Joe and Gay DiGiovanni were in the final stages of planning a wedding in August 2005. His close family in St. Bernard Parish would be attending. Gay moved everything but her wedding dress into Joe's three-story house while the final arrangements were being set and they looked forward to a honeymoon in Las Vegas.
Joe's house and belongings were gone - and so were Gay's. They had nothing to sort through after the storm, so they pitched in to help out at the soggy remains of relatives' homes. Gay's government employer then told her that on short notice, she was being transferred to Atlanta, Georgia, for four months. Joe said he didn't want her to leave unless they were married first, so the wedding was on again. In this conversation recorded March 26, 2010, Gay and Joe describe their last-minute planning done amid the post-Katrina chaos, and the party they pulled off that their guests will never forget.
ALSO: In this extended version of the conversation, Gay and Joe DiGiovanni talk about the positive aspects of life that Hurricane Katrina unearthed.
StoryCorps New Orleans interviews were recorded by StoryCorps, a national project to record and collect stories of everyday people. This excerpt was selected and produced by WWNO producer Eileen Fleming, with support from the WWNO Productions Fund and from Villere & Co., managing the investments of New Orleans' families for almost 100 years. Listen again at wwno.org or at nola.com.