A bye-week wedding for Saints owner

Updated: October 27, 2004, 11:02 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson will be married Friday in San Antonio, Texas.

Benson is to be married to Gayle Marie LaJaunie Bird at the Immaculate Conception Memorial Chapel. A reception will follow at the University of Incarnate Word.

A pre-wedding party was to be held at the New Orleans Museum of Art on Wednesday.

The guest lists for the events includes more than 2,000 people.

"It really will be two parties, so everything from a planning perspective is double," Bird said in a news release from the Saints. "There will be many priests celebrating the mass, and marrying us. Everyone has been so helpful. It's been overwhelming, the response we have received. People have been so happy for both of us."

Bird, the owner of an interior design company in New Orleans, said selecting the date for the wedding was easy.

"Our schedules are very complicated," Bird said. "So when I'm asked, 'Why Oct. 29?' It's simple: It's the Saints' bye week."

Benson's first wife, Grace Marie Trudeau Benson, died of Parkinson's disease Nov. 17, 2003.

Benson and Bird met at St. Louis Cathedral. After being introduced, Benson asked her to attend a New Orleans VooDoo game, the Arena Football League team in the city that he also owns.

They announced their engagement on Sept. 23.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index