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EDITOR Morgan Packard ART DIRECTOR Tiffani Reding PHOTOGRAPHER Theresa Cassagne ASSOCIATE EDITORS Alex Gecan, Sarah Ravits CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Dee Lane, Lisa Tudor INTERNS Minh Dang, Victoria E. Rodriguez




A Publication of Renaissance Publishing, LLC Printed in USA 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Suite 123 Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 New Orleans Bride Magazine is published twice a year by Renaissance Publishing, LLC., 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005; (504) 828-1380. It is sold at newsstands throughout Greater New Orleans six times a year, complimentary at retail locations and available online at Postage paid at Metairie, LA, and additional entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Renaissance Publishing, LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2012 New Orleans Bride Magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark New Orleans Bride is registered. New Orleans Bride is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in New Orleans Bride Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazine managers or owners.

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contents 8 Editor’s Note

64 Celebrate “The Power of Place”

14 Beauty


“Pamper,” “Prep” and “Polish”

Unforgettable ceremony, reception and rehearsal spaces.



22 Give

68 View

“All Wrapped Up”

“What is a Picture Worth?”

Local gift ideas for everyone who has given so much to you.

The top 10 questions to ask before you hire a photographer or videographer.



26 Invite

70 Listen

“RSVP No Regrets”

“Time to Face the Music”

Five local examples of the best.

A guide to finding the right fit.



31 Bloom

74 Party

“Spring Has Sprung”

“Party Like It’s ...”

Nine locally designed arrangements showcase the best in spring’s vibrant hues.

Six ideas for an exceptional celebration. BY CHRISTY LORIO


78 Transport 38 Shine

“Your Carriage Awaits”

“Merry Maids”

Five ways to “get you to the church on time.”

Designer style compliment the fashionable bride and her maids.



80 Verify “Legal Matters”

44 Dream “Perfect Presentation”

Get your ducks in a row before you walk down the aisle.

The radiant luster of pearls and the shimmering sparkle of diamonds reflect the luxurious extravagance of our New Orleans bride.



Full-Service Coordinators



52 Sparkle “Wrap It Up; I’ll Take It”

114 Advise

A jewelry box holds a world of possibilities; peek into more than 16 gorgeous local pieces to find your favorite.

All of your wedding etiquette questions answered – no matter how awkward. BY DEE LANE


118 Check 58 Indulge

“Make a List and Check It Twice”

“Treats for the Sweet”

Nine to-dos before your “I do’s”

On the sweetest day of your life, share your happiness in the form of a delightful dessert.



120 Take

60 Dine

Special Advertising Section

“Nibbles Needed”

96 Luxe Locations 108 Resource Directory 85 New Orleans Bride’s “Real Weddings”

Five local offerings beyond cake and champagne. BY ALEX GECAN

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ON THE COVER: Monique Lhuillier Bliss gown of silk lace and organza at Pearl’s Place; bouquet of pink peonies, tulips and mini calla lilies by Dee Vu for Bella Blooms Floral, cushion-cut diamond engagement ring on an 18 karat white gold double-band surrounded by pavé diamonds, white gold and diamond choker, triple row diamond earrings and gold and double-strand pearl bracelet with deco clasp at Adler’s. PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Theresa Cassagne



editor’s note I WOULD LIKE to take a moment to talk about tact. Webster defines it as: 1) sensitive mental or aesthetic perception and 2) a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense. When it comes to anything weddingrelated, it seems that people loose all sense of the meanings of this word. When a woman becomes engaged, she’s prepared to answer any number of off-putting questions, including, “Am I invited?” and “Who is going to be your maid of honor?” But it’s a whole other feeling to be asked, “How much are you spending?” or “How many people are you inviting?” I imagine it’s the same type of feeling – but much less awkward and intrusive – as being pregnant and having complete strangers reach out to touch your stomach without an invitation. It is hard enough to keep a cool head as a bride through uncountable decisions, tasks and thank-you notes, but add to that the addition of people who cannot or will not think about the effects their tactless questions might have, and you have the makings of a bridezilla. We have expanded our offerings this issue to make all of those decisions easier. In this magazine you’ll find articles on how to choose the best photographer; advice on how to handle those infuriating situations of tactlessness with aplomb; direction on the steps to take to make your marriage legal; transportation options; advice from wedding planners; beauty tips; timeline hints; and, as always, beautiful pictorials of wedding gowns, bridesmaids gowns, flowers, jewelry and gift options, among much more. We have even added editorial content on fun options for parties for when you need to blow off some steam before you blow up at someone. My family is Southern and we have sayings that are passed down through generations, including one that my mother has always told me, “Pretty is as pretty does.” There is no day so far in my life that I have wanted to look prettier than on my wedding day. So, to all of those “How much is your cake going to cost?” and “That’s nice, but at my wedding …” people – and to all of the brides in the New Orleans area struggling with these issues – I think we should take a collective breath, smile and politely thank them for their interest while thinking, “Bless your heart.” – Morgan Packard Editor

Special thanks to those who have worked so hard on this issue, especially its phenomenal art director Tiffani Reding, whose patience with editors is unparalleled. 8 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

ontheweb New for 2012! Our new and improved WEDDINGS page has everything a brideto-be needs—and more. Create your own profile, find a wedding planner, make budgets and calendars and guest lists, contact vendors and even share stories with other soon-to-be brides. Take advantage of our new wedding gown section, registries and more.

Wedding Stories Every month we showcase a local couple that has tied the knot in New Orleans. Read their stories and get ideas for your New Orleans wedding! Check it out:

Wedding Resource Directory Now that he’s gotten down on one knee and popped the big question, what’s next? Caterers, dresses and cake – oh my! Get online and get a full list of the most trusted names in the wedding biz, right in the New Orleans area. You’re welcome! Check it out:

Stay Connected Stay in touch with us by signing up for our free email newsletters. Get exclusive tips on flowers, dresses, etiquette and even find out how to be in our magazine! Check it out by clicking “Subscribe” on our home page:


What are you thinking? Send us feedback about this issue to Editor Morgan Packard at

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pamper By Caitlin Massey

FOR LOTS OF WOMEN, stress levels rise as the big day approaches. Try winding down instead, trusting that you’ve taken care of everything else the best you can, so you can fully enjoy taking care of you. These following salons provide the premium comfort and spoils that should accompany a bride wherever she goes. Spa Aria (214 Royal St., mezzanine level, 5239990, is an easily overlooked

gem. Tucked into the second floor of the Monteleone Hotel, the spa knows that finding a convenient place to park in the French Quarter can be a difficult task. For that reason, co-owner Sandy Blum provides off-street hotel parking and ticket validation for her customers. Once inside, a series of packages can be chosen from that mix and match manicures, pedicures, massages, facials and hair and nail care. Package names include: Bachelorette Party, Here Comes the Bride, The Wedding Party, Beauty Revival and, for the groom and his groomsmen, The Gentleman’s Treat. Beyond these deals, detailed on the spa’s website, Blum’s wedding clients favor services that are relaxing and leave them feeling refreshed after months of coordinating. The “DeStress” eye treatment is particularly popular, since planning a wedding 14 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

exhausts everyone intimately involved. It eliminates the appearance of dark circles with a formula combining the powers of collagen and Ginkgo biloba to increase circulation and decrease puffiness. During the winter months, bridal party clients focus heavily on their skin. Says Blum, “facials are a clean and safe way to exfoliate because they gently remove dead skin.” She recommends a treatment 24 to 48 hours before you want your face looking its freshest and brightest so the skin can have enough time to recover. Other services, like the Caviar Beauty Ritual Facial, she advises having the morning of your big day. “The caviar illuminates the skin and helps makeup go on very nicely.” If you’re a girl who’s prone to breakouts and therefore hesitant about facials, Blum says not to worry; she’s had many reluctant brides-to-be share the same feeling, and they all leave Spa Aria loving their results, due partially to Pevonia, a gentle, botanical line of skincare products the salon uses exclusively. Blum assures, “there are no breakouts with this product line.” Head over to H20 Salon and Spa (441 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-4377; 3908 Highway 22, Mandeville, (985) 951-8166; after your skin

treatments for expert makeup and hair consultations. Laura Philips says that engagement, bridal and bachelorette parties are popular in-house. When it comes to choosing a look, Philips doesn’t recommend changing your style unless the day is themed. “Brides should be their natural, most comfortable selves. H20 helps them achieve that and the look of the woman they imagine themselves to be.” She adds that women who marry in the winter months gravitate to grays, violets and reds. “Those are timeless colors that look nice without being too seasonal.” A lot of women worry that their makeup won’t last all night or that it won’t translate properly on camera or in pictures. Philips and the rest of the H20 team promise your look will be “high-def ready.” If you’ve tried diets and exercise without success and are searching for gentler ways to lose weight that are compatible with your busy schedule, Nicole Jasmin at Fifth Element (1215 N. Broad St., 438-7722, might have exactly what your body craves. LipoEx is a new method that uses radiofrequencies to melt and liquefy fat cells in order to pass them through the lymphatic system. As Jasmin personally

attests , “it works.” After six to eight sessions, “cellulite evens out, skin tightens, discolorations fade and scars and stretch marks diminish.” Because it’s “noninvasive, non-surgical and doesn’t use needles,” there isn’t any pain. Instead, says Jasmin, “a handheld device with heat goes over problem areas of your choosing; it feels similar to a hot stone massage. The best thing is that your size, shape or ethnicity doesn’t matter. It works for everyone. Women who have had tummy tucks come in for their paunch flaps and have gotten rid of the scar left behind.” Session length varies and there are specials, both individual and bridal, for every package. Jasmin says some clients come before or after work, while others opt for 30- or 45-minute sessions during their lunch breaks. Of course the salon also has skincare and massage options, but it’s known for these in-depth healing tricks. The following two are both detoxifying treatments. “A 30-minute session in the infrared sauna increases blood flow and releases toxins equivalent to a that of a 30-minute workout. Another in-depth healing trick is the Ion footbath. In a large vat of water, a technician places a band on your wrist that sends a small, harmless electrical current through your body and pulls toxins such as pesticides and pollutants out through the pores in your feet. Clients feel rejuvenated and more energetic, a perfect pick-me-up for the overworked, party-planning bride.” For an authentic day off, Randall and Tammy Toca of La Riviera Salon and Spa (4506 Shores Drive, Metairie, 455-4247, have your day at

the spa planned out for you. A complimentary limousine service and a host are available to transport you to and from the luxurious salon when you book six or more services. From up-dos to airbrush and conventional makeup to manicures and pedicures to facials and massages, you can choose from a multitude of pampering options. All services include complimentary drinks from their full-service bar. Whatever unwinding means to you – a unique facial, flawless makeup or a detoxifying footbath – you can find it at one of these hot salons. You will not only be doing something great for your body but for your clarity of mind as well. n New Orleans Bride | 15


prep By Caitlin Massey

A BRIDE-TO-BE has tons of projects, large and small, to consider. There is the ceremony, the reception, the dress, the food and, of course, the style and décor of it all. But feeling like your best, most put-together self tops the importance of the day you’ve worked so hard to prepare. Self-improvement sometimes takes the form of a quiet night at home, joining a book club or learning something new; other times it means facing those pesky body problems that nag you from the back of your mind. These skin and exercise strategies will have you prepped in advance for your wedding day and just might change your life. Life certainly would be different if we didn’t have to waste time shaving our legs. At American Laser Skincare (3223 8th St., Metairie, 887-0727,

you can address concerns ranging from complete laser hair removal to body contouring. Clinic manager Jennifer Cain says the hair removal process can take one to two years to complete but is well worth the patience required. The clinic uses the latest aesthetic technology on site such as eMatrix (which targets 16 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

acne scarring), VelaShape cellulite reduction, dermafillers and Botox injections. Given the dryness of the season, Cain recommends four to five skin rejuvenation treatments over a sixmonth time period to ensure that your skin looks its healthiest. Once your skin is primed, Tisa Beauty Bar (5421 Magazine St., 891-8992) is your one-stop beauty spot. Her shop offers look consultations and on-location makeup application as well as application lessons, brow shaping, and – especially appealing before the sun heats things up – airbrush tanning. Tisa Camet mixes the color to your preference, adding radiant hues and rich tones until you are your perfect blend of tan. To enhance the quality of your color and increase its duration, Camet suggests using a “body-peel exfoliant first,” which she sells in her store, along with all the makeup she’ll use on you. “These products are non-oily and help your skin glow because the tan adheres to exfoliated skin better than it does skin that hasn’t been treated.” This treat will last five to seven days and won’t bust your budget. Full-body tanning,

including face, costs well under $100. Since you have a plan for your skin, let’s get that exercise routine in shape! Crescent City Boot Camp (944-0927, is an acclaimed, citywide

weight-loss program aimed at changing lifestyles by creating permanent healthy habits. While that may sound like a challenging feat for many brides, the encouragement provided by a group setting and by trainer Spencer Anderson guarantees to have you looking fit in four short weeks. Anderson’s mission is to “give you a mind-blowing workout that does more than the daily gym routine … [and is] tailored around your fitness goals.” Beyond a Monday through Friday workout regimen, there are daily health tips, a specific nutritional plan that instructs you on what to eat and when to eat it and advice about supplements. Results are expected in all areas of the body; average success statistics include four to 12 pounds of weight loss and three to nine percent loss of body fat. Now that’s “thinspiration.” With a toned body and healthy, glowing skin, you’ll look stunning and feel that way, too. n New Orleans Bride | 17


polish By Caitlin Massey

THANKS TO TALENTED local New Orleans hair and makeup artists, putting your best face forward has never been so easy. Use the resources below to find and fine-tune your dream look. Ashley Merritt and her partner Kisha Williams own The Makeup Lab Artistry (By appointment, 843 Carondelet St., Studio 4, 6663795,, a hub for

people passionate about beauty. The coowners host seminars with makeup artists from all over the world, such as New Zealand and Canada, so that they can share and compare styles trending across the globe. Merritt and Williams worked at MAC Makeup Studio for five and 10 years, respectively, absorbing secrets and honing their craft. Two years into running their own business, they offer extensive pro-artist makeup services. Their salon is open by appointment only and they are more than happy to travel with the bride. Merritt stresses that she and Williams “want the bride to feel special and different from her everyday, but complimentary to her default style.” Their bridal package features “eyebrow and makeup trial runs in-studio and wedding day on-location services, which include lashes and touch-up products for

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the lips.” During the consultation and trial run, Merritt coaxes her clients “to speak up and share your opinions. You need to be as honest as possible about what you like, don’t like and what you want. We’ll redo the look and continue trying until we’ve accomplished one that you are comfortable and happy with. We have to work as a team because the most important thing is that the bride’s personality is represented and that she feels beautiful on her day.” Although the artists don’t do hair, they have a collection of stylists they trust and are prepared to recommend. With over a decade of experience, certified makeup artist Kristy Bergeron of Makeup NOLA (701-8052, is your personal go-to beauty consultant – only she comes to you. The flexible organization of her practice allows her to travel to clients with all her supplies. Since Bergeron used to model she is passionate about the art of makeup and keeps up on all the latest trends for weddings, runways and television. “Winter and spring work the clean-andfresh look with warm, full tones,” she says. “Rich reds, eggplants, greens with peach or blue jewel tones, smoky eyes

with lighter lips – all of it looks great. Long lashes are in, too. I always go for lashes, especially with waterproof liner and mascara since you want your eyes to last and pop.” She adds that a stain for your lips is sweet and timeless. Bergeron takes your wedding’s theme, style and location into consideration when crafting a look. “(Brides) want to feel special and beautiful. I help them achieve it.” Her technique is professional and results are glamorous. Bergeron can apply traditional makeup, but prefers airbrushing her brides since the latter is waterproof, well blended, stays in contact for hours and has much better coverage. It is also available for all skin types and ethnicities. Where it’s always fun to play with new looks, Bergeron’s ultimate goal is to compliment and accentuate your features so that your natural beauty shines through and you still look like you. Maria Barreda (274-7061, is also a freelance

makeup artist who travels wherever her clients need her to be. Her specialties include makeup and light hairstyles since “extravagant up-do’s can take away from the softness of a look.” She offers 10

percent off to new clients. Mariposa Salon & Spa (3700 Orleans Ave, Suite 1D, 484-0440, caters to

bridal parties so everyone can enjoy personal services and take advantage of outstanding packages. Surrounded by a complimentary champagne brunch of pastries and fruit, you and your bridesmaids can choose from hair, waxing, nails, lashes and airbrush makeup. Brenda McField says that “paraffin facials” are one of her most popular winter treatments. “It’s like a mini face-lift, only instead it’s a blend of essential oils in the form of a brushable wax that cools on the skin and peels right off. Women with dryer skin appreciate this because it’s very moisturizing.” Although the effects are temporary, McField recommends having the facial about four days before your big day so that the results have time to settle. Her clients are always surprised and pleased to see the tiny lines on their faces filled in and healthy plumpness restored in areas that tend to fall, like the eyes and chin. Relax, renew and reconnect at My Spa by the Park (6312 Argonne Blvd, 4822219, The spa

offers yoga, massage, nail care, hair services and facials at its beautiful MidCity location. Couple services, like pedicures and massages, are encouraged so the bride and groom can steal an intimate moment together in the midst of pre-wedding chaos. For those with more specific needs, owner Katie Callia has tips to calm down blotchy, red or irritated skin. “An algo mask soothes rough patches and reduces redness by cooling and restoring the skin for a healthy, radiant finish.” She continues, “This treatment is perfect for sensitive, sun-exposed or acneic skin. It also offers a concentrated dose of vitamins, which can help the skin of brides planning honeymoons to the islands or Caribbean.” No matter which you choose, the polished look you achieve for your wedding is one you’ll take with you on your honeymoon and into a future with your new husband. n New Orleans Bride | 19

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1. This fleur-de-lis wine

all wrapped up Local gift ideas for everyone who has given so much to you. By Minh Dang and Morgan Packard

AS ANY SOON-TO-BE-BRIDE will tell you, opportunities for gift-giving abound. When shopping for presents for everyone from your wedding party to your parents to your shower hosts to even the littlest in your life, these local items will show the important people in your life how much they mean to you.


stopper and pourer is the perfect two-in-one gift for anyone from the wine connoisseur to the casual entertainer. The attached spout makes for drip-free pouring, perfect for adultsonly wedding favors or as wedding party gifts. DL Creations can also personalize attire for your wedding day, bachelorette night or anything in between with rhinestones. DL Creations, 4955 West Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 888-9461, 2. Give the gift of beautiful


barware with Vagabond House’s Alligator Pitcher and Beer Mugs made by finepewter artisans. They are the perfect adornment for your table and home and are sure to make a lasting impression on your guests, and are available in other patterns and animals so that you can find the perfect match. Hazelnut, 5515 Magazine St., 891-2424, 3. Drink “To Your

Health” everyday with this three-ounce stainless steel flask. It is small enough to take anywhere and big enough to pack a punch; perfect for groomsmen, bridesmaids, fathers and mothers alike. Spruce, 2043 Magazine St., 295-0946, 4. The fathers of the bride,

4 3

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groom and groomsmen will arrive in style when they wear these fleur-de-lis cufflinks. In silver and gold tones, these cufflinks can also be a finishing touch to any outfit for years to come. John’s Tuxedos, 3200 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 455-5353, New Orleans Bride | 23


5. Show your New Orleans pride

by cutting your wedding cake with this pewter fleur-de-lis cakeknife set. Have your wedding date and monogram engraved to create a memorable keepsake from your wedding. The Engraving Company, 837-7378,



6. A wedding is a joyous and

emotionally charged event. Dab your eyes with a custom-printed handkerchief from Second-line Handkerchiefs. Their 14-inch-by14-inch white and color handkerchiefs are made from 100 percent cotton. They have printed handkerchiefs for Mardi Gras kings and queens, the HBO’s series “Treme” and many others. Second-Line Handkerchiefs, 251-5567,


7. Give the gift of convenience

with this neoprene multiple beverage holder with an attached bottle opener. It is the perfect gift for anyone who hates carrying his beverage in his hand, for tailgating and for picnics. Auraluz, 4408 Shores Drive, 888-3313, 8. This fleur-de-lis guestbook with


a photo frame front and matching pen stand are the perfect items for wedding guests to leave their messages and blessings to the bride and groom. Rudman’s Card & Party Shop, 741 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 833-1286, 9. Everyone has photos from

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their wedding but not everyone has a painting. Immortalize your wedding day with an original painting by Alex Harvie. The painting is done from start to finish at the wedding reception, and it can be ordered in various canvas sizes. Harvie uses oil paints and several mediums to build a thick, rich texture to capture your special day. Harvie Oil Paintings, 644-7056, New Orleans Bride | 25


rsvp no regrets By Sarah Ravits

THE WEDDING INVITATION you choose says a lot about your personality and style. Whether you want a simple, elegant design or one that’s elaborate and extravagant, there are countless options to warmly invite your guests and announce your marriage to the love of your life.

A navy French taffeta ribbon opens to reveal a fold-over square invitation with a snowflake design in navy and silver ink on champagne card stock. Stationery Studio, Consultations by appointment, 581-7248,

Left: This elaborate fabric invitation board features pockets for inserts and includes a jeweled buckle and Dupioni silk. Exquisite Events, 975-4089, Right:This scripted invitation with blue ink features a delicate, sweet pattern. A tasteful ribbon adds an extra touch of class. Abbey Printing, 429 Wall Blvd., No. 10, Gretna, 392-7774, New Orleans Bride | 27

Left: Printed in two-color ink with a custom monogram cipher and calligraphy, the design on this invitation is thoughtful and eyecatching. Scriptura, 5423 Magazine St., 897-1555; 3301 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, 2191113, Right: Custom monogrammed letters pressed in bisque and charcoal inks on white Crane’s Lettra paper declare a romantic affair with an uncluttered, elegant design. Betty Hunley Designs, 6057 Magazine St., 895-2870, 28 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012 New Orleans Bride | 29

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spring has sprung

By Minh Dang and Victoria E. Rodriguez

Vibrant hues bring warmth to a wedding taking place in even the coldest of months. Blending oranges, yellows and reds with delicate feathers and greenery are among this year’s spring bouquet and boutonniere trends. Here are nine locally designed arrangements. Ambrose Garden: Purple hydrangeas, Black Beauty and Charlotte roses, miniature calla lilies, ranunculuses, and peonies. 861-1953





1. Carrollton Flower Market: Burgundy dahlias,

2. Cutting Edge Floral Firm: Orange

3. Beth’s Flowers:

orange cockscombs, allium, peach ranunculuses, blue thistles, heirloom carnations, Berzillia berries, purple stock, green trick dianthus, hotpink wax flowers and peacock feathers. 866-9614

miniature cala lilies, Milva and Black Baccara roses, protea, yarrow, celosia and tea leaves in a chocolate silk wrap.

Alstroemeria, coffee beans, yellow roses and solidago, handheld and silk-wrapped. 455-2353

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4. Fabulous Flowers: Black Magic and orange Spray roses, rose hips, yellow miniature calla lilies, tips of wheat and a collar of smoke bush. 909-0253





5. Dunn & Sonnier: Roses, orchids, tulips and hypericum. 254-3235

6. Urban Earth: Scabiosa, miniature green cymbidiums, peach finesse roses, heirloom hydrangea, stellata pods, Gaelic leaves and Schwartzwalder calla lilies. 524-0100

7. Sophisticated Style Florist: Orange unique

8. NOLA Flora: Tangerine tulips, yellow

roses, green Fuji and burgundy daisy chrysanthemums, safari sunset protea, bells of Ireland florets, red hypericum. mambo miniature calla lilies and dusty miller foliage. 467-8400

craspedia, hot-pink peonies, purple stock, green carnations, hanging amarthanus and burnia tied with ivory satin ribbon and copper wire collar and lily grass. 891-3333 New Orleans Bride | 33










1. Carrollton Flower Market: Allium, blue thistle, green trick dianthus and berzillia berry with a peacock feather. 2. Ambrose Garden: Mini calla, black beauty rose and seeded eucalyptus 3. Cutting Edge Floral Firm: Miniature orange calla lily, wrapped milva and black roses, yarrow, celosia with copper and aluminum wire. 34 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

4. Beth’s Flowers: Alstroemeria and coffee beans.

5. Fabulous Flowers: Orange spray roses, rolled rose petals accented with rose hips and a stalk of wheat 6. Dunn & Sonnier: Orange vanda orchid with greenery.

7. Urban Earth: Schwartzwalder calla lily, heirloom hydrangea and a Gaelic leaf. 8. Sophisticated Flower: Mambo miniature calla lily, a bells of Ireland floret and red hypericum. 9. NOLA Flora: Lavender spray rose accented with dusty miller and seeded eucalyptus, amaranthus swirled with thick green decorative wire and bound by gold bullion wire. New Orleans Bride | 35

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merry maids

Designer styles in a variety of lengths and countless shades complement the fashionable bride and her maids. By Lisa Tudor

Jim Hjelm Occasions black silk taffeta halter gown at Pearl’s Place; Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids short flounced silk chiffon dress at Wedding Belles; Alvina Valenta Maids luminescent chiffon dress at The Bridal Boutique by MaeMe; Monique Lhullier strapless taffeta gown at Pearl’s Place. 38 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Alvina Valenta Maids luminescent jasper green chiffon one-shoulder gown at The Bridal Boutique by MaeMe; Alfred Sung watermelon silk dupioni and chiffon dress at Olivier Couture; Marisa Baratelli seafoam silk shantung dress at Ballin’s LTD; After Six one-shoulder satin gown in Oasis at Ballin’s LTD. New Orleans Bride | 39

Dessy Collection “orchid” matte satin gown at Ballin’s LTD; Alfred Sung hot pink cap sleeve peau de soie dress at Olivier Couture; Lela Rose Bridesmaid strapless rose chiffon dress at Wedding Belles; Alvina Valenta Maids silk taffeta strapless gown in eggplant at The Bridal Boutique by MaeMe.

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Amsale French blue silk chiffon gown at Wedding Belles; WTOOE by Watters + Watters “indigo” Duchess satin gown at Ballin’s LTD; Noir by Lazaro navy organza dress with sheer organza overlay at Pearl’s Place; Badgley Mischka matte jersey gown in ink blue at Chatta Box Boutique. New Orleans Bride | 41

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Perfect Presentation The radiant luster of pearls and the shimmering sparkle of diamonds reflect the luxurious extravagance of our New Orleans bride.

By LISA TUDOR Photographs by THERESA CASSAGNE Makeup by BRANDY GOMEZ-DUPLESSIS Hair by ERIN CARTER Fine Jewelry throughout at ADLER’S Bridal Bouquet by DEE VU FOR BELLA BLOOMS FLORAL Model SHERRIE SPRINGER FOR METRO MODEL MANAGEMENT Special thanks to Cindy Besselman at the Chicory Venue

“Heidi” gown with jeweled and beaded bodice and layered tulle skirt, an exclusive design at Southern Bridal (jeweled headband and beaded sash sold separately); gold and diamond double-strand pearl bracelet and triple-row diamond earrings at Adler’s.

Modeca by Enzoani gown at The Bridal Boutique by MaeMe; South Sea pearl necklace with white gold and micropavé diamond clasp, cushion cut diamond engagement ring on an 18 karat white gold double-band surrounded by pavé diamonds and gold and diamond double-strand pearl bracelet with deco clasp and gold and diamond pearl drop earrings, all at Adler’s.

“Sala” gown by La Sposa at

Bustles & Bows Bridal Boutique; double-strand pearl bracelet with deco clasp and white gold and diamond pearl drop earrings at Adler’s.

Casablanca Couture satin gown with beaded lace appliquÊ on soft netting overlay at Town & Country; white gold diamond choker, white gold triple-row diamond earrings, white gold and diamond doublestrand pearl bracelet and gold and diamond bangle bracelet at Adler’s.

Rivini “Kendra” gown in silk tissue, organza and tulle with crystal beaded belt and waterfall skirt at Pearl’s Place; South Sea pearl necklace with white gold and micropavé diamond clasp, white gold diamond disc earrings and white gold and diamond double-strand pearl bracelet at Adler’s.

Sassie Holford “Fleur” gown in satin crepe with tulle bodice and overlay adorned with delicate flowers and beads at Olivier Couture; white gold and diamond disc earrings, white gold and diamond choker and white gold and diamond doublestrand pearl bracelet at Adler’s. New Orleans Bride | 51


wrapit up,i’ll take it A jewelry box holds a world of possibilities; peek into more than 16 filled with gorgeous pieces at local purveyors and choose your favorite. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find your favorite wrapped up for you soon. By Morgan Packard and Victoria E. Rodriguez

Top row: Drop down Old European Cut diamond earrings with 4.09- and 4.02carat diamonds and a total weight of .95 carats and 9.53 carat platinum old European cut diamond ring set in filigree mounting, both at M.S. Rau Antiques; 2.85 carat total weight micro pavé diamond hoops of 18 karat white gold at Symmetry Jewelers; platinum drop earrings with pear shaped diamonds weighing 4.42 and 4.28 carats, each surrounded by a total weight of .61 carats and 9.76 carat Emerald Cut Tri-Stone ring, both at M.S. Rau Antiques;

18 karat white gold vintage-style earrings with 2.01 carats of diamond baguettes and rounds at Wellington & Co.; 3.51 oval cut diamond ring set in 18 karat white gold mounting with .57 carat total weight diamonds and .69 carat emerald cut ring surrounded by a 1.39 carat total weight halo of pavé diamonds set in 18 karat white gold, both at Wellington & Co.; and 18 karat white gold 2.32 carat antique cushion cut diamond ring at Symmetry Jewelers. Bottom row: 14 karat white gold diamond engagement ring at Friend & Company Fine Jewelers;1.26 carat old European cut diamond with 25/100 carat accent diamonds and 70/100 carat fitted matching guard engagement ring set in 14 karat white gold at Symmetry Jewelers;

18 karat white gold and pavé diamond mounting with a 1.20 carat round brilliant diamond and 18 karat white gold Edwardian diamond and pearl earrings, both at Friend & Company Fine Jewelers; 1.07 carat total weight diamond dangle earrings set in white gold and an 18 karat white gold engagement ring with a 1.52 carat cushion cut diamond and .71 carat total weight round brilliant cut diamonds paired with a matching 18 karat white gold wedding band with .53 carat total weight round diamonds at Boudreaux’s Jewelry; 18 karat white gold lacy earrings featuring 3.70 carats of diamonds with .28 carats of baguettes from Wellington & Co.; and 5.35 carat total weight pavé diamond hoop earrings in 18 karat white gold at Boudreaux’s Jewelry. New Orleans Bride | 53

Left page: 14 karat white gold 3.75 carat total weight diamond necklace at Wellington & Co.; Galatea sterling necklace with repelling magnetic carved pearls at Symmetry Jewelers; Marquise diamond bracelet adorned with approximately 26 carats of diamonds at M.S. Rau Antiques; 14 karat white gold bracelet with Galatea 80/100 carat diamonds inlaid into pearls at Symmetry Jewelers; 1.8 carat diamond antique-style bracelet set in 18 karat white gold at Wellington & Co.; nine-row diamond cuff bracelet with approximately 75 carats of diamonds at M.S. Rau

Antiques; and 18 karat white gold antique design cross with .76 carat total weight at Boudreaux’s Jewelry. Right page: Platinum Art Deco-style necklace at Friend & Company Fine Jewelers; 55 carat Aletto Brothers diamond bracelet in handmade platinum setting and flower motif pattern diamond necklace of approximately 46 carats, both at M.S. Rau Antiques; 6.05 carat pavé diamond bangle at Boudreaux’s Jewelry; 14 karat white gold and diamond bangle bracelet and a three-strand pearl bracelet with white gold, both at Friend and Company Fine Jewelers. New Orleans Bride | 55

56 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012 New Orleans Bride | 57


treatsfor thesweet On the sweetest day of your life, share your happiness with your loved ones in the form of a delightful dessert. By Sarah Ravits

58 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Right to Left: Delicate pastel cupcakes are available in a variety of flavors and are a charming departure from a traditional wedding cake. The Kupcake Factory, 6233 South Claiborne Ave., 267-3328; 800 Metairie Road, No. Q, Metairie, 267-4990; 819 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 464-8884; Adorned in Tiffany-blue homemade fondant and embellished with edible miniature jewels, this cake also features a layer of buttercream frosting. NOLA Belles Bakery, 2902 Metairie Court, Metairie, 834-CAKE (2253); This decadent, triple-layer “Princess” cake with pink and white fondant icing features a whimsical, contemporary design – a new twist on an old classic. The Cocoa Bean Bakery & Café, 910 East Morris Ave., Hammond, (985) 345-2002;


Palate Catering

nibbles needed Try though they might, wedding parties cannot subsist on cake and champagne alone – and we don’t recommend it in any case. By Alex Gecan PARTIES NEED FOOD – especially in New Orleans, the rumbling tummy of America. And don’t even think about skimping on the grub when you have two families’ worth of people – including children and infants – running around getting hungrier and crankier by the 60 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

second. Eventually, you’re going to have to feed the troops. Here are a few options from around town for chowing down after you’ve exchanged your vows. Palate Catering (864-2990,, which has been in

operation since 2004, specializes in

creative reproductions of New Orleans’ culinary staples, although they can cater all sorts of cuisine besides. “I’m fluent in everything from Asian to regional American cuisines,” says owner Glenn Vatshell, “but clients tend to like local cuisine … we’ll do things like jambalaya risotto cakes.” Vatshell has been dishing up fine dining for nearly three decades, having come up through Polo Restaurant (in New York City) and apprenticed under such chefs as Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller. He later served as executive chef at various high-end restaurants, hotels and catering services in New York and San Francisco. Vatshell generally leaves liquor packages to the devices of the wedding party, but Palate can craft specialty cocktails for weddings. Palate offers a wide spectrum of place settings as well. “It varies depending on the bride; we do everything,” says Vatshell. “We can have very high-end disposables, for some events we have [utensils and decorations] that are Japanese-inspired, some that are “green” products, all the way to fine china and crystal.” While Vatshell trains his staff to perform any sort of service, he has found that “the majority of New Orleans weddings are passed hors d’oeuvres and grazing buffets … that’s generally what we see.” Palate can cater for up to 1,600 people and has gone as far as Pass Christian, Miss., for events, but generally stays closer to home. And as for advance notice, “We can do it overnight if we have to,” says Vatshell, but “it depends on the client. We’re getting bookings now for weddings a year in advance.” Mr. Mudbug Catering (465-9770, also rocks out with Cajun-

and Creole-influenced cuisine, with other dining styles available on request. According to B.J. Lore, Mudbug’s director of catering operations, the company offers a broad range of dishware, linens, flatware and accessories, and has several bar packages available as well. New Orleans Bride | 61

says, “we have some clients that call us the day before.” Coming back around to local cuisine, Kettle Catering (733-8835,

Toulouse Gourmet

Although Mudbug specializes in seafood boils (they’re named Mudbug, remember) and cocktail parties, they can cater to any special requests or menu options. “Weddings, cocktail events and corporate parties are usually six months out,” Lore says in terms of time frames for events, but he adds that he can whip something together “anywhere from two weeks out to as little as two days. We are very flexible and can create parties in short notice.” Owners Michael and Alicia Menza are celebrating Mudbug’s silver anniversary this year (they opened in 1986). According to Lore, Mudbug can go (and cater) anywhere. “We are a mobile catering company,” he says; “one of our main slogans is ‘we go where you go.’” They have done events all around the country, and even in Canada, for parties as large as 5,000. Continuing the adherence to the principles of Louisiana Cuisine, K-Paul’s Catering Expedition (812-2628, specializes in on-site

cooking (at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen) as well as “fresh ingredients” and “blackened items,” according to sales and production director Marty Cosgrove. Under the direction of owner Paul Prudhomme (yes, that one) and executive chef Paul Miller (who, like Prudhomme, is an Opelousas native; the Pauls hooked up in Atlanta in the 1970s), the company has been catering for over 30 years, and is willing to cater “anywhere on the planet,” according to Cosgrove. K-Paul’s offers everything from “full service with china, glassware and flatware” down to “high-end acrylic disposables,” 62 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

says Cosgrove, and features “full bar packages along with beer and wine packages.” They also feature all types of service, from seated dinners to cocktail receptions and everything in between. To go off-site (away from the restaurant), KPaul’s requires a minimum of 75 diners, but can cater for up to 4,500 people. Toulouse Gourmet (488-4466, diverges from the

Louisiana-centeric menus of other catering companies and doesn’t cleave to one particular cuisine. “We do international, American, new American,” says executive chef and general manager Russ Spezial. Toulouse features an assortment of setting options, from high-end plastic to different types of china, and offers different bar packages as well. “We can do a martini bar, a martini luge, a mohito station, bringyour-own,” says Spezial. They’re also flexible in terms of style of service, offering everything from buffet-style dining all the way up to butler service. Toulouse is a slightly younger company (they opened in 2006) and is run by Spezial, sales manager Kellie Levy and kitchen manager Ben Miller. According to Spezial, the company does “social catering, stadium concessions and school lunch programs” and, as with their versatility with cuisine, don’t limit themselves to one or another style of event. As for client bases, “we’re geared more towards the gourmand,” says Spezial. Toulouse has no minimum party size and can cater parties of up to 2,000 people, and usually works with at least a couple of weeks’ notice, although, Spezial

offers “a wide range, from French-CajunCreole to American barbecue,” says executive chef Pierre Hilzim. The catering menu features over 300 items from pizzas to carving stations, and even a signature dish – Crawfish Monica, named for Hilzim’s wife – that has been enjoyed by presidents, popes and Jazz Fest patrons alike (Kajun Kettle, of which Kettle Catering is a division, is a perennial Fest vendor). Like Glenn Vatshell, Hilzim worked his way up through restaurants in San Francisco, but not before putting himself through college by cooking here in town – and before that, he would tag along with his father, the former executive director of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, who would take the young Hilzim along on business visits to kitchens across the state. Kettle rocks the liquid refreshments as well, offering everything from “basic bar setups – beer and wine – to full bars to premium cocktail stations.” As with the other caterers, they offer a full spectrum of place settings, from disposable dishware to fine china. Since Kettle operates out of the Kajun Kettle factory, they can cook for tens of thousands of people at a time. “We do a lot of disaster feeding because we have a lot of horsepower,” says Hilzim; “we’ve done up to 30,000 people in one week.” For a party that nudges five figures’ worth of attendees, he says that Kettle would need a couple of months’ notice. “We’re very good at projecting food out,” says Hilzim; “we have a full catering kitchen as well as the horsepower from the production facility.” As diets and trends have changed, catering services have adapted as well. All of the companies listed here are able to accommodate various diets such as vegetarian, vegan and pescetarian, as well as food allergies such as celiac disease and beyond, presuming you give them enough advance notice. Whichever way you choose to go, the city has plenty of dining options perfect for fueling up your party for a night of dancing. So eat up and party down! n STEVEN HRONEK PHOTOGRAPH New Orleans Bride | 63


Hyatt Regency New Orleans

the power of place Unforgettable ceremony, reception and rehearsal spaces sure to leave a lasting impression. By Kelcy Wilburn

WHERE YOU CHOOSE to hold your


wedding, reception and rehearsal dinner makes a statement about who you are as a bride and who you have become as a couple. From the grand elegance of a splendid ballroom to the old-world charm of a tucked-away historic landmark, the place where you gather friends and family should exude your unique personality and style. With its rich history and natural beauty, South Louisiana and the New Orleans region present numerous options for powerful places.

Located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Nottoway Plantation (31025

64 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Louisiana 1, White Castle, (225) 545-2730, has beckoned visitors for

over 150 years with its regal splendor, detailed design and historical significance. Nottoway Plantation accommodates nearly every wedding need, from large and small ceremonies, receptions and rehearsals to bridal portraits and elopement packages for the couple looking to get away from it all.

Ceremonies take place on five separate sites: on the majestic Front Lawn, under the towering Live Oaks, in the romantic Fountain Garden Courtyard, in the grandeur of the White Ballroom and in the open-air Grande Pavilion. Receptions at Nottoway Plantation take place in one of two ballrooms or in the Grande Pavilion. They have numerous reception packages so you can choose the space, menu and level of decor. Want to add a bridal honeymoon suite with a private pool or a full day of

on-site salon pampering before the big event? Nottoway eliminates the need to travel back and forth from the city with convenient optional add-ons. James Derbes, proprietor of the Benachi House and Gardens (2257 Bayou Road, 525-7040,,

describes his wedding site as a restored majestic landmark with extensive lush gardens located in the Esplanade Ridge Historic District. Conveniently situated just outside of the French Quarter, the Benachi House provides New Orleans atmosphere and charm while allowing couples the freedom to do things their way. According to Derbes, “We provide the house and grounds, tables and chairs, security and a bridal suite. Everything else is the couple’s responsibility.” That means the couple chooses their own professional caterer, music and decorations – with approval. Good news for those who want the night to last forever – while the events must come to a close by 10 p.m. and music must stay within the limits imposed by the New Orleans Noise Ordinance for a residential neighborhood, Benachi house allows for five-hour events, an hour or two longer than many local venues. The Benachi House accommodates up to 150 guests with plenty of dance and band space outside. A few blocks away, on Canal Street, the 14,000-square-foot Mystére Mansion (4800 Canal St., 483-2350,

Benachi House and Gardens can

accommodate up to 500 guests, though various floors can be reserved depending on need. Built in 1872 and completely restored, the Mystére Mansion is an architecturally stunning manor famously located near some of the city’s oldest cemeteries and less than three miles from the French Quarter. “Creating a lasting memory is our specialty. We pride ourselves in being one of the most unique and beautiful event venues in New Orleans. The history, the architectural elegance and the spirit and warmth all provide the ingredients for a fabulous celebration,” says owner Jeff Borne. Couples can rely on Mystére to take care of the event details, or they can customize everything themselves with pre-approved outside caterers and professionals. When people think of magnificent homes as sites for weddings, they often picture plantation homes and castle-like mansions. Tucked away in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans, just off of Magazine Street, is a property unlike its contemporaries. The grounds of Race & Religious include a two-story 1830s Creole cottage, a three-story 1830s Greek Revival rowhouse, the two-story slave quarters, large brick courtyards and a pool surrounded by fountains. While the property can fit up to 300 people for events, the intimacy of the space also works well for small weddings, too. They offer a variety of event packages and

menu options. “The property is typically rented either for a 10-hour, day-long event or for a 48-hour stay and event,” says Vesta Burk. “However, we do tailor the packages some if the event is especially small and short or if the couple would like to rent for a longer span.” With decorative charm that includes exposed brick, unvarnished staircases and Italian and antique country French furniture, the property presents a colorful, historical wonderland. MAGICAL TRANSFORMATIONS

Formerly the site of an impressive Catholic church, Vintage Court (75082 Highway 25, Covington, (985) 871-0495,, located on the

Northshore in Covington, has been converted into a versatile wedding and reception facility with two ballrooms, two outdoor spaces for ceremonies and a space inside the former church. Nestled among 10 acres of live oaks and New Orleans-style gardens, Vintage Court provides a serene, verdant atmosphere for ceremonies held beside the 100-yearold stone grotto, which sits among the gardens and oaks, or underneath the 300-year-old oak within an intimate courtyard setting. “We offer fantastic service and assistance from the moment the bride sets up a tour until the moment she leaves for her honeymoon,” remarks CEO Julie Steinhauer. Vintage Court can accommodate 50 to 500 guests, and has a large dance floor and band space. Their on-site gourmet chef provides catering, and they offer optional customized menus, in-house DJ entertainment and décor. In Jefferson Parish, Champagne Palace (701 Elmwood Park Blvd., 734-2244, offers an acre of

Romanesque, utopian paradise with lush botanical gardens, flowing fountains, Corinthian columns and imported lifesized statues. “I built it from the ground up,” says owner Jay Polit. “We opened in 1994 and have done hundreds of ceremonies and receptions. We have 10foot chandeliers, granite flooring and 20-foot-tall columns in the gardens. New Orleans Bride | 65

Ronnie Demilio, head of sales for Mother’s Next Door at Mother’s Restaurant (401 Poydras St., 523-2317,, describes their

Champagne Palace

Inside, we have two spiral stairways that are spectacular for pictures.” A one-stop destination, Champagne Palace’s packages are all-inclusive. They handle everything from decorations, food and open bar, to DJ, tablecloths, centerpieces and guest books. They have a 1,200- to 1,500-square-foot dance floor and offer a cappuccino and dessert station as well as a martini bar. New to Champagne Palace is a $16,000 marble cake table, designed in Italy, as well as projectors and TV monitors for displaying couples’ montages and other videos. With dedication to their clients and a family-owned-and-operated venue, Jay Polit, Kris Polit or Kristy Bergeron will be on-site for functions. Ask about their seasonal discounted rates. PLACES TO MAKE YOUR OWN

Bring your theme to the shores of Lake Pontchartrain and enjoy a reception befitting you at La Maison Du Lac (7412 Lakeshore Drive, 309-0700, An indoor and

outdoor location, the outdoor deck overlooks the lake, while the inside offers a chic atmosphere for guests to wander and dance. Refreshing and vibrant, the venue comfortably accommodates about 300 to 350 guests with a band, DJ and dance floor located either indoors or out. They offer several different packages for you to customize your experience, and one unique facet of La Maison Du Lac is the ability to charter a 73-foot

66 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

yacht. Climb aboard the Confidential Lady, say your vows during a sunset on the water, and return to La Maison Du Lac, where your guests await for the grand reception. With the hotel just opening in October of last year, The Empire Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans (601 Loyola Ave., 5611234, is one of the

newest venues in town. The flexible-yetelaborate space can accommodate ceremonies and receptions for up to 3,000 guests. The setup can be tailored to the bride’s and groom’s desires, with varying sizes of dance floor and band. They don’t provide specific packages, but they have several community partners to recommend and their team will assist in coordinating the details. Imagine the looks on guests’ faces as the bride enters the room from a dramatic floating staircase underneath the shimmering light of six chandeliers of Italian hand-blown glass teardrops. Striking floor-to-ceiling windows line the room, and a private, outdoor terrace add to the distinguished atmosphere and flexibility of the ballroom. REHEARSAL DINNERS & RECEPTIONS UNIQUELY NEW ORLEANS

New Orleans’ cuisine is part of the reason many out-of-town guests love a New Orleans wedding. Combine that food with a “laissez les bon temps rouler” attitude, and you’ve got the recipe for an unforgettable celebration.

rehearsal and reception space as having a “thoroughly New Orleans atmosphere and authentic, definitive New Orleans home cooking.” While they’ve hosted wedding ceremonies at Mother’s before, Ronnie stresses that rehearsal dinners are their forte, as they can host up to 150 people for a seated dinner buffet. Available spaces include the Dining Room and the Banquet Room. While they don’t have packages for décor or music, they offer experienced guidance for those who procure their own decorations and audio or visual needs. Centrally located in the CBD at 409 Tchoupitoulas St., Mother’s Next Door is only a few steps away from the French Quarter and located in the midst of numerous New Orleans hotels. They require a minimum of 50 guests and can host up to 250 people for stand-up cocktail receptions. Located in the French Quarter, at the corner of Chartres and St. Louis streets, is a 200-year-old Historical National Landmark that has become one of the most famous bars in America. Napoleon House (500 Chartres St., 524-9752, acquired its name by

being offered to Napoleon in 1821 by former New Orleans mayor, Nicholas Girod. Imagine having your rehearsal or reception among the walls that would have housed Napoleon had he made it to Louisiana. These second-floor rooms are now known as L’Appartement de l’Empereur. The indoor space of the apartment, complete with French Quarter balconies, can accommodate 40 to 60 people for seated dinners and up to 135 for cocktail receptions. Napoleon House provides the on-site catering, and there are six party packages from which to choose. They also offer a small band space and dance floor for those looking to add music to the historic atmosphere. Though typically used for receptions and rehearsal dinners, Napoleon House may also host a wedding ceremony for up to 60 guests. n New Orleans Bride | 67


what is a picture worth? The top 10 questions to ask before you hire a photographer or videographer | By Mirella Cameran ANYONE CAN GO into Best Buy and pick up the latest and greatest cameras, so do you need to pay for a professional for your big day? If you decide you do, then how do you choose the best one for you? Lavina Bourg of Your Day Production (2730005, (985) 227-4579,

says, “When the big day is over and the dress is packed away, it’s your photographs and video that are literally the lens through which you’ll see and remember everything about your wedding, so you could say it’s the most important decision you make.” With that in mind, we at New Orleans Bride magazine asked some of the most talented photographers and videographers in the city what they would look for. 68 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012


MAKE SURE THEY’RE LICENSED AND INSURED Robert Trent of Images by Robert T ((985) 966-2793, says, “This has to be

one of the first questions a bride asks. Sometimes, however, in the excitement of the preparations, it gets lost and then you have a gamble on your hands. You need to know if this person going to be around in six months’ time when you want to order your photos and/or video and what they’ll do if there’s an emergency.” Rita Frelich of Artography (416-6091, adds, “I would tell any bride to check that their photographer has a ‘Hurricane Policy’ and a back-up camera; you can’t afford for there to be a malfunction during the ‘I do’s.’” Not every photographer is a member of

the Professional Photographers of America (PPA); and not every videographer belongs to the Digital Video Professionals Association (DVPA). However, when you start your research, these organizations have websites with lots of useful information and they can offer a level of reassurance about whom you might be trusting on your big day.


MAKE SURE THE PRICING AND TIMING ARE CLEAR Kirk Leonard of One Louder Productions (415-9660)

has this advice: “We tend to keep our contracts simple, otherwise it can be confusing and, worse, misleading. You need to know exactly what you are paying for and how extra time will be charged if you need it. You also need to check when

photographs and videos will be ready; we’ve heard of instances where the couple has celebrated their first anniversary before they’ve seen their DVD.” He continues, “Extra [copies] can be another problem. Ask about this in advance to see what their reaction is. If they’re going to charge a fortune, think again; there are often things you want to add in at the last minute and you need someone who will be accommodating.”


MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHO’S COMING Leonard says, “This may

see obvious but some photography and videography companies contract their work out, so the person you meet isn’t the same one who shows up on the day.”



may have booked the best photographer in the city, but if he’s taken out by the flu you’re going to have a last-minute panic. Talk to your photographer about their team and how they handle the unexpected.”





this cautionary advice: “Check that the photos and video that you see and like has been shot with the same equipment that will be used for your wedding. Also, make sure that the photographer and/or videographer is familiar with your venues and will bring any extra lighting and devices they may need. If they don’t know the venues, they should offer to visit them ahead of time.”

Tensions are always high at weddings and there are many people involved. The last thing you need is for the minister to call a halt in the middle of your vows because he has to tell your videographer to get off the altar. Brenda Sison of Brenda Sison Photography (250-2400, says, “As a bare minimum they have to be familiar with the protocols of the venues you have chosen and what the rules are for shooting. A good photographer or videographer will

also be able to blend into the day, work with all the different characters involved and capture everyone at their best.”



media and our interactive use of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to see real-time reviews of the person with whom you might be working. Sison says, “Websites like ‘The Knot’ [] are great for reviews, as is Facebook and vendors’ own websites, especially if they have a blog. Brides can read what other brides are saying today about their photographers and you can look at the work they’re currently producing. It really helps you frame what you want them to shoot for you, and allows you to get excited with confidence.”



are many great hobbyist photographers who get lucky and snap a great shot. It is another thing to shoot a wedding from the preparation through to leaving for the honeymoon. However, that’s exactly what a good professional photographer should do and that’s one of the reasons it’s almost always better to use a professional. Even if an uncle or a cousin has a good hand with a camera, he’s likely to get distracted during the day and miss some shots; you need someone focused the whole time on not missing a moment. Kevin Terrington of Terrington Films (9086579, says, “Take the time to do your homework. Start by looking at a number of websites, take referrals and then narrow it down to at least three potential vendors. Then put the effort in to meet them and make sure they show you a full product, one wedding from beginning to end, because

that’s what you’ll be getting. Highlights of several weddings won’t show you as clearly what their work is like. “



you don’t have to decide between photojournalistic photography with the ‘as it happens’ feel, artsy shoes-off shots or traditional poses. You can have them all. If you want this, again, spend time looking at how the photographers work these styles to capture the different moments of the day. They need to be able to intervene to put the formal shots together as well as stand back and shoot it as it happens.



Trust your instincts. Do you like them? Can you imagine spending more time on the most important day of your life with them than with anyone else? Then think about what people tell you about the great photographer-andmodel relationships (think Kate Moss and Mario Testino). They say the amazing photos they make together are due to the fact that they both like and trust each other. The model relaxes and is willing to take chances. It should be exactly the same for you on your big day. You are the supermodel. Will you feel relaxed enough to be yourself, thereby enabling them to capture your true self and those in your wedding party? Will you enjoy getting to know them before the wedding? Do they understand your personalities and preferences? Do you feel confident they can represent a true version of who you are and what your day is about? Sison concludes, “I believe it’s similar to meeting your husband. If something in you doesn’t spark when you meet them, they probably aren’t the person for you.” n

An alternative to formal portraits, and a trend that just keeps picking up steam in the wedding world, is a photo booth. “Photo booths have come a long way since the coin-operated days,” says Spoofs Photo Booths (231-5342, owner Patrick Almogela. “The classic ‘four-pose’ strip can be customized to match the theme of your wedding, making it the ultimate wedding favor.” In addition to the props that you can supply, locally owned and operated Spoofs offers features such as real-time slide shows, custom curtains and green-screen technology. New Orleans Bride | 69


All Out Entertainment

time to face the music A guide to finding the right fit.

By Kelcy Wilburn

CHOOSING MUSIC in New Orleans is just as easy as “a 1-2, a 1-2-3-4!” Planning a wedding involves countless details that must be addressed in what never seems like enough time. The locations, the dresses, the flowers, invitations and catering – at such a personal occasion, you want every detail to be personal, too. The key detail in creating ambiance for both your wedding ceremony and reception is perhaps one of the most important: Music. With music, the possibilities can seem endless. In a city where music plays first fiddle (or horn?) to other arts, choosing the right fit for your wedding is easier than you think. Why prioritize music? No one wants to walk down the aisle to screeching, offpitch violins or have the lighting of candles interrupted by an over-ambitious

third-cousin-twice-removed singing a song they learned yesterday. Making music a priority can help ensure a smooth ceremony and a fun, memorable reception, both incorporating songs meaningful to you. New Orleans presents numerous options when it comes to music professionals, from classical and jazz musicians, to DJs, bands and brass bands. FINDING MUSICIANS New Orleans Finest Musicians (884-4946,, organized

by Harry Hardin, specializes in providing classical and jazz ensembles and soloists for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Hardin recruits some of the city’s best performers and puts together ensembles fitting for the bride’s request, which is most often classical in nature but

sometimes strays from the traditional. “Sometimes we take modern pop music and give it a classical feel. We’ve done The Beatles, Elvis and even Coldplay,” says Hardin. Hardin has also contracted gospel ensembles and Latin groups. “I know a lot of talented musicians. If I don’t know certain instrumentalists, finding them is usually only a phone call away.” As it pertains to music for a ceremony, “Timing is critical,” remarks Hardin. “During a processional, you may need to find a suitable ending to the piece that’s not awkward and leaving the bride standing at the altar for too long.” Hardin prides himself on providing musicians with the experience and versatility to ensure a seamless ceremony. Rachel Van Voorhees (909-3756,, principle harpist of BEBE TRAN PHOTOGRAPH

70 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012 New Orleans Bride | 71

the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, has been in the music industry for over 30 years, performing at weddings, receptions and private events, as well as booking classical and jazz ensembles, singers, organists and more. “Our goal is to make it as simple as possible for the bride. All they have to do is describe what they want and know it will be taken care of,” says Voorhees, whose fees are all-inclusive. From any necessary sound equipment to the music stands and setup, Voorhees accounts for every music-related detail. What is a typical music budget for a ceremony? “It’s up to your imagination and overall budget,” says Voorhees. Most often, the cost can depend on the number of musicians you choose to use. “For the ceremony, I’ve seen a range of $300 on up, though on average, people seem to spend $700 to $1,000, and some even more.” Marla Belin, president of Nola Talent Unlimited (881-3077,, makes it her mission to constantly keep local performers working at home so they don’t have to travel out of the city for a living. Specializing in all different genres (except heavy metal), Belin books musicians for weddings and private events, and she also hires specialty performers and services such as jugglers and cigar rollers. “I provide a link between the organizer and the upscale performers of New Orleans for entertainment of all types,” says Belin, who works with several bigname artists. From small trios to groups of Mardi Gras Indians and brass bands, Belin provides a diverse menu of musical options. “I’m like a one stop shop,” says Belin. “I handle all of the logistics and I or my assistant personally attend to make sure everyone’s needs are met.” DJS AND BANDS

“When a guest leaves a wedding reception, what they’re most going to remember about the experience is the entertainment,” says David Storm, DJ at Omega Sound ((985) 966-6378, A full-service mobile

entertainment and production company, Omega Sound operates under the belief

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that a DJ is more than a person picking songs; they are interacting with the audience, engaging them in sing-alongs, dances and other crowd-pleasing activities. “We make sure everyone has a good time and that all are enjoying themselves,” Storm says. Based in Slidell, Omega Sound has been entertaining crowds all over the Southeast since 2000. Boasting the largest music library in the Gulf South, Omega Sound offers over 140,000 tracks in all major genres. Couples are given an online planning suite on Omega Sound’s website, where they can search the song database and make requests ranked by priority. Greg Keller, co-owner and DJ at All Out Entertainment (913-2392, shares the same

sentiment as it pertains to entertaining. “You can do something average – where someone sits behind a laptop and hits ‘next,’ or you can have someone who knows what to play and how to engage the crowd,” says Keller, a 15-year veteran of the trade. Keller stresses the need for a DJ to know how to gauge the mood of the crowd and know when to play something upbeat or slow things down. All Out Entertainment’s music focus lies mainly in modern club music, bridging the gap between classic wedding songs and new Top 40 club songs. They keep things mostly upbeat, but also ask brides for specific requests. Naturally, couples are given their choices for the traditional first dances and other special songs. Those looking for the song and genre versatility of a DJ but want the sound of a

live band should look into bands such as Taboo (913-2392, Organizer and front man Michael Taylor describes Taboo as a cover band that provides entertainment for all occasions. With an extensive repertoire of songs, Taboo can provide hours of entertainment and play songs from different eras and genres. “We do Motown, rock, hip-hop, etc., and we sound genuine at each genre,” says Taylor. Commonly performing as a seven-piece band, Taboo features Taylor and two women on vocals as well as four other musicians playing guitar, keys, bass and drums. Horn players can be hired additionally. All about convenience, Taboo takes care of the sound needs, using their own equipment for most events. For a traditional New Orleans feel, consider adding a second-line to the wedding festivities or having a brass band perform at the reception. For over 30 years, the Storyville Stompers (650-2339, have been performing traditional New Orleans music all over the world. Imagine marching in a second-line from your ceremony to the reception or second lining out of your reception and into the night. From small, intimate courtyards to large ballrooms, the Storyville Stompers have experience entertaining in a number of settings. Their acoustic performance means no elaborate sound setup, and the flexible band can perform with a group as small as a trio or as big as an eight- to 10-piece band. n

processionals and first dances Just as important as choosing your performer is choosing the songs that matter most. When the bridal processional begins, all eyes turn to one person and all ears tune in to one song. And what about the first dance? What will you sway to while gazing into the eyes of your spouse? These local professionals offered up what they feel to be the most requested. For a bridal processional, most people go the traditional route, with the top choices being “Prince of Denmark’s March” (also known as “Trumpet Voluntary”) by Clarke, “Trumpet Tune” by Purcell and “Bridal March from Lohengrin” by Wagner. However, a new trend finds many brides converting contemporary songs into classical pieces with songs such as, “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles or “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison. The No. 1 song for a first dance? “At Last” takes the cake, with close runner-up “What a Wonderful World.” Other finalists include “It Had to be You” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”


Swamp Tour

party like it’s … Six ideas for an exceptional celebration | By Christy Lorio WHILE THE WORDS “bachelorette party” might conjure up images of big gocups on Bourbon Street, there are endless alternatives to a romp around the quarter. You have put so much thought into your wedding, pored over every detail and ensured it’s a culmination of your personalities; don’t let the days leading up to the big event feel like an afterthought. Whether you stick to a traditional activity, such as a bridal tea, or opt for something more adventurous, such as an all-girls indoor rock-climbing session, there are unlimited possibilities that can reflect your hobbies and interests. A party thrown for your bridesmaids doesn’t have to be a big, formal affair, especially if the women 74 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

have never met. Fun icebreakers can include wine tastings, spa parties and even cooking classes. There are countless activities that you can partake in with your friends to not only introduce strangers but also to thank everyone for being a part of the most important day in your life. SCAVENGER HUNT

If your out-of-town guests are feeling adventurous, an interesting and entertaining way to show them the city is a scavenger hunt. While you could spend the time thumbing through guide books or even an old history textbook to write your own, an easier and more fun way is through a new phone app called ”New

Orleans: The Game from Stray Boots” ((877) 787-2929, The game takes

your guests through a fun, interactive history lesson that lets them become familiar with the city at their own paces. Choose either the French Quarter or the Garden District, and depending on the size of the party everyone can either work together or stagger their starts and play as a competition. The hunt includes funny photo challenges and text clues, and players must explore the chosen area to complete the challenges and earn points. Players with smartphones can play the game via their mobile browsers or opt for text message clues instead. Purchasing is easy; either contact Stray Boots Scavenger Hunts or just go through their website. At only $12 per ticket for up to 6 people this is a fun, inexpensive way to get together with the girls. JEWELRY SOCIAL Dominique Giordano (5420 Magazine St., 8953909, regularly offers New Orleans Bride | 75

jewelry socials as a great way to get together and each guest gets a beautiful reminder of the event afterward. Guests make their own pendant necklace, which puts an interactive twist on giving jewelry as gifts for the bridal party. The Caviar Heart is the most popular pendant for bridal parties, filled with freshwater pearls in the front. The back of the heart opens as a locket, where a photo or other memento of your big day can reside. Quotes can even be added to the back of the pendant for an additional $10 and bridesmaids can wear their own handmade creations in the wedding for an extra personal touch. Jewelry Socials can be easily booked through the website by clicking on “jewelry social” on the top bar. Once the host chooses her date from the calendar, an e-mail is sent to Giordano and she approves the date and creates an invitation to e-mail guests. Jewelry socials are intimate parties, with a minimum of 10 and maximum of 16 people for each event. The hostess receives 50 percent off her pendant and a coupon good for 50 percent off an additional piece of Dominique Giordano jewelry valued at $500 or less. Each participant receives a 20-percent-off coupon for a future purchase as well. Make your event extra special by bringing your own food and wine or champagne, and Giordano will supply everything you need from flatware and plates to ice, sparkling water and even a wine opener. PAINTING PARTY

Another clever way of taking home a handmade party favor is hosting a painting party at New Orleans Paint N Party (101 River Road, Suite 201, 833-1070, Each guest

plays artist with their own canvas and an experienced instructor will help guide you through your own artwork, whether you select an image beforehand or go with one of their offerings. If you have a favorite flower used in your wedding, for example, it could make for a fun, artsy keepsake. Instructors pre-select paintings that are easy and fun, so you won’t have to stress about whether it’s too hard to finish. Wine and food can be

76 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

brought in to make the night even more memorable and they supply everything you need, from the ice buckets and napkins to the paintbrushes, aprons and, of course, canvases and paint.

Painting Party

TEA AND GARDENING Bridal teas at Longue Vue House and Gardens (7 Bamboo Road, 488-5488, are a lovely way to catch

up with old friends and introduce bridal party members to one another, but they certainly aren’t the only option. The historic home tour makes for an afternoon well spent, and Longue Vue’s impressive gardens make the perfect setting for a little domesticity – but don’t worry, this is the fun kind. Head gardener Amy Graham teaches a variety of classes, including viewings of archived images of potted plant displays to help you get inspired to create your own interesting and useful container plantings, with a garden tour included. Is the bride-to-be a theater buff? “Shakespeare and the Garden” is a workshop that focuses on the bard’s favorite plants. Is she more interested in freshly cut flowers arranged in creative ways? In the “Beyond the Vase” series, guests are encouraged to bring vase alternatives to fill with cuttings from the yard, suitable for beginning gardeners and green thumbs alike. There is also a workshop to teach wreath making, which would make a lovely decoration at the wedding itself.


If you’re looking for a more adventurous outdoors activity, then swamp tours are it. Sharing a scenic ride and the expression on someone’s face when they encounter an alligator for the first time is priceless. Cajun Encounters ((866) 92TOURS (86877), has custom-created 10 passenger boats, perfect for your own private tour. You will be able to experience the swamp at your own pace instead of having a large group dictating how much time is spent watching egrets take off. Get some oneon-one time with the tour boat captain for a personalized Q & A on the Honey Island Swamp, a must for out-of-town guests. Packages include transportation, cocktails and a truly custom tour. You can pick the time of day and the route and can even have a pizza waiting for you on the dock when you come back – perfect for a morning out with the girls or an evening of winding down. VIEWING PARTY

In this digital age where all of life’s important moments are shared through the Internet, having a photo-viewing party can be a wonderful way to experience the big day all over again with a group of close friends and family members. Looking at captured moments from your big day sitting at your home computer by yourself can feel pretty anticlimactic, so wedding photographer CheyAnne Bradfield (715-9510, provides an

Image Release Party at her studio. It is a great way to relive your wedding experience, and Bradfield provides you with a 120-inch projector screen and DJs the music herself. It is a perfect activity for parents, siblings or even the bridal party with wine and hors d’oeuvres served. “It turns into a great reward for us because we love getting to see the excitement and hear them tell stories to each other about the day as they view the photos,” says Bradfield. “I’ve had our couples or the mothers almost bring me to tears on more than one occasion with their joy and gratitude. And for us, that’s what it’s ultimately all about.” n New Orleans Bride | 77


your carriage awaits 5 ways to “get you to the church on time.” | By Alex Gecan SO IT’S YOUR BIG DAY. The minister stayed sober, your soon-to-be mother-inlaw kept the condescension to a minimum and you didn’t even have to tell the caterers that, no, the guests with the seafood allergies really couldn’t have anything cooked in shrimp stock. There is still one minor hitch: You need to get your and your betrothed’s entire families to the church, then to the reception and maybe (assuming the bouquet toss didn’t end in bloodshed) back home or to hotels afterward. It is, after all, a wedding, and there will be a bit – a bit – of champagne flowing. Outside transportation is probably a good idea. Here are some of your options: Alert Transportation has been in business for a little under a decade and has a variety of wedding party options available. Their custom fleet of vehicles includes Towncar limousines, stretch Lincoln Navigators, sedans, SUVs and minibuses. “All our buses are French Quarter-friendly,” says Herman Tureaud, the company’s president (buses over 31 feet long are barred from entering the Vieux Carré). Tureaud’s minibuses accommodate 14 to 33 revelers. They 78 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

also offer various refreshments if you want to get the party started on the way to the reception or keep it going on the way home. Serving the greater New Orleans area, and points as far away as Covington and Slidell, Alert lists their standard package deals at, and you can inquire about custom packages by calling 362-4145. If you’re in the market for minibuses and want to up the ante with a Rolls Royce thrown in for the happy couple, Big Easy Limos has all sorts of ritzy extras to help you roll out in high “just married” style. Their minibuses aren’t quite as large as Alert’s, but they go a bit farther afield. Mike Wetzel says, “We’ve been as far as Indiana. As far as service is concerned we go anywhere.” Big Easy offers complimentary champagne for the newlyweds on top of their service options, which include stretch Cadillac Escalades and Hummer H2s, in addition to their 1957 Rolls Royce. For more information, visit or call 466-4477. If your party is more demanding in terms of sheer numbers, Louisiana Motor

Coach has a fleet of full-sized charter buses at your disposal. They work throughout the greater New Orleans area (including the Northshore) and can obtain specialty vehicles outside of their fleet of behemoth charter buses. “It’s pretty much whatever the clients asks for,” says Louis Sanders, the company’s vice president and general manager, “whether it’s a motor coach all the way down to a Rolls Royce, even a horse and buggy.” You can check out their economy-sized conveyances at or by calling 343-1400. Buses are all well and good, but maybe you want to kick things up a notch. For that there’s the VIP School Bus, which is built out of – you guessed it – a decommissioned school bus (actually, there are two identical VIP buses and one matching trailer). “We do a free bottle of champagne and also a commemorative sign for the bride or groom,” says Emiley Brown, who runs their accounting department. “They have VIP glasses (plastic, for safety’s sake) and can do a full bar.” Brown says the buses are decked out with thousands of songs, videos, fog machines and a “safety pole.” (The bus is popular for bachelor parties – use your imagination.) Class is in session at or 846-9968. Finally, if you want to take an even wider departure from the usual – and also take advantage of the Big Easy’s new status as a “bicycle-friendly city” – you can reserve a wedding package with Need A Ride Pedicab. “We probably have about three or four (weddings a week) in the French Quarter,” says Suzanne Alford, the company’s owner. “Sometimes it’s the whole party; mostly it’s just the bride and groom, and a second-line from the church to the reception.” Need A Ride Pedicab has 15 of the modern rickshaws in their armada and runs events in the French Quarter and City Park. Get your chariot on at or 488-6566. n

verify GET THE LICENSE ITSELF. You don’t both

legal matters Get your ducks in a row before you walk down the aisle. By Alex Gecan

WHEN MY PARENTS married in Fairfax County, Va., in 1977, they went first – as was the law – to apply for a marriage license. Due to the commonwealth’s reluctance to update its bureaucracy and an erstwhile attempt to limit procreation to an imaginary intellectual elite, one of the questions they had to answer during the application process was “are you feeble-minded?” My mother, aghast but amused, turned to her then-fiancé and asked, “If I were feeble-minded, how would I know?” (She decided that she was not, and we remain comfortable in her decision.) There are still a few legal hurdles to clear before you can say your “I do’s.” MAKE SURE YOUR OFFICIATOR IS OFFICIAL. According to state law, only a

“priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of the Religious Society of Friends, or any clergyman of any religious sect, who is authorized by the authorities of his religion to perform marriages” can preside over a wedding, unless you elect to go secular, in which case a state judge or justice of the peace can marry you. Religious officials must register with the clerk of court in their parishes in order to administer wedding vows. You can reach the Orleans Parish Clerk of Court by calling 568-5182; maintains a 80 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

comprehensive list of other parish (and state) court offices. MAKE SURE YOU’RE ELIGIBLE FOR MARRIAGE. The age of marital consent in

Louisiana is 18, under which age you’ll need both parents to be present when you apply for a marriage license (the state makes exceptions for documented cases of sole custody). If you’re under 16 you and your parents will need a dispensation from a juvenile judge. Louisiana forbids marriages between persons “related by blood or adoption within the fourth degree collateral” – which means no marriage between first cousins or closer relatives. Louisiana doesn’t currently allow marriages between same-sex couples. WAIT YOUR TURN. State law requires a 72hour waiting period between the issuance of a marriage license and the ceremony itself. In Orleans Parish a registered clergyman can sign a waiver of the waiting period for out-of-state residents only. Louisiana residents who want to obtain a waiver must get it signed by a district judge or justice of the peace from the parish in which the license was issued. Do not wait too long – marriage licenses expire 30 days after they are issued. Once it expires, you must purchase a new one.

need to apply in person for a marriage license, but you must present birth certificates from both parties (it’s sort of like running for President, but without all the slogans). If either party cannot produce a birth certificate, you must obtain a waiver from a justice of the peace or district judge. Applicants born out of the country who haven’t been naturalized must present their original birth certificates; if the certificates aren’t printed in English, they must provide certified English translations on official letterhead. Naturalized foreign-born applicants must present their original citizenship or naturalization papers, and also a valid state ID or driver’s license. Naturalized citizens must obtain waivers from a justice of the peace or district judge. Non-naturalized citizens who cannot meet the requirements for documentation may present valid passports and try to obtain a waiver as well. (In case you’re here on vacation and decide to get hitched. It is, after all, a very romantic city.) There is a $31.25 fee for a marriage license. Copies are $5 each. The aforementioned waivers each carry a $2.50 fee. MARRIED BEFORE? BETTER ‘FESS UP. If

either applicant has been married before, he or she must present documentation of the dissolution of the previous marriage. If you’re divorced, you must present a certified copy of the divorce judgment; if you have been widowed, you must present an official death certificate naming you as the surviving spouse. CHOOSE YOUR OPTION PACKAGE.

Louisiana offers the option of covenant marriage, which constitutes a more restrictive marital contract. Couples who enter into covenant marriages cannot obtain no-fault divorce settlements. If you choose to go the covenant route, both applicants must apply for the license in person, attend premarital counseling and sign a declaration of intent in the presence of a notary. And that’s it! Sign on the dotted line, and enjoy your big day. n New Orleans Bride | 81

real weddings here are many ways to showcase a wedding, but none takes the breath away more than pages of beautiful photos. On the next several pages you’ll find photographs that display the most romantic, innovative and personalized local weddings. Turn this page to find inspiration for your own upcoming wedding, a future event or even to bask in the happiness of these lovely local couples. Want to see your wedding on these pages, and share your big day with our readers and the city of New Orleans? To be considered as a featured local wedding in New Orleans Bride magazine, mail a CD with high-resolution (4x6/300dpi) photographs of: bride and groom; bride and groom with family; cake; rings; flowers; bridesmaids and groomsmen; ceremony; reception; and five other photos of your choice, as well as a typed document that includes a list of the following people that took part in your wedding: bride and groom’s full names; date of the wedding; ceremony location; reception location; coordinator; gown (designer and store); bridesmaids’ dresses (designer and store); rings; florist; caterer; cake; photographer; videographer; hair (stylist and salon); makeup (stylist and salon); and music. Here is to all of our local brides and their families; your exuberance and happiness enhance the city of New Orleans!


New Orleans Bride magazine reserves the right to choose the wedding and the issue of the magazine it will be featured. Submissions aren’t guaranteed to be published and CDs won’t be returned. The bride, groom and photographer must give permission to use the photographs and information of the submitted wedding. Please mail your CD to: New Orleans Bride magazine, Attn: Tiffani Reding, 110 Veterans Blvd. Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005.

real weddings

heather amison & adam ney

86 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Bride: Heather Elizabeth Amison Groom: Adam Christopher Ney Date: March 25, 2011 Ceremony and Reception: Cedar Grove Tchoupitoulas Plantation Coordinator: Jill Mercer, plantation owner Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero Gown Boutique: Pearl’s Place Bridesmaids Dresses Designer: Jasmine Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique: Bustles and Bows Rings: Ramsey’s Florist: Gayle Gross Caterer: Cedar Grove Tchoupitoulas Plantation Cake: Haydel’s Photographer: CheyAnne Bradford of Arte de Vie Videographer: Charles Illane of Flambeaux Media Hair and Makeup: Vicki Butler and Lauren Butler, Independent Stylist Music: Provided by Katie, the DJ at Cedar Grove Tchoupitoulas Plantation New Orleans Bride | 87

real weddings

rachel colvin & casey bargas

88 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Bride: Rachel Colvin Groom: Casey Bargas Date: September 17, 2011 Ceremony: St. Louis Cathedral Reception: Omni Royal Orleans Gown Designer: Martina Liana Gown Boutique: Town and Country Bridesmaids Dresses Designer: Priscilla of Boston Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique: Town and Country Rings: Beje Florist: Shelia Wagner of Nature’s Art Caterer: Omni Royal Orleans Cake: Haydel’s Photographer: Bradfield Photography Videographer: Dyle Films Hair: Brandi Landry of Salon Elle Makeup: Mary of Michael Franks Music: Tip Tops New Orleans Bride | 89

real weddings

pamela leblanc & brandon niles

90 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Bride: Pamela Ann LeBlanc Groom: Brandon Thomas Niles Date: October 15, 2011 Ceremony: Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church Reception: The Roosevelt New Orleans Coordinator: Terry Cambise, A Soirée event and wedding consulting Gown Designer: Modern Trousseau Gown Boutique: Wedding Belles Bridesmaids Dresses Designer: Simple Silhouettes Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique: Wedding Belles Rings: Paul’s Jewelers in Lafayette Florist: Kathy Thaller Caterer: The Roosevelt New Orleans Cake: The Roosevelt New Orleans Photographer: Jay Faugot Photography Videographer: Acadiana Video Hair: Studio 1 to 1 of Lafayette Makeup: Tesa Camet Music: The Bucktown All-Stars New Orleans Bride | 91

real weddings

lyndsey manalla & harry graham IV

92 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Bride: Lyndsey Manalla Graham Groom: Harry Childress Graham IV Date: May 28, 2011 Ceremony: St. Louis Cathedral Reception: The Louisiana Cabildo Gown Designer: Allure Bridal Gown Boutique: Charlotte Johnson’s Bridals Bridesmaids Dresses Designer: Lazaro Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique: Charlotte Johnson’s Bridals Rings: Helen Brent Jewelry Expo Florist: Erin Steen Caterer: Cabedboscq Catering Cake: Swiss Confectionary Bakery Photographer: Art de Vie Videographer: Dyle Films Hair and Makeup: Danielle Doyle of The Perfect Face Music: The Wise Guys (reception), Dr. Jazz and the New Orleans Sounds (Second Line Band), Kathryn Claverie (Cantor) New Orleans Bride | 93

real weddings

jeanne pochĂŠ & timothy fox jr.

94 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Bride: Jeanne Marie PochĂŠ Groom: Timothy Walter Fox Jr. Date: July 2, 2010 Ceremony: St. Francis Xavier Church Reception: Pavilion of the Two Sisters Gown Designer: Pronovias Gown Boutique: Bustles & Bows Bridal Boutique Bridesmaids Dresses Designer: Tak Hau Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique: Aria Rings: Aucoin Hart Jewelers (bride), Jared Galleria of Jewelry (groom) Florist: Meade Wenzel Caterer: City Park Catering Cake: Chez RuRene Bakery Photographer: R. David Guidry from Lakeside Camera Photoworks (wedding portrait of bride), Elizabeth Ray Photography (ceremony and reception) Videographer: Bride Film Hair: DarnĂŠ Quigley of Encore Hair & More Makeup: Vanessa Lambert Music: Eric McCrary (ceremony), Harvey Jesus and Fire (reception) New Orleans Bride | 95


Luxe Locations Hold your wedding reception, engagement party or cocktail party at any of these lovely local settings.



Address: 713 St. Louis St.,

Address: 739 Canal St.,

New Orleans, LA 70130

New Orleans, LA 70130

Phone: 504-581-4422 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 800 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $40 and up Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:10 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: French Creole Unique Amenities: 15 private dining rooms

Phone: 504-962-0500 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 100-400 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $38+ Waiter to guest Ratio: N/A Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: We have all the best

96 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

entrĂŠes that any bride and groom would

desire for their wedding reception. Unique Amenities: Balconies overlooking Bourbon and Canal streets. Complimentary one-night stay on the evening of the wedding with champagne and strawberries.

CHAMPAGNE PALACE Address: 701 Elmwood Park Blvd., Harahan, LA 70123 Phone: 504-734-2244 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 100-500+


On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: Varies Waiter to guest Ratio: N/A Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: Seafood gumbo, shrimp

and crawfish fettuccine, italian sausage ravioli, beef Wellington, smoked salmon and more. Unique Amenities: Our acre of botanical gardens offer a stunning backdrop for your ceremony, wedding pictures and reception.

CHATEAU GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB Address: 3600 Chateau Blvd.,

Kenner, LA 70065 Phone: 504-467-1351 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 500 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Caterers Permitted: No Per Person Price: $44 Waiters to Guests Ratio: 1:10 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Chateau is known for continuous hand-passed and buffet-style hors d'oeuvres, martini bar, candy buffet, boiled shrimp fountain, gumbo and pasta stations and carving stations. Unique Amenities: N/A

COURT OF TWO SISTERS Address: 613 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-522-7261 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: varies On-site Catering: No Outside Catering Permitted: Only for wedding cakes Per-Person Price: Daily jazz brunch buffet: $29 per adult plus tax and tip; fourcourse seated dinner: $42 per adult plus tax and tip; cocktail reception: $95 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Waiter to guest Ratio: Varies

Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: New Orleans Creole

French Cuisine Unique Amenities: Our world-renowned

courtyard and three elegant indoor rooms offer a perfect setting for every occasion.


Per-Person Price: $50+ Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:25 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Poboy station, blackened

redfish with roasted corn grits and BBQ shrimp and grits. Unique Amenities: N/A

Address: 300 Canal St.,


New Orleans, LA 70130

Address: 1751 Gentilly Blvd.

Phone: 504-556-3701 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 30-425 max On-site Catering: Yes Outside Caterers Permitted: No Per Person Price: $50+ Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:20 Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: American/Cajun/Creole Unique Amenities: 16th Floor International

New Orleans, LA 70119 Phone: 504-948-1285 Website: Ceremony Space: yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity Minimum: 25 Capacity Maximum: 700 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: Yes Per-Person Price: Varies Waiter to Guest Ratio: Varies Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: N/A Unique Amenities: Celebrate at full gallop! Throw your next fling against the historic backdrop of Fair Grounds Race Course!

Ballroom has panoramic views of the river and city.


New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-556-3709 Website: Ceremony Space: No Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 30-200max On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $50+ Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:20 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: American/Cajun/Creole Unique Amenities: N/A


New Orleans, LA 70131 Phone: 504-392-2200 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 75-500 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: Case-to-case basis

FEDERAL BALLROOM Address: 147 Carondelet St.,

New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-587-2088 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 400+ On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: Restricted Per-Person Price: Varies Waiter to guest Ratio: Varies Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: All cuisine available. Unique Amenities: Historic venue, special-

izing in wedding receptions and major events. Unlimited food and beverage. Located within walking distance to churches, hotels and attractions.

FLEUR DE LIS EVENTS CENTER Address: 1645 N Causeway Blvd.

Mandeville, LA 70471 Phone: 504-626-9118 Website:

a New Orleans Bride | 97


hotel as well.

Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 50-700 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: All quotes are custom Waiter to guest Ratio: N/A Kosher Cuisine Available: N/A Specialty Cuisine: Authentic New Orleans

Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:20 Kosher Cuisine Available: No, but we can do

Mississippi River




Specialty Cuisine: Extraordinary gourmet

Address: 225 Decatur St.,

Unique Amenities: Star ceiling; outside New


New Orleans, LA 70130

Orleans feel located on the Northshore; and indoor fountain.

Unique Amenities: All wedding packages

Phone: 504-310-4990 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 75-500 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Caterers Permitted: No Per Person Price: $50 to $75 Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:35 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: House specialities include

HAMPTON INN AND SUITES CONVENTION CENTER Address: 1201 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-293-1200 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes, including ballroom and seven breakout rooms. Outdoor Space Available: Yes, 40-50 people in the courtyard. The Mississippi River Heritage Park is located in front of the

98 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Capacity: 150-450 On-site Catering: Yes, by Joel’s Catering Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $62 per person inclusive

of tax and gratuity

include call-brand bar, cake from Swiss Bakery, one night stay complimentary in suite and a champagne toast.


New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-556-3700 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 25-900max On-site Catering: Yes

Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $45+ Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:20 Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: American/Creole/Cajun Unique Amenities: River Room overlooks

voodoo shrimp, Creole jambalaya, white chocolate banana bread pudding as well as a variety of hand-passed items.


Unique Amenities: House of Blues can

coordinate most of your wedding needs to include music, floral and speciality linen. Our venue is unique and in the historic French Quarter.

JW MARRIOTT NEW ORLEANS Address: 614 Canal St.,

New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-527-6757 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 10-500 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $70 + Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:25 Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: Crown point filet of

beef stuffed with boursin cheese wrapped in pepper bacon. Louisiana lacquered duck. Unique Amenities: Overnight accommodations for bride and groom in an exclusive suite, including strawberries and champagne. Complimentary dressing suites. Certified wedding planner. Complimentary stay on first anniversary.

LA MAISON DU LAC Address: 7412 Lakeshore Drive

New Orleans, LA 70124 Phone: 504-309-0700 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity Minimum: 125 Inside Capacity Maximum: 250 Outside On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: Yes Per-Person Price: Call for quote Waiter to Guest Ratio: N/A Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: Customized Menu for all

events Unique Amenities: An exquisite venue

offering New Orleans charm in a unique, modern setting overlooking Lake Pontchartrain.

a New Orleans Bride | 99


LE PAVILLON HOTEL Address: 833 Poydras St. New Orleans, LA 70112 Phone: 504-620-4126 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity Minimum: 25 Capacity Maximum: 300 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $50-$150 Waiter to Guest Ratio: 1:15 Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: Exquisite Continental and Creole Cuisine Unique Amenities: Butler champagne service, wedding cake, overnight accommodations, bath robes and breakfast in bed.

MAISON DUPUY HOTEL Address: 1001 Toulouse St.,

New Orleans, LA Phone: 504-586-8000 Website: neworleanscourtyard Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 200 maximum On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $55-$75 Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:20 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: N/A Unique Amenities: The breathtaking courtyard with beautiful signature fountain and sumptuous cuisine will inevitably have your guests talking about your special day for years to come.


New Orleans, LA 70112 Phone: 504-587-3663 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 100 - 500 max On-site Catering: Yes

100 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Outside Catering Permitted: Yes Per-Person Price: $30 - $65 Waiter to Guest Ratio: 1:10 Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: N/A Unique Amenities: N/A


New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-525-2431 Ceremony Space: 60 guests max Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 0-135 reception style;

40-60 full-service seated dinner On-site Catering: Yes Outside Caterers Permitted: No Per Person Price: from $39 to $50 per person plus tax and tip (reception-style); $65 per person plus tax and tip (full-service dinner) Kosher Cuisine Available: No Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:25 Specialty Cuisine: Local, Creole, Cajun, Mediterranean and Asian. Unique Amenities: National Historic Landmark over 200 years old, run by the Impastato family since 1914.

NEW ORLEANS CITY PARK Address: 1 Palm Drive

New Orleans, LA 70124 Phone: 504-482-4888 Website: Ceremony Space: yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity Minimum: Varies Capacity Maximum: Varies On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: Yes Per-Person Price: Varies Waiter to Guest Ratio: Varies Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: N/A Unique Amenities: Oaks trees are hundreds of years old; brand new facilities; Botanical Garden with WPA architecture; Lagoon Bridges; and Historic Carousel and Peristyle.

NEW ORLEANS MARRIOTT Address: 555 Canal St.,

New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-553-5571 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 21-3,000 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: With approval Per-Person Price: $89-$110 Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:75 plus buffet attendants Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Sushi Unique Amenities: Complimentary overnight accommodations with champagne and chocolate strawberries for bride and groom. Outdoor reception area in season.


New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-613-2840 Website: NewOrleansMarriottConvention Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 50-500 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $55 Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:25, varies depending on event Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Chef’s gourmet display; Southern grits station; carving station; New Orleans station; and chocolate fountain. Unique Amenities: Complimentary suite for newlyweds and for the bride’s parents on the night of the wedding.

PETITE BOURBON Address: 530 Bourbon St.,

New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-250-3800 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 60-550 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: Yes Per-Person Price: Upon request


Waiter to guest Ratio: Upon request Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: Chef is capable of

preparing many different cuisines. New Orleans flair, of course, is our specialty Unique Amenities: Balcony with French doors; historical building; brick walls with hardwood floors upstairs; newly renovated courtyard; and bars on each level.

RENAISSANCE NEW ORLEANS ARTS HOTEL Address: 700 Tchoupitoulas St.,

New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-412-2572 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 50-300 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: Yes, with

restrictions Per-Person Price: Average is $70 per person Waiter to guest Ratio: Bartender is 1:100 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Reception-style; plated

dinners; rehearsal dinners; brunch; and bridal luncheons. Unique Amenities: Complimentary room for the newlyweds on the night of the wedding.


New Orleans, Louisiana 70112 Phone: 504-412-2572 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 50-300 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: Yes, with restric-

tions Per-Person Price: $70 Waiter to guest Ratio: Bartender is 1:100 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Reception-style; plated

dinners; rehearsal dinners; brunch; and bridal luncheons. Unique Amenities: Complimentary room for the newlyweds on the night of the wedding.

a New Orleans Bride | 101



exposed brick and original wood floors.

Address: 500 Valence St. (corner of

Tchoupitoulas Street), New Orleans, LA 70115 Phone: 504-896-7679 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 75-300 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $44 and up. Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:50 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: New Orleans cuisine Unique Amenities: Indoor atrium; courtyard ceremonies; large stage and dance floor; historic jazz club atmosphere with

102 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

ROYAL PALM Address: 1901 Manhattan Blvd. Bldg. E

Harvey, LA 70058 Phone: 504-644-4100 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity Minimum: 50 Capacity Maximum: 500 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $54.00 ++ Waiter to Guest Ratio: Varies Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: Traditional and New

Orleans Style Upscale Cuisine

Unique Amenities: Indoor/outdoor ceremony

space with breathtaking fountains and landscaping. Three elegant ballrooms surronded by either a grand patio or sweeping veranda.

SOUTHERN OAKS PLANTATION Address: 7816 Hayne Blvd.,

New Orleans, LA 70126 Phone: 504-245-8221 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 100-400 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Caterers Permitted: No Per Person Price: Varies depending

on group size and date.


Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:9 to 1:15 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Crawfish stuffed beignets,

praline chicken, shrimp and grits, crawfish mushroom penne and angus beef sliders Unique Amenities: Beautiful outdoor ceremonies, horse-drawn carriages, elaborate fireworks displays and an allinclusive menu of over 80 hand-passed items, freshly renovated in 2010.

STELLA PLANTATION Address: 4881 Highway 39

Braithwaite, LA 70040 Phone: 504-919-7474 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity Minimum: 100 Capacity Maximum: 1,000+ On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: 110+ all-inclusive Waiter to Guest Ratio: 1:12-16 Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: New Orleans Traditional, Louisiana Gourmet and French Continental Unique Amenities: An authentic Southern plantation offering 1500 acres of picturesque countryside, diverse venues, customized all-inclusive menus and dressing rooms for both bridal parties.

STONEBRIDGE GOLF CLUB OF N.O. Address: 1500 Stonebridge Dr.

Gretna, LA 70056 Phone: 504-394-1300 Email: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity Minimum: 50 Capacity Maximum: 300 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: Yes Per-Person Price: Varies Waiter to Guest Ratio: N/A Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: No Unique Amenities: N/A

a New Orleans Bride | 103


Phone: 504-895-9200 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 100-400 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Caterers Permitted: No Per Person Price: Upon request Waiter to guest Ratio: N/A Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Shrimp and grits,

andouille bread pudding, fried green tomatoes, roasted pepper risotto, bananas foster, pecan crusted flounder, salmon brûlée and Creole crab cakes. Unique Amenities: Half-acre of grounds on the avenue; outdoor terrace with live oak and magnolia trees; gazebo for garden ceremony; bridal dressing suite; and inhouse bridal coordinator.


New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504- 586-1309 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: No Capacity: 100-1,200 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Caterers Permitted: Yes Per Person Price: starting at 65+ Waiter to guest Ratio: Appropriate to menu

and seating


1:20 for cocktail reception

Address: 1051 Annunciation St.,

Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: Full sushi bar, fresh fish,

New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504- 566-0021 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 175 max for seated dinner; 300

max for cocktail reception On-site Catering: Yes Outside Caterers Permitted: Yes Per Person Price: Custom for client Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:15 for seated dinner/

104 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

steaks and various hors d’oeuvres

Kosher Cuisine Available: We will be happy to arrange delivery of a kosher meal for selected guests. Specialty Cuisine: Specialize in elegant regional cuisine yet flexible and can create most flavors or styles requested. Unique Amenities: Furniture, linen and dinnerware included. Owned and operated by a master chef. Historic renovated warehouse.

Unique Amenities: Customized parties and

menus; lofty Warehouse District space; large parking lot adjacent to venue; old world charm; and outdoor patio space available.

THE ELMS MANSION Address: 3029 St. Charles Ave.,

New Orleans, LA 70115


New Orleans, LA 70112 Phone: 504-524-1331 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes


Capacity: 20-700 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: $50-$150 Waiter to guest Ratio: 1:15 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Variety Unique Amenities: The Ritz-Carlton, New

Orleans features Live Jazz Music, an Award-Winning Spa and Luxurious Accommodations

VINTAGE COURT Address: 75082 Highway 25, Covington, LA 70435 Phone: 985-871-0495 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity: 50-500 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per Person Price: $45-$51 Waiter to Guest Ratio: 1:25 Kosher Cuisine Available: No Specialty Cuisine: Crab cakes, pork tenderloin medallions and mini beef Wellingtons. Unique Amenities: A renovated Catholic church amid century-old oak trees and beautiful gardens. Two banquet rooms available.

W HOTELS OF NEW ORLEANS Address: 333 Poydras St.

New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-525-9444 Website: Ceremony Space: Yes Outdoor Space Available: Yes Capacity Minimum: 2 Capacity Maximum: 300 On-site Catering: Yes Outside Catering Permitted: No Per-Person Price: N/A Waiter to Guest Ratio: 1:20 Kosher Cuisine Available: Yes Specialty Cuisine: N/A Unique Amenities: On-site Wedding Specialist. Whatever/Whenever service. Anything. Just ask. • New Orleans Bride | 105






108 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012






FLOWERS BRITTNEY RAY’S FLORIST 504-271-9012 FABULOUS FLOWERS 504-909-0253 GROW WITH US FLORIST 504-837-9449 IRIS 504-304-4966 NOLA FLORA 504-891-3333 PREFECT PRESENTATIONS 504-522-7442


TOWN AND COUNTRY TRAVEL 504-838-8702 townandcountrytravel TRAVEL CENTRAL VACATIONS 504-834-7000

INVITATIONS NOLA BOO 504-908-1517 504-258-8411 facebook/nolaboo ORIENT EXPRESSED 504-899-3060 SLUMBER PARTIES BY VANESSA 504-296-0887

EXQUISITE EVENTS 504-975-4089 SCRIPTURA 504-897-1555 STATIONERY STUDIO 504-581-7248






ALBERT BROWN SALON 504-861-0090 BELLA BLISS SALON & SPA 504-887-2774

HONEYMOON/TRAVEL THE PLANT GALLERY 504-488-8887 800-545-2499

FINANCIAL SERVICES METLIFE Joey Collura- 504-613-2096


FLAWLESS BRIDE 504-473-3621


MAKEUP NOLA 504-701-8052


MAKE ME UP 504-891-9688

DAVID TOMPKINS 504-738-7944

MARY KAY WITH GAYNELLE KENNEDY 504-669-5880 504-737-1939


STYLE2 866-477-1931

MUSIC JOE SIMON’S JAZZ 504-365-0808 NO IDEA 504-469-4002 NOLA TALENT 504-881-3077 OMEGA SOUND & ENTERTAINMENT 985-966-6378 RACHEL VAN VOORHEES 504-909-3756



WELLIVER WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY 504-831-5288 888-895-8542





HUBIG PIES 504-945-2181


LE VISAGE DAY SPA 504-265-8018

JOHN’S TUXEDOS 504-455-5353

NOLA PAPARAZZI 504-231-7972 504-275-9895

MIGNON FOR CHILDREN 2727 Prytania St. (at the Rink) 504-891-2374


OLIVIER COUTURE 985-674-6994


OSCAR RAJO 504-837-6611


PHOTO STEEVO 614-256-2508

DYLE FILMS 504-813-4183



SUZY MARKS 504-469-4069

TOWN & COUNTRY 504-523-7027






STUDIO TRAN 504-258-7260



BOB BRADFORD 504-943-2622




OLD NEW BLUE 504-875-1718 New Orleans Bride | 109


full-service coordinators By Sarah Ravits

AIMEE BAROUSSE PLAN B PRODUCTIONS PLAN B PRODUCTIONS offers day-of services, mid-range and full wedding design, specializing in destination weddings in New Orleans. What services do you offer for brides-to-be? We customize packages for all of our wedding clients based on their planning needs, budget parameters, size of wedding, number of locations and many other factors. For a bride who has the time and wherewithal to do her own wedding planning, we offer day-of services that include three pre-planning meetings. When a bride needs a little more assistance, we offer a mid-range package that includes all of the day-of services and additional pre-planning hours. Our clients can use these additional hours for part of the process where our expertise comes into play, including creating décor concepts, suggestions for great New Orleans bands, booking hotel room blocks and guidance with transportation. We pamper our brides every step of the way.

comes to New Orleans to get married and have a weekend of events in our great city. Whether that includes hosting a welcome reception or rehearsal dinner for your guests with a local flair, getting married in a historic location or leading a second-line parade down Bourbon Street, our constant goal is to create a stress-free environment for the bride, groom and their immediate families. They can lean on us for any worries, concerns or last-minute details. What’s the best advice for a stressed-out and overwhelmed bride? Determine your

How do you differ from other wedding planners?

budget and stick with it. Allow for a 10percent slush fund in your budget for any unexpected expenses that pop up. Next, use a basic wedding list and ask a New Orleans wedding professional to help you prioritize. While some basic lists may work for any other bride, a New Orleans bride has a different set of priorities to consider that book up quickly in this town. If your budget allows, hire a wedding planner. Most brides will tell you it’s the best money they ever spent!

Our specialty is producing destination weddings. More than 85 percent of our clientele lives in another city or state and

What is the biggest dilemma you’ve had, and how did you solve it? Missing bouquets,

110 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

broken boutonnieres, accidental fires, electrical outages, linens arriving in the wrong size or color, tuxedos with no pants, popped buttons on dresses, potholes during second-line parades – these are just a few of the problems that we’ve encountered on the day of a wedding. From duct tape and fishing line to safety pins and crochet needles, we’re ever expanding our emergency kit to avoid any crisis that pops up. We work to anticipate the needs of our clients at all times. What is your favorite part of your job? One of

the best parts of my job is meeting with clients for the first time and showing them around our great city. The next is seeing the expressions on clients’ faces when they walk into their reception and see the look and feel of their dream wedding come to life. And finally, I love watching my wedding clients have a fantastic time at their reception. That’s why they hire us, so they can have fun at their own event! n FOR MORE INFORMATION: 684-4484,

ask JANIE GLADE OLD.NEW.BLUE OLD.NEW.BLUE offers full wedding coordination, wedding consultations and day-of wedding planning and sells wedding accessories, lingerie, veils and ceremonial objects for weddings in five major religions. How do you differ from other wedding planners?

I’ve been planning weddings and special events for 20 years; when people ask me what I do for a living, I often answer that I’m in the business of making dreams come true. I take that responsibility very seriously. Pitting one wedding planner against another isn’t a great idea. Everyone in the wedding industry in New Orleans has talent. It’s important to find someone that you click with. You’re going to be working with them for the better part of a year. Honesty and transparency are important qualities and a good planner should have a decent list of references. Because I also have a retail store, I’m able to offer my clients options for their wedding accessories at discounted prices. I can also put my hands on just about anything a bride can think of. I also don’t take a commission from vendors, so I’m not obligated to work with any specific vendor over another. What does your job entail? The biggest part of my job is listening. I use the information given to me by a bride-to-be and her fiancé to help them choose vendors who will be able to fulfill their requirements while staying within their budget. I set appointments for site visits, floral visits, photography selections, dress and bridesmaids’ dresses selections, invitation selection, calligraphy, music and every minute detail that makes each wedding unique to each couple. I negotiate contracts and make sure that any additional requests from clients to vendors are taken care of. I coordinate all of the information acquired through the planning process and turn that information into the dream wedding of 112 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

the couple I’m working with. What’s the best advice for a stressed-out or overwhelmed bride? Put the wedding down!

Walk away for a few days and spend time with your future husband. The planning will be there when you get back. What is the biggest dilemma you’ve had and how did you solve it? The biggest dilemma I’ve

had is a minister who wouldn’t perform a ceremony because she had lost her notes right before the wedding. It was very stressful watching this woman just wither because she couldn’t find her notes. It caused a 20-minute delay in the start of the wedding. We finally found the notes; the ring bearer had made a paper airplane out of them and didn’t realize the scrap paper he thought he had was actually the

minister’s notes. Whew! The service went on later than planned but no less sentimental or official. The next day I got ordained online and filed my paperwork with the Parish of Orleans so that I would never be in that position again. If the minister bails ... I can marry you! What is your favorite part of your job? My

favorite part of the job is always when the bride and groom come down the aisle as a married couple. That’s what the whole ordeal is about: getting married! n

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 6117 Magazine St., 655-0863,,


All of your wedding etiquette questions answered – no matter how awkward. By Dee Lane


Dear Dee, It isn’t very long until my wedding and my mother just informed me that it’s very important to her that I have the “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” The something new is easy – I purchased a new wedding dress – but could you help me with some ideas for the others? Edith Capitan Covington


Though it might seem to be an outdated tradition, incorporating these objects into your wedding day will not only help to make your mother happy, but there are also ways to add some very special touches to your special day. The “something new,” as you wrote, is easy: your dress is something new, as can be your lingerie or even a present from your groom. For “something old,” the traditional

touch is a British sixpence worn in your left shoe for luck. As an alternative, consider wearing wedding bands from chosen matriarchs in your and your groom’s family on your right hand. “Something borrowed” can be as simple as incorporating a piece of heirloom jewelry (as in the bands mentioned above) or carrying a handkerchief of your mother’s. For a different idea, why not ask your maid of honor if you can wear that pair of earrings of hers that you’ve always admired or borrow a cufflink from your groom and attach it to your garter? The last, “something blue,” is the most straightforward one for the modern bride to make her own. From wearing blue shoes to painting your nails and/or toenails blue, from carrying a peacock feather in your bouquet or wearing one in your hair to embroidering your wedding date and initials onto your dress lining in blue or even wearing a pair of pale blue underwear, the options are limited only by your imagination.


Dear Ms. Lane, I am so honored that my best friend in the world has asked me to be her maid of honor. She and I have been friends almost all our lives and I know her family very well. That’s what worries me: While my friend isn’t very traditional, her mother is. Before everything starts getting very busy, please tell me what the responsibilities of my position will be so that I can be prepared. Alicia Kanton Metairie

Þ 114 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012


First, let me say congratulations! Serving as maid of honor for someone you truly care about is one of the most exciting, sentimental, loving, frustrating and, often, expensive positions a person can have. But it doesn’t have to be all these things. I suggest that you take the list below and have a talk with your friend. Offer her my suggestions and any of your own, and then ask her what she foresees that she might want you to do and/or in what she might want you to take part. Then, put it in writing. Acknowledge that these takes and opportunities will most likely morph and change as things progress, but having a list in front of you both will keep many misunderstandings from occurring. At this point, depending on your friend’s feelings and your relationship with her mother, you might consider going to lunch or having coffee with your friend’s mother so that the three of you can celebrate and discuss what’s to come. Below are the traditional maid of

116 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

honor duties; beyond these a maid of honor is typically the person to whom the bride comes when she’s stressed, scared, angry, happy, excited and experiencing every emotion in between. It can be a very stressful place to inhabit, but if the couple is a good match, and if you truly love your friend, it’s among the most special honors you can be given. Maid of honor duties traditionally include: • Hosting a luncheon or shower for the bride (or couple) – often along with the bridesmaids. • Attending all pre-wedding parties and showers possible. (Tradition states that the maid of honor isn’t required to bring more than one – typically small – gift to each shower.) • Attending the rehearsal – making certain to take note of any instructions in case the bride forgets – and the rehearsal dinner. • Being “head bridesmaid” on the big day, checking in with the other bridesmaids to make sure they arrive on time and have all of their accessories (and appropriate shoes and undergar-

ments) with them and in place. • Helping the bride dress and making any last-minute adjustments to her attire (and her attitude, if needed) before she walks down the aisle. • Holding the groom’s ring during the ceremony if there isn’t a ring bearer, or if the ring bearer needs to be relieved of his duties after he walks down the aisle. • Acting as an official witness by signing the marriage license. • Standing next to the couple in the receiving line (if they’re having one). • Sitting at the head table and offering a toast to the couple. • Bustling the bride’s gown and making any adjustments needed to her outfit for the reception. • If possible, making certain the bride eats something and that she always has something to drink (that isn’t always alcoholic). • Helping the bride change into her going-away outfit (if one is chosen). • Assuring that all of the pieces of the bride’s day arrive to her hotel room or home after the event.


Dear Dee, My fiancé and I are starting to receive wedding gifts, which is so exciting and a little overwhelming, but we’re running into some problems. A couple of the presents arrived broken and a good portion of the crystal that we registered for is on backorder. What do we do? Sandra O’Connor New Orleans

Those are two very difficult situations to handle properly, and the best ways in which to handle them are changing as technology progresses. If a gift arrives broken, the first thought is to just throw it away and write a nice thank-you note to the sender. However, if the person who sent you the gift sent it to you on his or her own, through FedEx Ground for example, only he or she can file a claim that might allow for the gift to be replaced at no extra charge. In addition,


you can often check to see if a present was insured or if the store at which you registered has a policy for such things. Thus, your first step should be to call the store and ask customer service what they can do. The phone number should be listed on the package or on the gift receipt (often there’s also a website listed, and you can frequently send an email to customer service through it or through your registry login). Explain the situation and inquire what can be done. If you’re unable to determine from whence the present came, you’ll have to make a judgment call. The traditional answer is that telling the sender that the gift arrived broken would be distressing to the giver and make him or her feel as though they should spend additional time and money to purchase another present – a large no-no. If you are not close to the giver and/or if the gift is inexpensive and will most likely go unnoticed (a horrible thing to say, but sometimes a true one), I-would suggest sending a thank you note and staying quiet about the whole thing. If, however,

the gift means a lot to you and if it comes from someone you feel you can be honest with, I would suggest calling him or her and being gracious and grateful. Be very careful in what you say. Express your love of the item, how thoughtful it is and how much you appreciate it but that, for example, the cut-crystal vase in your grandmother’s pattern arrived chipped. Ask what the two of you can do together to remedy the issue. If this is your choice, be prepared to offer to pay part of the item’s cost yourself and to go out of your way to assist the giver in any way he or she might need. If you know that an item has been purchased from your registry but you haven’t received it because the item (or set of items) is on backorder, the best thing to do is to send a thank-you note immediately, within a week of receiving the notification. Then, when you do receive the gift, you can place a phone call or send an email thanking the sender and telling them how wonderful the gift is in person. n New Orleans Bride | 117


make a list and check it twice


Ten to 12 months before your wedding date, visit and book your ceremony and reception locations before they become unavailable.

By Minh Dang

4 2 3

Figure out who is paying for what and start planning a budget 10 to 12 months before the wedding.

Six to nine months before your wedding start researching prices and locations for your honeymoon.

118 | New Orleans Bride Winter 2012

Select a florist and finalize floral and dĂŠcor ideas six to nine months before the wedding.


Are you planning to write your own vows? One to two months before the wedding should be plenty of time to figure out how to put your emotions into the right words.


Vanilla, chocolate or red velvet? Wedding cake design, flavor, size and colors should be finalized five to seven months before the reception.


Wow your guests with your dance moves by scheduling dance classes for you and your husband-to-be two to three months before your wedding.


Freshen up your locks by trimming and coloring your hair one to two weeks before your big day.


If you’re feeling stressed out the day before your wedding, schedule a relaxing manicure and pedicure appointment for you, or you and your bridesmaids. New Orleans Bride | 119

take By Sarah Ravits

IN ADDITION TO the wonderful memories you’ve created at your wedding, make sure you leave a good taste in your guests’ mouths. Old. New. Blue (6117 Magazine St., 655-0863, offers a variety of wedding services, including consultations, nuptial necessities and accessories (cake pulls, lingerie and even shoes!). Shown here is a fluffy, decadent Neopolitan marshmallow atop a silver tray. Lagniappe is always appreciated – especially when served on a silver platter.

Bride new orleans 2012 winter/

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