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REAL WEDDING:: Evelyn Allen + Derrick O’Neal {SWIPE RIGHT FOR LOVE}

Evelyn Allen and Derrick O'Neal wedding::AS SEEN IN THE FALL 2023 ISSUE OF NOW WEDDINGS MAGAZINE::

Photography by Audie Jackson

evelyn + derrick’s story

Evelyn and Derrick met on Tinder in 2018. “Derrick swiped right first,” says Evelyn. She swiped right a week later and their love story began.

“The proposal story was simple,” says Evelyn. The couple were vacationing at Excellence at Montego Bay in Jamaica for Evelyn’s birthday and Derrick coordinated a “fake” photo shoot with the resort photographer for the proposal. Evelyn said “Yes!”

Evelyn and Derrick's wedding rings

The wedidng party on the steps to Casesar's Superdone in New Orleans

the wedding party + special details

Evelyn and Derrick chose their close family and friends to stand with them as their wedding party. “Family is very important to both of us so sharing this day with them made things even more special,” says Evelyn.

memorial for the bride's late father

Although Evelyn’s father passed away in 2020, she and Derrick found several ways to celebrate his memory at the wedding. “We included an empty seat with his hat as well as a memorial table for him so his presence could be felt,” she shares. “I also carried a picture of him on my bouquet so he could be there with me walking down the aisle.”


The ceremony and reception took place at Club XLIV & Encore in New Orleans. Evelyn had a vision for the ceremony, including a mirror aisle and dramatic floral arrangements that event planner Tenisha Keller of Chocolate Bunnie Events brought to reality.

Mirror aisle wedding ceremony with lush white flower arch and candle backdrop

“My favorite part of the wedding day was walking down the aisle with my mom and seeing my handsome husband smiling at me at the end of the aisle,” shares Evelyn. For Derrick, the moments after he and Evelyn were announced ‘Husband and Wife’ was his favorite. 

the wedding ring exchange

Evelyn and Derrick's first kiss as husband and wife

“After all the hard work and preparations, what really mattered to us was done and {we} were now officially a married couple.”

the newlyweds jump the broom


Club XLIV wedding reception

the wedding reception

The wedding reception was filled with luxurious details including a custom-wrapped dance floor, lush florals dripping with crystals and a stunning four-tier cake decorated with a cascade of red roses.

the first dance

ivory and gold wedding reception table

Evelyn and Derrick toast by the wedding cake

brass band musicians

Of course we wanted to have a Second Line, because who wouldn’t want to have this special tradition included while in New Orleans?” says Evelyn. In addition to a brass band, Zulu Tramps made an appearance at the wedding reception!

wedding second line with Zulu Tramps

Bride and Groom with Zulu Tramps


EVENT PLANNER + DESIGNER: Chocolate Bunnie Events

MENSWEAR: John’s Tuxedos & Suits


GETTING READY LOCATION: Le Pavillon Hotel | CEREMONY LOCATION: Encore | OFFICIANT: David Patin | RECEPTION LOCATION: Club XLIV | BRIDE’S GOWN: Martina Liana, Brickhouse Bridal | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Jessica Angel, Pearl’s Place Bridal | PHOTOGRAPHY: Audie Jackson | VIDEO: Studio 87 | FLORIST: Grow With Us | BAKERY: The Cake Artistry | ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Child Support | TRANSPORTATION: Alert Transportation + Riculfy Livery | HAIR + MAKEUP: Faces of Virtue | DECOR RENTALS: Memorable Events | CATERER: 360 Catering | BRIDAL ACCESSORIES: Aiandeva | INVITATIONS: Zola | FINE JEWELRY: Shane Co. | SECOND LINE: Legacy Brass Band + Zulu Tramps


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