Laura Kuzmkowski & DJ Miller

Bourbon St. kiss

Photography by Elizabeth Dondis Photography
Laura Kuzmkowski and DJ Miller’s love of fitness first brought them together, and their love of New Orleans later brought them to become husband and wife. The couple met at X Shadyside gym while Laura was a law student at University of Pittsburgh. DJ moved away as Laura was finishing school, but when he returned, they went on their first official date to Capital Grille. A few months in advance of their one-year anniversary, DJ began orchestrating a very special dinner at Capital Grille, but Laura was busy making reservations at another restaurant. “I had thrown a wrench into his plan,” she says. DJ cancelled her reservations at the last minute, and took her back to the table where they had dined one year earlier. When Laura opened her dessert menu, she found a very sweet (and inedible) surprise and looked up to see DJ down on one knee. The whole restaurant was in on his plan and quickly crowded around the table to check out the ring. “He went through a lot of trouble, and I made it as hard on him as possible without even knowing,” she says. “It was wonderful and very thoughtful.”

 

Exchanging vows on Bourbon Street.

Exchanging vows on Bourbon Street.

The Wedding

The couple’s first getaway together was to New Orleans. Right away, they fell in love with Louisiana and decided it was the ideal site for their future nuptials. They said, “I do” in Musical Legends Park on Bourbon Street in front of 30 family and friends. The bride wore a lace, ruffled, Lazaro dress and carried a bouquet of ivory roses that the mothers of the bride and groom had picked out from a local florist. Passersby stopped and gathered to watch as Laura’s father walked her across the street from their hotel and down the aisle. After the ceremony, the entire wedding party paraded down Bourbon Street behind a six-piece brass band, the women carrying parasols and everyone wearing Mardi Gras beads bedazzled with bride and groom-shaped charms. “We went over the top, but we wanted it to be very New Orleans,” she says. “Now that I’ve done it, I can’t imagine anybody not wanting to have a destination wedding.”

The Reception(s)

Afterward, at Galatoire’s Restaurant, they enjoyed escargot and a butter cream cake decorated with fleur-de-lis symbols. Guests took part in “cake pulls,” a New Orleans wedding tradition that involves pulling charms from the cake and is similar to a bouquet toss in determining who will be engaged next. Upon their return to Pittsburgh, the couple invited 100 guests to Greensburg Country Club to indulge in a candy table, cupcakes, and Prantl’s burnt almond torte. In lieu of favors at their second reception, the couple made donations to the Make It Right Foundation, which builds houses in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. — Ben Boskovich

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