Happy Saturday SMPer’s. We have a charming French Quarter wedding with more than just a few ways to start your day off right. One. A cool as can be couple. Two. Carefree NOLA style. And three. A fabulous film that really lets you in on this chic soiree. A film that brings this southern romance to life. A film that gives you such an honest sense of this blissfully in love duo. Brought to us by 3Ring Weddings this New Orleans wedding is a sweet reminder of what it’s all about. You can see even more images from Keith Cephus Photography right here in the gallery.
From the bride… I had recently returned from a wonderful “girls” trip to the Bahamas with my best friend and another close friend. I returned energized and definitely with a sun-kissed glow of spending a week in the Caribbean. I almost contemplated not going as I was still recovering from my vacation, however, I had a family friend who was visiting and also wanted to reconnect with my friends hosting the event. The date was Saturday, August 15, 2009. The hosts were one of my favorite couples from college. The wife was a sorority sister who had become General Counsel of the agency that Chafula worked and the husband, also a college classmate. Upon arrival and lots of hugs, I settled into the kitchen when I noticed a man in the kitchen prepared some type of specialty punch.
He was so handsome and something about his presence intrigued me. He was wearing a pale pink polo shirt, madras pants, and flip flops. I didn’t introduce myself immediately and continued to join reconnecting with friends (old and new) and line dancing. As the evening progressed, I soon found myself sitting a table in the backyard when the gentleman I had noticed all night, pulled his chair next to me. It was an immediate chemistry and talking to him was so easy. I must mention that he had arrived to the barbeque with a close female friend. I assumed that she was a girlfriend but she left after a few hours and then Chafula moved his chair next to mine. I, of course, attempted to call him out for trying to make a move after she left. It turns out (as I would learn later) that she was indeed a great friend (we have spent the past three new year’s eve/day holidays with her and her boyfriend). Turning back to our first meeting, Chafula and I continued talking and laughing as if we were old friends. The next thing we knew, the hosts were putting us out as it was 2:30am and everyone had left. As a gentleman, Chafula walked my friend and me to the car and we exchanged information. At first, I had no idea how to correctly pronounce his name! An hour later, I was home and the phone rang. It was Chafula and we continued the conversation and the rest is “history.”
We knew early on in our relationship that we wanted to get married and spend our lives together. Both of us felt it was important to focus on our relationship with each other and spend the time on building our foundation. We attended pre-marital counseling in June 2011 to make sure that we had discussed the issues that sometimes derail couples. Until that point, our relationship had sustained some very significant events in our lives and we were able to overcome them together. On the last business day of December 2011, we decided that we wanted to go into 2012 as a married couple and headed down to the D.C. Superior Court to apply for a marriage license. And that is the day; we were engaged to be married.
I spent several months in New Orleans for a short term work assignment and got to know the French Quarter very well. I fell in love with the Ritz Carlton for its aesthetics and wonderful customer service. Not to mention, New Orleans is a wonderful destination locale and I knew that the Ritz Carlton would take great care of my guests. Chafula is originally from Louisiana and we wanted to have our wedding that reflected our personal style. Our wedding colors were pale pink, raspberry, silver, and black. My floral preferences were peonies and calla lilies. My florist used a combination of white and varying shades of pink flowers. We felt it was important to incorporate the themes of New Orleans throughout weeding. Our reception was held in the French Quarter Bar which was a room that had large French doors and balconies that opened out to the French Quarter. The floors were dark wood floors and had the room had wonderful architectural details. We had a three tier cake – each was a different flavor and color. One layer was red velvet. I incorporated a very unique southern tradition using cake pulls baked into the bottom layer of our wedding cake. Cake pulls have the origin in the old Victorian tradition of “ribbon pulling.” In those days, charms of luck and good fortune were placed into the wedding cake by the bride for her single friends. Our wedding cake was prepared by the pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton. The pastry chef placed the 7 sterling silver charms with specific means inside the bottom layer of the cake and all the single ladies are given the opportunity to pull a charm from the cake (a ceremony called the “ribbon pull”) just before the cake is cut. I asked our deejay to play Beyoncé’s single ladies song and read the meaning of each of the charms aloud instead of doing the traditional bouquet toss. Each charm had a special meaning.
Our wedding day was so special and aside from moving the ceremony indoors was perfect. We had fun. Our family was there to celebrate with us. We did have a few guests that were delayed due to the wedding. I will always remember Chafula’s look when I was walking down the aisle and the moments of our ceremony when we exchanged our vows. Our vendors were fabulous and we were blessed to work such a wonderful group of ladies and gentlemen.
Cinematography: 3Ring Weddings / Photography: Keith Cephus Photography / Planner: All Events Perfect / Florist: Nola Flora / Makeup: Faces of Virtue / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Jewelry: Tejani / Venue: The French Quater Bar at the Ritz / Cake: Ritz CarltonTEJANI is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.