Hurricane Ida changed, but did not delay, the couple’s wedding plans

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New Orleans honeymooners Janella Jett and Byron Perrilliat are surrounded by family on September 9, 2021, at St. Thomas More in Houston. After evacuating Louisiana due to Hurricane Ida, the couple married in Houston. CNS Photo / Jett and Perrilliat family, courtesy of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Janella Jett and Byron Perrilliat were planning to tie the knot on September 3 at a church in New Orleans where they grew up, but Hurricane Ida had different plans when it hit the area on August 29.

The couple, along with their families, traveled to Houston with Jett’s wedding dress intact.

“Byron and I have been friends over the years since we went to school and church together. But it wasn’t until the last few years that we realized we were on the same spiritual level,” he said. Jett told the Texas Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

The couple, both in their 40s, decided to get married at their neighborhood church until “a big hurricane starts to come this way,” Jett said.

So when they evacuated to Houston with a traffic line, they called the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to ask if they could still get married on September 3.

Victoria Fontana Smith, administrative assistant in the Secretariat for Clergy Education and Chaplaincy Services, put several priests in touch with the case to make sure the marriage documents were in order and even called the Archbishop of New Orleans to confirm.

Officials from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston have checked with priests who could perform the wedding in such a short time. Smith also checked with St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Houston, and eventually Father Thuc Nguyen was selected for the wedding mass.

“Obviously this was a special circumstance because of the hurricane,” Smith said of the group effort involved.

And even then, it was a tight call in hot and humid Houston. The couple were caught off guard in a flash flood on their wedding day.

“After all of that, we were almost stuck in a flood on the outskirts of Houston. I prayed to God and said, ‘Please don’t mess with us,’ ”Jett said. “But we got to church on time! “

They celebrated with a brief honeymoon in Houston and then Atlanta before returning to New Orleans on September 7 to examine the damage to their homes.

“We have damage to the foundations and the roof. There is still no electricity and long lines for everything from resources to ice and even running out of gas. But I can’t complain, ”she said.

Perrilliat is a professional contractor, so he will work on repairs.

“The church was so beautiful, and Father Thuc was so kind. We couldn’t have asked for more. It was a perfect church wedding, ”Jett said.

Zuñiga writes for the Texas Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Key words: Byron Perrilliat, Hurricane Ida, Janella Jett, wedding plans

Category: Featured, News from the United States and the World


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