Mrs. John Raymond Leonards
Nuptial Mass unites Henderson, Leonards
In a beautiful candlelight ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m., Lara Brooke Henderson and John Raymond Leonards exchanged sacred marriage vows before the altar of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Crowley.
The Reverend Mikel Polson was the celebrant of the Nuptial Mass and officiated during the wedding service of the church.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Darrin Paul Henderson of Iota. She is the granddaughter of Ms. Dorlis Pippin and Mr. Russell LeBlanc of Crowley and the late Mr. Harvey Douglas Pippin of Crowley and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ronald Henderson Sr. of Iota. Lara graduated from Iota High School in 2007 before attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a minor in psychology and chemistry in 2011, and the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans, where she earned a Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree in 2015. She went on to complete an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She is currently employed as a general dentist at Acadiana Smiles in Crowley.
The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald “Jerry” John Lawrence Leonards Jr. of Roberts Cove. He is the grandson of Shelton Raymond Pousson and the late Betty Sensat Pousson of Egan and the late Mr. and Mrs. Gerald John Lawrence Leonards Sr. of Roberts Cove. John graduated from Notre Dame High School of Acadia Parish in 2007 before attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science, and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge, where he earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2014. He is currently employed as a veterinarian at Northside Veterinary Hospital in Eunice.
Readers of the sacred scripture were Katherine Rothermel Hubbard, friend of the bride, who read Isaiah 35:1-6A, 10, and Lambertina LeJeune Odinet, cousin of the groom, who read James 5:7-10. The responsorial psalm was sang by vocalist Toni Trahan.
Presenting the offertory gifts were Keith Anthony Leonards, godfather of the bride, and Todd Joseph Leonards, uncle and godfather of the groom.
The solemn beauty of the service was enhanced with a lovely program of nuptial music provided by Shawn Roy, organist; Emil Ivanov, violinist; Jared Grey, trumpeter; and Toni Trahan, vocalist. The beautifully arranged selections included Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” Purcell’s “Trumpet Fanfare,” Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary,” Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.”
The mother of the bride was escorted into the church by her son, Ty Christian Henderson. The groom escorted his mother accompanied by his father. The mothers were seated in their respective family pews to the beautiful “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Bach.
In the traditional gesture of honor, guests rose from their seats as the strains of “Trumpet Voluntary” filled the church. The bride entered on the arm of her father. She was escorted in slow procession to the main altar, softly draped beneath a veil. Upon reaching the steps of the sanctuary, in the endearing custom, her veil was lifted by her father, who presented her to the groom.
For her wedding day, the bride chose a lovely ivory lace fit and flare bridal gown with Swarovski crystal beading at the neckline and contour straps. The dress featured a keyhole back finished with buttons down the center and a chapel train. The bride wore a wedding veil of cathedral length with lace trim made by the groom’s aunt, Donna Leonards Spaetgens.
In keeping with tradition, the bride wore a garter made from the lace of her mother’s dress as something old, her dress as something new and her grandmother’s pearl earrings as something borrowed. A blue locket holding a photograph of the bride’s late aunt Dale was tucked into her bouquet as something blue.
To further compliment the simple elegance of her gown, the bride carried a hand-tied bouquet of ivory roses accented with white hydrangeas and white calla lilies.
Leigh Ann Robichaux, friend of the bride, served as the matron of honor. The bridesmaids were Leah Henderson Conrad, cousin of the bride; Caitlin Adele Bertrand, friend of the couple; and Melissa Short Dooley, Gretchen Trahan Savoy, Amanda Abshire Stratton, Courtney Hanks Francois, friends of the bride. The bridesmaids wore black, full lace formal gowns with illusion necklines, cap sleeves and deep V-backs with a satin belts. They carried hand-tied bouquets of ivory roses with antique green and white hydrangeas.
Attending the groom as best man was his brother Philip James Leonards. Other groomsmen included Michael LeJeune and Trenton Leonards; cousins of the groom; Ty Henderson, brother of the bride; and Gregory Savoy and David Van Bebber, friends of the groom.
Serving as ushers for the ceremony were Clint Faul, cousin of the groom, and Christopher Foreman, friend of the groom.
The men of the wedding were attired in formal black tuxedos with bowties and suspenders.
For her daughter’s wedding day, the mother of the bride, the former Carol Pippin, chose an Adrianna Papell floor length flowing evening gown of red sequins. The dress featured a V-neckline, long sleeves and sweeping train.
The mother of the groom, the former Karen Pousson, selected a Tadashi Shoji embroidered sequin and lace floor length A-line gown in navy blue. The dress featured scalloped trim at the bateau neckline and hemline.
At the end of the Nuptial Mass, the young couple carried a bouquet of roses to the Blessed Mother statue. As the beautifully sung “Ave Maria” filled the church, they entrusted their newly married life into her care and protection. As the couple returned to the altar, they presented roses to their mothers in a tender moment of gratitude.
Following the ceremony, the couple was joined by family and friends for a reception at Le Grand Hall at the Grand Opera House. The bride’s cake was a four-tiered round cake, and a bouquet of bridal roses graced the crowning tier and surrounded the base of the cake.
The cake was cut with a serving set that was a gift from the bride’s parents. After the cutting of the cake by the newly-wedded couple, the bride’s cake was served by her godmother, Stella Peveto. The guests enjoyed the flavorings of each tier including strawberry Amaretto, cookies and cream, blueberry, and banana with chocolate mousse. The cake also included traditional New Orleans cake pulls for the bride’s single friends.
The groom’s cake was a white cake iced with chocolate buttercream decorated with chocolate turtle candy. Donna Leonards Spaetgens, aunt of the groom, served the groom’s cake.
For the wedding toast, the bride and groom used crystal flutes that were a gift from the groom’s parents.
Out-of-town guest at the wedding registered from a number of distant places including Texas, Nevada, Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Washington, D.C., New York and various points throughout Louisiana.
On the evening prior to the wedding, the parents of the groom hosted a rehearsal dinner at Chef Roy’s in Rayne. Following their wedding trip to the island of St. Lucia, the newlyweds will reside in Crowley.