A NOLA Proposal: Sean Payton and Skylene Montgomery

Updated: Mar 26

"Love like Johnny and June..."


Our beloved Saints' Head Coach, Sean Payton, popped the question to his long-time girlfriend, Skylene Montgomery, last November at an elaborate surprise-birthday-turned-engagement party. I was honored to be asked to photograph this momentous occasion and now I get to share some of the photos! Scroll down to see more, including the video by my friends at Studio Vieux Carre!

Coach Sean Payton proposes to his girlfriend Skylene Montgomery at Longway Tavern in New Orleans.

It all started as a surprise birthday party.


To keep the whole plan a secret, Mrs. Benson, who was in on the whole plan, invited Skylene to Longway Tavern for a toast celebrating hers and Mr. Benson's 15 year wedding anniversary. Guests received invitations to what they thought was a surprise birthday party for Skylene.


After the initial surprise of seeing her friends and family, the couple headed to the courtyard where surprise number two was revealed.


Special guest, country music star Heidi Newfield made a grand entrance from a balcony room singing "Johnny And June," a favorite song and the theme for the party.



The proposal

At this point, Coach, who had the ring hidden behind his back, said the fateful words: You know, Skylene, this is a bit much for a birthday party. He then dropped to one knee.


You know, Skylene, this is a bit much for a birthday party. - Coach

As Skylene said "Yes!" fireworks exploded and confetti showered down on the courtyard.


Heidi Newfield performed a full set of the couple's favorite songs while guests congratulated Coach and offered best wishes to Skylene.


Skylene shows off her engagement ring with Coach, Heidi Newfield, and Coach's children, Connor and Meghan.

Artist Christina Pappion painted the big moment throughout the evening.

The Engagement Party cake featured a black Cadillac, a guitar and lyrics from Newfield's song "Johnny And June."

Guests took home themed cookie favors.

Check out that ring!


Congratulations and many best wishes to the happy couple!


Here's to all the awesome vendors who helped make this magical evening come to life:


EVENT PLANNING + COORDINATION: Kellie Mathas, Crystal Clear Creative | VENUE + CATERING: Longway Tavern | LIVE EVENT PAINTING: Pappion Artistry | BALLOON ARTISTRY: NOLA Party Boutique | COOKIES: The Posh Piper | PHOTO BOOTH: Gogo Booth VIDEO: Studio Vieux Carre | CAKES: Nene B Sweet Shop | DECOR: Fancy Faces Decor | LIGHTING + SPECIAL EFFECTS: Pyramid Audio Productions, AFX Pro | ICE SCULPTURE: John Albrecht Ice Sculptures | SPECIAL GUEST ENTERTAINMENT: Heidi Newfield


Many thanks to my friend Sarah Alleman for photographing this event with me!



Also, check out this article on >>> NOLA.com <<< that my photos were featured in!

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