New Orleans Destination Wedding with Mardi Gras in Mind

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Mather and Paul held a domestic destination wedding in New Orleans!!  What a fun place to say I do – the music, the culture, the food, the nightlife and sightseeing for guests – what doesn’t New Orleans have for a destination wedding?!?!  This bride and groom knew it would be just perfect!  Why?  Because they love the city!  “Simply put – New Orleans is our favorite city in the U.S. We couldn’t imagine any place more perfect for us to host our friends and family for a straight up celebration in honor of our wedding day. We were originally considering wine country in Northern California, where my folks have a place, but we quickly realized that it wouldn’t be as conducive to the chaos we hoped would ensue … That and we didn’t want any one family to feel the burden of having visitors all weekend, and thought it would be more fun if everyone had a weekend away – especially in the Big Easy.”

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“When we visited NOLA a few years ago for New Years’s Eve, we fell in love with it and even mused about moving there. But because we live in NYC and our families hail from California and Michigan, respectively, it seemed like the ideal destination wedding spot, no passport required.  Also, my late mother was from Memphis, TN and had attended Tulane University, as did my father (although they didn’t meet there). So, New Orleans has always had a very special place in my heart … and once we learned about the wedding traditions down there – like the second line parade and the reception-style party – we were sold!”

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Mather shared with us the idea behind the ombre palette.  “I basically live for all things rainbow and multicolored … so I’d always been very considerate of both: a) how to exhibit as many colors as possible (in a classy way, of course) and also b) how to avoid having a very matchy-matchy wedding where the invite colors matched the bridesmaids dresses, which also matched the table linens – kill me now! Purple is my favorite color, second only to sparkle, and thus I wanted that to have as much of a presence as possible – but also while surrounded by other warm, bright and pop-y colors! To have each bridesmaid individualized with a different color bouquet was key to me – especially because it served the big, ombre look overall. And then having that match on the tables was epic! Truly, I never thought I would care so much about flowers or a color scheme … but I am SO glad I put as much time and energy into my flowers and decor as I did, because looking back on the pictures, they are SUCH a highlight!”

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We love the pops of color with the bouquets set against the black bridesmaid dresses!  A great way to weave in bright color and still give your gals a dress they can wear again!

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Favorite moment from the day for this bride?  “Our vows – 100%. My husband and I are both known for being a little last minute … so needless to say, we hadn’t really written out our vows prior to the big day. In fact, I was still constructing mine during my hair and make-up, and got all emotional, etc. So by the time I was standing there, giving mine, and then more importantly, hearing Paul’s … I was beside myself. Paul’s words were more beautiful than I could have ever anticipated and I think we both basically blacked out. I think about those moments every single day and feel excited and energized to live and renew them every single day.”

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The reception tables were flanked with pops of color too and ombre rainbow-like centerpieces accented with lots of sparkle and bling!

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Mirrored vases and candles everywhere lit up this otherwise very modern event space.

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Beads, masks, slogans and props decked out the photo booth in colors reflecting the Big Easy.

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Guests were asked to leave advice for both the bride and groom on notecards matching the rest of their paper goods.

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A purple ombre wedding cake rounded out the decor and incorporated the bride’s favorite color.

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Music was also a big part of this night – as was the dancing!

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We asked Mather for advice for future destination couples.  “Wedding wise? Don’t let the details drive you crazy … get a GOOD planner … and just make it about the pure joy and celebration of the day and have the BEST TIME EVER. Oh, and don’t accidentally give a 20 minute speech at the end of the night before singing “All I want for Christmas” on stage in front of everyone. In general? Just make sure the person you’re with everyday is the one who makes you feel that excitement and electricity of a first crush every day – and who can make you smile and laugh more than anyone else. And then remember those moments of your vows and keep those at the top of mind everyday.”  Love this advice!!

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And what NOLA wedding is complete without a trolley (and a sparkler sendoff of course)?!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Meg Baisden Photography

Wedding Vendors: Event Planner:  Sapphire Events, Floral Designer:  Bee’s Wedding and Event Design, Reception Venue:  Eiffel Society, Invitation Designer:  Folio, Cinema and Video:  Bella Productions, Other:  Plum Pretty Sugar, Cake Designer:  Gambino’s Bakery, Band:  Bobby J and Stuff Like That, Band:  Tulane Brass Band, Ceremony Location:  MICO PRODUCTIONS, Lighting:  Luminous Events of New Orleans, LLC, Linens and Coverings:  Perrier Party Rentals, Equipment Rentals:  Southern Hospitality Event Rentals, Makeup Artist:  Kiss and Makeup Beauty Services, Transportation:  American Luxury Limo, Transportation:  Capital City Trolleys, Photo Booth Equipment:  Nola Booth HD


Mardi Gras Themed Weddings

Today is Fat Tuesday which is Mardi Gras in French – the last day before Lent begins and also known as one mega carnival in New Orleans.  If you’re hosting a New Orleans destination wedding, you may not want an all out carnival (though it would be fun), but you can always give a nod to a few fun elements from their main annual event.  Beads, feathers, purples, greens, and the more wedding appropriate gold fleur de lis make for great wedding day additions whether saying “I do” in NOLA or saying “oui” to French inspired wedding details.  Mardi Gras is a celebration – just as your wedding will be!

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{Photos: Bride: Docuvitae, Bouquet: The Bride’s Cafe, Shoes: Laura Murray Photography, Tile: Etsy, Mask Cookies: Life’s a Batch, Beads: Flickr, Shrimp: Mealpod, Macaroons: Sprinkle Bakes, Desserts: Busy Bees Cupcakery, Cake: Sedona Cake Couture}


Pretty Purple Wedding in New Orleans

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Amanda and Patrick hosted their destination wedding in New Orleans, with a perfectly fitting palette of purples.  Amanda shared with us why they selected this lovely location.  “I wanted a quaint spot for our wedding.  We were not getting married in a church so both the wedding and reception would be in or around the same space and we had to find a way to separate the two.  Café Amelie was chosen for several reasons but was in competition with one other location, Latrobe’s.  I would have loved to have had our wedding at a plantation however it was not in our budget.  While looking at plantations, I gathered inspiration for a location that I knew I would want to have.  Outdoor space was important – after all, we were being married in May, one of the most beautiful months in New Orleans.  We choose Café Amelie because it had beautiful outdoor space.  It had charm and history similar to a plantation.”

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“The courtyard itself was beautiful, including an old sugar kettle fountain, pathways, and flora.  There were little corners all over for privacy and quaintness.  It is just a beautiful spot that embodied everything I wanted.”

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“I wanted an extravagant wedding full of flowers but my budget would not allow for everything so we had to cut a little on the flowers but it didn’t matter.  Our florist gave me what I wanted and took big to medium and in the end I could not tell the difference.  Dee, our florist, is one of the best in the New Orleans area, I knew she was going to be pricey but loved her style.  I had style and in my budget thanks to her!  I wanted romance and she gave it to me.  Flowers in all shades of purple and mercury glass, glamour!  I had a purple orchid arch for our wedding service, it was stunning and the perfect item that separated the wedding from the reception. We had flower petals all over and lanterns that lit the pathways.” 

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“My dogs were in my wedding, two of them anyway.  I have two beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Emma and Winston who were in the wedding.  I adore animals and have four dogs.  The two were chosen because they were the most behaved, ha!  I am very involved in dog rescue and look at animals as family.”

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“Music was also important to us.  We had a live cello player, Vladimir Demitri who was eloquent, play for our wedding.  We also had a live band from Baton Rouge play for our reception who were non traditional and a lot of fun!  The band was important because my husband’s father was in a band from Baton Rouge as well.  They allowed his father and aunt to get up and play and sing a song.”

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“In addition to the wedding, we explored the city with an amazing weekend with parties every night for our guests.  We had a welcome party Thursday night by my friend Nicole James.  The next day, Friday morning/afternoon we had a bloody mary party at my friend’s father’s home.  It was given by Dr. DH Clark and family. Friday evening we had a dessert and champagne party given by Frank and Katelin Haney, the groom’s sister and husband.  It wan an amazing weekend with loads of friends and family.”

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“We were having a smaller wedding, around 100 people and half of them would be coming from Ohio, my home state and the other half from around Louisiana (my husband’s home state) and friends from all over including Denmark.  Café Amelie was able to transition from the wedding to the reception without notice and all in the same space.  The venue had a coordinator, Danny Akers, who was amazing.  He did everything and everything you forgot!”

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“The food was also important.  Half our family is from Louisiana, big foodies so the food was an important.  The chef at Café Amelie makes all the food from scratch and had a very rich and unique menu.  They also served a signature bananas foster bread pudding.  Everything was hand delivered during the wedding and reception from drinks to dessert and we had a buffet set up.” 

But this night wasn’t all food – there was much dancing to be done too before the couple jetted back to New York City (the place they met and now live together).

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Congratulations Amanda and Patrick!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Suzy G Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Café Amelie, Wedding Dress: Casablanca, Florist: Bella Blooms


New Orleans To-Do’s for Destination Weddings

With Super Bowl Sunday in the Big Easy coming up this weekend, I found it only appropriate to feature a few great things about New Orleans, and the amazing activities to do there while hosting a destination wedding! Being a native Southern Belle myself, New Orleans is one of my favorite places to visit and I definitely appreciate the unique culture they pride themselves on. If you have decided to have a destination wedding in New Orleans, then there are a few fun experiences you MUST do and great places you HAVE to visit!

If you like doughnuts and coffee, then Cafe Du Monde is the best place to go for authentic French beignets! Ask anyone you know (unless they’ve never been to NOLA) about Cafe Du Monde and they’ll swear by it. It’s a great little outdoor cafe for a midnight snack or morning pastry (just watch out for the pigeons…) Next, try dinning in the French Quarter, where you are bound to find a five star restaurant on almost every corner. My favorite places are The Stanley (next to Stella!), Felix’s Oyster Bar, The Court of Two Sisters, and Royal House Oyster Bar. The Stanley is an incredible restaurant to go for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (try their eggs Benedict if you go in the AM!) and Felix’s Oyster Bar has the best oysters, hands down. During the day or night depending on your courage, take a trolley to the St. Louis Cemetery for a spooky yet historical tour. Another thing to do day or night is a cruise on the famed Natchez riverboat. The Mississippi river may be a big muddy mess, but you’d be surprised how romantic and entertaining a cruise can be on the Ol’ Man River! And while you’re still in the Big Easy, you have to check out the heart of the French Quarter: Jackson Square. This historical city center is home to a monument in honor of President Andrew Jackson, and also the second oldest cathedral in the United States, St. Louis Cathedral. It is also home to several local artists and musicians, who are there on a daily basis, rain or shine. You can easily find a beautiful souvenir to take back home to hang on the wall, and it will always remind you of your fabulous destination wedding in New Orleans!


{Photos: Cafe Du Monde, Rachelle B; Cajun Cafe, Contiki; French Quarter Street, Flickr; St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans Online; French Quarter Corner, Flickr; The Natchez Riverboat, Blaine Harrington Photography; Jackson Square, Flickr}


500 Days of Summer Wedding in New Orleans

New Orleans Destination WeddingToday is, sadly, the official last day of summer and we have a very appropriate wedding to share with you in honor of it! How many of you are fans of the movie 500 Days of Summer? Well, this groom, Scott Neustadter, is the man who wrote the screenplay and, guess what? It was based on his own life! His lovely bride Lauren Levy, now an executive at 20th Century Fox, read his script while working for Miramax Films and was so inspired, she asked to meet the writer. While their first meeting was all business, fate brought them together again six months later and, well, the rest is history! The Los Angeles-based couple chose a destination wedding in New Orleans, which is actually the bride’s hometown.  So off to NOLA they went to celebrate with a festive rehearsal dinner and an utterly elegant wedding day steeped in tradition (and a little movie humor), as captured by Meg Baisden Photography.New Orleans Destination WeddingLauren wore an exquisite lace wedding dress by Marisa as she walked down the aisle at her childhood temple, which was decorated with a plethora of romantic roses. While a monochromatic palette of whites and creams carried throughout the day, Lauren chose to “pop” these neutrals with vibrant purples for her bridesmaids. This was certainly a New Orleans appropriate burst of color!New Orleans Destination WeddingThe Ritz Carlton was the perfect choice for their New Orleans destination wedding reception with a luxurious color scheme that perfectly complemented the bride’s decor choices.

Of course, with a love story like theirs, the movie business couldn’t be left 3000 miles away! Alongside a classic white tiered cake, Scott’s grooms cake was appropriately designed as a film reel. A perfect nod to the duo’s beginnings.Destination Wedding Reception in New OrleansRemember the festive rehearsal dinner I mentioned before? Well, lucky for you, we are also sharing this couple’s wedding trailer from Dyle Films! Beginning with an all-out New Orleans bash (complete with a second-line march led by a spirited jazz band!), you’ll get to see the love and laughter this couple shares on a daily basis. And it may resemble a movie you’ve seen, too…wink wink.

Congratulations Lauren and Scott!
Destination Wedding Photographer: Meg Baisden Photography
Wedding Vendors: Wedding Planner: Jerri Cullinan, Floral Designer: Perfect Presentations, Band: Vieux Carre Band, Wedding Cake: Gambino’s Bakery, Makeup: Robert Hudson, Hair: Christopher Kijko of Keith Noonan Salon, Wedding Dress: Marisa purchased at Pearl’s Place