Three recent debutante parties rallied guests to Vieux Carre locations. The Red Fish Grill, just on the edge of Quarter boundaries, was the venue for the first of three parties. The honorees were Aby Hamrick and Grace Williamson. Paces away on Bourbon Street, kin and kith of Mary Callaghan “Callee” Rome and Alexandra Elizabeth “Allie” Cimini gathered days later at midday for two-tiered partying located at Galatoire’s. A couple of days after that fête, Salon by Sucre on Conti Street assembled distaff representation in honor of Lillie Martin. Good times all!
Red Fish Grill Revelry
“We loved the décor and the New Orleans theme of the Red Fish Grill,” said deb mom Aby Hamrick, who, with husband Tom, and Lynn Luker and Steve Williamson, co-hosted “A Night in New Orleans” in honor of their daughters, Aby Hamrick and Grace Williamson. Further Crescent City accents added by the hosts were Carnival decorations, such as masks, Mardi Gras beads and crowns.
Food, too, added to the overall local ambiance, with signature dishes of the Bourbon Street restaurant available all night. Blue crab ravigote was an appetizer, fabulous seafood formed a display, prime rib with sauce and rolls offered hearty fare, and the dessert station capped it all off most sweetly. Cookies with the college colors of each debutante and her name elicited many a smile. Late-night gustatory galvanizing came thanks to grilled cheese sandwiches and mini sliders.
Enjoying all the “Night” niceties were deb brother Jack Williamson, Stephanie Luker Helsley, Ashley Alexander, deb grandmother Nina Hamrick, grandfather Macon Callicott, deb siblings Lizzie and Thomas Hamrick, Mark Hamrick, Jan and Honore Aschaffenberg, and out-of-towners Ryan Flack, Parker Kennedy, Frances Bell, Bridget Garske, Clay Ramsey and Matt Porter.
Additional features of the fun were the photo booth provided by Vieux Carre Events and Photography, and the Sha’On and the Girls with Success band. A brace of “successful” girls added to the band when honorees Aby and Grace joined with Sha’On to sing “Proud Mary,” launching into the “Rolling on the River” lyrics.
‘Oyster’ Was their Whirl
Two sets of invitations went forth: The ladies received a beautiful one with a “World is their Oyster” theme for lunch at Galatoire’s at 11:30 a.m. The gentlemen, for 1:30 p.m., and to join the earlier set on the balcony at Galatoire’s for toasts to Callee Rome and Allie Cimini. Their parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. Perrin Rome III and Mr. and Mrs. Roland Vaughn Cimini, were the hosts.
In keeping with the bivalve motif (and as dictated by the ladies’ invitation), their outfits were in white tones, with Callee wearing a Herve Leger mode, mom Mary Grace Rome in Lanvin, Allie sporting Nicholas, and mother Susan Cimini in Elie Tahari.
At Galatoire’s, the luncheon room was embellished with festive hints of white, silver and gold garland and ribbon; monogrammed linen napkins with the debs’ initials; and white hydrangeas and calla lilies. Of course, menu items included fried Louisiana oysters, as well as oysters en brochette and Rockefeller.
Reveling with the Romes were deb sister Addy Grace Rome, grandmothers Olga Rome and Mary Lou Callahan (from Delaware), Elizabeth Rome, Lydia Steele, Siobhan Rome, Conlan Rome, Yvette Stouse, Renee Laborde, Donna Baus, Ella Baus, Elly Lane, Kim Martin, Donna Maselli, Jennifer Bart, the above Grace Williamson, Reilly Rendeiro, and Patricia Lacoste. Cimini kin and chums included deb sisters Juliet and Pellegrina Cimini, grandparents Gloria Vaughn Cimini and Carole Burch, Elizabeth Bonano, Mehl Cimini, Alyce Inglesias, Jennifer Louis, Libby Reiss, Scout Beron, Suzanne de la Houssaye, Pie Pou. Susie Zeringue, Claire Zeringue, Kim Rogers, Nicole Dumont, Libby Rudolph and Rania Khodr.
Even the music furthered a gustatory theme. Striking up the jazzy sounds was The Gumbo Trio.
At 2 p.m., the fathers, Perrin Rome and Vaughn Cimini, toasted their “pearls of deb girls” and a spontaneous parade set a course to the Absinthe House for more celebration.
A Suite of Sweets
“Please Join Us for Champagne and Chocolates with Lillie Martin” bannered the invitation sent out by her mother, Margaret Nicolson, for 3 p.m. hobnobbing at Salon by Sucre.
Formally, the debutante answers to Sarah Lillie Nicolson Martin. Both Lillie and older sister, Ann-Grace Martin, donned frocks by Byron Lars, while mom Margaret chose Worth and winter white.
Chosen for its French Quarter location and attention to the beautiful presentation of food, the site pleased the party pack, who quaffed the signature drink, The Lillie, and reached for the passed dark chocolate and Amaretto shots.
Additional taste treats were the assortment of sandwiches, the cheese board, desserts, and the edible décor, the towering macaroon and the chocolate truffle trees.
Deb grandmother Ann Nicolson (from Mobile, Alabama), Kathleen Waring and daughter Ellie, Stacy Pellerin and Jamie, Shaun Duncan, Mary Stewart Bailey, Evelyn Randle, Libby Adams, Elisabeth Perino and Adele, Lizette Sossaman and Torre, Lisa Alpaugh, Kathleen White, Maureen Huguley, Lexie Waring, Meredith Tufton, Bebe Thompson, Ginger Olson and Catherine, Jill Bohn and scores more mingled. All admired the Meade Wenzel-designed arrangements of palmetto leaves and orchids, accented by votive candles in mercury glass containers.
As a sweet remembrance, guests took home tiny pink paper purses containing dark chocolate. Smiles abounded.