Matchmaking and Tax Day, April 15, don’t seem like a felicitous combination, but it created just the right alchemy to bring together Joseph "Joey" Woods Walker IV and John Hatton Malta.
In 2009, April 15 fell on the same day as the Young Leadership Council’s Wednesday in the Square.
Tracey Moore, a sponsoring broker and partner of Rêve | Realtors, used the opportunity to introduce two friends.
“I thought that they might hit it off,” Moore said. “Joey needed to meet somebody, and I knew John was single. I liked them both so much for different reasons that I thought they might like one another.” After the concert, the group went to dinner at Sake Café. Joey and John exchanged business cards. It didn’t take long for John to send a cute message, Joey said.
Dating ensued, but they broke up a few years later and started seeing other people.
“But even when we were broken up, we were still really good friends,” John said. “We would still take each other as a ‘date’ to an event, take care of each other’s dogs.”
Five years ago, they decided to give their relationship another chance.
On Christmas 2018, the couple became engaged in Paris. John had been thinking about popping the question, purchasing a ring around Thanksgiving for when the perfect moment came up.
“We were already living together and felt like a married couple,” John said.
It was outside the church Sacre-Coeur of Montmartre that John, who had brought the ring with him, got down on a knee and proposed.
“I was surprised. It wasn’t something that I was thinking about,” Joey said. “It wasn’t something that I knew what I wanted until John asked me. And then it suddenly became important to me.”
Joey and John decided not to have a long engagement and got married March 30 at the Opera Guild Home, in their New Orleans neighborhood.
“We wanted to keep all in the neighborhood,” Joey said. That included the rehearsal dinner hosted by Joey’s parents the night before at Commander’s Palace and a brunch the day after the wedding at the couple's home.
For the ceremony, which was for family and close friends, the couple turned to a friend, the Rev. Minka Sprague, of Christ Church Cathedral. “We wanted a traditional Episcopal service,” Joey said.
“We are really proud of what she did. It was simple and sweet,” he said.
Coincidentally, Joey and John met Sprague via Tracey Moore. Another coincidence: the reader for the ceremony, Fred Buras, grew up in the house where Joey and John now live.
The ceremony was small, but the reception was a much larger affair, including more of their many friends. Revelry included a crowded dance floor with music from the New Groove Sensation, of Alabama.
Joey, originally from Lafayette, is a real estate broker at Rêve | Realtors, and John, from Brookhaven, Mississippi, is a hairdresser and owner of a salon bearing his name. The family also includes Sal, an 18-year-old “cockerchihuahua” (a cocker spaniel/chihuahua mix), and Claude, a once-feral cat who hung out at John’s salon and became firmly entrenched as a house cat.
Invitation (wedding and rehearsal dinner): Scriptura
Location: Opera Guild Home
Officiant: Rev. Minka Sprague, Christ Church Cathedral
Reader: Fred Buras
Grooms attire: Theory Suits chosen by Javier Pazmino of Saks Fifth Avenue
Flower girl attire: Nordstrom dress
Flowers: Urban Earth
Wedding reception catering: Ralph Brennan Catering
Brunch catering: Laura Arrowood
Event planner (at Opera Guild Home): Gail Varuso, Ralph Brennan Catering
Cakes: Beth Biundo Sweets
Music: ceremony: Anais St. John; reception: New Groove Sensation; brunch: Anais John accompanied by Scott Perro
Honeymoon: Mayakoba, Mexico
Photographer: Arther Severio