Candlelit ceremony unites Miss Valerie Elizabeth Hensgens and Mr. Matthew Maurice Lyons
In a beautiful candlelight ceremony on Friday January 15 at 7 p.m. in the evening, Miss Valerie Elizabeth Hensgens and Mr. Matthew Maurice Lyons exchanged sacred marriage vows before the altar of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Jennings. The most Reverend Monsignor Keith DeRouen was the celebrant of the nuptial Mass.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Hensgens, Sr. of Crowley. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Braxton I. Moody III of Crowley and the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles N. Hensgens, Sr.
The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Francis Lyons, Sr. of Jennings. He is the grandson of Mrs. Lena Mae Oustalet and the late A.J.M. “Bubba” Oustalet, Jr. , and Mrs. Ruby V. Lyons of Welsh and the late Mr. John A. Lyons, Sr.
The elegance of muted candlelight which created a formal setting for the wedding and illuminated the bridal procession to the altar was achieved by the placement of stately aisleabras down the main aisle of the church. Placed on each side of the historical marble alter were large floral arrangements of cascading white orchids.
The solemn beauty of the service was enhanced with a lovely program of traditional nuptial music provided by Keith Martin, organist, Yang Yang Li, violinist, Will Green, trumpeter and Judi Bollich, vocalist. The musical selections included Ave Maria, Schubert, Canon in D, Pachelbel, Trumpet Voluntary, Clark, Panis Angelicus, Ave Maria, Bach, Maria zu Lieben, and Wedding March, Mendelssohn as the recessional.
The mother of the bride was escorted into the church by her eldest son, Dennis Hensgens, Jr. The groom escorted his mother along with her eldest son, James Lyons, Jr. The mothers were seated during the beautifully sung Ave Maria, Schubert.
Readers of the sacred scripture were Mrs. Roxanne Oustalet Lagarde, godmother of the groom, Mr. Richard Kevin Moody, godfather of the bride, and Anne Elise Roberson, cousin of the bride. Presenting the offertory gifts were Elizabeth Plaisance Lyons, sister-in-law of the groom, Amanda Baronet Hensgens and Debra Schultz Hensgens, sister-in-laws of the bride, Natalie Lambousy, Rosalind Robertson, and Anne Elise Robertson, cousins of the bride. Guests were greeted by Katherine Prince, Lauren Cox, Victoria Lafayette, and Kristine Savoie, friends of the bride.
To the strains of Trumpet Voluntary, the bride entered the church on the arm of her father, radiant in a formal Justin Alexander Couture ball gown of ivory silk satin featuring a strapless, sweetheart neckline and covered with English Tulle, embroidered lace, pearls, and crystals. The midriff and drop waistline had rows of pleated satin and led to the full pleated ball skirt. The entire skirt was covered with English Tulle, embroidered lace and flowers, pearls, and crystals which led to a cathedral length train. The bride wore a two tier veil of silk illusion, fingertip and cathedral length, edged with fold-over antique silk ribbon. She chose her mother’s diamond and pearl earrings as her only jewelry.
The bride carried a traditional bouquet of porcelana and cabbage roses in shades of ivory and pink tied with an ivory satin ribbon. With her bouquet, she carried as a special keepsake a sterling rosary belonging to her maternal grandmother, Thelma Hebert Moody, a locket photograph in loving memory of her brother, William Moody Hensgens, and a linen and lace handkerchief which was a gift from her sisters.
Matrons of honor were Gretta H. Trahan, sister of the bride and Valerie M. Hensgens, mother of the bride. Maids also in attendance to the bride were Jeanne Lyons, sister of the groom, Mary Gayle Hensgens and Christina Hensgens, sisters of the bride, Anne Theresa Leonards, cousin of the bride, Ellen Ware, Jennifer Habetz, and Kathryn Alleman, friends of the bride. Bridesmaids entered the sanctuary to Canon D wearing a formal gown of champagne and black duchess satin. The strapless gown featured a slight sweetheart neckline and gathering at the empire waist which created a softly pleated effect on the champagne bodice. Draping her shoulders was a capped sleeved, black velvet jacket which complimented the full black satin skirt of the gown. The bridesmaids were presented in identical gowns and carried bouquets of porcelana and garden roses.
Miss Grace Hensgens and Miss Eleanor Hensgens, nieces of the bride, served as junior bridesmaids. The lovely young ladies wore floor length gowns designed especially for them in the same colors and fabric as the bridesmaids. They carried miniature bouquets of the bridal roses.
Immediately preceding the bride in procession were the flower girls and nieces of the bride, Miss Anna Hensgens and Miss Camille Trahan. Their tiny gowns of champagne satin featured a full, tea length skirt graced with a layer of organza and were tied at the waist with a beaded organza sash. The girls wore ivory fur stoles around their shoulders and carried pomanders of sweetheart roses.
Attending the groom as best man was his brother, James Lyons Jr. His groomsmen included Michael Hensgens, brother of the bride, Adam Thames, Brandon Murrell, Scott Crigler, Daniel Bordelon, and Wesley Simon, friends of the groom. Serving as junior groomsmen were Dennis Hensgens, III and Jacob Link, nephews of the bride. Masters Jeffery Trahan, Jr. and Johann Hensgens III, nephews of the bride, proudly served as ring bearers. Serving as ushers for the ceremony were Dennis Hensgens, Jr., Johann Hensgens II, and David Hensgens, brothers of the bride, and Jeffery Trahan, Sr. brother-in-law of the bride. The men of the wedding party were attired in formal black tuxedos with champagne neckties.
Mrs. Hensgens, the former Valerie Anne Moody, was noted wearing a beautiful evening gown of teal blue Thai silk. The fitted jacket featured a portrait collar with a double layer of silk ruching. Swarovski crystal buttons fastened the jacket as well as the three-quarter length cuffed sleeves. The back of the formal strait skirt was gracefully finished with a slight sweeping design. The bride chose for her mother a small bouquet of porcelana roses tied with silk ribbon to the evening bag carried by Mrs. Hensgens.
Mrs. Michelle Oustalet Lyons, mother of the groom, chose for her son’s wedding an elegant gown of silk and chiffon. The two piece ensemble featured a beautiful red silk, long sleeved jacket. It was accented by an opera collar and enclosed with a stunning jewel clasp. A graceful A-line, black chiffon skirt draped from beneath the jacket, and a hand-tied bouquet of bridal roses along with complementary accessories completed her attire.
Immediately following the ceremony, the parents of the bride were hosts at a reception for the newly wedded Mr. and Mrs. Lyons at the Grand Marais Ballroom of Jennings. The colors and flowers selected by the bride were seen throughout the reception hall.
The wedding cake was a beautiful five tiered confection dressed in white fondant, and accented with ivory fondant ribbons and graceful fondant bows down the center of the oval tiers. The cake was filled with creme centers of strawberry cream cheese, pistachio, chocolate amaretto, and coconut. Dozens of porcelana roses between each tier completed the look of the lovely cake. The grooms cake was a three layer yellow cake filled with chocolate mousse and frosted with a chocolate ganoche. It was topped with cascading chocolate dipped strawberries. After the traditional cutting of the cake, the bride’s cake was served by her godmother, Elizabeth Miller and the groom’s cake was served by his godmother, Roxanne Lagarde.
For the traditional wedding toast, the bride and groom used the heirloom silver goblets that were used by the bride’s parents at their wedding. The goblets had been a wedding gift to Mr. and Mrs. Braxton I. Moody, Sr., the great-great grandparents of the bride.
Mr. Lyons is a graduate of Notre Dame High School and Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. He was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He is currently employed as an account manager for Nestle USA. Mrs. Lyons is also a graduate of Notre Dame High School and Louisiana State University having earned her degree in Communication Disorders. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority.
The couple’s wedding trip to Hawaii was a gift from the groom’s parents. Upon their return, they plan to reside in Crowley.