Society Wedding of the 1930s

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 Lecesne-Epps-Haydel Wedding (1934)

Bridal Party (not in order): Ione Beck (flower girl),  Edna Jamet (bridesmaid), Jacquline Regard (flower girl),  Noella Haydel (bride),  Henry Haydel (bride’s father), Clifton Lecesne (groom),  Archie Lecesne (groom’s brother),  Ella Mae Dejoie (flower girl),  Pauline Lecesne (bride’s sister-maid of honor),  Isabelle Epps (matron of honor), Mary Guillaume (flower girl),  Alma Lecesne (bride),  Adrian Lecesne (bride’s father), Harold Epps (groom), Arthur Davis (groom’s best man)

A wedding unique in the history of New Orleans society of the 1930s was the one held on Saturday, July 14, 1934. It was the double marriage ceremony of Miss Noella Haydel to Mr. Clifton Lecesne as well as that of Miss Alma Lecesne to Mr. Harold Epps. Clifton and Alma Lecesne were brother and sister so not only was it a double ceremony but a family one as well.

Several hours before the ceremony took place, more than 4,000 relatives, friends, and curiosity seekers arrived to secure seats at Corpus Christi Church on St. Bernard Avenue. Well-wishers congregated first inside the church, then jammed the church’s steps, yard, neutral grounds, sidewalks, and hallway leading from the church to the rectory. Not even the intense heat of this July day persuaded any to leave. To many, this was the wedding of the year.

As the hour approached, the crowd jamming the street had to be persuaded to move back so that the bridal party might be allowed to enter the church. Cheers from the crowd soon erupted as Mrs. Cavalier, the organist, began the wedding march and the bridal party proceeded down the aisle.

1st Bridal Party…Noella Haydel & Clifton Lecesne

Heading the procession was little Ione Beck, flower girl, followed by Miss Edna Jamet, bridesmaid. The sister of the bride and matron of honor, came next in line and was followed by little Miss Jacquline Regard, another flower girl.

The charming bride of the first party, Noella Haydel arrived, leaning on the arm of her father, Mr. Henry Haydel. Mr. Clifton Lecesne, the groom, had as his only attendant, Mr. Archie Lecesne, a brother.

2nd Bridal Party…Alma Lecesne & Harold Epps

The second bridal party followed immediately. First came Miss Ella Mae Dejoie, flower girl, followed by Miss Pauline Lecesne, maid of honor and sister of the bride. She was followed by Mrs. Isabelle Epps, matron of honor. Little Miss Mary Guillaume, another flower girl came behind Mrs.Epps. Everyone turned as the second bride, Alma Lecesne, entered the church and was given in marriage by her father, Mr. Adrian Lecesne. The groom, Mr. Harold Epps, had as his best man, Mr. Arthur Davis. The ushers included Wallace, Harry and George Guillaume, Peter Dominigue as well as Anthony and Almond Lescesne.

It should be noted that both parties were identically dressed. Both brides wore white patent leather satin dresses with a sweeping train. Their veils were trimmed with orange blossoms and cascaded toward the ground. Both brides also wore a string of pearls given to them by their grooms. All four flower girls were attired in white net dresses (short and long length) which were trimmed in ruffles as they carried bouquets of pink roses. Even the bridesmaids wore organdy gowns with a wide hat of the same material and matching accessories. White linen suits were worn by the men.

During the ceremony, Mr.Hurve Rachal rendered a tenor solo and was accompanied at the organ by Miss Louise Metoyer.

Following the ceremony and a ride around town, a gala reception was held at the home of the Lecesnes on North Tonti Street where many friends gathered to extend their congratulations. Both couples announced they would be at home to their friends after Sunday at 2439 D’Abadie Street.

Source: The Louisiana Weekly, July 21, 1934 page 3 “Lecesne-Epps-Haydel Wedding”

Lolita Villavasso Cherrie

11 thoughts on “Society Wedding of the 1930s

  1. It was very interesting to see & read about my aunts and uncles at their wedding ceremony, especially since it was before I was born.

  2. Lolita thank you for starting and continuing this project. Again thank you for sharing.

  3. Miss Louise Metoyer, the accompanist to Mr. H. Rachal became Mrs. Louise Metoyer Bouise, wife of Dr. Oscar Bouise. He was an English Professor at Xavier Univ. and taught my father freshman English. Her sister became Mrs. George McKenna, Junior Professor in Sociolgy at Xavier Univ. Mrs.Louise Metoyer-Bouise was an active advisor to Alpha Kappa Alpha when my youngest daughter was there in 1997. She was in her 90’s at that time.

    • Mister Hurve Rachal’s tenor solo was accompanied by Miss Louise Metoyer who with her Miss Leah Metoyer in subsequent years became Mrs. Oscar Bouise and Mrs. George Mckenna, Junior respectively. Mrs. Louise Bouise’s daughter Ann became Ann Boise Ward, M.D. and her younger sister Joan attended Xavier Prep. Of course her sisters’s children are well known in New Orleans i.e. George McKenna III and Dr. Dwight Mckenna..

  4. I lived @ 1636 Tonti Street, NOLA. Ms. Alma & Mr. Harold’s son, Wayne was my best friend and my Corpus Christi School classmate.

    • Wayne was my father. It’s so amazing to read articles like his and hearing about my grandparents and dad and learning about my family history!

  5. I wasn’t born when this wedding took place, but I had the pleasure of growing up near Mr. and Mrs,Lecesne and being a classmate with their son Wayne.

    I just love that 7th ward history. It brings backs so many good memories.

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