Charms by Sarah Baird 36 The Brides & the B’s: Bouquets &Boutonnières by Helen Freund
53 MexicanWeddingCookies IN EVERY ISSUE 1 Letter from the Family 4 Contributors 8 Departments, Products & Services 10 Eat Right with Rouses by Esther Ellis, MS, RD, LDN
by Marcy Nathan 54 Wedding Checklist RECIPES 48 Boulevardier 49 Bourbon Mimosa 49 French 75 Punch 49 SoCo Honey Mint Lemonade 53 ItalianWedding Soup
“ Different communities throughout the Gulf South have long been faithful to unique bakery items as part of their wedding traditions, with key lime pie a frequent must-have item in the Gulf Shores area of Alabama ...” Read more on page 26.
Ali Rouse Royster, flower girl, age 4. The Marry -Go-Round: From flower girl to bridesmaid to bride with Ali Rouse Royster. Read more on page 16.
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY
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The Island ‘Bama Beach Shop is your go-to beach store in Orange Beach, Alabama. It’s got everything you need for your vacation — hundreds of items from top beach brands, plus bait and tackle for fishing. Located inside the new Rouses Market in Orange Beach. Visit our other Island ‘Bama Beach Shop inside Rouses Market # 54, Gulf Shores, Alabama. Beach Gear & Accessories • Suncare • Sunglasses Towels & Beach Bags • Booogie Boards Body Boards • Beach Inflatables • Coolers
ROUSES MARKET # 76 25405 Perdido Beach Boulevard • Orange Beach (251) 272-5034 • HOURS: 7am-12am Daily
ROUSES MARKET # 54 1545 Gulf Shores Parkway • Gulf Shores (251) 948-4715 • HOURS: Open 7am-12am Daily
the Wedding issue
PATTI STALLARD is a freelance copy editor, proofreader and copywriter with decades of editorial experience in both the marketing and publishing arenas. A native New Orleanian and a culinary devotee, she was part of many creative teams that crafted ADDY award-winning campaigns for a variety of clients, including tourism, professional sports and higher education. A Yale graduate, LIZ THORPE left a “normal” job in 2002 to work the counter at New York’s famed Murray’s Cheese. She is the founder of The People’s Cheese, author of the Book of Cheese and The Cheese Chronicles , and coauthor of The Murray’s Cheese Handbook .
SARAH BAIRD is the author of the books New Orleans Cocktails and Short Stack Edition: Summer Squash . Her work appears regularly in/on Saveur , Eater , GQ , First We Feast , PUNCH and Food & Wine , where she covers everything from the siren song of the Flora-Bama Lounge in Orange Beach to the legendary fig trees of Baton Rouge. She was the longtime food editor and restaurant critic for the New Orleans alt-weekly, Gambit Weekly , and won Critic of the Year in 2015 for her dining reviews.
MARCELLE BIENVENU is a cookbook author, food writer and chef/instructor at the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. A native of St. Martinville, in the heart of Cajun country, Bienvenu wrote Who’s Your Mama , Are You Catholic and Can You Make a Roux? and Stir the Pot: The History of Cajun Cuisine with Eula Mae Dora , and other books and cookbooks. She also co-authored five cookbooks with Emeril Lagasse. Cradle: New Orleans Music Since World War II , his music history, was published in 1986. An expanded new edition, updated with the history of the music scene in the late ’80s, was released in 2009. He received a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship for research on jazz funerals. contributor to The Atlantic , The Week and Mental Floss . His work also appears in Vox , The New York Times , Writer’s Digest and Foreign Policy magazine. He is a regular commentator for television and radio. Mandeville resident ROMNEY CARUSO has been a professional photographer for over 25 years. He has styled and photographed food for hundreds of local and national publications, and for several cookbooks. His portrait series of chefs and bartenders, titled “Shakers, Knives & Irons,” was recently displayed in New Orleans and Los Angeles. Baton Rouge native DAVID W. BROWN is an author and regular JASON BERRY is an author and documentary film director. Up from the
FREQUENT CONTRIBUTORS Mobile, Alabama, writer EMILY BLEJWAS published her debut novel, Once You Know This , in 2017. Her latest effort, The Story of Alabama in Fourteen Foods , arrives in stores in 2019. WAYNE CURTIS is the author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in 10 Cocktails , and a contributing editor to The Atlantic and Imbibe . He is a frequent contributor to the book review section of The Wall Street Journal . CRESCENT DRAGONWAGON is the author of the James Beard Award- winning Passionate Vegetarian , The Cornbread Gospels , Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Cookbook , Bean by Bean and many children’s books and novels. appeared in the New York Post , Seattle Magazine , Resource Magazine , Eater , Cosmopolitan and VICE , among others. She holds a culinary degree from Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu. ALISON FENSTERSTOCK is a music and culture writer and founding program director for the Ponderosa Stomp roots- music festival. Her work appears in Rolling Stone and SPIN , and on NPR. Her take on Louisiana’s music scene can be read in The New Orleans Advocate . Journalist HELEN FREUND is an award- winning food and travel writer and the dining editor and restaurant critic at Gambit Weekly . She is a regular contributor to The NewOrleans Advocate and Reuters , and her work has
In 2017 food and travel writer and photographer PABLEAUX JOHNSON was named one of
Epicurious ’ 100 Greatest Home Cooks of All Time . A native of New Iberia, Louisiana, Johnson is the author of three books. He is a contributor to The New York Times , Saveur , Food & Wine , Garden & Gun and Bon Appétit . JUDY WALKER was the longtime food editor for The Times-Picayune . She edited the cookbook Cooking Up a Storm with frequent My Rouses Everyday contributor Marcelle Bienvenu. In 2017 she was named one of Epicurious ’ 100 Greatest Home Cooks of All Time.
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Ella Brennan It was Ella who ignited my interest in exploring why we in Louisiana eat the things we do, and eat them the way that we do. I was fascinated with and immersed myself in the evolution and history of our local cuisines. Through her guidance and encouragement, I found “my place”in the culinary world: writing about and preserving our distinctive culture. How fortunate I am to have had Ella as a friend, mentor, advisor and teacher for 40 years.Throughout my career, when I sometimes had uncertainties and difficulties, I asked myself “What would Ella do?” I imagine I will still do that …Thanks, Ella, for being such an incredible and unique role model.
REMEMBERING By Marcelle Bienvenu I f it weren’t for Miss Ella, I wouldn’t be writing this. You see, she is the one who encouraged me to become a food writer. I met Ella in the early 1970s when I was working as the local consultant on the Time-Life book American Cooking: Creole and Acadian . During a photo shoot, she and I hit it off, becoming fast friends, and she invited me to work at Commander’s Palace as an assistant catering manager. What an exciting time!TheBrennan familywas in themidst of creating a restaurant that would become one of the top dining establishments in the Crescent City. Ella was tireless, and I quickly became aware of her endless talents.I learned that she had an innate sense of hospitality,
“ In a city where most everyone is crazy about cuisine, Miss Ella Brennan had an ear- ly and lifelong passion for Louisiana food. When Rouses opened our first store in New Orleans in 2007, she was one of the first peo- ple to welcome us, telling me a great food city needed a great grocery. She and her family, as well as chefs from her restaurants, appeared often in our commercials, magazine and ads. Her photo, along with her most famous quote — “Most people eat to live; in New Orleans we live to eat” — hangs in several of our stores. Miss Ella leaves an extraordinary culinary leg- acy that will not soon be forgotten. She will be missed.” — Donald Rouse, COB, 2nd Generation and the energy and enthusiasm to create a restaurant where every guest would be treated royally. I was in awe of her passion to make Commander’s a memorable dining experience for every single person that walked through the front door. Ah, and the food that evolved in the kitchen when Chef Paul Prudhomme arrived on the scene! Under Ella’s supervision, I witnessed the marriage of New Orleans Creole and Acadian cuisines, and it was a thing of great beauty — not to mention divinely delicious.When Paul left to open his own restaurant and Emeril Lagasse was named executive chef, I admit I was skeptical — a guy from Massachusetts?! But Ella had the knack of reading people, of knowing that this young chef fromNew England would bring another dimension to “the Palace.”I was fascinated by Emeril’s creativity and eagerness to embrace the local fare and enhance it.
the Wedding issue
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the Wedding issue
DEPARTMENTS, PRODUCTS & SERVICES We invite you to visit any Rouses Market on the Gulf Coast. While each store is unique, they all feature our trademark blend of quality, service and low prices. LOCAL Our local roots run nearly 60 years deep. At our stores you’ll find local fruits and vegetables grown just for our customers. Fresh seafood caught by local fish- ing families who have been working with us for generations. And thousands of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama made products. We’re committed to bringing you the very best this region has to offer — and helping local farmers, fishermen and sellers grow their businesses.
Here We Grow Again We’re busy renovating and remodeling existing stores, and building new stores from the ground up. Your new Rouses Markets in Covington, Sulphur, Moss Bluff and Baton Rouge, Louisiana open in late Summer and early Fall.
AN OLD-FASHIONED BUTCHER SHOP
Each Rouses Market features a full- service butcher shop with master butchers available to answer your questions about cuts, grades and cooking. Steaks are hand-cut in store.
JOIN OUR TEAM Our team members share a strong work ethic and dedication to providing our customers the best
SEAFOOD MARKET We partner with local fishing families on the Gulf Coast, East Coast and West Coast to bring you the best of every catch. Our certified seafood experts are trained to select, cut and prepare every piece of seafood we sell.
quality and service. If you’re looking for a career you’ll love, apply online at www.rouses.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org . VOTED ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO WORK
AT SEASON’S PEAK: Tropical Fruits Our tropical fruit selection goes beyond pineapples, papayas, mangos, kiwis and coconuts — we even have guavas. Look for sweet and tart choices like passion fruit and star fruit. Vividly pink dragon fruit, which tastes like a cross between a kiwi and a pear. And jackfruit, our most distinctive selection. This giant spiky fruit can be used for both savory and sweet dishes depending on its ripeness. Firm green jackfruit is great cooked. It has a meaty flavor and texture similar to pulled pork. Ripe jackfruit has a sweet taste like a combination of pineapple, mango and banana. Look for a yellowish skin with spikes that have softened, and a shape that yields under gentle pressure. LEARN, EAT, MEET There’s always something new and fun on our schedule, from classes and demos taught by our chefs to private dinners pairing food, wine and spirits. Visit our website at www.rouses.com/in-store/events to see what’s happening in your neighborhood.
Contact Us! www.rouses.com Tweet Us! @RousesMarkets Like Rouses? We like you too! Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/rousesmarkets Share Photos! @rousesmarkets SIGN UP FOR EMAILS Hungry for more?
Sign up at www.rouses.com to receive our weekly specials and cooking tips, recipes and special offers in our emails and newsletters.
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IN EVERY ISSUE
CAJUN SPECIALTIES You can’t fake Cajun! Our boudin, andouille, fresh and smoked sausages, and stuffed meats are made with Rouse Family Recipes that go back three generations. Cooking and heating instructions are available at www.rouses.com/cooking/cooking-instructions.
CHEESE & CHARCUTERIE We love to share what we do and what we know with our customers. Not sure what the difference is between Gorgonzola, Roquefort and Stilton? Our experts can help. They’ll assist you in picking out the perfect cheeses, charcuterie and accompaniments. ROUSES PRIVATE LABEL If Rouses Markets is on the label, you know it’s good. Every Rouses Markets private label food item has been personally tasted by the Rouse Family and is guaranteed to deliver the best quality at the best price.
LIMITED TIME OFFERS in our Deli Don’t miss our Limited Time Offers — Thai Chili Rotisserie Chicken, Honey Sriracha Fried Chicken (pieces and tenders) and Columbus Roast Beef Sandwich with Horseradish Cheddar. WINE, SPIRITS & BEER We offer wines and spirits at every price point and have experts on the floor to answer questions and offer pairing suggestions. Our craft beer selection includes cans, bottles and kegs from all over the Gulf Coast and the nation, plus import labels from around the world. FLOWER SHOP Our licensed floral directors are as picky about the flowers we sell as our chefs are about the ingredients that go into the foods we make. We have one-of-a-kind arrangements and centerpieces, and you’ll love our great selection of decorations. Visit www.rouses.com/in-store/floral-services to order flowers for delivery within specified areas. CAKES & DESSERTS There are as many reasons to order our cakes and cupcakes as there are ways to customize them. If you’d like to place a special order for a cake or dessert, stop by or call your neighborhood Rouses Market. For locations visit www.rouses.com/locations.
New! MEAL KITS for Two Leave the fuss to us! Our new Meal Kits include everything you need to make a restaurant-quality meal at home. Just follow our chef’s simple, step-by-step cooking instructions. Pictured; Chicken Fajitas
the Wedding issue
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY
JULY | AUGUST 2018
IN EVERY ISSUE
Eat Right with Rouses words Esther Ellis, MS, RD, LDN W hen I was asked to write about brides and crash diets, I did a littleGoogle search of the phrase, “wedding crash to occur in a crash diet, which means your body isn’t burning as many calories as it once was. When the wedding is over and regular eating habits resume, you will likely gain back the weight, in addition to extra pounds, since your metabolism will have slowed down. This slower metabolism is something you may end up fighting for years to come. HORMONES GONE HAYWIRE
consequences of a crash diet. Combine that with the nerves of your wedding day and you can faint or pass out. Sure, it’s a long shot, but you may also find yourself feeling miserable, which is the last thing you want to be on your wedding day, right? THE SOLUTION A traditional wedding can take months or years to plan. If you want to lose weight, incorporate it into your planning and give yourself plenty of time, aiming to be at your goal weight at least a month before the wedding. Weight loss of one to two pounds per week is a realistic goal. But first, be honest with yourself — do you really need to lose 20 pounds? Maybe you only need to lose 10 pounds, or maybe you don’t need to lose any weight at all. Consider speaking to a professional to gain more insight on what a healthy weight is for you. Modifying certain diet habits can have a huge impact on weight loss. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, which are lower in calories but higher in fiber to help keep you full. Choose whole grains, which will also keep you full on fiber. Add in high-protein snacks like jerky or hard-boiled eggs to keep you feeling satisfied between meals. I never recommend that you deprive yourself of any foods because it will only make you want them even more. Instead, practice proper portioning so you can enjoy your favorite foods and not overdo it. Increasing your daily activity can also help you burn more calories. In addition to a regular exercise routine, ramp up your activity throughout the day by taking the stairs or walking 10,000 steps instead of 6,000 steps.They may seem small, but these changes do add up to burned calories! Most important, take this time to practice body kindness. A wedding is a celebration of love — this should include the love for yourself! If you need more tips or have questions related to diet and nutrition,I’m just an email away — email@example.com.
diet.” What came up were countless pages of forums, articles and group discussions on how to lose 10, 15 and even 20 pounds in a matter of weeks before the wedding day. Of course, fad diets were recommended; what was more surprising was the abundance of fellow brides and articles promoting colon cleanses, feeding tubes and even starvation to achieve the result of looking thin for the big day. A Cornell University survey found that 70% of engaged-to-be-married women wanted to lose an average of 20 pounds before their wedding, which is well above the national average for women who want to lose weight. When it came to methods of losing weight, 40% of them employed at least one extreme measure, while 25% used two or more.This survey is now 10 years old, but I’m willing to bet a newer one would get similar results. Most of us know crash diets are unhealthy. So, why is it acceptable under the guise of “shedding for the wedding?” Weddings are a wonderful celebration of love between two people, but what about self-love — the relationship between yourself and your body? A large motivator of shedding for the wedding is (1) fitting into the perfect dress and (2) looking flawless in those wedding photos. Wedding photos may last forever, but so can the effects of a crash diet. Here are my top reasons to forgo the crash diet and focus more on self-love, acceptance and realistic goals. THE BOUNCE-BACK Your body has an amazing ability to adapt to change. When it’s significantly deprived of the calories it needs to perform daily functions, it enters a sort of “starvation mode,” conserving energy and breaking down some of your muscle for fuel. Losing weight doesn’t always equate to losing fat; a loss of lean muscle mass is most likely
As if planning a wedding isn’t stressful enough, try planning a wedding while hangry. When your body isn’t getting enough fuel, it ramps up production of a hormone called ghrelin, which sends out hunger signals and increases your appetite — this is your body’s attempt to get itself some food. Furthermore, it decreases the production of leptin, the hormone responsible for stopping hunger. Cortisol levels may also increase, which correlates to increased stress. The lack of calories can also interfere with brain activity, causing even more irritability. Maybe Bridezilla just needs some food! WHAT’S MISSING When the body is deprived of calories, it’s also deprived of the essential vitamins, minerals and macronutrients it needs to be healthy. Most likely, you won’t be getting enough protein, calcium, iron, fiber and other nutrients, which can wreak havoc on your body. For instance, when the body isn’t getting enough calcium, it starts taking it from the bones, which can be a major problem — especially in women, who are already more likely to experience osteoporosis. It can also impact the health of your skin and hair, which may not give you the glowing look you’re going for on your wedding day. FAINTING IN LOVE When the wedding day is here, and your colon cleanse and sauna sit-ins have helped you lose 20 pounds, you may find yourself the center of attention for the wrong reasons. Dehydration, fatigue and weakness can be
the Wedding issue
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY
JULY | AUGUST 2018
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the Wedding issue
Always A BRIDESMAID words Maggie Robert and Alessandra Madrid
W e’ve both stood in and attended a lot of weddings in our 27 and 26 years of living. A lot. Don’t get us wrong — weddings, eternal happiness and all of that jazz are beautiful things that we both hope to have one day. Not to mention open bar and cake! I mean, weddings (in general) rock. But being in the bridal party is, let’s just say, not always as glamorous as it looks when you are a little girl. So, what’s the worst part of being in the bridal party? Besides the other bridesmaids? Kidding! (Kind of.) I mean, let’s be real. There are always one or two friends that are particularly obsessed with being the better bridesmaid. And there are always girls who promise to “mail you a check”
—aka will never pay you back— for that $100 round of shots during the bachelorette. (Hey! I bet this very issue was the inspiration for those digital payment apps like Venmo.) Then there’s the people constantly inquiring about your love life. Constantly. Of course, this goes on at the wedding too. There’s nothing worse than people either asking you why you’re single or when you plan on getting married. I mean, maybe we have other priorities at the moment, Karen?! Career, health insurance, a 401k … a woman can dream in 2018, right? We are only in our 20s, after all. Remember that scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary when the smug married person asked Bridget why there were so many, many
unmarried women in their 30s? I loved her reply: “Suppose it doesn’t help that underneath our clothes our entire bodies are covered in scales.” Not to mention, being a bridesmaid or just being included in a friend or family member’s wedding festivities is such a commitment. Your social calendar is suddenly filled with celebrations for other people. Call me selfish, but why can’t people celebrate us single gals once in a while? Why do there need to be so many parties these days? Engagement parties, couple’s showers, stock-the-bar parties, bridesmaid’s showers, just to name a few. The worst are lingerie parties. It’s always super awkward because the mom and mother-in-law-to-be
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY
JULY | AUGUST 2018
We have become jadedwith the stereotypical bachelorette party. It probably doesn’t help when you live in a city where you see several on-the-prowl bachelorette groups trotting around your neighborhood each weekend, in addition to those bachelorettes that you actually have to attend yourself. The sashes, the crowns, the X-rated straws; it’s all so tacky and overdone. It can definitely be fun when people get more creative and original with these ideas, though. We went to one where everyone was asked to wear a different colored wig. Maybe it’s the New Orleans girls in us, but we love a good excuse to wear a wig. It feels like you are in disguise for the night, and no one knows what your group is really up to … ;) One of our friends had to buy a hot pink dress for the bachelorette party. That was super extra. Hot pink is not a flattering color on anyone . And that’s not the kind of dress you are going to want hanging in your closet. So, that’s another thing you are going to buy to wear just one time. Now, let’s talk about the brides …The brides can get a little crazy with their rules these days. In a wedding one of us was in last year, we got an email two weeks prior saying that we couldn’t wear red lipstick, and our nails and toenails had to be a neutral color. Oh, and the bride was wearing her hair down so we all had to wear our hair up. Period. God forbid you look hotter than the bride. We’re not saying this happens every single time, but what’s with the unflattering colors and weirdly covered-up dresses? There is nothing worse than being a bridesmaid at a beach wedding while wearing a million layers of tulle. You might rationalize, telling yourself, okay, at least the professional photos will be nice. Wrong.The dress made you sweat so much that you’ll spend a solid hour untagging yourself from any pictures that might have made it onto Facebook. The worst part, hands down, is the expense. We’ve both paid for designer bridesmaid dresses that we’ll never wear again. And maid of honor dresses that belong in Great- Grandma’s closet. And you’d think it all ends once you send that $350+ check for your dress. Nope, next come $100+ in alterations and tons of time being spent at fittings. By the time we are 30, we will each have a closet full of gowns that don’t really go with our skin tone or cover our back fat.
We have had to travel out of the city — even out of the country — for several recent weddings. Last year almost all of my vacation days were devoted to weddings: I went to San Antonio, Acapulco, Roatán, and Tegucigalpa.Thankfully, I’m a seasoned travel bargain hunter, but these destination weddings have cost me at least $1,500 each. As travel junkies, we really don’t mind the travel part. But, it’s not as fun when you don’t get to pick the city or beach town you’re traveling to. Not to mention, there’s the added stress of transportation, who is doing your hair and makeup (will you even like it?), traveling with formal dresses and mandatory white outfits for the welcome cocktails … the list is never-ending. If you thought only brides get to wear white during their wedding weekend, you’re very wrong. The new thing is having all of your guests wear white, and then the bride walks in in the most extravagant jumper or gown in a scandalous color. We have got to hand it to these brides — smart move to stand out in every single photo that weekend.Do we hate having to buy white outfit after white outfit? Yes. Will we have a white party when we get married? Probably. Let’s be real.Once you add up the cost of the dress, the bridal shower presents, the travel for the bridal showers, the bachelorette trip, the lingerie party, the stripper (gross), the hair, the makeup, and the flights and hotels for the actual event, you’ll realize you’ll be eating red beans and rice until you pay off that credit card. But hey, love is a beautiful thing, and we’ll continue to celebrate those lucky people who have found their soulmates. We just might complain about it a little here and there. Cheers to wedding season, y’all! BABES & BEIGNETS is a New Orleans-based multimedia lifestyle brand founded by Maggie Robert and Alessandra Madrid. Babes & Beignets covers drinks, dining, travel, fashion, networking, dating and everything in between. Learn more at babesandbeignets.com, and follow their journey on Instagram (@babesandbeignets), Facebook (/babesandbeignets) and Twitter (@beignetbabes).
are there. Hey, Mom, what do you think of this sexy little number? Not to mention, what is it with inviting parents and in-laws to the bachelor and bachelorette parties? It’s super uncomfortable for everyone else there, even if there are no strippers. Talk about a buzz kill. And you’re expected to bring a gift to every party. Come the actual wedding, you’re expected to get yet another gift for the happy couple. I have a friendof a friendwho ismarrying a super Southern guy. He’s a great guy, but of course he comes with a huge family.The wedding is at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, and I kid you not, there have been eight parties. Eight! How much stuff do you need?
the Wedding issue The Marry -Go-Round words Ali Rouse Royster I n my 35 years, I’ve stood in 12 weddings. I was a flower girl once, a bridesmaid 10 times (three as maid of honor) and, of course, the bride at my own wedding. I’ve done readings, brought up gifts, traveled to weddings, followed dress codes, been to countless showers, bachelorette parties, honey-do’s, engagement parties, crawfish boils, bridal party parties, brunches, teas, cocktails — you name it; chances are, I’ve probably been to one. I’ve hosted or helped host about half of those, too!
open during the ceremony, and the power blinked on and off for a good portion of the reception; luckily, there were plenty of candles and acoustic instruments! I had discussed with my hair stylist the need for hurricane-proof hair, and lots of hairspray and bobby pins held my hairdo together, but picking them out by flashlight late that night was not much fun. My husband, Billy, and I served in quite a few weddings together, of which we have great memories. Billy was in a much- anticipated dance-off at one reception, and he was declared the victor (by crowd applause). At another, we participated in our friend’s family tradition by donning some white shrimp boots for a celebratory dance. When the time came for my own wedding, I was a veteran at being in a wedding, but it was my first time as star of the show and maker of the decisions. I do like party planning, and this was my time to shine at a (Godwilling) once-in-a-lifetime celebration. Our engagement was on the short side, so the pressure was on from the beginning,
but I never reached “Bridezilla” level stress. I was very lucky to have such a talented team at hand at Rouses to work with. Our Rouses deli team partnered with our friend, the incredible Chef Tory McPhail, to create a best-ever wedding menu, which I hear was delicious (true to the cliché, we didn’t eat much at our reception). Our talented floral designers worked with our event coordinator to make stunning arrangements and focal pieces for the space. The Rouses bakery team did a phenomenal job of not one but two jaw-dropping cakes — our gorgeous wedding cake and my husband’s four-foot-long kayak fishing groom’s cake. Our wedding was a dream, and it was the perfect send-off and celebration to begin our married life and build our family. My one piece of advice to any bride? Don’t fret about the day ; just make sure you have all the pieces together for your life , and the day will come together just fine. If you’re marrying the right person, your wedding is just icing on the (five-tiered, almond- flavored) cake.
I’ve been called a professional bridesmaid — there have been a lot of 27 Dresses jokes thrown around. But now that I’m at an age where I am out of the wedding circuit, I almost miss it. My younger cousin Caroline was married recently, and I felt like I hadn’t been to a wedding in ages! It was a lovely wedding and an absolutely beautiful — not to mention super fun — reception. One thing that stuck out in my mind is how much weddings have changed just in my limited 30-ish years of wedding experience! My first time serving in a wedding was as a flower girl in my cousin Sharon’s wedding. The year was 1987. The sleeves were poufy, but the bangs were even poufier.The dresses were iridescent taffeta. Every man in that wedding party had a mustache. The faux magnolia in a basket that I carried was used as a decoration in my parents’ foyer for I don’t know how many years after. I remember very little about it (I was only four!), but Sharon posted some of the pictures on Facebook for her anniversary, and they are golden . My 10 times as a bridesmaid were fabulous and fun, as were the 10,000 parties that went along with the weddings. There was a variety of color and fashion choices, and of daytime, afternoon and evening ceremonies; the receptions ran the gamut from low-key to extravagant, and everywhere in between. I cannot pinpoint a favorite; they were all so much fun, but each in their own way. As can happen on the Gulf Coast, I was once a bridesmaid in a wedding during a hurricane — in this case, Rita. Church doors flew
Bride, Ali Rouse Royster, 3 rd Generation | Rouse-Royster wedding, photo by Brenda &Tim Sison
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY
JULY | AUGUST 2018
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the Wedding issue
GOING TO THE CHAPEL words Jason Berry
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY
JULY | AUGUST 2018
M usic is elemental to the rites of matrimony. Songs of love and hope make the newly- weds swoon, and charge the family and guests at receptions to kick up their heels in breaks from the feasting and toasting to the bride and groom and their life ahead. Weddings make musicians happy, if not so much for vicarious memories of their own cake-cutting day long past as for the economics: Receptions that really rock are high-dollar jobs compared to nightclub or festival gigs. Deacon John Moore, the effervescent 70-something New Orleans bandleader, was playing weddings before America put men on the moon (1969.) A few thousand weddings later, some of his clients are the grandchildren of couples at whose weddings he once played. “The songs people love for weddings have changed some,” says Deacon John philosophically. “When I first got married in the 1960s, I sang ‘AllTheseThings’ for my bride” — the Allen Toussaint composition that Art Neville’s vocals made popular. “I was in the studio when Art sang it in 1962. I played it at a wedding a few weeks ago.” What are the most-requested songs? “Number one is ‘At Last,’” reports Deacon. “The version sung by Etta James.” As often happens in the evolution of a given song’s popularity, soul singer Etta James came late to it. Written in 1941 by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren, “At Last” was popularized by Glenn Miller’s big band, and then in 1960, James recorded it on her debut album, probably the most popular set of lyrics the blues diva put on wax: At last my love has come along My lonely days are over and life is like a song, oh yeah At last the skies above are blue My heart was wrapped up clover the night I looked at you I found a dream that I could speak to A dream that I can call my own I found a thrill to press my cheek to… Jimmy Maxwell, the namesake leader of the orchestra he launched in 1981, is a mainstay of Mardi Gras balls and by his
own “conservative estimate” has played “well in excess of a thousand weddings.” Maxwell, too, finds “At Last” to be the most-requested song. “The bride chooses the first song,” says Maxwell. “The song is human nature-driven, emotionally and psychologically — that tempo, those lyrics put the bride in a special place.” But descending from the pinnacle of Etta James’s pipes on “At Last,” the most- requested song tier diverges between Maxwell and Deacon John. For Deacon John: “Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World.’” Mmm. A good waltz, sweet lyrics — skies of blue, red roses too. For Maxwell, whose orchestra has a sleek website with video clips of grand wedding moments: “Number two is ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ as Frank Sinatra sang it.” Makes sense entirely— it’s moody,romantic, man sings love, woman feels adored. Where Deacon John and the Ivories captured a corner of the wedding market as the premier rhythm-and-blues cover band inNewOrleans, the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra traveled the South in the 1990s, playing “older, more moneyed weddings,” says Maxwell. “Atlanta’s Piedmont Driving Club, country clubs in Houston, Dallas, the Florida Panhandle. We might have peaked in the late ’90s, playing 200 a year.Things shifted after 9/11. If we do 50 in a year now, that’s a lot.” That’s still around a wedding a week, with a dozen musicians and attendant travel costs. “Time marches on,” says Maxwell. “A prophet is not guaranteed honor in his own town unless you work at reviving and remarketing.My dad was once the drummer in my band. He’ll be 90 in January. I live Keep that breathless charm. Won’t you please arrange it? ’Cause I love you Just the way you look tonight.
next door to him. My son Robert Maxwell is the drummer now. I am not quite retired. We work with an incredible singer, Mark Monistere — the kid sounds like Harry Connick Jr. — and he can do a lot of pop rock. Robert and Mark are carrying us into the 21st century.” The third most popular song for Maxwell is the Harry Connick Jr. version of “It Had to Be You,” and at four, the soul crooner Al Green with that ineffable falsetto on “Let’s Stay Together.” Deacon John counters with his most popular list, which descends to the Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun” and Percy Sledge singing “When A Man Loves A Woman.” “I’m a chameleon of sorts,” says Deacon John. “I can blend in with the woodwork. People have flownme and the band out to California and up to New York to play weddings. I save all the thank-you letters. I’ve had families that had three daughters, and they called me back to play each one’s wedding. “I have played for Jewish, Greek, Latino and African American weddings,” says the Deacon, smiling like a candidate warming to his stump speech. His most memorable gig on the wedding circuit was in 1989, when the actor John Goodman married Anna Elizabeth (Annabeth) Hartzog, a UNO graduate he met in 1987 while filming Everybody’s All American in Louisiana.
“Goodman was such a nice guy, and he loves New Orleans culture and music; he married a girl from Bogalusa and pulled out all the stops. Chef Paul Prudhomme was there in person. Great food. We were on a riverboat. Aaron Neville sang ‘Ave Maria’in the church, and he sang at the reception. Goodman had the Dixie Cups.They sang ‘Chapel of Love.’ Bruce Willis, one of his friends, jammed with my band. I didn’t know he could play the harmonica; he did a few blues songs. Roseanne Barr was there with her [former] husband Tom Arnold. Jesse Hill sang ‘Ooh “ Goodman had the Dixie Cups. They sang ‘Chapel of Love.’ Bruce Willis, one of his friends, jammed with my band. I didn’t know he could play.”
[Page 18] Deacon John, photo by Cheryl Gerber
the Wedding issue Poo Pah Doo’ and Oliver Morgan did ‘Who Shot the LaLa.’ It was a star-studded party.” Maxwell has seen some weddings with made-for-movie moments. Over-the-top encounters one does not expect at nuptial celebrations. “I remember one bride — she was quite uncomfortable in her wedding dress, and she started taking it off. The crowd was jumping up and down, yelling. She stripped! The song? It could have been ‘I Feel Good’ by James Brown. The guy she married was this Marine, a muscular guy like you couldn’t believe — he could have been on the defensive line for the Saints. And he’s standing there, cheering and egging her on!” Wedding gigs have been more wholesome for the Cajun chanteuse Yvette Landry. A schoolteacher in Breaux Bridge, Landry got her launch as a guitarist and country-and-western singer
something, and wanted the option of lyrics in French. Landry called Barry Jean Ance- let, a prolific poet and scholar who helped with the translation. She did the song at a wedding for a couple in their mid-20s with grandparents from the generation that still speaks French. When the grandparents walked in, she sang the French verse. Would you like to spend forever together And look me in the eye when I love you Would you like to spend forever together Forever, together, I do Voudrais-tu rester ensemble pour toujours Et me regarder dans les yeux quand je t’aime Voudrais-tu rester ensemble pour toujours Pour toujours, ensemble, moi ouais Together, forever, I love you Ensemble, pour toujours, je t’aime Landry has been elated by the response to
the bilingual song. “Young kids in our area aren’t speaking French, and grandparents who had it as their first language are dying off,” she says. “The bride at that wedding didn’t realize how much it would touch those elders, and she was glad for what it brought to the wedding. I’ve recorded it in English, but not yet in French.” Businesses that specialize in the planning of weddings are a booming industry in heavily populated areas, which augurs well for hotels, reception halls, caterers, musicians — and the airline industry, a pivotal link in the chain of destination weddings for which guests travel far and wide. Even in an age when many couples make lives together while putting off the ceremony of commitment, often for many years, the river of life flows on with couples young and old taking the big step.
For a country club wedding at which Deacon John and the Ivories played, the groom was severely ill with the flu and barely able to stand. “He said ‘I do’ and passed out,” recalls Deacon John. “They carried him off to the hospital.The best man was the stand-in for the first dance with the bride.When she threw her bouquet it went into the chandelier; they had to get a ladder and bring it down so she could throw it again.” Of that inauspicious ceremony, the bandleader chuckles. “You know, Woody Allen once said that marriage is the death of hope.” He paused. “And then Woody got married.”
in 2010. The first invitation to play a wedding left her a bit wary. Her repertoire ran heavy on lyrics of heartbreak and loss, not the romantic wellsprings of Sinatra or the Carpenters. “A song like ‘Dead and Gone’ didn’t strike me as appropriate for a wedding,” recalls Landry. But the father of a former student was emphatic in asking her to play at the big event. Music is an adventure,if nothing else. “I played accordion with a fiddler while the couple made their entrance,” says Landry. “We did some country love songs in the ceremony. And then some of my stuff for the reception.” The event at Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge went off without a hitch. Landry actually does more funerals than weddings. “I think it’s the instrumentation we have with the steel guitar [played by Richard Comeaux]. Sacred steel is beautiful when you hear ‘Old Rugged Cross’ or ‘Amazing Grace.’ I’ve tended to write more songs about death than love.” But on writing “Together For- ever” she thought she was onto
The Dixie Cups hit the top of the charts in 1964 with “Chapel of Love.” Photo from AllMusic.
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY
JULY | AUGUST 2018
the Wedding issue
SECOND LINES words Alison Fensterstock
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY
JULY | AUGUST 2018
W hen you’re planning a wedding, there are a lot of questions to consider. Buffet or sit-down dinner? Top-shelf bar or signature cocktail? If you tie the rings to your dog’s collar, will he make it to the altar without eating them? Why does that website insist that what your union really needs to endure is a special cake knife engraved with your initials and the date — and how does that cost $200, anyway? And for New Orleans spouses- to-be, there’s one more question: Will you second-line? The joyous second line parades put on most weekends in New Orleans by venerable African-American social aid and pleasure clubs have their roots in the even older tradition of jazz funerals, which honored the dead with public music and dance. Today, more and more New Orleanians — and tourists as well — like to adopt the celebratory tradition of parading with a band to mark a special occasion. “My daughter just graduated from college in New York,” said trumpeter Dr. Brice Miller. “We couldn’t bring a brass band up there with us, but we brought a second-line umbrella, and she walked the stage with it.” As the leader of the Mahogany Brass Band, Dr. Miller has played his fair share of wedding second lines. They weren’t always ubiquitous, he said. “In the early 2000s, it was a unique thing,” he said. “Not everyone did it. Now, you might see 10 in one day, on any Saturday in the French Quarter.” Grace Birch, a Loyola graduate and communications professional,said that it was actually her London-born fiancé, Christian, who was set on having a second line at their 2013 wedding. Born and raised in New Orleans, she worried that orchestrating her own parade might feel contrived. “But some of our best memories were listening to the Treme Brass Band at the Candlelight Lounge,” she said. “The Treme guys were so instrumental to our dating and our courtship, and they made some magic moments for us over those five years. So it was only appropriate for them to be there for our special day.” A late-season hurricane threatened to derail their plans. Birch argued with her
husband-to-be, she said, trying to call off the second line so that the party wouldn’t get soaked or worse. But Treme Brass Band bandleader Benny Jones told the couple that the parade was going to roll, and it did. “And in the end it was one of our highlights,” she said. “The weather held off, and the photographer caught our relief and joy on film. “We were marching down the street, Christian smiling ear to ear, with the cathedral behind us,” she said. “It was one of our most magical moments.” Victor Pizarro and Tim Walls were already married, technically, when they second-lined in New Orleans to celebrate their union in 2017. Their small waterfront ceremony a year and a half earlier, inWalls’ home state of Maine,was romantic—but Pizarro wanted a party that celebrated the culture of his native New Orleans, with all his extended family and friends. So after a second ceremony at the Cabrini Bridge in Mid-City, the Treme Brass Band paraded them to the reception venue, where a WWOZ DJ spun records. The couple hired pedicabs to ferry older relatives along the route. “It was a great way to get people from the wedding site to the reception site,” Pizarro said. “And passersby on the street saw it was our wedding and congratulated us.”
“Like all things New Orleans, when it comes to our culture — when you do it right, everybody wins,” Miller said. Even though wedding and convention parades aren’t explicitly rooted in deep heritage the way funerals and social aid and pleasure club parades are, they provide necessary gigs for brass musicians — and the kind of demand that inspires young artists to learn the old songs and customs, knowing that those skills will not only preserve a storied culture, but also generate work. “As someone who’s been on both sides of it,” he said, playing a wedding second line is “a way of me sharing a piece of who I am, my culture, with other folks. And it creates a beautiful memory.” Dr. Miller’s own wedding reception took place at Gallier Hall — which is now, in his capacity as director of Mayor Cantrell’s Office of Cultural Economy, the location of his office. He and his wife, Shaneeka, hired not one but two brass bands for their wedding second lines: the Treme to parade them into the stately hall, and Miller’s own group, the Mahogany, to conclude. Did he play his own wedding? “No,” he said. “But I danced my ass off, and so did my wife.”
[Above] Bourgeois-Kennedy wedding, photo by Melissa Friloux Photography [Page 22] Wilson-Birch wedding, photo by Marianne Sabrier for the Red M Studio
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