Lauren Del Rio and Stanton Moore had known each other for years, but it took a benefit, a wedding and a musical performance converging on one night for nuptial fate to take its course.

Lauren, who was working at WWOZ-FM at the time, was in charge of a benefit at Blue Nile. “I even had my mother carding people at the door,” she laughed. Lauren was also at the front door with the VIP list when she saw Stanton walking down Frenchmen Street.

“'Stanton, where are you going all by yourself?'” she asked him.

The drummer, who had just come from a post-wedding dinner and still in a suit, was recently single. "I was like, ‘I’m going to see Herlin Riley, one of my favorite drummers of all time,’” he answered.

The performance was at Snug Harbor just down the street, and he told her, “Maybe I’ll come back.” The maybe became definite, and that turned into a conversation.

They talked, but it was “nothing too glamorous. About being divorced and how all that goes,” said Lauren, who, like Stanton, has been previously married.

A couple weeks later he called and asked her out. She accepted, despite her rule of not dating musicians, and they went to Revolution for dinner, followed by music at Preservation Hall. The friendship was now a relationship.

Dating meant working around a schedule that had Stanton, who performs with Galactic, the Stanton Moore Trio and Dragon Smoke, among others, on the road for extended periods. Fortunately, Lauren could meet him on the road for a few of the gigs. Lauren is now the development director for the Ellis Marsalis Center.

After three years of dating, Stanton wanted to propose.

“'I can’t let Mardi Gras go by,'" he told himself. "'It is Lauren’s favorite time of year.'”

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Lauren Del Rio and Stanton Moore during the ceremony with Scott Borne as officiant.

It was Thoth Sunday 2018, and Lauren was hosting a party at her home on Magazine Street, on the parade route. “I’m little Miss Mardi Gras,” said Lauren. “I don’t miss a band or bead! It never gets old to me.

“I had white marching boots on that day, glitter headband. Maybe not my best look to get in engaged in,” Lauren laughed.

Stanton wanted to do something special and to do it on that day. He had a number of ideas: one was to have the Roots of Music — Stanton is on the board of directors — stop in front of her house while he proposed, but alas, they weren’t in the parade.

The morning arrived, and Stanton still hadn’t figured out the pizzazz for the proposal. He reached out to friend and fellow drummer Andre Bohren for help finding another band, but like the Roots of Music, the choices were in the Bacchus parade later that night. Bohren suggested the 610 Stompers and put him in touch. The group said yes.

To keep tabs on the parade's progress, Stanton enlisted three partygoers as scouts. As the group approached the house, “I was up front, harassing them as I would normally do, as any good New Orleans girl would do. And they stopped and surrounded me,” said Lauren, who admits she was “very, very confused” about what was going on.

It suddenly became clear when Stanton, who was by her, got down on one knee to ask her to marry him. It was "sort of classic, sort of traditional, but different,” he said.

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Lauren Del Rio's engagement ring is from Aucoin Hart.

The ring was the best “throw” of the parade.

Though both are New Orleanians through and through, they decided to have the wedding in Four Mile Village, Florida, where Lauren’s parents, Linda and Jack Del Rio, live. “It was always at the top of our list,” said Lauren. The custom-built house has views of a lake and the Gulf of Mexico and was perfect for hosting the reception. 

The duo hired Mary Spera, of Spera Special Events, to organize the late afternoon wedding on Oct. 13, which by design the couple kept low-key, but had special elements including the ceremony on the beach (with a Champagne bar), friend Scott Borne as officiant, food by Emeril’s Coastal Italian — with Emeril Lagasse showing up to supervise, even though he was an invited guest. The chef also got on the drums to perform at the reception, with other performers that night including DJ Brice Nice and a band including Shannon Powell, David Torkanowsky, James Singleton and Skerik Sin Carne. Of course, Stanton got on the drums, too.

And while that was no doubt a fun moment for the musician, Stanton says his favorite memory was when Scott Borne said to the couple, "'I now pronounce you man and wife," and then "I kissed my bride."

The Details

Invitations (wedding, parties): Alexa Pulitzer

Wedding dress: Maria Korovilas; Jimmy Choo shoes

Groom’s attire: Hugo Boss suit from Saks Fifth Avenue

Rings (bride and groom): Aucoin Hart

Flowers: Studio Petali, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

Ceremony: The Beach at Four Mile Village, Fla.

Officiant: Scott Borne

Reception: Residence of Linda and Jack Del Rio (bride’s parents)

Band: DJ Brice Nice and band including Shannon Powell, David Torkanowsky and James Singleton. Skerik Sin Carne sat in on saxophone, and the groom sat in on a few songs.

Food: Emeril’s Coastal Italian, Miramar Beach, Fla.

Wedding cakes: Emeril’s Coastal Italian: olive oil cake, key lime pie, and three-layer devil’s food cake

Rentals: Big Day Rentals, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Transportation: Emerald Coast Transportation

Photographer: Julia Bailey

Event planner: Mary Spera, Spera Special Events