On October 22nd, Shannon Marie OBrien and Andrew Julian Ranck were married in the Saint Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Terry and I arrived a bit early so I could start sketching the church interior before the service started. Terry was nervous that I would be asked to move since family usually is in the first two rows. Stubbornly I stood my ground since I knew my view could not be obstructed by someone sitting in front of me.
A lone trumpet player stood in the balcony and his notes echoed joy. The Trumpet Voluntary filled the cathedral and everyone stood and turned to watch the bride walk down the isle. The flower girl and ring bearer followed her. They were just toddlers and there were murmurs of adoring laughter. Andrew beamed as he watched Shannon approach. All the young female attendants filled the row in front of me.
It was a very traditional Catholic wedding with prayers and New Testament readings. Vows were exchanged and the rings blessed. High above, statues of Faith, Hope and Love looked down on the young couple. Saint Peter stood holding a key with his arm reaching out. Saint Paul stood on the right holding his sword. The ceiling was a swirl of activity as the apostles surrounded Jesus who radiated beams of light. As the couple signed their marriage license at a separate altar, Ave Maria wafted up echoing off the vaulted ceiling. The music made the moment truly feel divine. There was one final blessing and then Ode to Joy played as a recessional.
Before I knew it, I was alone again in an empty Cathedral. Marriages seem like such fast paced ceremonies when you are trying to sketch them. This flurry of activity would lead to a lifetime commitment.
A familiar face stood before me admiring the Cathedral's architecture. It was Kevin Deters who worked at Disney Feature Animation in Florida at the same time I did. Kevin is now working for Disney in LA and he has directed several shorts one being "Prep & Landing" for the Company. He let me know they are working on another Prep & Landing short now. What a wild, small world. I gave him my card and explained the blog and the work I do to pass along the animation tradition at Full Sail. Kevin let me know that he has now worked longer in the LA studio than he did in Florida. I admire what he has accomplished. I wonder if he came to New Orleans when Disney premiered "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." That was an amazing party.
The priest walked up to me as I sat alone finishing my sketch. I was sure I was about to get kicked out. On the contrary, he loved the sketch and joked with me that usually the pencil snaps if someone tries to sketch him. There was another wedding happening in half an hour and he encouraged me to go right on sketching. I was getting close to finishing however, and I decided to leave as the church was emptied for the next wedding