THE PLANNING ISSUE
BRIDAL BASH! JANUARY 12, 2022 6-8:30PM TICKETS ARE FREE FOR THE ENGAGED COUPLE $10 FOR ADDITIONAL GUESTS FLEURDELISEVENTCENTER.COM/BRIDAL-SHOW/ Beautiful Love Photography
JANUARY+ FEBRUARY 2022 FEATURED EDITORIAL 15
VINTAGE VIBES Charming vintage wedding inspiration in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District
REAL WEDDINGS 32
Kristina Belanger + Kyle Musson
Shavonda Chambers + Dornell Forté
Brooke Owens + Drew Boudreaux
The Top 10 Find out the first 10 things you
should do after getting engaged
51 Ka’Lyn Gilbert + Michael Wilson
To-Do Before “I DO”
Vanna Carawan + Brandon Cassimere
What’s Your Style?
Yelena Trepetin + Justin Williams
LET’S GET REAL: Realistic Budgets
54 Grace Planchet +Nicholas Guillot 55 Cricket Giles + Kyle Hamer
PHOTO CREDIT: Kathleen Fox Photography | From the wedding of Brooke Owens + Drew Boudreaux, pages 44-47 | This image photographed in Brooke’s hotel suite at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
JESSICA BURKE JESSICA@THENOWBRIDE.COM
Rena Sweeney CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dayna Dufrene ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
FOR ENGAGED COUPLES Our blog is filled with tons of great resources, inspiration, wedding stories and photo editorials that will help you plan an amazing wedding. FOR THE WEDDING PROFESSIONAL NOW Weddings Magazine offers affordable advertising packages with tons of perks. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ADVERTISING, PLEASE CONTACT:
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About The Cover PHOTOGRAPHER: Sarah Alleman Photography ON LOCATION: Race + Religious CREATIVE DIRECTION + PLANNING: Taylor Baxter Olivares + Rachel Rose BRIDE’S ATTIRE: GOSSAMER + The Lucky Sixpence GROOM’S ATTIRE: Don Morphy HAIR + MAKEUP: Kassandra Mireles FLOWER PARASOL: Violeta’s + Botanica Wholesale Florist BRASS BAND: Kinfolk Brass Band MODELS: Jamie Bishop + Clemon Terrell for JEA Model Management Look for new issues of NOW Weddings Magazine every other month.
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Jessica The Photographer
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THE TOP WRITTEN BY: RENA SWEENEY, ALCHEMY EVENTS PHOTO: AMIN RUSSELL PHOTOGRAPHY
IT’S A NEW YEAR AND IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY, THAT MEANS A NEW GROUP of freshly engaged couples. Congratulations to all of you who got engaged over the holidays! You’re probably wondering what things are most important to do right away. Where do you start? We know you’ve got a handle on things like telling everyone, having your ring insured, etc. so we’re going to dive right into the nitty gritty of what your top planning priorities should be so you can start off on the right foot. read on>>>
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SET A BUDGET
I know this isn’t the fun part of being newly engaged BUT everything hinges on this to-do list item. You don’t want to make decisions before knowing how they will fit into the grand scheme of things. Even just locking down a venue is difficult if you don’t know how much you have to spend or if it would take up your entire budget or not. If you don’t know where to start, I suggest one of two methods. The first is to look at what you can realistically spend. How much do you have in savings? How much can you afford to put towards your wedding during the time of your engagement without putting yourself under financial stress? Will parents be helping pay? If so, while you’re discussing budget with them, find out their expectations such as if they want to be the decision makers or if you’ll make the decisions on how to spend the money they contribute. If you have savings already and aren’t sure how high you should expect to go with your budget, I tell couples to first think about what the “no way” number is. As in “no way would I want to spend that much on a wedding.” That’s going to be the number that you know you need to stay under. So no matter which end of the price spectrum you start from, either way you’ll be able to determine what’s right for you.
DETERMINE YOUR PRIORITIES
I personally feel like one of your top priorities should be photography. Choose a more basic bar package and get the extra hours of coverage on your wedding day - you’ll never regret it! People don’t walk away from a wedding complaining that it wasn’t their FAVORITE brand of vodka, but couples DO regret not going with their top pick or having enough hours of coverage for their wedding.
CREATE YOUR GUEST LIST(S)
Everything hinges on the number of guests you invite. You don’t know how far your budget has to go or how big your venues need to be if you don’t have a general idea of who you want to be there celebrating with you. Start with a rough list of people you HAVE to invite and then work on the “B” and “C” lists.
DECIDE IF YOU NEED A WEDDING PLANNER
Options range from event management (“day or month of coordination”) to full design and planning services. One of the most difficult things I encounter as a wedding planner is when a client comes to me already having other contracts in place. They may not have realized what they signed, that the vendor doesn’t have a great reputation or just that it may not have been the best fit for you, your aesthetic or budget. It makes things much easier when, as a planner, we can start from the beginning to make sure all the pieces are in place and you fully understand the contracts you’re signing. Simply put, you don’t know what you don’t know. I often have clients tell me there are so many aspects they would have never thought of and appreciated that were brought up before signing with their vendors.
SELECT YOUR VENUE(S)
Ok, it’s no surprise that this is also toward the top of our list! You need to first decide what your style is so you can begin to narrow down venues that will work with your vision. Your vision can be very broad at this point; you don’t need to rush to Pinterest! This could be as simple as knowing you don’t want a rustic look, that you want a very sleek and modern look or if you have to get married in the summer that a fully indoor space might be a must. This will help you start to narrow down locations that you like and then you can begin to ask for prices to see which of those will work within your budget. Once you’ve found your dream venue, you’ll be able to start to design for the space, think about what your personal style and clothing will look like, etc. If your ceremony and reception are at different locations, you’ll just need to make sure each of them has the same date available. 10 | N.O.W | NOWWeddingMagazine.com
SET A DATE!
Since you now have your venue(s) selected, lock in a date with them and that will finally make you officially ready to start booking other vendors.
BOOK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY + VIDEO
Photography and videography are next because they are some of the most important vendors you will hire. These are your memories and the artwork that will hang in your home the rest of your lives and should reflect your own personal style. Couples often make the mistake of just looking at who might be in their price range, however, I have my couples do it differently. First we start by identifying what style of photography (or videography) they prefer. Do you want a lot of black and whites, light and airy photos, or more vibrant colors? Photographers are artists and as such, each has their own unique style. However, keep in mind that if you like the light and airy style but your wedding is at night with a dimly lit ballroom reception, you’re not going to get the same look as what you’re seeing in that photographer’s portfolio. This is where it’s particularly important to ask to see a full gallery of a wedding they’ve done that is similar to what yours will be. Ask to see examples in your location or a similar setting at the same time of day your wedding will take place. What you’re looking for here is to ensure that the photographer you select can shoot well in the atmosphere you’re creating (whether it’s dimly lit candlelight or during the day). Also start to consider if you like more traditional posed photos, more casually posed or a modern take. Once you know what style you like, then you can look for photographers who have that style and then see which ones are in your price range.
BOOK YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
Entertainment is a must for any good party, whether it’s a live band or DJ. Unless they are a DJ company with multiple people available, they will typically only be able to do one gig per day so their calendar is going to book up quickly.
SECURE HOTEL ROOM BLOCKS
Although tourism continues to take a hit due to covid, if you’re planning your wedding in an area that gets a lot of conventions or seasonal traffic, hotels can still book up pretty quickly. This means that sometimes, even if your wedding is a year away, you might have difficulty finding hotel blocks available for your date. Don’t wait to secure your room blocks. I typically recommend offering two options at different price points to ensure all of your guests are considered.
10 IT’S DESIGN TIME! Ok, go ahead and hit Pinterest! Who are we kidding? We know you’ve already done it! Now is the time to start to narrow down your vision for the wedding. Note why you like something such as if you like the colors in a bouquet but not the shape. This will help your vendors guide you into selections that fit the aesthetic you decide on. If you’re a couple without a strong vision going in, just knowing a very general idea of what you like, you can also just collect anything that speaks to you and then go back and group things. When it comes down to it, if you have a few things that are one style but many, many more that are another style, it will be clear which is the direction you should go for your wedding. Now that you know what you’re looking for you’ll be able to determine what other vendors you need. As you’ve probably noticed, your priority is booking those vendors who can only do one event per day because you want to go ahead and get them locked in. I hope this list has been helpful and if you haven’t already, make sure to request one of our NOW Wedding Planners and check out NOWWeddingMagazine.com for additional planning resources. Happy Planning! N.O.W | NOWWeddingMagazine.com | 11
Image Credit: Sarah Alleman Photography
To-Do Before “I DO”
DO YOU FEEL AS THOUGH you have a million things to do before you say, “I Do”? Not to worry. We’ve compiled a time line to help organize all your wedding events. Review the numerous wedding professionals at NOWWeddingMagazine.com and let them help plan your perfect wedding.
NINE TO FIFTEEN MONTHS PRIOR
SIX TO NINE MONTHS PRIOR
n Announce engagement to family and friends and plan an engagement party n Choose wedding date, preferably more than one in case your preferred venue and/or vendor is booked n Select wedding attendants n Establish budget early, with maximum amounts for each event/vendor/etc. n Decide on the style, formality and guest-list size for the wedding n Select wedding planner n Reserve ceremony and reception location n Secure wedding officiant n Begin compiling guest list and mailing addresses n Start the selection process for wedding professionals, including photographer/ videographer, entertainment, ceremony music, caterer, transportation, florist and stationery n Start the wedding gown and wedding attendants’ dress search n Consult travel agent for honeymoon plans. If traveling abroad, you will need valid passports and up-to-date immunizations
n Select gift registries n Order wedding gown & accessories, including veil, shoes and undergarments (wear to fittings) n Choose and order menswear for groom and attendants n Take engagement pictures n Select and order bridesmaids dresses, schedule fittings, etc. n Engagement party n Finalize wedding professionals: Baker Caterer Florist Photographer Party Rentals Ceremony Music Reception Entertainment Stationery Videographer Other __________________________
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FOUR TO SIX MONTHS PRIOR
TWO WEEKS PRIOR
n Finalize guest list and mail Save-the-Date announcement n Reserve rehearsal dinner location and/or caterers n Order wedding invitations and thank-you notes n Hire calligrapher n Create wedding website with directions, accommodations, local attractions and other wedding details n Reserve accommodations for wedding night and out-of-town guests. n Book honeymoon and finalize travel documentations, if necessary n Order wedding cake, groom’s cake and any other confections n Research all legal requirements — permits + licenses n Purchase/rent any decor to be used during the ceremony and/or reception
n Confirm all appointments and finalize professional services: Baker Lodging Reservations Beauty Appointments Party Rentals Caterer Photographer Ceremony Music Reception Entertainment Entertainment Transportation Florist Videographer Honeymoon Reservation Other_________________________________
TWO TO FOUR MONTHS PRIOR n Purchase wedding bands and have engraved if desired n Order favors and gifts. Purchase cake knives, toasting crystals and other accessories n Mail out-of-town invitations n Reserve wedding day beauty appointments for bride and attendants n Select wedding readings n Confirm menu selection and/or bar with caterer n Book specialty services, including photo booth, ice sculptures, rentals, Second Line, etc. n Continue writing thank you notes for previous parties, couple showers, etc.
FOUR TO SIX WEEKS PRIOR n Mail local invitations n Begin addressing wedding announcements n Pick up wedding rings n Complete name-change documents, if applicable n Print ceremony programs n Remember to update wedding website with any changes n Review banking and insurance information and see what needs to be updated after you’re married n Fill out a Change-of-Address at post office, if necessary
n Arrange for pick-up of wedding gown, if you haven’t done so already n Plan seating arrangements, if necessary n Pick up marriage license n Plan honeymoon wardrobe, obtain travel tickets and confirm reservations n Remember to update wedding website with any event changes
ONE WEEK BEFORE n Schedule pick-up and return of tuxedos/suits, if rented n Prepare final checks to wedding vendors, as well as donations to ceremony officiants and musicians, if necessary
THE DAY BEFORE n Welcome family and friends from out-of-town n Have honeymoon bags packed n Gather all wedding day items n Attend rehearsal dinner and give gifts to wedding party and family
YOUR WEDDING DAY n Arrange to see hairstylist and make-up artist BEFORE your attendants n Be dressed and ready about two hours before ceremony for photos
RELAX... saying “I DO” is the easy part! N.O.W | NOWWeddingMagazine.com | 13
LET US STAY WITH
The day you’ve always dreamed of is our pleasure.
To plan the wedding you have always imagined, contact the Catering Team at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans at (504) 670-2871 or visit ritzcarlton.com/neworleans © 2022 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
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credits PHOTOGRAPHY Sarah Alleman Photography sarahallemanphotography.com ON LOCATION Race + Religious raceandreligious.com CREATIVE DIRECTION + PLANNING Taylor Baxter Olivares travelingshootswithtaylor.com CO-PLANNING Rachel Rose rachelroseweddingsandevents.mypixieset.com FASHION GOSSAMER shopgossamer.com Don Morphy donmorphy.com The Lucky Sixpence theluckysixpence.co.uk FLORALS Violeta’s shopvioletas.com Botanica Wholesale Florist botanicawf.com HAIR + MAKEUP Kassandra Mireles photosbykassy.mypixieset.com RENTALS Sweetheart Rentals instagram.com/sweetheartrentals LINENS AM Linen Rental amlinenrental.com TABLE RUNNER SnassyCrafter snassycrafter.etsy.com CALLIGRAPHY Line Avenue Calligraphy lineavecalligraphy.com BRASS BAND Kinfolk Brass Band neworleanskinfolk.com MODELS: Jamie Bishop + Clemon Terrell for JEA Model Management
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ABOUT THE VENUE Race + Religious is a historic multibuilding property filled with artwork and antiques located in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District at the intersection of Race and Religious Streets.
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Event designer Taylor Baxter Olivares contacted Janie, owner and designer of The Lucky Sixpence to create the crown featured in this editorial. Janie’s designs often include vintage elements and luxurious details. For her custom creations, like the featured crown, Janie works closely with her clients to capture their vision. After speaking with the client and reviewing their inspiration photos, Janie begins work. “I come up with a design, sketch it out and then look for elements that could work in making the piece,” she says. “In this case a bronze tone was really important along with natural organic elements so I selected some bronze leaf shapes and then gave them a colour treatment to lift the matte bronze to one of a warmer golden glow. I love to add luxury details to elevate my pieces so in this case I used warm honey coloured crystal pearls along the base.” 18 | N.O.W | NOWWeddingMagazine.com
Jamie is wearing an exquisite tulle dress with petal embellishments and bell sleeves sourced from GOSSAMER, a US based vintage clothing company, and Clemon is wearing a slate blue notch lapel suit from Don Morphy, a bespoke menswear company in Dallas, TX. Jamie carries a parasol of fresh flowers from Botanica Wholesale Florist styled by Violeta’s.
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We love the deckled edge of this bespoke letterpress invitation suite by Line Avenue Calligraphy. The table design incorporated Vintage French Country ladder back chairs with rush seats from Sweetheart Rentals and a gauze table runner by SnassyCrafter. Brilliant blooms from Botanica Wholesale Florist, arranged by Violeta’s add a splash of color the design.
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Jamie is wearing an ivory pleated chiffon tiered gown with a high neckline sourced from GOSSAMER.
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see more online:
NOWWEDDINGMAGAZINE.COM N.O.W | NOWWeddingMagazine.com | 25
What’s Your Style? FIGURING OUT WHERE TO START AND HOW TO CREATE a wedding that’s “your style” can often be intimidating. We’ve compiled a list of questions to help guide you in the early planning stages. Some answers will help you determine what style of event is right for you. Others will help you focus on what’s really important.
COUPLE BACKGROUND & STYLE n How did you meet? n What is your proposal story? n Who designed/picked the ring? What do you love about it? n What are 5 adjectives you’d use to describe yourselves as a couple? n What are 5 adjectives each of you’d use to describe the other? n What type of artwork do you own? What do you love about it? Describe the style. n Where do you like to spend vacation time? What types of activities do you participate in? n Who is your favorite clothing and accessory designer? n Who will be involved in the wedding planning process?
planning tip: Check back with your answers frequently throughout the planning process to make sure you’re staying true to YOU as you make decisions.
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Image Credit: Amin Russell Photography
PAST EXPERIENCE n What have you liked about other weddings/events you’ve attended? n What have you disliked about weddings/events you’ve attended in the past?
WEDDING EXPERIENCE n What are 5 adjectives you’d like to describe your wedding? n What are your “must haves” for your wedding? Each pick one. n Are there any cultural or religious traditions you wish to incorporate? n What locations do you love? Indoors or outdoors? n Do you want the ceremony and reception to take place in the same location? n Describe your ideal location and your favorite things about it.
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PHOTOS: AUDIE JACKSON PHOTOGRAPHY
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#1 Special Events Band In New Orleans and The Gulf Coast Region Booking: WCA Entertainment 504-239-9133 WilliamCredoAgency@gmail.com
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Let’s Get Real. Advice from an event planner about realistic budgets.
By Rena Sweeney Creative Director, NOW Weddings Magazine + Owner, Alchemy Events
AS A WEDDING COORDINATOR BASED IN NEW ORLEANS FOR THE LAST TWO DECADES, ONE THING THAT I SEE AGAIN AND again is clients coming to me with unrealistic budget expectations. Typically, they find a book, magazine or online article that shows average costs for weddings around the country. However, even though New Orleans feels small (everybody knows everybody!), when it comes to weddings, we operate much more like a large city. Our market is a popular destination wedding location and the pricing here is reflective of that and does not follow the national average. I am known for out-the-box weddings and events, so while I know all too well that not all of these categories will apply to everyone, this is a starting point for what you can expect to pay for some of the most popular wedding goods and services here in my home base of New Orleans. The largest part of your budget will go toward your main event or reception. Typically, if you can find a venue that offers an all-inclusive option that provides tables, chairs, linens, in-house catering, etc., you’ll find this ends up being priced better than a blank space where you must bring everything in yourself. I often have clients who want to get married at home or on a private estate, but they don’t realize the additional needs (and expenses!) this can bring, such as generators, restroom trailers, or renting everything down to the flatware for their reception. The average starting price for a midrange, all-inclusive venue will typically start around $3,000 for the rental fee, $1,000 for a ceremony fee and then you will likely have a food and beverage minimum which often will start at around $10,000 for a Friday night (more for Saturdays). Menu and bar packages average in the $70-90 per person range but again, can go up if you select premium food and liquor. It is also important to be mindful of tax and service fees which can sometimes add up to 30% to the cost of your bill. Entertainment, such as a live band for your reception, will usually cost between $4,000 – 10,000 and if you are doing a Second Line, that will typically average 30 | N.O.W | NOWWeddingMagazine.com
around $1,200 for a 30-minute parade. Photography is of the utmost importance for your wedding day in my opinion. These are the memories you will keep forever, and it is also important to hire someone who has an artistic style that matches your taste. These photographs will hang in your home for the rest of your life! Most photographers average around $4,000 – 5,000 for wedding day coverage but this, more so than other vendors’ pricing, can range very widely depending on how many hours of coverage you request, if an album and prints are included, how experienced or in demand the photographer is and if there are other days/events you would like them to cover as well. Videography can then add on another $3,500-5,000 to that. Fresh flower prices have skyrocketed with supply chain issues and some varieties are double what they were just 2 years ago. You should expect to spend $2,000 – $4,000 for the basic personal flowers for yourselves, a large bridal party, family, etc. As with everything, of course, the pricing can be much more depending on your selection of flowers, the time of year, how many personal items you need, if you are decorating the ceremony site or going over the top at your reception. Likewise, centerpiece costs can vary wildly based on the same factors! Some in-demand florists may have a minimum of $3,00010,000 depending on the time of year your wedding is. Finally, the end of the evening means dessert! When it comes to cakes, most midrange bakers charge $3.50-5 per slice for a
simple buttercream frosted cake. More detailed designs, hand work, fondant, and sugar flowers instead of real flowers all add to that cost. You’ll also want to consider the cost of renting a cake stand which can start at $30 on the lower end and go up to several hundred dollars for the more unique, ornate specialty stands. I encourage all of my clients to start their planning process with a budget analysis and spend time talking about what aspects are the most important to each of them. Then, like everything with marriage, you must compromise. Is the food important to you, but your fiancé(e) really wants a live band instead of a DJ? It’s time to compromise! Do neither of you particularly care about the cake? There is no rule saying you must have one! Consider these things when you begin looking at vendors and deciding where you will spend your money. At the end of the day, remember that your union is the most important aspect of all so during the planning process, remember to take time to love and appreciate each other and remember why you fell in love in the first place!
SCAN TO ACCESS THE NOW INTERACTIVE BUDGET PLANNER TOOL
Your Budget Planner BEFORE YOU SAY “I DO,” you need ask “How Much?” Traditionally, parents have helped pay for all, or most, of the wedding costs, but many modern couples are picking up the tab for wedding expenses. No matter how the bill is divided, couples need to decide on a budget and stick with it. Image Credit: Jessica The Photographer
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO
TOTAL BUDGET CEREMONY & RECEPTION
$____________ Ceremony Location $____________ Officiant’s Fee $____________ Marriage License $____________ Reception Venue $____________ Caterer $____________ Bar $____________ Rentals $____________ Cake $____________ Transportation $____________ Wedding Planner
$____________ Save-the-Date $____________ I nvitation & Envelopes $____________ Reply Cards & Envelopes $____________ Programs $____________ S eating Cards and/or Menu Cards $____________ Thank-You Notes $____________ Postage $____________ Calligraphy $____________ Announcements $____________ Other
$____________ BUDGET $____________ ACTUAL COST
ATTIRE $____________ Wedding Gown $____________ Headpiece/Veil $____________ Shoes $____________ Trousseau/Undergarments $____________ Jewelry $____________ Hair & Makeup $____________ G room’s Tuxedo/Suit $____________ Groom’s Shoes $____________ Wedding rings $____________ Other $____________ BUDGET $____________ ACTUAL COST
$____________ BUDGET $____________ ACTUAL COST
FLOWERS & DÉCOR $____________ Ceremony Decor $____________ Bridal Bouquet $____________ A ttendants’ Bouquets & Boutonnières $____________ C orsages & Boutonnières for Family $____________ R eception Centerpieces/ Decor $____________ Delivery Fees $____________ Other $____________ BUDGET $____________ ACTUAL COST
$____________ Photographer’s Fee $____________ Videographer’s Fee $____________ E ngagement + Bridal Portrait Sessions $____________ Wedding Album $____________ Additional Album(s) $____________ A dditional Prints + Video Copies $____________ BUDGET $____________ ACTUAL COST
ENTERTAINMENT $____________ Ceremony Music $____________ Reception Band/DJ $____________ Second Line $____________ A rtists (Live Painters, Photo Booth, Etc) $____________ BUDGET $____________ ACTUAL COST
DETAILS & GIFTS $____________ Attendants’ Gifts $____________ Parents’ Gifts $____________ Guest room Welcome Gifts $____________ Favors $____________ Toasting glasses/Cake Knives $____________ Second Line Umbrellas $____________ Guest Book $____________ Announcements $____________ Other $____________ BUDGET $____________ ACTUAL COST
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THE LI ST C L I C K A CAT EG O RY TO SE ARC H F O R LO CAL VE NDO RS
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KRISTINA + KYLE’S STORY “Kyle and I met at a nightclub in Boston on St. Patty’s Day 2013 where I was celebrating my birthday with some friends. As soon as I saw him, I just knew. We exchanged numbers and have talked every day since. After a few years of dating long distance, I decided to move back to Boston. Over the next 4-5 years we watched our son, Xavier, grow from a sweet boy to an amazing young man, we adopted our rescue pup, Dexter, we enjoyed several concerts, and went on numerous adventures. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Kyle proposed NYE 2019! It was the most wonderful surprise! We chose New Orleans for our destination wedding because we absolutely fell in love with the city. We wanted to share this one of a kind culture and energy with all of our loved ones.” - Kristina
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Kristina Belanger & Kyle Musson
K SQUARED = FOREVER OCTOBER 10, 2021 | NEW ORLEANS, LA PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSICA BURKE + PHILLIP COLWART FOR JESSICA THE PHOTOGRAPHER
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THEIR FAVORITE MOMENTS For
Kristina: “It’s a tie between our first look and my father walking me down the aisle. Kyle’s reaction when he saw me for the first look was the sweetest thing, and it helped calm my nerves. But walking down the aisle and seeing all of our family and friends was beyond heartwarming. I felt so lucky in both of these moments.” For Kyle: “For me, it is the first look. After all the anticipation, finally seeing how beautiful Krissie looked in her dress, I couldn’t help but cry. And then talking with each other while we took our time walking through the French Quarter to the venue was truly memorable.”
TRADITIONS ”The Krupnikas, Bread, and Salt Blessing is a long cherished Lithuanian wedding tradition which has been passed down through the centuries. It symbolizes the union of the bride and groom and their families. The Lithuanian liquor for the favors and the raguolis, a traditional wedding cake, were provided by our very good family friends,The Liudzius’.” LOVING DETAILS ”Kyle and I are
passionate about animal rescue,” shares Kristina, “and wanted to incorporate that into our special day by naming the tables after our family rescue pets and a few of our favorite foster dogs.”
ADDITIONAL CREDITS: GETTING READY LOCATIONS: Sheraton New Orleans and The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel | CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION: Riverview Room | OFFICIANT: Michele Zeller | BRIDE’S GOWN: Essence of Australia, Vows Bridal (Waterton, MA) | MENSWEAR: The Black Tux | VIDEO: Your Day Production | FLORALS: Something Borrowed Blooms | BAKERY: Dream Cakes, LLC | CEREMONY MUSIC + RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Khancept Entertainment | HAIR + MAKEUP: Verde Beauty Studio | DECOR RENTALS: Decor on a Dime | JEWELER: Catbird and Dilan Jewelry | INVITATIONS: Minted | SECOND LINE BAND: Young Fellaz Brass Band
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Guests received favors of Krupnikas, a traditional Lithuanian liquor, and Jamaican Rum. The Raguolis, a traditional Lithuanian wedding “tree” cake.
A sugar miniature of Kristina and Kyle’s dog, Dexter, made an appearance at the wedding cake!
FEATURED VENDORS PHOTOGRAPHY JESSICA THE PHOTOGRAPHER jessicathephotographer.com
See more from Kristina & Kyle’s wedding at: NOWWeddingMagazine.com
EVENT PLANNER ALCHEMY EVENTS alchemyeventsnola.com N.O.W | NOWWeddingMagazine.com | 35
Floral | Catering | Bakery | Wine & Spirits
Photo: 1216 Studios
Photo: Theresa Elizabeth Photography
dorignacs.com 710 veterans blvd, metairie, la 70005 504.834.8216
3600 Chateau Blvd., Kenner la 70065 504.467.1351 | ChateaugCC.Com
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SHAVONDA + DORNELL’S STORY
“We met at a time when neither of us wanted to date. As fate would have it, we clicked instantly. We said we’d be friends only but that all changed after one date to the movies. He actually proposed during the pandemic. It was the weekend before my birthday and I was sad that I wouldn’t be able to see my family. We went to pick up our son and when we got back they were all in front of the house with gifts and signs. I was in tears and then I turn around and he’s on one knee professing his love and asking me to be his wife. I had the ugliest of ugly cries. I said yes once I was able to gather myself.” - Shavonda
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Shavonda Chambers & Dornell Forté
FOREVER FORTE MAY 29, 2021 | NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA PHOTOGRAPHY BY RARE SIGHTING PHOTOGRAPHY
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Shavonda and Dornell jump the broom during their wedding ceremony.
THEIR FAVORITE MOMENT “Our favorite part was meeting at the end of the aisle,” shares Shavonda. The day of the wedding brought with it a lot of stress but that all melted away at the ceremony. “Once I got to the end of the aisle a wave of calmness came over me and nothing that was stressing me out prior to that point mattered,” she shares.
“We included traditional African practices in our ceremony,” says Shavonda. The ceremony took place in historic Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans, officiated by Baba Obafemi Fayemi.
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VENDOR CREDITS: GETTING READY LOCATIONS: Westin Hotel New Orleans + Eliza Jane Hotel | CEREMONY LOCATION: Congo Square | OFFICIANT: Baba Obafemi Fayemi | RECEPTION: Westin Hotel New Orleans | REHEARSAL DINNER: Space Seven Nola | BRIDE’S GOWN: Lena Berisha | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Jenny Yoo, Wedding Belles Bridal Boutique | MENSWEAR: Men’s Wearhouse | PHOTOGRAPHY: Rare Sighting Photography | VIDEO: Angel Wing Films | FLORALS: Blooms by Briana | WEDDING CAKE: Pretty Little Things Cupcakes and Cakes | GROOM’S CAKE: Jenny’s Cake Creations | CEREMONY MUSIC: Michaela Harrison + Joy Clark | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: DJ VJ | TRANSPORTATION: Riculfy Livery | HAIR: TraElle Salon (color) + Amanda Ancar (styling) | WEDDING DESIGNER, DECOR RENTALS + LIGHTING: Fleur Du Nola Designs | DAY OF COORDINATOR: Elle R Jae Events | JEWELERS: Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers + Lee Michaels | FAVORS: Bride and Groom, Jacqueline Firven (pralines) | INVITATIONS:: Pietra Paper Designs | DANCE FLOOR WRAP: AD Event Group
The groom’s cake was a replica of Dornell’s TAG Heuer watch!
See more from Shavonda & Dornell’s wedding at: NOWWeddingMagazine.com
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BROOKE + DREW’S STORY
“Our love story began in Oxford, back in 2016. Drew and I met through our college roommates at Ole Miss. There was a group of us that would hang out together almost every week. We would all go bowling, eat Mexican for Taco Tuesday, or go to Ole Miss games. Eventually, Drew and I grew closer and closer and then he finally asked me out! Almost 5 years worth of memories later and we’ve traveled all over and added our sassy puppy Winnie to our family. Last March, right before COVID shut everything down, Drew and I took a trip to New Orleans for St. Patty’s Day. Drew proposed on top of the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans and arranged for all of our family to be there together to celebrate in one of our favorite cities.” - Brooke 44 | N.O.W | NOWWeddingMagazine.com
Brooke Owens & Drew Boudreaux
LOVE KNOTS MAY 29, 2021 | NEW ORLEANS, LA PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATHLEEN FOX PHOTOGRAPHY
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“We got engaged Friday, March 13, the weekend New Orleans shut down due to COVID, so most of our planning was virtual,” says Brooke. “We fell in love with the pictures of the inside of the Federal Ballroom. We love the huge windows and columns.”
THE CEREMONY The wedding
included a hand-fasting ceremony where the couple’s hands were bound together with a ribbon. Brooke comes from an Irish-Catholic family and says “when we were planning our wedding I saw some pictures and videos of the hand fasting ceremonies and I just loved it. I felt like it was a great way to tie in my heritage and make our ceremony a little unique. Our officiant read the following as he performed the hand fasting ‘The first knot represents Brooke’s love for Drew. The second knot represents Drew’s love for Brooke. And the third knot represents the love they share for everyone who has come to witness their wedding today.’” Brooke and Drew began preparations for the wedding day at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans Hotel on Canal Street. “Everyone at the Ritz went above and beyond,” says Brooke.
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ADDITIONAL VENDOR CREDITS: CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION: The Federal Ballroom | OFFICIANT: Bernie Dearman | REHEARSAL DINNER: Felix’s | BRIDE’S GOWN: Allure Bridals, Bridal Path | MENSWEAR: Men’s Wearhouse | PHOTOGRAPHY: Kathleen Fox Photography | VIDEO: Lighthouse Video | ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Geaux Live | HAIR + MAKEUP: Glam NOLA | CATERING: Capdebosc |HONEYMOON TRAVEL AGENT: Shelly Burklow |INVITATIONS: Minted
“For Drew’s cake, we did a game theme,” says Brooke. “We had Celebrity Jeopardy category board, Ticket to Ride and Trivial Pursuit.”
For the wedding cake by Gambino’s, Brooke and Drew chose alternating layers of chocolate cake (Brooke’s favorite) and almond cake (Drew’s favorite). “In between the layers we had alternating buttercream and strawberry filling.”
Brooke and Drew’s Golden Doodle, Winnie ,made appearances at the cake table and on the wedding koozies!
FEATURED VENDORS GETTING READY LOCATION THE RITZ-CARLTON NEW ORLEANS ritzcarlton.com/neworleans BAKERY GAMBINO’S BAKERY gambinos.com
See more from Brooke & Drew’s wedding at: NOWWeddingMagazine.com
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610 South Peters Street | NOLA 70130 504-521-8055 | chicoryvenue.com Jenna Bonura | firstname.lastname@example.org 48 | Credits: N.O.W |Elyse NOWWeddingMagazine.com Jennings Weddings | Greer Photography | Bella Blooms Floral | Luminous Events Vendor
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Image Credits: (ABOVE) Tasha Rae Photography (BELOW LEFT + RIGHT) The September Company
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Vanna Carawan & Brandon Cassimere WEDDING DATE: 12-31-2021 “We first met in Houston, TX and went on our first date at the Four Seasons Hotel downtown Houston. The date went great... leading to the beginning of a beautiful relationship. We love to travel together and enjoy our Friday night date nights. Our favorite memory is traveling to Milan and Rome, Italy together where we share a love of a good red wine. In addition to our love for each other, we are so in love with our daughter, Christana!” Image Credit: Las Vegas Videography by Brendan Stonestreet
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NOW JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022
ADVERTISER INDEX BAKERIES: Dorignac’s...................................................................................36 Gambino’s Bakery....................................................................42 Kimbla’s Cakes..........................................................................28
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Follow NOW Weddings Magazine CATERERS: 12 Seasons Catering................................................................ 37
for daily inspiration.
Dorignac’s...................................................................................36 Toulouse Gourmet Catering................................................. 6
FLORIST + DECOR: Dorignac’s...................................................................................36 Peony + Petunia........................................................................28
Southern Hospitality Event Rentals.................................49
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Amin Russell Photography...................................................43 Jessica The Photographer.................................................. 50
ENTERTAINMENT: Sugar Shaker..............................................................................29
HONEYMOON TRAVEL: Dream Vacations......................................................................42
VENUES: Chateau Country Club..........................................................36 Higgins Hotel............................................................................4-5 InterContinental New Orleans.............................................7 The Cannery................................................................................ 8
The Chicory...............................................................................48 The Moore.................................................................................. 37 The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans............................................14
WEDDING PLANNERS + DESIGNERS: Alchemy Events..................................................................... IFC Chocolate Bunnie Events.....................................................28 Southern Approach Event Planning.................................49
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