Inside the New Orleans wedding of a fashion PR and an NFL star
Ashley Simmons the PR Director and owner of Simmons PR and Andrus Peat, Left Guard for the New Orleans Saints met in a rather unexpected way. “I was looking for an after-party venue for an event I was working on and he was leaning up against my bag on a ledge and I asked him to please move. He did and then he asked me to dance and I said no … but we talked and I gave him my number”.
It was two years later in May 2018 when the couple was out enjoying an elegant dinner at GW Finns in New Orleans French Quarter. It was their two-year anniversary, when Peat got down on one knee and was eager to tie the knot. It was no shock for the PR publicist as she already knew he was the one.
The pair knew they wanted to wed in a church, however their hunt became difficult and they eventually settled on the picturesque Opera House. “I loved the imperfect beauty that the Opera House represented,” shared the bride. The reception was then planned to be held at Broussard’s due to the beautiful scenery of the courtyard and the outdoor element which the bride adored.
Scroll through to go inside this glamorous wedding.
Deciding on the wedding date was also difficult, due to the bride and groom’s conflicting schedules. “We can’t get married too close to football season (September to January) and not during the busiest time for Simmons PR which is summer (June, July, August).” Finally the couple could meet in the middle and decided to wed on May 25, 2019.
The inspiration of the wedding came instantly and naturally as Ashley knew exactly what theme and style she was going for. The theme was glamour, with lots of greenery and with the help of the wedding planner, Emily Sullivan the visions became a reality. As Ashley was originally from Australia, guests were coming from near and far to celebrate the newlyweds. The pair decided to host a welcome dinner the night before at the Napoleon House and also decided to have a post-wedding brunch at the beautiful venue Marché, which was overlooking the Mississippi River and had breathtaking views. The bride and groom felt this intimate time as a group was important to bring everyone together from both sides to soon join as one happy family.
The bride went for a classic look on her wedding day. Having a long-time friend–Melbourne-based designer Alin Le’ Kal–who designed wedding dresses, he helped Ashley design her dream gown. “My long-time friend of 10 plus years Alin Le’ Kal sketched my dream dress just from us talking about what I wanted while I was still in the US. During the wedding planning process, I made two trips home to Melbourne where we had all my fittings scheduled,” Ashley says. The bride also decided on a second dress for the reception, which was another one of Alin Le Kal designs, and was shortened for the reception.
Ashely told that the most memorable part to the wedding was a local tradition known as “the second line.” She says: “It’s a traditional New Orleans celebration where you walk with a band and the whole city celebrates you. We had our route blocked off and were escorted by the New Orleans police department. Andrus is very reserved and wasn’t looking forward to it but when I looked over he was having the best time, which made me enjoy it even more!” As well as this moment, Ashley remarks her father’s speech was a very memorable part of the special day. “When he broke down and cried there wasn’t a dry eye in the place”.
“Focus on the reason behind the wedding, the amazing partner you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with,” says Ashley when asked about her advice to other couples. “It’s about the two of you, the smaller details don’t matter.”
The happy couple share a moment together.
The backdrop for the ceremony at Marigny Opera House.
Invitations and stationery by Minted.
The bridal party.
During “the Second line,” a “traditional New Orleans celebration where you walk with a band and the whole city celebrates you.”
Cake by Royal Cakery.
The bride wore shoes by Jimmy Choo.
The creative photo booth sign.
“We had an early evening ceremony so I had all day, I just wrote my vows I had typed in my phone on paper, relaxed with my bridesmaids, had champagne and just tried my best to stay calm,” Ashley said.
The separate groom’s cake by Bittersweet Nola.
The reception was held at Broussard.
The incredible dress, designed by Alin Le’ Kal.
The bride and groom saying their vows.
The very cute flower girls.
Floral arrangement by Bella Blooms Floral.
“We decided on the second dress a few months before the wedding and he had one of his designs he showed in Paris shortened to a reception dress for me,” Ashley says.
The couple’s signage used a play on words with the groom’s surname.
“The reason behind Broussard’s is because of its courtyard; I fell in love with the outdoor element and it’s one of the biggest ones in the French Quarter so I knew it could accommodate our guests!”
The next day, Ashley says she was “excited and just super happy that I was now married to my husband, realising that the stress didn’t matter!” She adds: “It was all about the commitment I made to my true love.”Click Here: afl store