Have you been to New Orleans? It’s fantastic. Gorgeous, old architecture all around gives an old world romance feel. Which is why it is the perfect spot to hold a southern wedding. If you haven’t been to the Big Easy, fear not. Eau Claire Photographics was able to capture it’s essence whilst capturing this fabulous wedding – which is also SO New Orleans chic. The wedding is one of my favorites from Nawlins, with a easy, romantic charm oozing from every photograph. You’ll want take it nice and slow to see them all in the gallery, so click here!

Click here for the highlight film from Your Day Productions!

After considering having the wedding at Rachel’s family property on the Northshore, the couple realized that New Orleans was there home, where they met, and would be the most meaningful place to get married. Because there would be a majority of out-of-town guests, they decided to play up the “New Orleans” theme and what could be better than a courtyard wedding? After interning at the Gallier House in undergraduate school, Rachel knew just the place – the sister property: the Hermann-Grima house on St. Louis Street in the heart of the Quarter.

Because the majority of the guests would be traveling in from out of town, the couple decided to make a whole weekend celebration of the wedding and invite all guest to all the events. They really wanted their family and friends to see many sides to the region and have a variety of experiences. Therefore, on Friday evening, the weekend began with a “Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler!” champagne and dessert Welcome Reception at the Martine Chaisson Gallery in the Warehouse District. A string trio, featuring top musicians from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (an organization that both the couple and Rachel’s father are passionately involved with), entertained the guests while enjoying desserts and champagne from Joel’s Catering.

On Saturday, all guests were bused to Lacombe (a small town located north of the lake) to enjoy a Rehearsal Supper at the Chotin Residence on the bayou. Mary Garrett, the Chotin’s long-time house keeper graciously catered the event and cooked her famous Red Beans and Rice, along with Shrimp and Chicken pastas. Guests gathered under the ancient, moss-filled oaks and listened to Bluegrass music by Otis Hurtz & The Cry Babies (Spider Murphy, John Malcovich and Dave Talmage) while sipping on Jason’s favorite drink from the Bloody Mary bar. Praline Bread Pudding and Pecan and Apple Pies (baked by Rachel’s mother) rounded out the menu for the afternoon.

The wedding ceremony and reception were both held at the Hermann-Grima House in the French Quarter on Sunday, October 9th, beginning at 5pm in the afternoon. Between the two, guests were entertained by the same ceremony gypsy jazz band, Zazou City Quartet, in the adjoining Stable Courtyard for a “happy half-hour”. Passed hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails (“Jason loves New Orleans Sazerac” and “Rachel loves Texas Margarita”) were enjoyed by the guests while the main courtyard was transformed from ceremony to reception.

The bride carried a solid cotton bouquet and the softness was complemented by the bridesmaid’s pop of color with the orange  carnations. Rachel borrowed two large vases from her father’s extensive McCarty Pottery collection and filled them with cotton to flank the altar for the ceremony. Orange roses in vases with sliced oranges were placed on tables at the reception. Not only was orange Rachel’s grandmother’s favorite color, but also orange roses were her favorite flower. Along with the orange color theme, oranges held special meaning to the couple because (as the story goes) the Lincolns, several generations ago, lived in New Orleans on an orange plantation before settling in San Antonio, Texas.

Although what may appear to be an over-the-top, extravagant wedding – Rachel prided herself on cutting corners and being cost-conscious by creating a majority of the details herself and shopping around for the best prices. She designed all invitations/graphics herself and printing at home on recycled paper, borrowed as many family heirlooms as possible. She also designed the flower arrangements herself and therefore used a small neighborhood florist to implement her designs. Rachel’s mother helped tremendously: assembled welcome bags for the guests, sewed the flower girl’s dress, made the ring bearer’s pillow, made the favors. Rachel handled all the planning herself until two weeks before the wedding when she realized she would need a little help in executing the plan! 

We both agree that two of the most special moments were when we were alone and able to soak it all in. After our “first look” on top of the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, we went down into the Quarter and took pictures on Pirate’s Alley. This was a great experience for us. We were able to calm our nerves, spend a little time together and capture some great shots.

Photographer: Eau Claire Photographics / Videographer: Your Day Productions / Floral Designer: Audubon Flowers / Day Of Coordinator: Old.New.Blue / Rehersal Planning & Design: Charlotte Weil Event Design / Invitation Designer: Rachel Chotin Lincoln, Printed on recycled paper from Paper Source / Stickers: Sticker Mule / Save the Dates: Smartpress / Cake: Gambino’s Bakery / Wedding Gown Designer: Alyne Bridal / Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer: Ann Taylor Loft / Band: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra String Trio, Otis Hurtz & the Cry Babies / Ceremony & Happy Half-Hour Music: Zazou City Quartet / Reception Music: Jayna Morgan and the Sazerac Sunrise Jazz Band