Leah Wilson + Joshua Benton
invite you to join us in
Lafayette, Louisiana

on Sunday, April 14, 2013

for a crawfish boil, a Cajun dance party with Grammy-nominated band Feufollet, and a general celebration of the fact we totally got married.

(Please RSVP so we know how much crawfish to buy.)

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Official events

Sunday, April 14

1 p.m.: Crawfish boil
Blue Moon Saloon & Guesthouse
215 East Convent Street
Lafayette, LA 70501

7 p.m. until we’re all tired: Party, with music by Feufollet
Blue Moon Saloon & Guesthouse
215 East Convent Street
Lafayette, LA 70501

Unofficial Events

We hope you’ll come make a weekend of it with us. We’ll be spending Saturday enjoying some delicious food, listening to some great music, and hitting the Zydeco breakfast at Cafe Des Amis in Breaux Bridge.

(Of course you can also make your own fun! Plenty of suggestions below.)

Saturday, April 13

9:30 a.m.: Zydeco breakfast (doors open 7:30 a.m. if you want to show up earlier)
Cafe Des Amis
140 East Bridge Street
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517

(Saturday late morning or afternoon: May we suggest a swamp tour?)

8:00 p.m.: Geno Delafose and French Rocking Boogie (zydeco music at a traditional Cajun dancehall)
La Poussiere
1301 Grand Point Ave.
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517

(Some other options for Saturday night if you don't like Geno [although you should]: Dick Dale at the Blue Moon in Lafayette (you know him from the Pulp Fiction theme song), Chris Himel & Outbound at Lakeview Park in Eunice, Lafayette Rhythm Devils at Randol's in Lafayette, Huval-Fuselier Cajun Trio at McGee's Landing in Henderson, Nik L Beer at Atchafalaya Club in Henderson, or Harry & Lisa Trahan Band at the Liberty Theater in Eunice)

Who’s the band?

Feufollet — quite possibly the best Cajun band alive — will be playing Sunday night. They're at the head of a wave of young bands who have revitalized Cajun music over the past few years, mixing it with other genres and bringing in new kinds of songs. You can read all about them here.

Elvis Costello called their last album, En Couleurs, one of his favorites:
I also love the album En Couleurs by a group called Feufollet — the track I like in particular is “Au Fond Du Lac.” They’re from, I believe, Abbeville, Louisiana; I met a couple of them this spring when I was playing Jazz Fest in New Orleans. There's quite a lot of traditional music down there — Cajun music — but what's interesting is they’re young kids, so they’ve also got their own ideas. This sounds like a new kind of rock and roll. They sing everything in French — great melodies, three singers, accordian and everything — but there’s also electric guitar. There’s an artistry to it that enables them to step out from time and place and tradition. It’s one of the most beautifully melodic records I've heard all year.

How to get there

Flying

There are three Louisiana airports within a couple of hours of Lafayette. In order of closest to furthest:

Lafayette (LFT): right there!
Baton Rouge (BTR): 60 miles away
New Orleans (MSY): 130 miles away

Lafayette has direct flights to/from Dallas (American), Houston (United), and Atlanta (Delta). Bostonians, there’s a JetBlue route direct to New Orleans.

If you're flying in, we recommend investing in a rental car or else buddying up to someone driving in. Lafayette is not known for its public transportation, or its cabs, and if you want to explore Cajun country, it's mostly rural.

Driving

We’re assuming you know how to use Google Maps. Lafayette is about two hours west of New Orleans (take I-10 west), six hours southeast of Dallas (I-20 east/I-49 south), and three hours east of Houston (I-10 east).

When you’re in the car, be sure to tune your radio dial to the great KBON 101.1 or KRVS Radio Acadie 88.7 — both will mix in some French with their English and make you feel at home.

Where to stay

Anywhere in Lafayette will work fine — it’s not that big of a place. But here are a few ideas:

Blue Moon Saloon & Guesthouse
$18 to $90/night
The party location itself! This is a hostel with a few separate rooms. Please note: Not for the early-to-bed, since there will likely be shows there Friday and Saturday night, but will be probably be the most fun hotel

The Juliet Hotel
$139/night (and up)
A boutique hotel in easy walking distance of the Blue Moon

Hilton Lafayette
$135/night (and up)
An easy 2-mile drive from the Blue Moon, right on the Vermillion River

If you want to try someplace relaxing out in the country, there are a number of good B&Bs, including the lovely Maison Madelaine on Lake Martin, the Maison des Amis in Breaux Bridge, the Old Castillo on the Bayou Teche in St. Martinville, and the Maison d'Memoire outside Josh’s hometown of Rayne.

Things to do

South Louisiana is a wonderful place, and we hope you’ll be able to spend some time roaming around — either by spending some time exploring Cajun country or taking a trip to New Orleans. You can find plenty to do in New Orleans yourself, but here are a few of the things you might want to do or see in and around Lafayette:

Explore the swamps on a swamp tour, either on the Atchafalaya Basin (some options: 1, 2, 3, 4) or on Lake Martin (some options: 1, 2, 3)

Go see live music at the Blue Moon, Grant Street Dancehall, La Poussière, Fred's Lounge, El Sido’s, Slim's Y-Ki-Ki, Whiskey River Landing, McGee's Landing, or Randol's

Learn about Cajun culture at local museums (some options: Acadian Cultural Center, Vermillionville, Acadian Village, Acadian Museum in Erath)

Roam the roads of Acadiana eating varieties of boudin (every place makes it differently — if you’re near Rayne, try the Po-Man)

Visit Breaux Bridge, a cool little town on the Bayou Teche

Go see where they make Tabasco at Avery Island

See the Evangeline Oak along the Bayou Teche in St. Martinville, the oldest town in area (settled in the 1750s by French exiles)

Head to Eunice for a Saturday morning Cajun jam, the Liberty Theater, and the Jean Lafitte Prairie Acadian Culture Center — or just stop by KBON studios and say hello

Places to eat

Warning: You will gain weight being here. (You’ll just have to dance hard enough to burn it all off.) Rand McNally and USA Today just named Lafayette the Best Food City in the USA.

There are plenty of great places to try — here are a few — some fancy, some down home and hole-in-the-wall — in no particular order:

In Lafayette:
Olde Tyme Grocery, Jolie's Louisiana Bistro, Saint Street Inn, Cafe Vermillionville, Prejean's, Pamplona, Don's, Julien's, Dwight's, Chris', the French Press, Riverside Inn, Charley G's, Judice Inn, Johnson's Boucaniere, Blue Dog Cafe, Randol's

Outside of Lafayette:
Cafe des Amis (Breaux Bridge), Crawfish Town USA (Breaux Bridge), Chef Roy's (Rayne), Gabe's Cajun Food (Rayne), The Best Stop (Scott), Hawk's (Robert’s Cove), Myran's Maison de Manger (Arnaudville), Shucks (Abbeville), Poche's (Breaux Bridge), Victor's (New Iberia)

FAQ

Q. Aren’t you guys already married?
A. We are, yes — as of October 24, 2012. Here’s a picture:



We were legally wed at Cambridge City Hall with only immediate family in attendance. But we still wanted to celebrate with all of you! Also, we like an excuse to have a party.
Q. Why Louisiana?
A. Josh grew up in Rayne, a town about 20 miles west of Lafayette, in the heart of Cajun country. And Leah, who is from Charlotte, N.C., didn’t have anything to counter with that was cooler than crawfish.
Q. Why Sunday?
A. The venue we wanted, the Blue Moon Saloon, is busy hosting bands on Friday and Saturday evenings. (Hey, it could be worse; we got married on a Wednesday.)
Q. Hey, isn’t there a song about the Blue Moon in Lafayette?
A. There is! That’s how awesome the place is. “J’suis Gone à la Blue Moon,” by Cedric Watson. Listen to it below.



Prepare for April by buying it from Amazon here.
Q. Okay, important questions, now: What do I wear?
A. Anything you want, really, though if you show up in a tux or a formal gown, you’ll probably feel overdressed. Leah will be wearing a long white dress. We’re pretty sure Josh will be in slacks. But you coming in jeans is a-okay with us. Louisiana in April has highs around 79 degrees and lows around 59 degrees, and the Blue Moon is an outdoor venue. Plan accordingly!
Q. What about presents? Where are you registered?
A. You are very sweet, but please don’t buy us anything! Our kitchen is fully applianced, and we have plenty of towels. We have too many coffee tables. (Seriously, like, seven of them.) If you absolutely must mark the occasion, may we suggest you give some money to a charity? Some of our favorites are StoryCorps, Freedom to Marry, CODOFIL (le Conseil pour le développement du français en Louisiane), Tipitina's Foundation, and the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.
Q. I’m excited about the crawfish boil! But I’ve never been to one before. What is it? How do I eat a crawfish? What if I don’t like them; will there be other food there?
A. Cajuns love to gather around a big table and peel and eat boiled crawfish (or crabs or shrimp or...). It’s the best way to pass the time with friends and family. If you’ve never peeled a crawfish:



But if you don’t like them, after making fun of you a bit, we’ll point you toward some other food sitting in the corner.
Q. Will there be food at the Blue Moon?
A. Yep — some boudin, gumbo, red beans and rice, and some fruits and veggies for our more health-conscious guests. There'll also be beverages, adult and otherwise.
Did we miss your question? Email us!
RSVP
(We'd love to hear from you by April 1.)