Published 7:00 am Sunday, March 12, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Katie Elizabeth Ernst, formerly of Natchez, and Riccardo Giorgio Giani, formerly of The Woodlands, Texas, were married on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. at Travelers Rest, the home of Windell Weeden and Steve Cook, in Natchez, with Judge George Ward officiating.

Parents of the couple are the late Anna Watts Gunning and Robert Terry Ernst of Natchez and Patricia Karin Giani and the late Giorgio Giuseppe Giani of The Woodlands, Texas.

Grandparents of the couple are Dr. Margaret Watts and Will Wamsley of Grand Lake, Colorado, and the late Dr. John Richard Watts of Natchez, the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Ernst of Natchez, Mrs. Mary Gunning, and the late Mr. Lewis Gunning, the late Mr. And Mrs. Antonio Giani and the late Ms. Tricia Cunliffe Williams and the late Mr. Hans Roos and Sevda Roos.

Email newsletter signup

The bride was given in marriage by her wonderfully devoted stepfather, Joseph Gunning. The bride was stunning in an off-the-shoulder champagne-colored shantung silk dress with a fitted bodice. The elegant dress was trimmed with lace and seed pearls. The wedding dress was gifted to the bride by her aunt, Ann Logan Watts.

Sadie Smith, godchild of the bride, was the flower girl, and Bennett Ernst, nephew of the bride, was the ring bearer. Ushers were Johnny and Mitchell Meyers, cousins of the bride.

Heather France Fortenberry was the matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Alejandra Ernst, sister-in-law of the bride, Mikaela McCarthy, sister of the groom, Emily Ragsdale, Emily Williams, Jerika Browning, Margaux Trappey Burke, and Mark Weeden.

Groomsmen were Jack Norris, best man, Elliot Ernst, brother of the bride, Kyle McCarthy, brother-in-law of groom, Cole Benge, Austin Coffman, Chris Cappolino, Richard Burke, and Taylor Roos.

A garden party reception at Travelers Rest followed the ceremony. Assisting were Katie Freiberger, Lisa Smith, Palmer Ragsdale, the bride’s aunt Margaret Watts Meyers, and stepmother, Susan Gunning.

The Continental Cook at The Carriage House catered a vast array of southern favorites. Five different flavors of delicious king cakes – the Donut Shop’s specialty –- served as the wedding cake and the groom’s cake was homemade tiramisu. The wedding couple was toasted with authentic limoncello, hand-crafted by the groom’s mother and family. Guests enjoyed a selection of craft beer provided by the bride’s uncle, Jay Meyers, of Colorado Coolers. The couple was celebrated into the evening by friends and family with music and dancing under the stars.

Katie and Rico will reside in Charleston, South Carolina, and plan to honeymoon in Europe this fall.