Dunaway and Smith exchange wedding vows May 11 in New Orleans

Jennifer Lauren Dunaway and Brian Randolph Smith exchanged vows on May 11 on the terrace of the Omni Royal Orleans in New Orleans. Officiating the ceremony was the Honorable Reverend Anne Elizabeth Barnes of the Court of Appeals for the State of Georgia. 

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Dean Dunaway of Madison. She is the granddaughter of the late Joe Bing and Ruby Yeates of Canton, and Von B. Dunaway and the late Mildred Dunaway of Jackson.

The bridegroom is the son of Judge J.D. Smith and the late Flo Criss Smith of Gainesville, Ga. He is the grandson of the late Jesse D. and Louise Elliott Smith of Gainesville, and John William and Flo Pritchett Criss of Atlanta. 

Joining the couple at the service were the bride’s brother Andrew Dunaway of Jackson and his wife, Carley Crigler Dunaway of Starkville; her godmother Jackie Jenkins of Mobile; and the bridegroom’s sister Joanna Smith Nijem and her husband Billy Nijem of Valdosta, Ga.

Escorted by her father, the bride wore a sleeveless gown featuring a V-neckline with a lace floral overlay and covered buttons along the back. She carried a handtied bouquet including gardenias, freesia and ranunculus. Brooches belonging to both of the bride’s grandmothers were pinned into the ribbon of the bouquet. A diamond and sapphire bracelet, that was a silver wedding anniversary gift from her father to her mother, was worn as something both borrowed and blue.

Flower girl was Olivia Grace Nijem and ring bearer was William Charles Nijem III of Valdosta.

Following the ceremony, festivities continued with a New Orleans style reception hosted by the bride’s parents, where guests enjoyed an array of local culinary delights. Custom frozen treats were also served. Decorated by the bride’s godmother,  the four-tiered cake included traditional and praline king cake fillings.

Everyone danced the night away to the live entertainment provided by Benny Lane of Louisiana.

The couple left the festivities to a release of glow-in-the dark, white balloons.

The evening prior to the wedding, the bridegroom’s family hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Napoleon House in the French Quarter. Leading up to the rehearsal, family and friends gathered in the courtyard of Brennan’s Restaurant to kick off the weekend’s festivities with a champagne sabering.

The couple is at home in Atlanta where the bride is an event planner and public relations professional and the bridegroom is the founder and principal attorney at The Smith Law Practice.

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1. He drove a blue ‘77 Chevy Nova in high school. 2. He played on Jackson Prep’s 1985 and 1986 state championship basketball teams.