A New Orleans wedding. Frank and Romy.

Back in November of 2018 an email popped into my inbox in the early hours of the morning. It was from Frank and Romy. Briefly they introduced themselves, Frank a photographer, Romy a painter, said they were getting married in their hometown of New Orleans and asked whether I was available and whether I would like to travel to their wedding.  Frank and Romy had been searching for a photographer and in their own words had not been thrilled by the photographers they had found so far. But they liked what they saw on my site. As a documentary wedding photographer I like to think that my work is authentic, honest and a refreshing change to the large body of wedding photography that we see in the world about us. These were also the words that Frank and Romy used to describe what they saw in me. From the outset it felt like a good fit. I’m always more than happy to go pretty much anywhere for the right people, if what I do is right for the couple then a destination wedding is no big problem for me. There were some logistical issues to deal with, a 6 hour time difference between us meant that communication wasn’t instantaneous and simple but I will forever be grateful to Frank and Romy, firstly for persevering in the search until they found me, and then for placing their trust in me and inviting me from the other side of the world into their lives for a few days last June.

The two first met when Romy visited a photographic exhibition Frank was holding at Felicity Church so it was very fitting that they returned to the church for their wedding a few years later. But with family and friends coming into New Orleans for the wedding from all over the place there was also to be a reception the day before following the wedding rehearsal and this was held at a lovely house lent to them by friends for the events.  I attended the rehearsal and reception the day before partly to cover the event but also to meet the gathering guests. The way I work at a wedding is that I like to become just another guest as far as is possible. Obviously there are moments when I stand out, I’m the one walking around with half a ton of glass and metal dangling off me after all, but for the most part I find that by becoming part of the wedding as a guest, everyone becomes much more relaxed and then the guests gift me with the kind of access that I wouldn’t otherwise have.  I work very close to people, I don’t skulk around the edges of the day with a long lens and so it helps to be accepted by the family and friends as one of their own.  These people are of huge importance to the couple, they form a large part of the story of the day and so they become very important to me also over the course of the time I spend with them.

Being a New Orleans wedding music and food played a huge part. Gypsy Jazz bands and oysters are two of my favourite things. Finding them both at the family reception was a small slice of heaven. The wedding day itself came around and I joined Frank and Romy and some of their friends and family at the house. The day started with a very laid back vibe. Two groups of family and friends coming together as though they had known each other for years. This was very much setting the scene for the rest of the day as well. Many of the suppliers were old friends and the ceremony itself was delivered by an old friend who had qualified as clergy for the purpose of conducting Frank and Romy into their new life together. (if you’re reading this TRJ thanks for the reading recommendations – you were right about Denis Johnson – and also the late night Jazz, I’ve been listening to your radio show). After the ceremony, what more can I say, the day was filled with more fun, laughter, love, dancing, music (DJ Kate Geiss kept the floor moving all night) – the list goes on. Finally at 10 pm the church, being in the middle of a residential street had to close but the party wasn’t over by a long stretch.  A klezmer band arrived and led the guests outside to a waiting police escort. Frank, Romy and the band then led the guests back to the house from the church in a second line parade as the police motorcycles rode ahead and closed down streets to let the parade pass by. Back at the house the party continued in to the early hours.

What follows here is a selection of some of my favourite pictures from the wedding day itself. There are far too many pictures that I wanted to post and many have inevitably been cut in an attempt to sketch the story of the day but here’s a good handful or three of the pictures. Below the pictures – some links to the suppliers. These are definitely worth looking up if you’re looking for suppliers for a wedding in New Orleans. Lastly – huge thanks again to Romy and Frank for having me along. Thanks also to their people for making me one of theirs for the time I spent with them. Here’s to the day we may all meet up again.


Just married - leaving the wedding ceremony at a New Orleans wedding
The COuple lead the second line parade at a New Orleans wedding

Coordinator Amanda Price Events

Venue Felicity Church

Makeup and Hair Sean Gispert

Catering Black Pearl Catering & Two Girls One Shuck

DJ Kate Geisse

Second Line  Klezmer All Stars

Romy’s dress  Bliss Bridal

Frank’s suit  Boggi Milano

And of course me on cameras! If you’re getting married and think that what I do might suit what you want then dont hesitate to get in touch, Let’s make it happen.

Michael Riley Photography


I am a a multi award winning UK and destination wedding photographer. Based in Devon, I offer wedding coverage throughout the UK and anywhere else in the world for couples who like my work and approach to a wedding.


My wedding photography is entirely unposed, natural & candid. My style is documentary wedding photography or reportage wedding photography which means that I don't intervene in the day for the sake of a shot. I don't pose, interfere or otherwise fuss and faff. Everything is relaxed, laid back and fun allowing for those natural moments to come through and be recorded as memories. You get all the moments observed not orchestrated. If you like the sound of this get in touch via my contact page.

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