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Alyssa & Jo – An Elopement at a sacred Tree Of Life in New Orleans

Alyssa & Jo – An Elopement at a sacred Tree Of Life in New Orleans

Gay Queer black couple eloping in New Orleans, Louisiana (1)

Alyssa and Jo eloped in New Orleans, with just their Moms in tow. The ceremony took place at the gorgeous and sacred Tree Of Life, promises and memories made.

The Love Story

We met in 2017 in DC at Honey Groove, a music festival for queer women of color. We reconnected a few months later, and the rest is history!

Music festivals are one of our favorite things to do together and one particular weekend at Broccoli City Fest 2018 is hands down one of our favorite memories together! It was our first festival as a couple. We got to see a lot of amazing artists, including the late Nipsey Hussle. The day was FUN and perfect!

Tell us about the proposal.

What a day! A few of Jo’s close friends and their partners were in town for a Black Beer Fest. Jo thought they were all going to spend the weekend together in this gorgeous house in Mt. Washington, but little did she know that Alyssa had a MAJOR surprise planned.

Alyssa told Jo that she had a wardrobe malfunction and needed to go find an outfit for the festival. So Jo went to hang with the friends while Alyssa secretly transformed the house into a surprise engagement party!

Alyssa asked Jo to marry her atop Mt. Washington, and they returned back to their home where dozens of friends and family, many from out of town, were waiting to celebrate the “yes!” They had a great party and then went to the amazing Beer Festival – with some new bling!

The Elopement

It was a perfect day. We’ve both been in our fair share of weddings and the mornings of the day are usually anxiety-provoking for sure. Our day was slow, fun, and intimate.

We each got ready with our moms, with Jo making breakfast for everyone, and her mom delivered it to Alyssa and her mom. There were undoubtedly sad parts of the day as Jo just lost her father in February 2020. His spirit was incorporated throughout the day, including a picture and a portion of his ashes used for Jo’s bouquet. Alyssa carried one of his handkerchiefs.

We didn’t see each other all day until we met at the base of the Tree of Life.

It felt like we were there, under that tree alone. It was a sacred moment. We exchanged vows, laughed, cried, and prayed in that sacred space.

We were married by Jo’s former roommate and dear friend. Thunder clapped across the July New Orleanian sky a few minutes into the ceremony. Alyssa looked up begged for five more minutes, and the weather complied. Literally, as we jumped the broom, raindrops started falling.

We spent a bit more time at the Tree of Life, took some photos around the city, and ended the celebration by having a lovely dinner at GW Fins.

The Future

We are taking the future as it comes! We hope to be joined in this life with some little kids one day. But, for now, our dog Maya keeps us on our toes. Professionally, we continue to do the necessary work of advancing and ultimately receiving equality and justice. We hope to see the fruits of our labor while we are still earthside.

Photography by Lily Magnolia Rose Photography

Dress Boutique Koda Bridal
Engagement & Wedding Rings Henne Jewelers
New Orleans Classical and Jazz
Janasia Smith
Chanell Malott
Officiant Monique Rochon
Suit Designer
Sandra Stava
Venue Tree of Life, Audubon Park

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