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Amazing Proposal for Aurora Survivor

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a hopeless romantic and I’ll also admit that this proposal had me in tears (from start to finish). You see, with the help of family and friends, Max Zoghbi created a short film that perfectly traces this couple’s story and demonstrates that in the end, love will always triumph over tragedy. Take my advice and only press “play” with tissues in hand.

From the Groom… Our proposal was a culmination of many things that had been in the works for a long while, most of which were both out of our hands and unbeknownst to us until taking time later to reflect on it all. It wasn’t so much planning something from scratch as it was identifying meaningful things in our lives that God had already placed there and stringing them together in a thoughtfully fun way. I had been there [wanting to marry Bonnie Kate] for quite a while before her heart was ready to reciprocate that notion. Needless to say I had time to ponder ‘how’ I would ask for some time, so I had many many ideas before this one. And as I was wrestling with how to do it I was confronted with the ‘why’ behind it as my mom and brother Michael asked me ‘Why are you really doing this?” I came to grips that my previous ideas were very selfish. It was then I abandoned all of those other equally ridiculous ideas I had previously that were very ‘Max-centered’ and decided to do what would become ‘Wildflower’.

You can see this struggle in the trailer within the documentary as the main character “Mac” (me) is trying so hard to impress this girl with these fanciful notions and over the top gestures because he loves her so much. His daydreams get the best of him. Not that there’s anything wrong with ‘over the top’ nor is there something wrong with ‘simple and sweet’. Regardless of ‘how’ I was going to ask, I had to get the ‘why’ right first, which was to honor her, serve her and make her feel so loved in a way no other man could. Once that became grounded, my intentions then led my imagination rather than my imagination clouding up my intentions.

Everything really fell into place and I realized I, as a filmmaker, had to help redeem the theater for her and do something powerful that would make this amazing girl’s sweet heart burst out of her chest. As I drew nearer to God in that long season of waiting, dreaming and planning I gained a deeper understanding of His overwhelming, passionate, powerful, selfless, patient, relentless love for me. I had to, best as any broken man could, tangibly show that heavenly love in any way I could. This just seemed like the best, most obvious and actually attainable way I knew how, so I did.

It wasn’t until after the fact I was compelled or even thought to share this part of our story with the rest of the world…

Ya know I wrote, shot, edited and planned the whole proposal fiasco in about 6 weeks, then we got married 4 months later. It was a whirlwind to say the least. It all happened so fast I didn’t really have time to process how much the very thing I was creating (capturing this part of our story that is) was therapy for me, until after it was all edited together. I just knew I had to capture our proposal because being a filmmaker I wanted to have it to relish in and share with our kids down the road. But then as I was editing it and reflecting on it I realized that Wildflower is really just me wrestling with and making sense of this crazy 4 years of friendship, heartbreak, waiting, tragedy, pain, thanksgiving and endurance. It became my mirror, a visual narrative of me making sense of the hell and heaven that’s been this season of our life.

It is a diary to myself, a love letter to my bride and an invitation to the world to take a 20 minute walk into our suffering and celebration in hopes that they, that YOU, might find something that will encourage or help you make sense of your story. Pain is that wickedly strange thing that unites us all as humans, we all know it and it’s intimate familiarity can break or shape us. And as people who bear the name “Christian” Bonnie Kate and I have a unique, privileged and humble duty to show that the worst of the worst of the worst; a massacre, murder, chronic pain, daily hell CANNOT, WILL NOT, AND IS NOT ABLE to break us or lead us to despair. We may cry, we may suffer, we may doubt, we may and will and do wrestle with the endemic brokenness of this earth daily through Bonnie Kate’s pain, but we will not be overcome. Love will ultimately triumph, forgiveness will be without relent, and through all that tension, the hopeful pursuit of one man to earn the heart of a southern woman somehow took the form of a 20 minute marriage proposal documentary. I suppose it aims to serve as a broken glimpse into the heart of a loving God who lets bad things happen to His people for a season for their good and His glory. That’s what it’s really about I suppose, I’m just thankful and incredibly humbled that I’ve been given gifts to communicate it in a relevant and accessible way through film that has already impacted so many people’s lives. I hope it continues to give people hope and encouragement, I think the world needs more of that.

Writer, Director, Producer, Editor, Colorist: Max Zoghbi

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Fall New Orleans Wedding with Polish Traditions

A New Orleans wedding in and of itself is usually a party. But when you throw a few fun Polish traditions into the mix? It becomes a full on celebration, lit with twinkling lights, vodka bottles serving as bloom vessels (crafted by Kim Starr Wise!) and even a late night second line. And it all started with this quiet moment at the altar. Head to the full gallery from Dark Roux Photography for more!


From Dark Roux PhotographyA Race and Religious wedding is amazing no matter what, but take a Race and Religious wedding and add a whole lot of Polish traditions and you’ve got the ingredients for something truly memorable. Michal brought so many things to his wedding that we’ve never seen. After Celeste and all of her girls got ready in one of the suites at Race and Religious they went down for some good luck shots while the guys were at their hotel drinking things we’ve never seen and certainly cannot pronounce! Shortly after their celebratory libations, the couple met at St. Theresa de Avila to say their vows.

Once Celeste and Michal both said ‘I do’, it was back to Race and Religious for one of the biggest parties to date. The place looked beautiful with all of the floral arrangements (some in vodka bottles for the Polish touch) done by Kim Starr Wise. There was food everywhere with catering by Palate. When the party first started there was a traditional bread that the couple shared and then they had to take a shot, well kind of. One glass was water and the other was vodka. The newlywed who got the vodka has the upper hand in the marriage, or so the tradition says. What had us cracking up was the games they played! They each took turns wearing a blindfold and felt up different guests and had to guess only by touch, which guest was their new spouse. Celeste and Michal know each other well because they both guessed correctly! The night wasn’t complete without a little New Orleans thrown in there, because no New Orleans wedding is complete without a second line, and man was there ever a second line!!! The entire day ran smoothly with Mint Julep Productions running the show, and we’re so happy that we got to enjoy the party with these two.

Photography: Dark Roux Photography | Event Planning: Mint Julep Productions | Floral Design: Kim Starr Wise | Wedding Dress: Kiko House Of Couture | Reception Venue: Race And Religious | Catering: Palate | Hair And Makeup: Kiss And Makeup | Band: Brassaholics | Wedding Venue: St. Theresa De Avila

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Romantic Watercolor Wedding Inspiration Shoot

From saturated to soft, watercolors are having a moment right now. And when you combine an ever flowing palette with creative geniuses, you have an inspiration shoot made in heaven. Tying The Knot coordinated a seamless blend of whimsy and artistic influences, while Greer G captured every rose hued detail (that Monique Lhuillier dress!).  Get your imaginative fill, and pour through the gallery.

From Tying The Knot Wedding Coordination… I designed the shoot with the idea of “ART” in mind! I imagined the groom to be a painter and the bride to own a gallery- which is how they may have met and fell in love! Their wedding of course would have plenty of artistic touches- from the water color invitations, to the impressionistic color palate in lush, loose flowers, to the entrance of their dinner designed as an art gallery with floral “paintings” on display as the guests wander through! Everything would take a slightly more creative approach than the traditional wedding, so we brought in many rose gold accents: the rosy engagement ring, rose colored mercury glass vases, and even a stunning blush Monique Lhuillier wedding gown! I wanted to bring so much movement, femininity and color into the day for our phenomenal photographer Greer to capture!

Photography: Greer G Photography | Event Design: Tying The Knot Wedding Coordination | Floral Design: Bee's Weddings And Events | Wedding Dress: Candy By Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Frosted Fantasies By Nikki | Invitations: Val Marie Paper | Engagement Ring: Laurie Sarah Designs | Hair: Ginger Dickey | Calligraphy: Tupelo Honey | Groom's Attire: Lucca Falcone | Chandeliers And Candles : Luminous Events | Hair Accessories & Veil: Twigs And Honey | Makeup: Ashley Sievert | Model Bride: Ali Vasquez | Model Groom: Joe Rotolo | Rentals: Mrs. Vintage | Rentals: Event Rentals | Seating Chart: Small Chalk | Stamps: Verde Studio | Venue: Houmas House Plantation

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