Mike and Amanda Hemstreet have always loved Mardi Gras parades, but "Mike really loves Endymion. We even moved into our house on Orleans Avenue specifically because it was on Endymion's route,'' she wrote in an email.
"From that time on, we had huge pre-parties the night before and parties the day of, including hosting krewe members for food and drinks on their way to the floats."
Once the couple got engaged, they planned to have a June wedding but then one day over lunch two weeks before Feb. 5, 2005, "my mother had a brilliant idea - why don't you get married at the house on Endymion? All our family and friends would already be there for a party and we love the parade so much - why didn't we think of that?"
It was a no-brainer. So with two weeks to go before Endymion 2005, they added a judge and a wedding dress to their party. "We had beautiful weather, our siblings were our attendants and we did our money dance in the street on Orleans Avenue with complete strangers! Some of those strangers even sent us pictures from out of town saying 'Hey! We were at your wedding!'"
They got married on their front porch.
"The only casualty of the day was my wedding dress - it was ruined because I wore it the entire day through the parade, but it was well worth it!"
She wrote, "Some may call it just another Saturday, but here in New Orleans we call it Samedi Gras - the day the Super Krewe of Endymion rolls!"
The couple now have a 3-year-old daughter, Amelie, "who loves to dance and Mardi Gras. We also just celebrated our 12th anniversary earlier this month but our family and friends will always refer to Endymion as our anniversary!"
The Krewe of Endymion rolls Saturday (Feb. 25) at 4:30 p.m. in Mid-City. The theme for its 51st year is "Endymion's Constellations.'' Floats will feature titles such as the Constellations of Delphinus, Orion, Phoenix, and Andromeda, as well as Endymion's traditional signature floats, including its newest: Club Endymion and E-TV.