This might not be your typical Southern wedding, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s lacking on the style front. With European inspiration and Maison Montegut to play backdrop, it’s a day that captures the essence of New Orleans’ French Quarter to a pretty little T. See it through the fabulous lens of Maile Lani right over here!
From the Bride… David and I were married in the amazing city of New Orleans, where we have been living for the last few years. He is British, and my family is French/Jewish, so needless to say this was not your traditional Southern Wedding!
We wanted to bring in our European roots for a romantic courtyard affair, while realizing that most of our guests had never been to New Orleans. There were too many amazing New Orleans traditions to ignore, so we picked our favorites and voila!
We were married in the stunning courtyard of the Maison Montegut, a historic house in the French Quarter. My now husband built the wedding canopy (chuppah) with New Orleans architecture in mind. We wanted a soft Parisian garden feel with lots of ivy and cream colors that our florist captured incredibly well. We loved the asymmetric flower arrangement on the canopy, and the intimacy of the smaller courtyard space. The entry to the courtyard was an original carriageway and was the aisle I walked down. We designed and printed the wedding programs ourselves, bundling them with pieces of lavender and white handkerchiefs.
Just before the wedding, we signed our wedding contract, which was a really small and special ceremony with only our parents and the officiant. We had our Ketubah (jewish wedding contact) custom-made with a papercut lacey design, backed with gold foil. Following this small gathering, everyone took a shot of Bourbon which was exactly what we needed to start the night!
Following the traditional wedding ceremony, we took to the streets in a New Orleans Second Line. We danced and waved our handkerchiefs in the narrow tourist-filled streets of the French Quarter with the brass band, Dr. Jazz, leading the way. David and I stayed at the front and danced with our umbrellas while our guests had Mardi Gras beads on their necks and camera phones in hand. This was by far the highlight of the wedding!
We arrived at Galvez Restaurant and spent the next hour cooling off with amazing cocktails on the balcony overlooking the Mississippi River and the French Quarter. David and I then had our first dance followed by the Jewish tradition of the hora! Looking at everyone smiling and dancing from a lifted chair was amazing.
For the reception, we really wanted it to feel like a large dinner party. The food was served family style with large serving plates floating above the tablescape. And to give our guests an authentic N’awlins feel, plenty of seafood, wine and cocktails were served. It was important to us to have a real restaurant for our wedding with a full bar, and not the type set-up just for events. Turns out our guests agreed, and the expansive restaurant bar was the most popular spot! The Chef at Galvez Restaurant is incredible and people raved about the Steak au Poivre and New Orleans Blackened Fish.
My favorite aspect of the reception was the tablescape that Nola Flora put together: Revere bowls and julep cups overflowed with baby’s breath, white hydrangea, white ranunculus, and ivory majolika spray roses. The tall candlesticks looked fantastic against the ceiling-height windows overlooking the river. Another fun touch to our reception was the table runners. My grandmother made these from a toile de jouy fabric we picked out together in Paris! This is something I will never forget–being at the foot of Sacre Coeur in Paris shopping for my wedding with my French grandmother.
My husband made two wooden boxes out of reclaimed wood for the escort cards (sitting on a bed of baby’s breath), as well as the wooden table number holders. He also designed and printed personalized dinner menus for each of our guests at their assigned seat.
For dessert, we had three delicious cakes. The first was the bridal cake, the second was a birthday cake for my sister and the last was a traditional southern Groom’s Cake. My husband builds houses, so I requested a cake in the form of his favorite nail gun, and it turned out wonderfully! Our wedding planner even asked someone to move the tool from the cake area before our reception!
Overall, we loved the blend of traditions and our visitors from England, France, and Spain were thrilled to be able to experience New Orleans with us. It will always be a city we hold close to our hearts.
Photography: Maile Lani Photography | Wedding Coordinator: Belle Soiree | Floral Design: Nola Flora | Invitations: Celebrations in Paper | Ceremony Venue: Maison Montegut | Reception Venue: Galvez Restaurant | Hair and Makeup: Flawless Bride | Bridal Shoes: Vera Wang | Bridesmaid Robes: Love Ophelia | Ceremony Music and Second Line Band: Dr. Jazz | Handkerchiefs and Umbrellas: Gem Printing Company | Hotel for Getting Ready: Omni Shoreham DC | Invitation Calligraphy and Custom Stamps: Rachel Carl Co. | Wedding Cakes: Just Cake by Wendy | Wedding Cinematography: Studio Vieux Carré | Wedding Dress and Veil: Wedding Belles | Wedding Ketubah Art: Jerise Fogel | Wedding Photobooth: Big Easy Photobooth