Photographed by Brocato Photography
Match Made Round the World
Karl and Susannah Anderson’s love story is one that will require you to whip out your passport just to keep up. Southern belle Susannah was born in North Carolina but grew up visiting her mother’s family in Baton Rogue, Louisiana. Karl is from Sydney, Australia. The two met in London working for the same company, UBS, a financial services company. They were organizing a training program together for incoming financial analysts when they caught each other’s eye.
In between the long and stressful workdays, the two colleagues connected. “Karl asked me out for our first non-work related date after the program ended. We went to the Zetter Town House, a charming cocktail bar in central London, and talked for hours,” explained Susannah.
Despite growing up worlds apart, the two shared many things in common, especially their love of traveling. “I knew it was something special right away.” Unbeknownst to them, their love story would be an international affair, taking them around the world and back again. Just as the two were starting to get close, Susannah’s United Kingdom work visa expired, requiring her to pack up her treasured memories of London and return home to the United States.
She accepted a position in New York with Huron Consulting Group. The two continued to talk daily and visited each other several times. After maintaining a long distance relationship for 6 months, Karl managed to transfer with UBS to New York City. They spent three years in Manhattan before moving to San Francisco for Karl’s new position.
A proposal happened during a weekend getaway to Napa Valley. Susannah was under the impression that the two were going to Napa to relax before Christmas break. As the couple roamed the scenic vineyards and enjoyed local restaurants, Susannah was completely unaware that this weekend would change her life forever. Karl proposed in front of the fireplace of the Auberge du Soleil hotel, which overlooked the picturesque valley. Susannah said, “Yes!”
As the couple set out to plan their wedding, they knew they wanted the wedding to echo the intimacy and sophistication of their engagement. The couple chose New Orleans as the wedding location because of Susannah’s Louisiana roots and for the international appeal of the city.
On March 11, Susannah, dressed in a beautiful Amy Kuschel gown, married her best friend at Rayne Methodist Church. She chose to walk down the aisle to Waltzing Matilda, an Australian ballad that is considered the country’s unofficial national anthem. Susannah said, “I know it touched many of the Australians, including Karl. It was really important to me to incorporate something from his country because his heritage is important to us as we build a family in the United States.”
With the ceremony now over, guests moved to The Audubon Tea Room. “ I wanted a magical feel for the reception and the Audubon tea room and garden was the perfect place” said Susannah “Guests were welcomed into the garden with tiny tea lights interspersed on the grounds as well as candles and lanterns on all of the tables. In anticipation of a light rain, the tea room staff arranged for a clear tent with chandeliers to cover the outside patio for cocktails prior to the reception. Seeing the old oak trees through the tent was beautiful and the outdoor space was a lovely setting for our guests to retreat to when they needed a break from the dance floor.
Susannah and Karl chose to serve an array of seafood, delicious tenderloin, roasted vegetables, and salads. For dessert, there was a scrumptious cake that incorporated the blush colors and greenery seen throughout the wedding. And instead of doing a traditional groom’s cake, there was a selection of pastries that guests where invited to take home in a “to-go bag. Guest danced the nights away to the Atlanta Showstoppers.
Karl and Susannah headed off on their exciting and adventurous honeymoon. Taking a page from the movie “Eat, Pray Love,” the couple’s first stop was Rwanda to trek Mountain Gorillas. “We trekked through the Volcanoes National Park and saw twenty gorillas. It was wild and slightly frightening to be just a few feet away from the huge male gorillas. The baby gorillas came up really close and we even touched a few”, recalls Susannah. They then set off for another exciting adventure, a safari on the Serengeti in Tanzania. “We stayed for 10 nights at a few different camps to get the full experience: Alex Walker’s Mobile Camp, Singita, and Nomad’s Entamanu. We saw everything, including the big 5 (Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard). The highlight was witnessing the magnificent spectacle of the Great Wildebeest migration. It was amazing to see the hundreds of thousands of wildebeests fill the plains as they moved north,” said Susannah. At last, they jetted off to a quiet beach in the Seychelles to reflect on their unbelievable wedding and honeymoon adventures.
For Susannah the best part of being married is the companionship, “Whether you are having a good day or a bad day, you always know you have a best friend who cares about you deeply by your side.”
For brides-to-be, Susannah advises creating a timeline and hiring vendors whom you connect with and trust. One other piece of advice is, “It all goes so fast! Remember to smell your bouquet.”
Ceremony: Rayne Methodist Church | Venue: Audubon Tea Room | Caterer: Audubon Tea Room | Bakery: Melissa’s Fine Pastries | Décor: Luminous Events | Florist: Poppy & Mint | Hair and Makeup: Verde Beauty | Music (Ceremony): Marcus St. Julien (Organist), New Orleans Classical and Jazz (Strings), Allison and Randall Bunnell (Vocalists) | Music (Reception): Atlanta Showstoppers | Transportation: Limousine Livery | Photographer: Brocato Photography | Videographer: Lipari Films | Wedding Planner: Josie Azuma | Invitations: The Little Blue Chair (Hope Johnson) | Honeymoon: Africa (Rwanda, Tanzania, Seychelles) | Favors: Gambino’s Bakery goodies | Handkerchiefs: Ulster Linen | Bridal Attire: Amy Kuschel Dress | Groom’s Attire: Thom Sweeney Tuxedo | Bridesmaid Attire: Amsale | Groomsmen Attire: John’s Tuxedos