We usually basque in the beauty of The Nichols photography within the state lines of good ol’ Texas which we adore. But seeing The Nichols do New Orleans is a whole new ballgame. And that ballgame includes a parade through the streets accompanied by a jazz band. Now tell me that doesn’t sound amazing. See even more right here in the NOLA filled gallery.

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From the bride…Justin and I have known each other since we were kids but didn’t start dating until we were in college. After being together for almost six years, I had planned a trip for Justin’s birthday to New Orleans, our favorite getaway, a place I grew up visiting frequently and where we have a family home. I had planned a birthday surprise for him, little did I know that he had an even bigger surprise in store for me! He proposed to me on the balcony at my family’s place in the French Quarter, it was completely romantic and nothing short of amazing!

So when Justin and I began discussing wedding plans, the idea of a destination wedding in New Orleans seemed perfect. It’s a city where we have had some of our best times, and it seemed perfect to have our guests share the joy in a place that is so close to our hearts, a place that is full of life and conveniently not too far from home! With Justin being a graphic designer and photography being one of our hobbies, there were a few things that were really important to us for the wedding. We wanted a great photographer, we searched thoroughly and then fell in love with the style and beauty of The Nichols’ pure talent. From there we ended up making or creating most of the details for the wedding. We made our invitations, programs, website, favors, welcome bags, etc. We got very inventive and resourceful, wanting the wedding to be a product of us and our creation. Deciding on wedding favors, we wanted something that our guests could bring home as souvenirs. We created a handkerchief that we included in the program so that our guests could use it in the second line parade between the ceremony and the reception. If you’re not familiar with New Orleans culture, a second line parade is a traditional jazz parade where you walk through the streets in celebration led by a brass band and in this case, also by the bride and groom. We also thought it would be fun to give out pralines, a traditional treat known in New Orleans, as well as a personalized set of Mardi Gras beads that we designed and my dad had produced.

When the actual wedding day arrived I was slightly anxious until the moment I locked eyes with Justin at our first look prior to the ceremony. From then on, I felt at ease and nothing could go wrong. One of the best moments of the day was when the ceremony was coming to a close, we had just been pronounced husband and wife and were about to walk back down the aisle when a group of talented singers came out of nowhere and began singing “All you need is love.” If you have ever seen the film “Love Actually,” which is one of Justin and my favorite movies, then you know what came next. After the singers began an A Capella version of this song, random musicians with their instruments began popping out of the crowd playing the melody. In an effort to make this the most amazing day of our lives, my dad had orchestrated this as a surprise for us…and boy was it! The pictures that The Nichols captured during this were priceless and it made for an amazing memory that will last a lifetime. From there, we had so much fun walking through the streets with the brass band during the second line parade, swinging our handkerchiefs back and forth. When we arrived at the Omni for the reception, it was beautiful as always and they did an amazing job putting everything together. The band was phenomenal…they had everyone going on the dance floor all night long. It was simply the best time of my life. The day was filled with love, laughter and overwhelming emotions. The weather was beautiful, our family and friends were present and we were finally getting married. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Photographer: The Nichols | Ceremony: Jackson Square | Reception: Omni Royal Orleans | Floral Design: Dunn & Sonnier | Cinematography: Dyle Films | Band: MoJEAUX | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra (The King and I) | Bridesmaid Dresses: Ann Taylor | Bride Shoes: Vera Wang  | Second-Line Band: The Storyville Stompers | Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Black by Vera Wang via Men’s Warehouse | Bride + Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Wedding + Groom’s Cake: Zoe’s Bakery | Hair + Makeup: Flawless Bride

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