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New York State of Mind.

WILL YOU MARRY ME?

Anna Deery Walker was first introduced to John Warren Sullivan at her brother's Washington, D.C., home in the spring of 2008. The couple hit it off, but Anna lived in New York City and John Warren in D.C. However, true love always prevails, and in November John Warren invited Anna to celebrate his birthday with him, which also happened to be New Year's Eve. Suddenly, a long distance relationship began. John Warren ultimately moved to New York, and on November 11, 2009, he surprised Anna with her favorite bottle of bubbly and a ring. They celebrated their engagement at one of their favorite spots, The Harrison in Tribeca.

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I DO

Marble Collegiate Church, a New York landmark building, features towering stained-glass windows (the oldest two from Tiffany Studios) an arched ceiling, brass-plated doors, and mahogany pews--was the perfect spot for the couple to take their vows. Friends and family were greeted at the steps of the Fifth Avenue church by railings draped in bouquets of white ranunculuses, hydrangeas, lush roses, and cream ribbons. Anna walked down the aisle carrying a bouquet of white ranunculuses, peonies, and roses to the voices of Marble's gospel choir.

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LET'S CELEBRATE!

Following the ceremony, guests boarded private double-decker tour buses to New York's Peninsula Hotel, enjoying a "mini-tour" along the way. They took a private elevator to the Salon de Ning on the rooftop, where they were greeted by a glass cabinet displaying photographs of the bride and groom and their parents on their wedding days. Sushi was hand-rolled throughout the evening under a canopy of intertwined branches with orchids. Guests enjoyed everything from roasted shrimp satay with a chili dipping sauce to vegetable Asian noodles served in take-out boxes. Comfortable daybeds and tables provided seating on two outdoor terraces with glorious views of Fifth Avenue. Elaborate flora! arrangements of orchids, ranunculuses, and peonies covered the reception area. Everyone danced under the moonlight to the tunes of the All-Stars Dance Band as the glittering New York skyline served as an ethereal backdrop. Late in the evening a round of sliders and fries were served along with macaroon lollipops and passion fruit, pistachio, and white chocolate vanilla flavored dessert cones. The couple departed to the song "Empire State of Mind," ending their Manhattan meets the South inspired day.

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DETAILS

NOT YOUR AVERAGE SLICE

When it came to Anna's cakes, not just any cake or baker would do. Lauri Dutinno of Cake Alchemy, often seen on WE TV's "Amazing Wedding Cakes," created her bride's cake. Dutinno crafted a delightful confection that paid homage to glass artisan Dale Chihuly. The white fondant cake shimmered with gold luster and featured hand-blown sugar glass bulbs, dusted with gold and silver, cascading down the sides. John Warren's cake was no less elaborate. The chocolate box design featured five layers, resembling boxes of chocolates banded in gold ribbon with fleur-de-lis designs (paying tribute to his affection for the Saints football team) topped with an open box of artisanal chocolates. And, as with Anna's cake, not just any baker would do--the intricately designed cake was baked and sculpted by Oprah- and Vera Wang-endorsed Ron Ben Israel.

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MUSSIE MENTION

The mothers of the bride and groom carried white bouquets in sterling silver tussie-mussies that Anna had received during her 2000 debut for the ceremony. It was a special touch and something Anna had always dreamed would be a part of her wedding.

REMEMBER ME

The sapphire and pearl circle pin of Anna's maternal great-great-grandmother, Louisa Deery Tarpley, adorned her hand-tied bouquet of ranunculuses, peonies, and lush roses. She also wore her maternal great-grandmother Ruth Tarpley Hull's platinum and diamond engagement ring on her right hand

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TRADITIONAL TOUCH

The couple's wedding invitations were another of Anna's designer touches. They were engraved from a custom calligraphy plate on imported Italian paper. Each invitation was sealed with a gold wax seal embossed with a "W." Even the postage stamps gave a glimpse of the upcoming event. A black and white photograph of Phaleanopsis orchids, an integral part of the floral designs in the wedding, was highlighted on custom postage stamps.

GIFTED

Anna and John Warren designed unique "Save the Date" cards themselves. They took photographs of New York street signs for the names "Walker" and "Sullivan" and accented them with taxi cab yellow writing. Their gift bags echoed the same New York theme with taxi cab key chains, NYC black and white cookies, Chinese take-out boxes filled with mixed nuts, and other treats.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Being on the 21st floor, a traditional send-off was a bit difficult. Anna and John Warren thought out of the box, and guests tossed colorful chenille pom-poms as they exited into the private elevator to their suite. The pom-poms were displayed in clear boxes with customized labels. The following day, guests were treated to a "Grits and Goodbye" lunch, Jackson artist Key Neville was commissioned to paint a New York skyline for the luncheon invitations. The original now hangs in the couple's New York home. M

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Anna Deery Walker & John Warren Sullivan

photography by hechler photographers
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Article Details
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Author:Ward, Melanie M.
Publication:Mississippi Magazine
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jan 1, 2011
Words:887
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