How did you all meet?
David and I met on Tinder of all places–super millennial of us. He was my first and only Tinder date, and though it wasn’t exactly love at first sight for me, I knew there was just something about him. We’d been dating 9 months before he proposed–I told you there was just something about him lol. He proposed to me at the restaurant we had our most impactful date–Le Petite Triangle Cafe in Cleveland. He initially told me that we were going to his job holiday party. So the week of the “party” he took me shopping for a dress and shoes because he insisted I felt my best while meeting his co-workers. Of course, on December 2nd I found out it had all be an elaborate scheme, and that my family and friends were in on it–waiting inside the restaurant, and that he hired a photographer and videographer to capture it all. Such a wonderful day! We were then engaged about a year and a half before our wedding day.
Anything super unique about the big day?
David nor myself wanted a big wedding, it just didn’t appeal to us. So we decided to have a destination wedding in New Orleans with just 50 of our dearest friends and family. We had a second line after the ceremony that took us through the French Quarter and it was hands down the most fun experience of my life. Us and 50 loved ones dancing through the French Quarter with the band, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, and cocktails. Hundreds of people lined the streets and cheered us on, threw us beads from balconies, and took pictures. It was unlike any experience I’ve ever had.
Any tips you would share with other couples getting married? Stay true to who you are as a couple, whatever that might mean for the both of you. It’s so hard not to let the suggestions, or even sometimes demands of family and friends permeate your day. But honestly, when it’s all said and done, it may be just one day in the grand scheme of your life, but its really the only day where it can TOTALLY be about you, your partner, and your love story. So don’t compromise that. Period.
What was your planning experience like?
Since we were doing a destination wedding, it felt necessary to have the extra help in planning, so we did hire a wedding planner. She actually went to college with my then fiance and when we got engaged he suggested we book her. Match made in heaven. She understood the vibe I was going for and made sure we could pull off exactly what we wanted within our budget.
Where did you wed and why did you pick the venue/site?
Our ceremony took place at Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park, and our reception at Arnaud’s Restaurant in the French Quarter. We initially were supposed to have our ceremony and reception at The Clubhouse at Audubon Park, but once we decided to really cap our guest list at 50, we realized we wouldn’t need such a large space for both events. The Bandstand allowed us to keep our ceremony at the same venue, and still captured the elegance I wanted. And having our reception at Arnaud’s allowed our guests to not only dine at one of the most iconic restaurants in New Orleans, but gave them fun access to The French Quarter. Having your reception at a restaurant also allows you to cut down on extra costs like tables, plates and silverware, decor, and other items you’d have to otherwise rent.
Tell us about the wedding dress!
I would say I tend to skew more towards classic feminine style in my everyday life. I really love the simplicity and sophistication of icons like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy Onassis, so they were my ultimate inspiration in finding a bridal gown. The gown I ultimately chose was an ivory ball gown, with a boat-neckline, made of silk shantung taffeta. It was perfectly classic, and perfectly me. My makeup was very natural as it was important to me that I looked like myself. I don’t wear much makeup on a day-to-day basis, so I wanted to just look polished, without being overdone. My hair was worn up, with a really cool spiral-like detail in the back, with wispy pieces out framing my face in the front.
Your Wedding Style
What inspired your theme/style? What was your color palette? Why was it important to you?
My theme was really just classic understated elegance. I tell people that I’m allergic to color, so I wanted to stick with a neutral color palette. Ivorys, nudes, gold–I didn’t want anything distracting or anything that would look dated in the years to come. I wanted to rely on flowers and candles to really heighten the elegance without too many bells and whistles. I wanted my bridesmaids also in a soft neutral color, so I selected ivory for them as well. When I thought about how I wanted everything to look in pictures, I wanted things to be soft and clean. Which in the end, I think we achieved.
Ceremony & Reception
During the ceremony did you use and religious or cultural elements or traditions?
David’s parents were our officiants so his dad wore a traditional African Kente stole, and his parents also binded our hands during our ceremony.
What menu items did you serve?
It’s New Orleans so its all about the food!! We couldn’t bring our people to Nola and not wine and dine them…so that’s exactly what we did. A perk of having your reception at a renowned New Orleans institution is that you can’t go wrong with anything you pick. We had a delicious Chicken and Andouille Gumbo for our appetizer, Petite Fillet Mignon and Chicken Duarte (chicken topped with gulf shrimp) for the entree, and iconic Bananas Fosters–including the in person preparation!!
Describe your cake.
I was in love with the wedding cake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, so we essentially recreated that to suit our guest list. The cake was real with two layers–Lemon cake and Lemon Buttercream for the top layer, and classic Red Velvet for the bottom tier. The cake was also adorned with white, ivory and blush toned peonies and rose varieties.
No favors. People usually forget them or throw them away, so we decided against it. But we did have custom popsicles for our guests after the ceremony so they could cool down a bit from the outside heat.