Believe it or not, Robert Pattinson played a critical role in the love story of Bridgette Amofah—a singer in the British band Rudimental who’s also recently released a solo project under the name AMO—and songwriter Saul Bloch. The two were both set to play the same gig, but “Robert Pattinson showed up with a guitar and stole our slots,” Saul jokes. “It was thanks to him that we ended up meeting in the audience and not performing that night. So cheers, Rob!”
Over the course of their conversation that night, they discovered that they both lived in the center of London. They eventually became good friends, with Bridgette even singing in Saul’s band for a while. “The attraction was always there, but the timing was always off,” Bridgette explains.
The two stayed friends for years until, eventually, they were both single, and it just clicked. And then, just over two years later, Saul proposed on Bridgette’s birthday. “We were at our flat, and I was cooking eggs in my pajamas and complaining about something,” she remembers. “Saul said he knew something that would cheer me up and that he would give me my birthday present early. He then came into the kitchen and got down on one knee! I kept asking him if he was joking, but eventually said yes!” They then chose to keep the proposal to themselves for a little while. “It felt like something just between us,” Bridgette explains. “It was so perfectly us.”
“The ring came first,” Saul admits. “I hadn’t thought of proposing until I saw the ring. It was in the window of Tadema Gallery in London. It was exquisite and just utterly wonderful. I thought if I were ever to propose, it had to be with that ring. I kept it in the back of my sock drawer for months.”
Back when they were dating, the couple took their first vacation together to New Orleans and quickly fell head-over-heels in love with the Big Easy. “It was truly magical,” Bridgette says. “The music, heritage, and culture—not to mention the food!” While there, they took a trip to Preservation Hall, the oldest jazz club in the city. “At the show, there was a clarinetist who played the most beautiful solo. It made me cry, and when I turned to look at Saul, he was crying, too,” Bridgette remembers. “I think we were the only two people there who were moved to that degree.” When they got engaged, they contacted Preservation Hall straight away; the venue only had one date available for 2019, and the couple snapped it up.
Bridgette and Saul knew they wanted a courtyard reception, and their wedding planner Michelle Norwood helped them find the perfect place with the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. “I wanted lots and lots of greenery, and the aesthetic was mainly informed by both venues,” Bridgette explains. “They both already had lots of lush tropical plants everywhere, so there wasn’t much we needed to add in terms of decor.”
When thinking about her wardrobe, Bridgette was never into trawling around bridal shops: “I just didn’t like the idea of a traditional wedding gown,” she says. “I actually went on Vogue.com and discovered Johanna Ortiz, one of my favorite designers, had made a bridal collection. The entire collection was stunning, but there was one dress that stood out to me. I looked all over to try and find the dress on various retail sites. After an extensive search, I ended up finding it secondhand via a resale bridal website. It was being sold by a lovely girl who happened to live just down the road from our new house. I went over to try it on, and it fit me! I just had to make a few alterations for it to be perfect.”
Bridgette wanted her dress to do all the talking, so she tried not to overthink her accessories. “I found some strappy sandals from Joseph Azagury, which were a subtle snakeskin in a beige color—but in all honesty, I ended up wearing Vans for most of the night!” And then, last minute, she decided to add a pair of red beaded earrings that she bought from a vintage shop in Vienna during a weekend visit with Saul the month before the wedding. “I loved that most of our guests wore red and orange, as the earrings really complemented,” she says. “I didn’t feel as though I needed any other jewelry, other than my engagement ring.”
For beauty, Bridgette worked with the team at Faces of Virtue in New Orleans. “I sent them a couple of images from Pinterest, but my main aim was to look like myself, but as though I was glowing from within!” Bridgette says. The bride knew she wanted an updo and had a headpiece made by her florist. On the day of the wedding, they plucked baby’s breath from her bouquet and arranged them in her hair.
Saul wore the bespoke ivory Anderson & Sheppard jacket his father had worn on his own wedding day—replete with red wine stains. “I love a garment that tells a story, and it meant a lot to me to add to its special history,” Saul says. The rest of his look was pulled together from his existing closet: A Brooks Brothers shirt, some Dolce & Gabbana patent velvet shoes he’s had for years, a late ’67 Omega Pie Pan watch, and pearl cufflinks by American modernist jeweler Esther Lewittes.
The festivities started the day before the wedding, when the couple hosted all of their guests for a cruise on the Steamboat Natchez and drinks at Bacchanal. The boat was stocked with gallons of frozen daiquiris and an order of 150 beignets from the famous Cafe Du Monde. “This enabled us to get the most out of the wedding itself as we had already caught up with those we hadn’t seen in a while,” Saul says. “It also gave our guests and opportunity to informally meet each other, which added to a wonderful feeling of togetherness on the wedding day.”
The morning of the wedding, all of the vendors were worried about rain. “There had been a huge thunderstorm earlier, and we did not have a rain contingency plan!” Bridgette admits. “As with most things that day, it just worked out somehow.”
It was a small wedding, with just under 50 people attending the ceremony, so Bridgette had five bridesmaids and one bridesman. “But everyone really felt like the were part of the bridal party,” she says. “I just told them to pick an orange [or] red dress that they like in satin. My bridesman Aaron wore a snakeskin suit with a leopard-print shirt and looked fabulous.”
“We emphasized ‘smart casual,’” Saul says. “The thing we wanted most was for our guests to be comfortable. We didn’t want any excuses on the dance floor!”
Bridgette’s mother had traditional kente cloth fans made and flown in from Ghana; these were placed on the wooden pews for guests to use during the ceremony. “It was very hot, but we were fortunately the first wedding at Preservation Hall to benefit from the newly installed AC,” Bridgette notes.
Both the bride and the groom walked down the aisle with their respective parents while a pianist played “In a Sentimental Mood,” one of Saul’s favorites. “The [walk down the aisle] was particularly poignant for me, as I hadn’t seen my dad in a long time,” Bridgette says. It was for Saul as well: “When she entered the room, it was like time itself stopped and everybody else just faded out like at the end of ‘Bennie and the Jets,’” he remembers. The couple chose to write their own vows, and then as soon as their officiant said, “You can now kiss the bride,” the brass band started up outside. The newlyweds followed the music to the courtyard to sign their wedding contract and have cocktails.
After that, the entire wedding party was told to change into comfortable shoes. “To our guests’ surprise, we had a New Orleans police escort and the Preservation Hall Brass Band lead us on a second-line parade through the streets of the French Quarter, which were closed for the occasion,” Bridgette explains. “Crowds of people on the street ended up joining the parade, too! It was so special and truly fabulous.”
As guests marched into the Pharmacy Museum for the reception, the Hot 8 Brass band was standing by the fountain at the end of the courtyard playing modern New Orleans brass music. “It brilliantly juxtaposed with the traditional music during the parade,” Bridgette says.?The tables were laid out with vintage mismatched crockery, and florist Leaf and Petal used greenery and natural foliage that felt like it was a part of the venue.
“I actually burst into tears when I saw how everything had come together,” Bridgette adds.?After attending one too many weddings which they’d left hungry, the couple knew they wanted to serve a Southern barbecue. They had brisket, mac-and-cheese, barbecue chicken, smoked barbecue beans, and mashed potatoes on the menu. “It was all done in a gourmet way and was as beautiful to look as it was to eat,” Bridgette says.
The newlyweds kicked off the dancing to the Hot 8 Brass Band’s version of “Sexual Healing.” “We also had a playlist of Afrobeat tunes that Saul put together for in between the band’s sets,” Bridgette explains. “One of my favorite moments was when the song ‘Sweet Mother’ came on, which is the song that most reminds me of my mum. It is a very popular song in West Africa and is always played at parties. Everyone gathered in a circle around her, and she danced and just looked so happy.”
Eventually, though, the heavens opened up—and as expected, it started to pour. “It was honestly the most beautiful sight!” Bridgette says. “The band was completely under umbrellas, playing their last set.”
“When we were dancing in the rain towards the end of the night, I remember closing my eyes and just feeling pure elation,” Saul adds. “My favorite person, in my favorite place to the soundtrack of some of my favorite music—surrounded by so much love. I wanted to dance forever.”