It seems like yesterday that I was walking down the aisle toward Ryan, the love of my life, my best friend. We got married on May 12, 2018 and celebrated our one year anniversary over the weekend. Marrying Ryan was the best day of my life, and I can’t believe it’s already been a whole year!
Ryan and I had the most amazing wedding, and we owe so much of it to our vendors. We worked with some of the best in New Orleans, so I felt it would be a good idea to show them some praise on a blog post in honor of our anniversary and share with you all of the pieces of our wedding.
CEREMONY VENUE | At the beginning of our relationship, Ryan would talk about the Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church on Baronne Street, how it was the most beautiful church in the city, and was where he wanted to get married. I remember the first time he ever took me there and thought to myself that he did not exaggerate its beauty. If this was the church he wanted to get married in, I was sold! From the white marble floors to the high arched ceilings, from the flags lining the walls to the gold altar, the church is absolutely stunning. Did you know he even proposed to me there?! We had a traditional, Catholic wedding at Immaculate Conception followed with a reception at…
RECEPTION VENUE | We held our reception at the New Orleans Board of Trade, which was my dream wedding venue. I knew we were going to have about a 250 person wedding so I wanted a larger venue that could accommodate everyone. The Board of Trade has a large outdoor patio with a ravishing fountain in the front for cocktail hour, and the large ceilings with a giant dome make the inside feel even bigger than it already is. This is a historic location and you can see the New Orleans charm present throughout it. We couldn’t have had a better location!
THE DRESS | I got my dress from Town and Country Bridal. They are in my opinion the best bridal shop in the New Orleans area. Everyone always say to have an open mind when shopping for your wedding dress, but for as long as I can remember I wanted a strapless ball gown. Then, I found MY dress. The designer of my wedding gown was Stella York. It had straps and was more of a a-line dress, so completely different than what I had imagined. But it was perfect! I fell in love with my dress because of its unique details and its perfect blend of elegance and sexiness. I love the buttons that go all the way down the back of the dress, the detail of the bodice, and the low back. Did I mention it had pockets?! It’s the type of dress that is timeless. I love it so much I want to put it on a mannequin in my house and look at it every day!
SHOES | My wedding shoes were Gianni Bini. I cannot emphasize how amazing these were! They were super glam and comfortable. And when I say comfortable, I wore them the entire wedding, from 4:30 p.m. when I got dressed until 11:30 p.m. when the reception ended.
BRIDESMAID DRESSES | The bridesmaid dresses were After Six dresses by The Dessy Group from Bella Bridesmaids. Bella only sells bridesmaid dresses so finding you the perfect dresses for your best gals is their specialty! The owner, Jenn was so personal and fun! I was able to bring in champagne and OJ for mimosas, and she blocked out time for us so that we were the only ones in the store for our appointment. Talk about the VIP treatment!
BRIDE / BRIDESMAIDS ROBES | After lots of searching, one of the gifts I gave my bridal party was robes from LeRose. Their robes were on sale so I got a little discount on them. The white robe I wore while getting ready was also from LeRose.
TUXEDOS | Ryan and his guys were so handsome for the wedding! After doing lots of research, Ryan chose Perlis for the tuxedos. They were the cheapest tuxedo rental company in the area, and it was a nice touch to have a local New Orleans company dress the guys. Look how good they looked!
WEDDING DAY MAKEUP | Makeup by Meggan with Meggan Ory was in charge of my wedding day makeup, and she killed it! I felt GORGEOUS! Don’t judge. As Demi Lovato says, “What’s wrong with being confident?” Since I had such a big bridal party and Meggan had another wedding that day, I hired a second makeup artist to do the other half of the girls. My second artist was Beauty Marks with Megan Marks. Next time you need your face beat, check out these two ladies.
WEDDING DAY HAIR | Same as the makeup, I hired two hairstylists to split between the girls. Abbie, owner of Axis Artist Salon styled my hair for my bridal portrait session and my wedding day exactly how I wanted it! Since my wedding she is now my go-to hairstylist! The second hairstylist was Gina Cartaginese with Rouge Hair Salon. All of the girls loved how their hair turned out.
INVITES & PROGRAMS | For our engagement party, save the date cards, and shower invites, we used Minted. They have thousands of designs organized by category so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for, you can easily customize designs, and they have great customer service. For my wedding invitations and programs, I used LuLu Roniger of Name It Invites. She works out of her house and has such a wide variety of options to choose from. Our wedding invites and programs turned out exactly how we wanted!
FLORIST | I really wanted gorgeous floral arrangements for my wedding, but nothing too overpowering. When trying to stick to a budget, I thought this was something I could cut costs on. For flowers, we used Bee’s Wedding & Event Designs. Eric and Carolyn are a husband and wife duo and are also parents of an old friend of mine so I trusted them to bring my vision to life, while sticking to my budget. I’m not kidding when I say we had minimal flowers at our wedding. I didn’t want to take away from any of the church’s beauty so we didn’t have any decorations during the ceremony. They created beautiful, yet simple, arrangements for myself, my bridesmaids, and the reception.
SECOND LINE BAND | One of the most popular traditions during a New Orleans wedding is the second line parade. I have never been to a New Orleans wedding that did not have one, whether it took place in between the ceremony and reception or at the end of the reception. Since our reception venue was only five blocks from the church, we decided to have our second line between the ceremony and reception, and this would act as the “transportation.” Since New Orleans is famous for jazz and brass bands, there are ton of options when selecting your second line band. We hired Knockaz Brass Band. They were a more affordable option compared to other brass bands and really got the party started on the way to the reception.
CATERER | I always say the two biggest parts of a wedding that guests will remember are the entertainment and the food, how it tastes and the searching for the perfect caterer. Luckily for us, this was one of the easiest decisions! Pigéon Catering is the designated catering company for the Board of Trade so we got to skip the grueling search and get right to the good (and yummy) part…building our menu! We had multiple passed hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour, including fried artichoke hearts, bacon wrapped scallops, mini muffalettas, shrimp and grits shooters, and boudin balls! During the reception, we had a carving station with a roast, mashed potato bar, Crawfish Monica, salad, and our late night snack of cheeseburger sliders and fries! I am literally drooling thinking about all of these LOL! Even though I was required to use Pigéon for the wedding, I was so happy with their work that I would hire them for another party in the future.
WEDDING BAND | It was very important to us to have a great band as they set the tone for the reception. We wanted everyone to party all night long, and that’s exactly what happened thanks to The Phunky Monkeys. We still get compliments about how great our band was! The Phunky Monkeys are the best band in New Orleans. I remember the first time we saw them play was at Starlight Racing, and I was blown away! That may even be an understatement, that’s how awesome they were! During their break, I went up to the band manager, and said “Y’all are going to play at our wedding!” It wasn’t a question. We exchanged contact information and the rest was history!
CAKE | We used La Louisiane Bakery for our wedding cake and groom’s cake. I fell in love with their cake designs years ago through their Instagram, and I just hoped their cakes tasted as good as they looked. SPOILER, they did! The wedding cake was white almond cake, filled with almond mousseline and topped with buttercream frosting. The groom’s cake was chocolate cake, with praline mousseline filling and topped with buttercream frosting. I kept the wedding cake decorations simple, but in no way ordinary, and I’m obsessed with how it turned out! And is anyone shocked at Ryan’s LSU-themed cake?!
PHOTOGRAPHER | Everyone says it but your wedding day really does fly by, so Ryan and I wanted to capture our day with the best photos. Lainey Reed shot our engagement photos, my bridal portraits, and all of our wedding day pics. She does INCREDIBLE work! She makes you feel so comfortable when she’s photographing you, and she catches every angle and moment. I can’t say enough great things about Lainey except that she was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding. We’re so thankful to have these beautiful photos to commemorate our wedding.
VIDEOGRAPHER | Before we even got engaged, I knew I wanted a videographer. While photography is the most popular and important way to capture your wedding day, if your budget allows it, I would also hire a videographer. One of my sorority advisors has her own videography company, and when she released her own wedding video, I told her I wanted her to do my wedding one day. Keep in mind, that was three years before we even got engaged. Thank you to Shotgun Films for allowing us to relive our wedding day so vividly and beautifully. I literally watched it nine times in a row when we got it and only sobbed my eyes out during half of the viewings haha!
PARTY FAVORS | For our party favors, we wanted items that were practical and that our guests would actually use. We had koozies made from Sip Hip Hooray for guests to use with their drinks. Then we had to-go cups made with the same design as the koozies for guests to take their drinks with them at the end of the party. I also had “coasters” made for guests to put on top of their drinks in case they were dancing so the staff wouldn’t take them. And lastly, we did a bubble send off at the end of the reception and got a great deal on bubbles.
I’m sure most past brides are like me and feel as though they could write a book about their wedding planning process and everything they learned. If you love this topic, have specific questions, or want to hear more details from the planning process and how we decided on certain things, just let me know! I love talking about our wedding and have enjoyed giving friends advice so I’d love to help you out by writing more posts like this.
Ryan and I will forever remember our wedding day as the best day of our lives, and we owe a big THANK YOU to our family members and vendors who made it all possible. We are so grateful for everyone that was involved in making our dream wedding a reality! We love you!