Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #51

Couple: Lindsey Stewart and Daniel Smith

Date of Wedding:  May 27, 2017

Place: Louis Armstrong Park (New Orleans, LA)

Officiant: Axelle Karera (close friend from graduate school)

Fun facts

The bride is from Louisiana and the groom is British.  They bonded over a shared love of jazz (the bride being from its birthplace and the groom being a jazz musician).

The couple was mindful of the complex history that brought a descendant of enslaved people (the bride) together with a person belonging to a people who participated in the Atlantic Slave Trade.  Thus their wedding took place in Louis Armstrong Park, which encloses "Congo Square," a place where slaves met on Sundays to engage in religious ceremony and celebratory rituals.  It is said that what went on in Congo Square birthed New Orleans jazz.

One of the pictures of the couple below is the two of them under what is called the Grandfather/mother Tree in Congo Square--one of the oldest oaks in the ring.  The umbrella pictured in the photo wasn't actually theirs.  A black woman tour guide saw them, stopped her tour, and started arranging them for the tour.  A complete stranger.  It was a *very* New Orleans moment.

In another photo below, the couple jumped the broom, an old slave ritual for weddings.  The couple wanted to find a rituaionl that allowed them to honor their grandmothers, with whom they have a special relationship.  They found a version of the ritual where the grandmothers swept before laying the broom down for the couple to jump.  In the right side of the photo, the bride and groom's grandmothers are holding hands.

In the third photo, the groom is signaling a brass band to start playing.  In New Orleans style, they couple hired a brass band to second-line after the wedding and for the reception, held in Basin St. Station (a train station that holds much historical significance for the development of jazz).