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Bride: Pamela Edwards, 40

Groom: Nigel Christiani, 40

Occupations: Edwards, magazine editor; Christiani, social worker

Homebase: Brooklyn

Wedding Date: April 11, 2009

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Wedding Location: New Orleans

First Encounters: The newlyweds met in April of 2000 at a New York City karaoke bar. “Nigel told me that he was going to marry me the very first night we met. Of course I didn’t believe him but now I know he meant it,” says Pamela with a laugh. An instant connection was formed and the two conversed the night away. “I immediately thought he was cute, but then, over the next three hours I also learned how smart he is. And he wasn’t too much, which was a good thing, because I am easily turned off by too much,” the Virginia native shares about her beau not being too aggressive when they first met.

Through the Fire: The relationship has not always been a bed of roses for the fun-loving couple. Nigel, a native of Trinidad, unfortunately became unemployed shortly after his proposal, which led to some delays in jumping the broom. “When he lost his job it was tough for both of us,” confesses the southern belle. “Being with Nigel has taught me so much. With relationships, sometimes you just have to trust the process,” says Pamela.

Nawlins Nuptials: Both the ceremony and reception took place at the intimate Café Amelie, located in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Between the two events was a fabulous “second line” complete with the sounds of the Treme Brass Band that supplied plenty of local flavor. “I wanted everyone to have a good time. I knew the second line would be a great way to celebrate,” Pamela shares. Another live band kept guests dancing to everything from Beyoncé to the O’Jays in between sips of tasty mint juleps and scrumptious crabcakes during the reception. Local talent Scott Myers (photography) and Terry Taravella (videography) helped to capture the magic of the day’s festivities.

Style Conscious: While the groom was decked out in a Calvin Klein tux, Pamela wore a 1950’s-inspired gown. She turned to NYC-based tailor Johnny Lewter to customize the dress. Both her veil and miniature box hat were from Jane Wilson-Marquis. Though the bride planned to wear pink strappy sandals for her big day, she ultimately rocked a pair of metallic gold stilettos from Giuseppe-Zanotti Design which had been in her closet for years. “I had them for some time but had never worn them. They were surprisingly comfortable because of a hidden platform,” explains the fashionista. The vintage brooch worn on the dress was a loaner from the bride’s dear friend Karen who could not make it to the wedding.

Bridal Budget Bite: Pamela is a proponent of brides-to-be living within their means. “A wedding should not be an excuse to go broke,” warns the newlywed. She advises one to “utilize your friends and contacts. My buddy Erika is a graphic designer and created my save-the-date cards and designed my programs. My crafty friend Karen helped me with the reception centerpieces, helped me get the extra tulle for my dress and hosted my New York bridal shower.” She adds, “What matters most is the marriage, not the wedding.”

See what Pamela and Nigel have been up to since their wedding day!