It’s been a little more than three months since Devin and I had our dream New Orleans wedding. Between working, taking our honeymoon and buying a house, it feels like the dust is finally beginning to settle.
Although we live in New Orleans in the Irish Channel, all of our wedding festivities were in the Bywater neighborhood so it felt like a mini destination wedding.
We looked at 15 venues before finding the right fit (🤣 diva much?!), but I’m so happy that we took our time because it really was absolutely perfect. The Mazant is a historic Greek Revival mansion that has been beautifully modernized. Most of our wedding party was able to stay at the home with us all weekend which was the best part! Getting to spend that extra time together during a weekend that can easily become a blur made a huge difference. Runner up venues included Marigny Opera House (my #1 before we started looking), Livaudais Hall, Felicity Church and Margaret Place.
Our ceremony was an intimate garden setting in the side yard at The Mazant surrounded by family and friends. My cousin Emily was our officiant and did the most beautiful job. We wrote our own vows, and I’m told that the tears were flowing as we recited them to each other. Following the short, but sweet ceremony, the guests flowed to the other side of the house for a cocktail and oyster hour while the garden was turned into a dining space. After the cocktail hour, guests meandered between the dining space in the garden, the interior of the house, and the dance floor by the pool.
The Food & Drinks
The food and beverages served at the celebration were really important to both Devin and I. We wanted the menu to be not only delicious, but to offer a taste of elevated New Orleans. We attended an event catered by Black Pearl in the past, and never forgot their creative, beautiful dishes. We looked into several other local caterers, but after a tasting with Black Pearl, there was no question who we should go with.
Our menu featured passed apps including mini tomato pies, bbq shrimp toast and soft shell crab amandine “wings.” They also set up a gorgeous raw oyster bar and cheese & charcuterie display. The mains included coffee & chicory grilled bavette with chimichurri, red bean risotto and chili grilled carrots, as well as crawfish sauce piquante over parmesan grits. Not only was the Black Pearl team absolutely lovely to work with, the presentation was stunning and our guests are still talking about how tasty the food was.
Black Pearl doesn’t offer bar services, so we worked with Martin’s Wine & Spirits on a menu of springtime wines, beers, and liquor. We also offered two signature cocktails, a french 75 and old fashioned. Our gorgeous cake was berry chantilly made by Bywater Bakery.
There are many talented photographers in the New Orleans area, but none can quite compare to Gabrielle Hail. Not only is she the sweetest human to work with, her work is unbelievable. She did both our engagement and wedding photos. I think her work throughout this post speaks for itself.
Finding the perfect dress was way easier than I ever thought it would be. I found the one at the first shop we visited: Unbridaled New Orleans, and ended up having to cancel our other appointments. I had already been eyeing the designer New White‘s looks, and loved the modern yet elegant styles, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that I ended up in one of their gowns.
As for accessories, I kept things pretty simple. I chose some gorgeous handmade gold and pearl earrings from A.B. Ellie, an heirloom opal and sapphire bracelet (which also served as my something blue) and a floral embellished veil to add a little excitement to the look.
Our hair and makeup was done by my two favorites, Stephanie and Shawn who typically do my hair cut and color at Paris Parker. Stephanie did our makeup and Shawn did our hair. They could not have done a more perfect job. Neither was too much or too little IMO.
My bridal party wore champagne, and all chose dresses that looked unbelievable on them as well as all together. The groomsmen wore tuxedos to complete the elegant garden look. Our wedding party was the most fun, supportive group ever! I freaking love our people.
We have collaborated with Savannah and Courtney of Flowers with Friends several times in the past, and it’s always a fun floral experience. Working with them for my wedding was an easy decision. A neutral palette of white and green that brought out the natural greenery of the venue’s yard where our ceremony would take place seemed like the right fit. I’ve always loved hydrangeas so I wanted them incorporated into our florals. In addition to bouquets for myself and bridesmaids, Savannah and Courtney adorned the reception tables and tent with lush greenery, and arranged florals on the cake.
Although the venue didn’t need much, we did need a few basics like ceremony chairs, dining tables and bars. Having seen Lovegood Rentals work throughout the city, I knew their inventory would be the perfect style for our wedding. We rented two of the gorgeous Ella bars, the garden bistro chairs for our ceremony, and the long carson tables for dining at our reception. We also rented a carson pub table a few other high tops for standing room near the dance floor.
We had no shortage of good music at our wedding. I mean it was a New Orleans wedding after all! A string trio played as guests arrived, during the procession and recession. They played pop songs which was so fun #BridgertonVibes including Dancing in the Moonlight, Love on Top and Wildest Dreams. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong was played as my mom and dad walked me down the aisle which was so so special, and When Love Takes Over as Devin as everyone cheered and Devin and I exited down the aisle.
Next up was our DJ at the reception. You may have heard him play around town. He’s one of the best and is frequently at The Ace, The Chloe and other fun spots. DJ G is a good friend of ours, and literally ALWAYS brings the best vibes. Everyone had so much fun dancing the night away to our epically curated playlist.
When we first started planning, I said I wasn’t going to do a brass band and New Orleans second line because every single wedding does one here it almost felt cliche, BUT they really are so much fun and we knew it would be extra special for those who had never been to a Nola wedding or the city before. One Love Brass Band did not disappoint.
Our invites were created by a local stationary artist, Amber LeBlanc. I came across her work on Instagram and fell in love with her creative designs. For our invites, Amber created a custom drawing of The Mazant. She also incorporated our florals into the envelope liners which came out so gorgeous. The best part was that we used the drawing she did to have guests sign, and will frame it to hang in our home one day.
The other events
Our rehearsal dinner was super casual and so much fun. We really wanted to keep everything in the neighborhood so no one had to go far, and it would feel like more of a destination wedding. After rehearsing, we took a party bus the whole one mile from The Mazant to Anna’s for our rehearsal dinner. Anna’s is such a great bar in The Bywater. It’s got all the divey vibes that people love about New Orleans while also having an excellent cocktail and wine program. We worked with a local popup that often appears at the bar called Tacos Para La Vida for a super casual taco buffet style dinner. The best man (dev’s brother), my maid of honors, my bridesmaid and cousin Ashley and both Devin and I’s mothers gave beautiful speeches. We were having so much fun that we had to force ourselves to leave the party at midnight!
We capped off our perfect New Orleans wedding by walking to one of the diviest bars in all of town, Vaughns Lounge. It was so much fun finishing off the night here with everyone.
I also can’t forget to mention our day of wedding planner, Audrey Ford, who was a delight to work with and made our celebration so seamless and enjoyable the day of. She was referred to us by a friend, and I cannot recommend her enough!
The best part of our wedding celebration were all of our friends and family coming together to support our love. We had people come from all over the country and even other parts of the world to be there for us, and it was so special. It really does go by too fast, but the memories will last forever.