When Sevetri met Aulston in New Orleans in 2019, they were both in the process of starting over. He had recently returned to his native city after living in New York City for 17 years. During that time, he was actually featured in ESSENCE’s “Single Man of the Month” column in the July 2012 issue, and by the time he returned to his roots in Nawlins, not much had changed in regard to his relationship status. As for Sevetri, she was doing the opposite — preparing to leave NOLA to live in New York City full time. Both parties were beginning new chapters in their lives when they were introduced through a mutual friend at Jazz Fest, but they couldn’t have imagined they would be starting them together.
After connecting at the annual celebration of the city’s music and culture, they would hit it off. And despite some distance between them initially once she left for the East Coast, as fate would have it, COVID-19 would send her back to New Orleans for what she assumed would only be a few weeks (boy, was she wrong). During that extended stay, the bond between Sevetri and Aulston would be solidified.
“I knew I found someone special because my career can be very demanding and he was always cheering me on and encouraging me to achieve every goal I had set out for,” she says when asked how she knew she found her match. Sevetri is a tech founder and serial entrepreneur while Aulston is the president and CEO of St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. “There was never an ounce of resentment or anything here.”
“So much of Sevetri’s beauty, drive and care for others reminded me of my mom’s spirit and being. As we continued to grow together, that spirit remained and only grew stronger,” Aulston says of his love. “That’s when I knew she was the one and was special to me.”
Three years after they met in the Crescent City, Aulston proposed to Sevetri in Positano, Italy. He planned a lunch and lite photo shoot with a photographer who was tasked with snapping photos of them as they ate on the beach. During that very special meal, Aulston got down on his knee and asked for her hand in the sweetest way.
“What was special about the moment is that my mother passed away when I was young. So, before he got on one knee he pulled out a video, which was of him at my mother’s tombstone asking for my hand in marriage,” she recalls. “It was completely unexpected and brought me to tears.”
The heartwarming moments all led up to their unforgettable wedding day on April 22 in their favorite place: New Orleans. They wed at the longest standing active cathedral in the country, St. Louis Cathedral. With guests all dressed in black, they made their way to the New Orleans Museum of Art for the reception/cocktail hour in the venue’s sculpture garden, which was decorated with roses, peonies and towering trees. They ended the night with an after-party, a growing trend, that featured a Dusse activation offering specially-made cocktails, as well as a special performance by NOLA icons Partners-N-Crime and Juvenile. As Sevetri says, the evening ended in “true New Orleans fashion” as a second line band, fog bubbles and a vintage Rolls-Royce sent the couple off to start their latest chapter, this time as husband and wife.
Now if all of that sounds beautiful (and lit!), just wait until you see the photos from the big day. Learn more about Sevetri and Aulston’s love story, as well as all the important details that went into their celebration when you check out this week’s Bridal Bliss.
The bridal party share some fun, peaceful moments together before the ceremony.
As Sevetri made her entrance for the ceremony in St. Louis Cathedral, she walked down the aisle to “Stand by Me” sung by gospel choir Jess and the Difference.
The couple seal their holy matrimony with a kiss inside St. Louis Cathedral.
Guests were in awe of the beauty of the ceremony, as you can see with them watching intently as Sevetri and Aulston head back down the aisle.
The good-looking wedding party (with the bride and bridesmaids being the only ones not in black that day) posed for a portrait in St. Louis Cathedral after the ceremony.
Surrounded by the wedding party and guests, the couple shared one more kiss before heading to the reception.
“Guests were greeted by nationally known St. Augustine High School marching band as they exited the cathedral to head to the cocktail hour at NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Art),” says the bride.
“Let’s be honest, Black people look good in any color but it’s something about black that adds a layer of sophistication and elegance without having to try,” Sevetri says of asking guests to wear black for the occasion, especially at the reception, which was filled with gorgeous flowers. “I was going for an elegant and timeless moment, and my guests in all black against the ivory roses, peonies and other greenery was just beautiful.”
“The dinner and reception venue was a combination of both of us. He sits on the board for New Orleans Museum of Art but I really wanted a tented wedding, and I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to accomplish it in their sculpture garden. However, once they approved it, I knew my dream of having a ‘garden romance’ themed wedding was on,” she says.
Guests knew where to sit for festivities thanks to these Moet bottles, which had seating assignments for partygoers to find in alphabetical order.
The couple received loud cheers from their family and friends as they entered the tented dinner space.
The pair were met with applause, and $100 bills, as they danced the night away at their romantic garden reception.
The guests were entertained by band Universal Language and surprised by Grammy-nominated recording artist Elle Varner. Sevetri sang along with the star during the reception. “Elle is amazing!” she says. “Like seriously, she showed up and gave the best performance. She danced, laughed, we sang ‘Refill’ together and she even came in all black, which was the theme for the wedding. Truly amazing to have one of my favorite singers perform at our reception and all of my favorite songs at that.”
Sevetri traded in her embellished strapless wedding gown for a second option for the after-party at the NOMA: a slinky halter dress with a serious split.
This photo is giving “Cash Money Records takin’ ova for the ’99 and the 2000s.” The bride and groom (who also changed into something more comfy but stayed sharp) are seen breaking it all the way down at the after-party to tunes by Juvenile.
At the end of the night, the couple made a grand exit with help from a second line band, which, of course, calls for custom parasols.
Sevetri says that the celebration was a “true New Orleans themed wedding.”
“My favorite moment was walking into the tent for our dinner and seeing all of our family and friends,” Sevetri says. “It was the first time I had a chance to hug and laugh with everyone and some family I hadn’t seen in years. It truly was my favorite moment.” As for Aulston, he says his favorite moment was “witnessing my bride and I dance the evening away in front of so many loved ones.” Oh, and reliving the Cash Money fandom days of his youth was also the cherry on top.
Planning and Design: Elegance by Ace
Photographer: Iris Mannings Photography
Bride’s Attire: Galia Lahav
Groom’s Attire: @Livelovestyle
Bridesmaid’s Attire: Bridal Babes
Groomsmen Attire: Crown of Wealth Collection
Hairstylist: Ashanti Lation
Makeup: Face by Trace