With guests from 13 states and five foreign countries Yesika Janeth Pernia of Caracas, Venezuela, and Mark Ballard Baker of New Orleans were united in marriage in a nuptial mass at Mater DoLorosa Catholic Church in New Orleans on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2001.
Officiating the double-ring ceremony was the Rev. Claude Bourdeax, S.J.
Lectors were Miguel Calanche and Kenneth LaFrance of New Orleans.
Parents of the couple are Mr. and Mrs. Luis Roberto Pernia of Caracas, and Mr. and Mrs. Chester Pollard Baker Sr. of Enterprise.
The bride is the granddaughter of Efijenia Coello, the late Victor Coello and Maria Pernia, all of Caracas.
The bridegroom is the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Newell Baker of Burlington, N.C., and Mr. and Mrs. Ted Ballard of Stonewall.
Music for the ceremony was presented by Sam Garcia of New Orleans, organist; and Michael McLaughlin of Chicago who played the classical guitar.
The bride was given in marriage by her father. She wore an off-the-shoulder gown with a full skirt which flowed into a chapel-length train created from embroidered Italian satin. Her veil, designed by her mother, held three tiers of illusion, edged in satin ribbon which fell from a tiara of Alencon lace detailed with pearls.
She carried a tear-drop shaped bouquet of white Cattleya and Dendrobian orchids interspersed with English ivy.
Yelitza Pernia of Caracas attending her sister as matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Valentina Jesurum and Candy Gomez, both of Caracas, Claudia Castellanos of New Orleans and Diane Baker of New Orleans, sister of the bridegroom.
Flower girls were Linnea Bahlinger and Sophia Bahlinger of Stone Mountain, Ga.
The father of the bridegroom served as best man. Groomsmen were Carsten Dau of Los Angeles, Rudy Gonzalez of Miami, Alex Carrillo of New Orleans and the Rev. Cliff Bahlinger of Stone Mountain. Ushers were Miguel Calanche, Jose Luis Rodriguiz and Jorge Bejarano of New Orleans.
Ring bearer was Gustavo de John of the Isle of Curacao.
Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the Bayou Room at Quality Inn Hotel. Music was furnished by Freddy Omar's popular Latin Band. the couple opened the dancing festivities to a Merengue instead of the traditional wedding waltz, much to the delight of the wedding guests.
On the eve of the wedding, the bridegroom's parents hosted a dinner at Kelsey's Restaurant in New Orleans for members of the wedding party and out-of-town guests.
Nuptial mass was spoken in memory of the late brothers of the bride and bridegroom, Douglas Pernia and Chester Pollard Baker Jr., who joined in the celebration with all the angels of heaven.
The couple resides in New Orleans.