If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, whether for Mardi Gras, the weekend, or a fabulous wedding, you’ll agree with the bride who says “a good party is expected” after tying the knot in the Big Easy. I can only imagine NOLA weddings are the most fun. So when Stacy Reeves sent over the N’awlins nuptials of two fellow wedding photographers, planned by Sapphire Events New Orleans, it was pretty much a party in the SMP offices. Complete with a Second Line band, parade down Bourbon Street, and a bit of dancing in the French Quarter – and the gallery!
Here’s a little extra love from Studio Vieux Carre…
From the beautiful bride … Doug and I met in college while pursuing our photojournalism degrees at Western Kentucky University. He spotted me from across the room at our first department meeting of the year and knew that he had to get to know me. He’s from New Orleans, so his boyish charm and his Nawlin’s accent quickly won over my heart.
Fast forward eight years, (yes he made me wait eight long years!) it was the evening of December 28, 2010; we were hosting a welcome home party for my brother-in-law whom had just gotten back from a tour in Iraq. Doug, in true Doug fashion, had arranged an amazing welcome home party at our friends local brewery, Nola Brewing. He had invited family and friends, had the lead singer of Cowboy Mouth – a local favorite, a redfish cake, and a second line band to come in and blow things out at the end of the party. Unbeknownst to me, he had asked Kevin’s permission to propose that night because he knew of all night’s I would never be expecting it that night. He was right! He interrupted Fred LeBlanc during one of his songs – that was planned to – it was “Take Me Back to New Orleans.” He got on the microphone and started telling everyone why that song was important to us – and I was just trying to figure out – “what is he doing?!” It didn’t take me long to realize as he pulled out a piece of paper he had notes on, and he became misty-eyed. It’s still one of the best nights of my life to this day.
We keep joking that our wedding week was 99.9 percent perfect, and our honeymoon 70% good. (Delayed flights getting there, Doug got sick, I got thrown off a horse….that’s a whole other story though!) We surrounded ourselves with some of the best wedding vendors possible, and we couldn’t have done a better job. We are actually in the wedding industry too — which made some decisions very easy, and others very difficult because we didn’t want to offend anyone.
Our wedding weekend began Thursday evening with our Rehearsal dinner. We had dinner at the Maison Dupuy in their beautiful courtyard with the fountain as our backdrop. We were surrounded by our closest family and friends. This was what we had been waiting for. We were overcome with emotion as we realized everyone we cared about so deeply was there with us all at the same time.
The next day we had a crawfish boil planned at Audubon Park in order to spend more quality time with our family and friends. We were so grateful for the extra time this allowed us to spend with everyone. It was a beautiful April afternoon in New Orleans. Most of us took the street car from the French Quarter through the historic Garden District to get there.
The morning of the wedding was just as beautiful as the day before, and everything I had been praying for for the past 15 months. When you’re having an outdoor ceremony, you tend to get a little antsy about Mother Nature. I began my morning by having a hearty breakfast on my hotel balcony overlooking the French Quarter. The perfect start to a perfect day.
Once my hair and makeup was finished and I was reveling in all my glory of being a bride, I rode in a pedi-cab to meet Doug for our First Look – that was an exciting and fun experience as we passed people and they yelled good wishes. It was an impromptu part of the day suggested by my amazing coordinator that is still one of my favorite parts of the day. My heart was fluttering as I walked up behind Doug. I couldn’t wait to see him. He turned around after I hugged him from behind, and I’m pretty sure he was already crying before he even laid eyes on me. I’m a crier too, but I was simply overjoyed to finally be marrying my best friend.
We love New Orleans, and we wanted to show our family and friends the reasons why we love New Orleans so much. We were married in front of the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. It doesn’t really get more New Orleans than that! The whole time we were planning we wanted to make sure our wedding reflected who we are as a couple and add personal touches throughout. We were married by Doug’s best friend from elementary school who had gotten ordained online in order to marry us. His words during our ceremony were beyond perfect, and it was a perfect representation of who we are. We also had a sand ceremony after reciting our own vows to one another, but instead of just us pouring the sand, we also had both mom’s pour to represent our family, two of our best friends pour to represent our friends, and then he and I topped it off as we merged our sand in the heart shaped vase.
Once we arrived at the reception we had Mint Juleps as an ode to my Kentucky upbringing. Doug and I also had an amazing wine registry created by our friends at Kiefe and Co. This was a part that was also so “us” because we had gone on a trip two years prior to Burgundy, France. Some of the bottles purchased by our guests were from that very region, which will remind us of those fabulous memories we made when we open those bottles.
My cake was a topsy turvy, whimsical cake, while Doug’s groom’s cake was a replica of the Mardi Gras float we ride on. The twenty some riders that were guests at our wedding couldn’t get enough of this cake! It was so accurate, everyone was flipping out over it. Our main surprise of the night though came when Doug and I got on stage and performed to AC/DC’s Shook Me All Night Long with Groovy 7!! Doug was on the guitar, and I was on the drums! Months of preparation paid off and our family and friends went nuts! It was amazing, definitely one of my favorite parts of our day. There were so many favorite parts to the day really – we lived it up, and I can say I truly enjoyed every single minute of the day.
The night ended with our second line brass band coming into the ball room and playing Party Rock Anthem with our band, and then leading us out into the streets of the French Quarter for an epic second-line. Doug and I danced like no bride and groom have danced on a second line. We had sooo much energy and excitement for at least a full 45 minutes (they usually only last 20-25 minutes!) We felt bad for our photographer and videographer because we knew we worked them hard during that part of the day. It was incredible though! We went straight up the middle of Bourbon St. Strangers were dancing in the street with us and taking pictures of us. It was the best way to wrap up a perfect day!!
One of our friends told us after our wedding that they felt like we threw them a party. We took that as a wonderful compliment, and was really what we set out to do – well of course, other than the part where we committed our lives to one another. In New Orleans a good party is expected after you say I do. I think we succeeded in giving our guests and experience they’ll never forget. And we were just so thrilled to be married at the end of the day. It’s hard to believe that we are already approaching our first anniversary. The wedding was so incredible that two or three days into our honeymoon we were ready to do it all over again. And I’m sure we will, but maybe we’ll wait another ten or so years.
Photographer: Stacy Reeves | Planner: Sapphire Events New Orleans | Ceremony location: Jackson Square | Reception Location: Bourbon Orleans Hotel | Videographer: Studio Vieux Carre | Florist: Nola Flora | Bakery: Melissa’s Fine Pastries | Hair and Makeup: Flawless Bride | Reception Band: Groovy 7 | Second Line Band: Young Pinstripe | Lighting: Abstract Productions | Transportation: Need A Ride Pedicabs