NOW Weddings 2024 Spring+Summer Print Edition

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Display until June 3, 2024 Spring 2024
Display until September 2, 2024 Summer 2024

A Letter From The Publisher

Dear Readers,

WITH IMMENSE JOY, I EXTEND MY WARMEST GREETINGS TO YOU AS WE PROUDLY UNVEIL THE LATEST EDITION OF NOW WEDDINGS MAGAZINE. I am thrilled to announce our return to newsstands and to producing the bridal show experiences we’re known for! I’m also excited to share that our plans to expand the magazine’s reach across the Gulf Coast are well underway! You can now find NOW Weddings on newsstands in 5 states at hundreds of stores!

The past few years undoubtedly presented challenges for us all. Still, it has also been a testament to the resilience, strength, and enduring spirit of love that binds us together. As you turn the pages of this edition, you will find a treasure trove of wedding inspiration and stories that reflect the unwavering optimism in the air. Love, after all, knows no boundaries and is a force that transcends even the most trying times.

From intimate ceremonies to grand celebrations, our pages are adorned with the latest in bridal fashion, enchanting venues, and expert advice to guide you through every step of the wedding planning journey.

In the spirit of adaptation, we fully embraced the digital realm in 2020, bringing you exclusive online content that allowed you to immerse yourself in the world of Southern weddings from anywhere in the world. Our commitment to delivering quality content online remains, ensuring that whether you prefer the tactile experience of flipping through the pages or the convenience of browsing on your devices, NOW Weddings Magazine is here to cater to your desires.

As we embark on this new chapter, I express my deepest gratitude for the unwavering support we have received. Your enthusiasm has been the driving force behind our dedication to delivering a magazine that captures the essence of Southern weddings and inspires and elevates the joyous moments that make them truly unforgettable.

Happy reading, and may your love story continue to unfold in the most beautiful and enchanting ways.

With love and excitement,

4 | NOW |
NOW Weddings Publisher Letter


40 Ashlie Lauderdale + Scott Johnson

54 Natalie Adcock + Carson McGraw

66 Garima Shrestha + Christian Queyrouze

76 Crystal Zheng + Hieu Nguyen

86 Dr. Hannah Autin + Mr. René Chiasson

112 Jasmine Walker + Phillip Tran

124 Madison Keenan + Chapman Rogers

138 Mallory + Stephanie Whitley Tapley

150 Myah Watson + Jordan McDonald

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CONTENTS SPRING + SUMMER 2024 FEATURES 18 BRIDES IN BLOOM A collection of romantic, floral-inspired bridal gowns for 2024 32 SETTING THE SCENE Decor Inspiration at The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa 94 COURTYARD ROMANCE Dreamy Floral Wedding Inspiration at Chateau LeMoyne Hotel
18 Stefani Marie Photography | NOW | 9 FEATURED ARTICLES 130 WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Photographer and Videographers vs Social Media Content Creators 134 BEHIND THE LENS AND THE LAUGHTER A Look into the World of Alabama Boudoir Photographer and Stand-Up Comedian Matt Mathews 148 UNLOCKING THE DOOR TO YOUR DREAM HOME A Guide for Newlyweds Buying Their First Home 156 ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS IN EVERY ISSUE 4 Publisher’s Letter 10 About the Covers 160 Advertiser Index INSPIRATION 92 Cakes - Inspiration from Kimbla’s Cakes 111 Dressed to Thrill - Stunning Bridesmaid Gowns 120 Well Groomed - From Tuxedos to Timepieces Inspiration for Men’s Attire 84 The Fine Print 85 Your Wedding Invitation Timeline 90 Let Them Eat Cake 108 Your Gown 109 Veil Lengths 110 Bridesmaids’ Responsibilities 116 Tux Talk 118 Groomsmen Responsibilities 122 Beautiful Bride 128 Memories Captured 129 Contracts 101 142 Glamorous Getaways 144 Your Honeymoon 145 The Ultimate Name Change Checklist 146 Day of Checklist 154 Vendor List N.O.W. WEDDING PLANNER 12 To Do Before I Do 16 Wedding Budget Planner 30 Finding Your Style 44 Your Guest List 46 Your Rehearsal Dinner 48 Ceremony Planning 50 Marriage License 52 Reception Planning 58 Bon Appétit 60 Entertainment Planning 62 The Ultimate Wedding Music Checklist 70 Your Event Planner 74 Wedding Décor 80 Wedding Flowers 82 Bouquet Shapes Amin Russell Photography Rae Leytham Photography 94 54 Stefani Marie Photography 32 @nowmagazine504 we're social! Follow NOW Weddings Magazine for daily inspiration. NOW Weddings Magazine @nowweddingsmagazine @nowwedding Look Who’s Engaged See Our All New Engagement Announcements Page 156

About The Covers


Spring 2024

PHOTOGRAPHER: Stefani Marie Photography

ON LOCATION: Battle House Renaissance Hotel

FLORALS: The Shade Tree Floral Events & Design

BRIDE’S GOWN: Bliss Bridal

HAIR + MAKEUP: Brushed + Blushed

MODEL: Amaya Kincaid




Stefani Horn


Vikki Reed


Our blog is filled with tons of great resources, inspiration, wedding stories and photo editorials that will help you plan an amazing wedding.


NOW Weddings Magazine offers affordable advertising packages with tons of perks.



NOW Weddings Magazine

August 2020


ON LOCATION: Chateau LeMoyne Hotel

FLORALS: Fat Cat Flowers

BRIDE’S GOWN: Bliss Bridal

HAIR: Jessica Jackson

MAKEUP: Chris Carter

FINE JEWELRY: Diamonds Direct

MANICURE: Update Nail & Spa

MODEL: Allie Simoneaux

Phone: 504-832-2775


NOW Weddings Magazine Print Edition is published bi-annually by New Orleans Weddings Magazine, Inc. Copyright 2024. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication

without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. NOW Weddings Magazine is a registered trademark of New Orleans Weddings Magazine, Inc. The use of the trademark is strictly prohibited. The information in this publication is believed to be accurate.

However, NOW Weddings Magazine cannot and does not guarantee its accuracy. NOW Weddings Magazine cannot and will not be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by advertisers or any other portion of this publication.

10 | NOW |
Display until June 3, 2024 Spring 2024 Display until September 2, 2024 Summer 2024
+ SUMMER 2024
NOW Weddings Magazine is published twice annually in March and September. We feature two cover changes per issue. 32 @nowmagazine504 we're social! NOW Weddings Magazine @nowweddingsmagazine @nowwedding

Where Forever Begins

Tie the knot at InterContinental New Orleans' renovated ballroom with grand chandeliers and high ceilings overlooking St. Charles Avenue. Let us make your wedding day as enchanting as the Crescent City itself! 504.585.4379 444 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans, LA 70130

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 and let them help plan your perfect wedding.


❏ Announce engagement to family and friends and plan an engagement party

❏ Choose wedding date, preferably more than one in case your preferred venue and/or vendor is booked

❏ Select wedding attendants

❏ Establish budget early, with maximum amounts for each event/vendor/etc.

❏ Decide on the style, formality and guest-list size for the wedding

❏ Select wedding planner

❏ Reserve ceremony and reception location

❏ Secure wedding officiant

❏ Begin compiling guest list and mailing addresses

❏ Start the selection process for wedding professionals, including photographer/videographer, entertainment, ceremony music, caterer, transportation, florist and stationery

❏ Start the wedding gown and wedding attendants’ dress search

❏ Consult travel agent for honeymoon plans. If traveling abroad, you will need valid passports and up-to-date immunizations


❏ Select gift registries

❏ Order wedding gown & accessories, including veil, shoes and undergarments (wear to fittings)

❏ Order menswear for groom and attendants

❏ Take engagement pictures

❏ Select and order bridesmaids dresses, schedule fittings, etc.

❏ Engagement party

❏ Finalize wedding professionals:

❏ Baker

❏ Caterer

❏ Florist

❏ Photographer

❏ Party Rentals

❏ Ceremony Music

❏ Reception Entertainment

❏ Stationery

❏ Videographer

❏ Other __________________________


❏ Finalize guest list and mail Save-theDate announcement

❏ Reserve rehearsal dinner location and/or caterers

❏ Order wedding invitations and thankyou notes

❏ Hire calligrapher

❏ Create wedding website with directions, accommodations, local attractions and other wedding details

❏ Reserve accommodations for wedding night and out-of-town guests.

❏ Book honeymoon and finalize travel documentations, if necessary

❏ Order wedding cake, groom’s cake and any other confections

❏ Research all legal requirements — permits + licenses

❏ Purchase/rent any decor to be used during the ceremony and/or reception

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NOW Weddings Planner
allow at least 6 weeks for wedding gown alterations
Amin Russell Photography Rae Leytham Photography Rae Leytham Photography


❏ Purchase wedding bands and have engraved if desired

❏ Order favors and gifts. Purchase cake knives, toasting crystals and other accessories

❏ Mail out-of-town invitations

❏ Reserve wedding day beauty appointments for bride and attendants

❏ Select wedding readings

❏ Confirm menu selection and/or bar with caterer

❏ Book specialty services, including photo booth, ice sculptures, rentals, Second Line, etc.

❏ Continue writing thank you notes for previous bridal parties, couple showers, etc.


❏ Mail local invitations

❏ Take bridal portraits and have framed for reception display

❏ Begin addressing wedding announcements

❏ Pick up wedding rings

❏ Complete name-change documents

❏ Print ceremony programs

❏ Remember to update wedding website with any changes

❏ Review banking and insurance information and see what needs to be updated after you’re married

❏ Fill out a Change-of-Address at post office, if necessary

schedule a hair and makeup run-through two to four weeks prior to your big day!


❏ 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_________________________________

❏ Arrange for pick-up of wedding gown, if you haven’t done so already

❏ Plan seating arrangements, if necessary

❏ Pick up marriage license

❏ Plan honeymoon wardrobe, obtain travel tickets and confirm reservations

❏ Remember to update wedding website with any event changes


❏ Schedule pick-up and return of groom’s and groomsmen’ attire, if rented

❏ Prepare final checks to wedding vendors, as well as donations to ceremony officiants and musicians, if necessary


❏ Welcome family and friends from out-of-town

❏ Have honeymoon bags packed

❏ Gather all wedding day items

❏ Attend rehearsal dinner and give gifts to wedding party and family


❏ Arrange to see hairstylist and makeup artist BEFORE your attendants

❏ Be dressed and ready about two hours before ceremony for photos


saying “I DO” is the easy part! | NOW | 13
Rae Leytham Photography
Download our Printable Planner at
Rae Leytham Photography

Your Budget Planner

BEFORE YOU SAY “I DO,” you need ask “How Much?” Traditionally, the bride’s family carries the majority of the financial responsibility. But with the cost of weddings growing as well as the average age of couples increasing, many couples are picking up some of the wedding expenses. Grooms’ families are also chipping in more than just the traditional rehearsal dinner and other small expenses. But no matter how the bill is divided, couples need to decide on a budget and stick with it. Use the worksheet below to decide how your budget will be divided.


$____________ Ceremony Location

$____________ Officiant’s Fee

$____________ Marriage License

$____________ Reception Venue

$____________ Caterer

$____________ Bar

$____________ Rentals

$____________ Cake

$____________ Transportation

$____________ Wedding Planner

$____________ BUDGET

$____________ ACTUAL COST


$____________ Wedding Gown

$____________ Headpiece/Veil

$____________ Shoes

$____________ Trousseau/Undergarments

$____________ Jewelry

$____________ Hair & Makeup

$____________ Groom’s Tuxedo/Suit

$____________ Groom’s Shoes

$____________ Wedding rings

$____________ Other

$____________ BUDGET

$____________ ACTUAL COST



$____________ Save-the-Date

$____________ Invitation & Envelopes

$____________ Reply Cards & Envelopes

$____________ Programs

$____________ Seating Cards and/or Menu Cards

$____________ Thank-You Notes

$____________ Postage

$____________ Calligraphy

$____________ Announcements

$____________ Other

$____________ BUDGET

$____________ ACTUAL COST


$____________ Ceremony Decor

$____________ Bridal Bouquet

$____________ Attendants’ Bouquets & Boutonnières

$____________ Corsages & Boutonnières for Family

$____________ Reception Centerpieces/Decor

$____________ Delivery Fees

$____________ Other

$____________ BUDGET

$____________ ACTUAL COST

your budget will determine every element of your wedding - set a realistic budget and stick to it.


$____________ Photographer’s Fee

$____________ Videographer’s Fee

$____________ Engagement + Bridal Portrait Sessions

$____________ Wedding Album

$____________ Additional Album(s)

$____________ Additional Prints + Video Copies

$____________ BUDGET

$____________ ACTUAL COST


$____________ Ceremony Music

$____________ Reception Band/DJ

$____________ Second Line

$____________ Artists (Live Painters, Photo Booth, Etc)

$____________ BUDGET

$____________ ACTUAL COST


$____________ 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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NOW Weddings Planner
(!irrnL (§,� (7/l/1/ ��� A Boutic1ue Hotel MAI,E HISTORY. Gourmet Catering byBistro Saint Emanuel Fort Conde Inn is an award-winning, full-service�---wedding & event venue located in the beautiful and historic Fort Conde Village area of downtown Mobile, Alabama. From day-of coordination to catering, rentals, accommodations and more, Fort Conde Inn has everything you need for your dream wedding! I I 251-405-5040 PhotoCredits:Couple:SarahAllemanPhotography/Cuisine:StefaniMariePhotography


A collection of romantic, floral-inspired bridal gowns for 2024

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Photographed on-location at The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa by Stefani Marie Photography


Ashley, surrounded by gorgeous blooms by The Shade Tree Floral Events and Design, is wearing "Johnny" by Madison James. This romantic gown, available at Bliss Bridal, features realistic blooms and trailing vines - perfect for a Spring garden wedding!


THIS PAGE: Ashley's romantic updo and natural glam makeup showcase the exquisite artistry of our featured hair stylist, Chaney Smith, and makeup artist, Ashley West of Brushed + Blushed Hair and Makeup Artistry, in this editorial.

OPPOSITE: The illuminated dome and decadent architecture of The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa's lobby is the perfect backdrop to capture these elegant gowns. | NOW | 21
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OPPOSITE: Amaya is wearing a ruffle skirt ball gown by Lilian West. This V-neck plunge ball gown, available at Bliss Bridal, features a chapel-length train and 3D chiffon petal appliqués on the bodice and tiered skirt.

THIS PAGE: Faith is wearing "Carissa" by Justin Alexander, available at Bliss Bridal. This glitter tulle ball gown features a ruffle skirt and plunging V-neckline. The floral-embroidered bodice is embellished with pearls and crystals, and a sequin tulle underlay adds sparkle with every movement.


Lush blush and ivory florals by The Shade Tree

Floral Events and Design cascade down the railings of the grand staircase in the Atrium of the RSA Tower at The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa


Amaya is wearing a slim tulle ball gown by Sincerity Bridal. The gown, available at Bliss Bridal, features a plunging V-neckline and V-side cutouts. The bodice is accented with softly pleated tulle and beaded and sequined lace floral appliqués. | NOW | 25
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THIS PAGE: Faith is wearing a sparkling floral lace gown with structured bodice and soft dropped waist from Bliss Bridal. The tulle train is embellished with floral lace appliqués.

OPPOSITE: Ashley is wearing an allover floral lace fit-and-flare gown by Lillian West, available at Bliss Bridal

The detachable off-theshoulder tulle sleeves with streamers add a whimsical element to the gown.


The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa


Stefani Marie Photography


The Shade Tree Floral Events & Design


Bliss Bridal


Ashley West and Chaney Smith for Brushed + Blushed


Gulf Coast Events & Rentals


Ashley Nix

Amaya Kincaid + Faith Laurent for Chic Nouvelle


THIS PAGE: LEFT AND OPPOSITE PAGE: Ashley is wearing "Skye" by Allure Bridals, available at Bliss Bridal This colorful, floral motif ball gown features a plunging v-neckline and soft, off-the-shoulder sleeves. A cathedrallength veil by Bel Aire Bridal, also available at Bliss Bridal, completes her look. CENTER: Faith is wearing "Dreama" by Justin Alexander. This timeless square neck tulle ball gown, available at Bliss Bridal, features beaded lace floral appliqués. The illusion bodice is accented with a Chantilly lace underlay, and the floral appliqués cascade down the skirt. RIGHT: Amaya is wearing a slim tulle ball gown by Sincerity Bridal. The gown, available at Bliss Bridal, features a plunging V-neckline and V-side cutouts.

Finding 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.



1. How did you meet?

2. What is your proposal story?

3. Who designed/picked the ring?  What do you love about it?

4. What are 5 adjectives you’d use to describe yourselves as a couple?

5. What are 5 adjectives each of you’d use to describe the other?

6. What type of artwork do you own? What do you love about it?  Describe the style.

7. Where do you like to spend vacation time?  What types of activities do you participate in?

8. Who is your favorite clothing and accessory designer?

9. Who will be involved in the wedding planning process?


1. What have you liked about other weddings/events you’ve attended?

2. What have you disliked about weddings/events you’ve attended in the past?

1. What are 5 adjectives you’d like to describe your wedding?

2. What are your “must haves” for your wedding? Each pick one.

3. Are there any cultural or religious traditions you wish to incorporate?

4. What locations do you love? Indoors or outdoors?

5. Do you want the ceremony and reception to take place in the same location?

6. Describe your ideal location and your favorite things about it


30 | NOW | grab a pen and paper and answer these questions looking for more ? go to
Welch Photography & Video NOW Weddings Planner | NOW | 31


Market lights on The Battle House

Renaissance Mobile

Hotel & Spa’s Crystal Patio set a romantic tone for this floralfilled reception table styled by Glen Jenkins of The Shade Tree

Floral Events & Design Alternating low and high arrangements draw the eye down the table while allowing guests to interact. Beautifully packaged sweet treats by Jay&Kay Custom Cakes await guests at each place setting.


Decor Inspiration at The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa | NOW | 33


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Above and Right: The Oakleigh Garden Room at The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa is the ideal location for a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower. At the center of the room, a wedding party table with romantic pink, 3D floral linen greets guests. Blush and ivory floral arrangements and taper candles of varying heights styled by Glen Jenkins of The Shade Tree Floral Events & Design create the table’s lush centerpiece. Smaller round tables dot the room, providing seating for guests.


A soft grey-green linen draws the eye to this table decorated with lush floral arrangements. Gold chargers complement the gold chiavari chairs, and green napkins expertly folded into rosettes grace each place setting. | NOW | 37


Champagne towers are the moment and we love this one paired with a decadent sweets table featuring white chocolate-covered strawberries and strawberry cream cheese white chocolate chunk cookies with cream cheese frosting and gold flakes by Jay&Kay Custom Cakes. Ashley and Amaya are wearing ready-to-wear cocktail dresses from Bliss Bridal.

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The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa


Stefani Marie Photography


The Shade Tree Floral Events & Design


Bliss Bridal


Ashley West and Chaney Smith for Brushed + Blushed


Jay&Kay Custom Cakes


Gulf Coast Events & Rentals


Ashley Nix

Amaya Kincaid for Chic Nouvelle

NOW real wedding




“We initially met at an Auburn Football tailgate but that's not when we started dating or even talking,” shares Ashlie. Before ever meeting Scott, Ashlie first became friends with his sister while attending Auburn University.

One day, years after graduating, Ashlie jokingly messaged who she thought was Scott’s sister asking if he was single. As fate would have it, she sent the message directly to Scott instead! “He replied, ‘Actually I am; how about you?’" shares Ashlie.

Before Ashlie knew it, Scott was driving from Fairhope, AL to Montgomery, AL to take her on their first date.

On the anniversary of their first date, Ashlie met Scott in Fairhope for dinner. She bought a new white dress - the color she wore on their first date. They arrived “a little early” for their dinner reservations at The Grand Hotel, so Scott suggested a walk down to the water. As they walked down the steps to the water’s edge, Scott presented her with red roses in a pewter mint julep cup. Engraved on the cup were the words: "Will you marry me?"

“I look up and he's on one knee with the ring in his hand,” says Ashlie. “ I obviously said ‘Yes!’

40 | NOW | | NOW | 41


The wedding was a black tie affair hosted at The Battle House Hotel & Spa in downtown Mobile, AL.

“My wedding turned out to be even more wonderful than I could've imagined!” says Ashlie. The day included many “First Looks,” as Ashlie’s father, grandmother and aunts all saw her for the first time in her wedding dress.

Of course, Ashlie and Scott also shared a private moment, seeing each other on the wedding day before the ceremony.

The last “First Look” was the moment Ashlie walked into the Moonlight Ballroom where the reception would take place to see how floral designer Glen Jenkins of The Shade Tree Floral Events & Design transformed the space. “It was a magical moment,” she shares.

The ceremony setting was equally gorgeous with white blooms surrounding the couple as they said their vows in The Atrium of the RSA Tower of the hotel.

At the end of the evening, Ashlie and Scott shared a dance to "The Good I'll Do” by Zach Bryan before making their grand exit.

“The wedding had lots and lots of great moments…,” says Ashlie. “It was truly a dream!”

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Blake Mayo | BRIDE’S GOWN: Martina Liana, I Do Bridal & Formal | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS:

Lady Black Tie | MENSWEAR: The Black Tux |

PHOTOGRAPHY: Farren North Photography

| VIDEO: Godwin Photography and Hatchee

Productions | BAKERY: Sweet Pheliz | CEREMONY

MUSIC: Cello Instrumental Music | RECEPTION


Alexis Ruby Artistry Collective | WEDDING

PLANNERS: The Bride, Ashley Nix (Wedding Coordinator), and Taylor Ladlum (Week/Day of Planner) | DECOR RENTALS: Southern Sounds (Draping), BBJ (Linens), and SOHO Event Rentals (Ghost Chairs) | JEWELER: Joey the Jeweler | INVITATIONS: Designed by the bride, printed with Canva | NOW | 43
See more from ASHLIE + SCOTT’S wedding at:

Your Guest List

MANY COUPLES STRUGGLE WITH HOW TO NARROW DOWN THEIR GUEST LIST and may find themselves feeling obligated and overwhelmed by people who expect to be invited. Below are our top tips on how to decide who makes the guest list.


Start to categorize potential guests by the inner group of “not a doubt in your mind they must be invited and will attend” and then work your way out. Next would be people who are an important part of your life and will continue to be. Finally, categorize people who would be nice to invite and have present but who aren’t playing a huge role in your life currently. This might be coworkers, old high school friends or even your boss. Don’t feel obligated to invite everyone you know. This is about you and once you categorize people into those groups, it will help you see what your priorities are and how many of the last group you can realistically invite once your “must haves” are taken into account.

Remember, not everyone you invite will be able to come. However, if you are limited in numbers, keep your guest list close to your maximum count. If you have room to spare, on average 15-20% will send their regrets.

TWO Decide on a child policy. Depending on your situation, it may not be an option for you, but if it is possible to have an adult-only reception, this will definitely help with your guest count numbers. If you are trying to cut down the guest list due to cost rather than number of people present, make sure to ask your caterer if they offer a child’s plate or a lower price for children under a specific age. This goes for your bar service also.


Consider giving your parents a set number of people they can invite so it doesn’t spiral out of control (i.e., mom inviting everyone she rides with on her Mardi Gras float).


If you are still struggling to get your guest count to the number you need, add in criteria such as “only people you’ve had a meaningful relationship with in the last year”. Another criteria could be “they only get a +1 if it is someone we have met or who they have been in a relationship with for longer than a year”. Whatever factors you think work for your group, this will ensure that you’re fair to both you and your partner’s guest lists while still being able to narrow things down.

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Download our Printable Planner at NOW Weddings Planner
Amin Russell Photography | NOW | 45

Your Rehearsal Dinner

THE REHEARSAL DINNER IS THE TIME TO REFLECT and enjoy the company of close friends and family before tomorrow’s big event. It’s a wonderful time to present gifts to family members and the wedding party and thank them for supporting you during all of your wedding festivities. Restaurants, hotels and other establishments in NOW WEDDINGS MAGAZINE are some of the most beautiful in the country. Visit some of our amazing vendors and sample what they have to offer!

popular venues book far in advance, make sure to secure your site at least 3 months prior to your wedding



Traditionally, the groom’s family hosts and pays for the Rehearsal Dinner.


There are no rules for location, but ideally it will be somewhere convenient to the ceremony site (if doing an actual rehearsal). Private residences, restaurants or a unique location special to the couple are all great options.


All immediate family (parents, grandparents, siblings and spouses), members of the wedding party (and their plus ones), and out of town guests; other wedding guests may be invited if the budget allows.


This is entirely dependent upon the couples’ desires and wedding style and the hosts’ budget. Anything from an informal backyard barbecue to the most formal 5 course seated dinner at a restaurant may be chosen.


Book your rehearsal venue, caterer and other vendors at least 3-6 months prior. If you would like a very popular or specific location, it is wise to reserve your location as far in advance as possible.

ask yourself these questions

1. Will your ideal location be an appropriate size for your expected guest count?

2. Is there convenient and sufficient parking available?

3. Will you want to bring in entertainment (Jazz Trio? Piano player?)?

4. Do you want a formal, seated rehearsal or something more casual? What places do you love that might be good locations for this event?

5. Will you want to bring in décor and florals?

6. Will you want a photographer or videographer to capture this party?

7. Will you want to give any formal speeches?

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NOW Weddings Planner
Rae Leytham Photography | NOW | 47

NOW Weddings Planner

Your Ceremony

YOUR CEREMONY LOCATION IS ONE OF THE FIRST decisions you’ll make when starting the planning process. Availability and location of your preferred ceremony site will often determine your wedding date and many other decisions about the wedding


What To Ask Prospects

1. Is the facility open to non-members (e.g., Church, Synagogue, Private Clubs, etc.)?

2. Are there any restrictions on the day or time of the event?

3. Are there any restrictions for lighting, cameras, audio/video equipment?

4. How far in advance should we reserve this site?

5. Is there a mandatory dress code and/or attendant number?

6. Do you have musicians available? Will we be permitted to use outside musicians?

7. Are we permitted to decorate the site?

8. Are there rest/dressing rooms?

9. Is the site ADA accessible?

10. What are the payment terms?

11. What is the cancellation policy?

secure your ceremony site before booking the musicians - some venues have restrictions on what types of musicians are allowed and how loud they can play.


What To Ask Prospects

1. May we see references and a demo video?

2. Are you performing locally any time soon? May we attend the performance?

3. Can we see a song list? Can you perform particular songs we might want that are not on the list?

4. What instruments/vocalists are available?

5. Are you able to perform in outdoor venues if needed?

6. How far in advance must we book?

7. What are your payment terms?

8. What is your cancellation policy?


What To Ask Prospects

1. Will you perform the ceremony at a non-religious site, such as hotel ballroom, etc.?

2. Is there a standard format? Can we write our own vows and select the music?

3. If we have been divorced, or if we are not of the same faith, will you officiate?

4. Will you file the marriage license after the wedding?

5. What are your payment terms?

6. What is your cancellation policy?

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Photography & Video

Essential Checklist for Obtaining Your Marriage License

One of the crucial steps in the wedding planning process is obtaining your marriage license. To ensure a smooth and stress-free experience, follow this checklist to navigate the legal requirements and easily get your marriage license for the big day.

1. Research Local Requirements

n Check the marriage license requirements in the city or county where you plan to get married. Each jurisdiction may have specific rules and regulations.

2. Determine Eligibility

n Ensure that both partners meet the eligibility criteria for marriage in your jurisdiction, such as age requirements, legal residency, and any previous marriage dissolution.

3. Schedule an Appointment

n Many places require an appointment to apply for a marriage license. Contact the local marriage license office and schedule a convenient time for your application.

4. Prepare Necessary Documentation

n Gather essential documents such as valid photo identification (driver's license, passport) and, if applicable, proof of divorce or death certificate from previous marriages.

5. Complete Pre-Marital Counseling (if required)

n Some jurisdictions may require couples to attend premarital counseling or education. Check if this is a prerequisite and complete the necessary sessions.

6. Confirm Waiting Period

n Be aware of mandatory waiting periods between applying for the license and the wedding day. Plan your timeline accordingly.

7. Budget for Fees

n Determine the marriage license application fee and ensure you have the necessary funds. Payment methods may vary, so check in advance.

8. Both Partners Must Attend

n In most cases, both partners must be present when applying for a marriage license. Ensure both individuals are available to complete the application process.

9. Fill Out the Application Form

n Complete the marriage license application form accurately. Be prepared to provide full names, addresses, social security numbers, and parents' names.

10. Sign the Affidavit

n Swear or affirm, under oath, that the information provided on the application is true and correct. Both partners will need to sign this Affidavit.

11. Obtain Witnesses (if required)

n Some jurisdictions require witnesses to sign the marriage license application. Check the local requirements and bring any necessary witnesses with you.

12. Pick Up the Marriage License

n Once the application is approved, pick up your marriage license from the designated office. Confirm the expiration date, as marriage licenses are typically valid for a specific period.

13. Review Marriage License Details

n Carefully review the marriage license for any errors or discrepancies. Report any mistakes to the issuing office and make corrections as needed.

14. Keep the Marriage License Safe

n Safeguard your marriage license, as you'll need to present it to the officiant on your wedding day.

By following this checklist, you'll be well-prepared to obtain your marriage license and take another exciting step toward your happily ever after.

50 | NOW |
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Your Reception

THIS WILL BE ONE OF THE MOST ELABORATE PARTIES you will ever host. It is also the ideal time to thank your family members, friends and guests for being there with you throughout the exciting festivities. Before making your final choice, ask yourself if this location fits your wedding style. Is it within your established budget? If not, are you willing to compromise your budget to secure the location?

the reception venue should be secured before any other vendors are booked.


1. May we see references and photographs of other receptions held here?

2. May we tour the area? Are there any specific restrictions?

3. How far in advance must reservations be made? When do you need the final guest count?

4. Are there specific minimums we must meet?

5. What area/rooms are available? How early can we set up? How late can we stay?

6. Is there a dressing room our wedding party will have access to?

7. Are there enough electrical outlets for our entertainers? Do you provide any type of sound system? Are there any lighting or sound restrictions?

8. How large is the dance floor? Can you provide a stage or raised platform?

9. Do you provide tables, chairs, linens and/or table settings?

10. Do you have a caterer on site? Bar service? Are we required to use the on-site caterer or is an off-site caterer permitted? Will they have access to your kitchen?

11. Who will be the main contact for our baker, florist, caterer, event planner, etc.?

12. Will you provide the serving staff? How many and in what capacity?

13. Can you provide parking valets, coat check and/or door attendants?

14. What is the maximum capacity, both seated and standing?

15. Do you have any other events scheduled on the day of our wedding?

16. Are you insured for liability? Will you provide security, including the parking lot?

17. What is your rental fee? For how long? Does that include service, catering and/or clean-up?

18. What are your payment terms?

19. What is your cancellation policy?

52 | NOW |
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Scott Myers Photography

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NATALIE ADCOCK + CARSON MCGRAW A'int No Mountain High Enough




“Carson was a groomsman and I was a bridesmaid in a wedding for our mutual friends in 2020,” shares Natalie. “We started dating soon after.”

Knowing that Christmas is Natalie’s favorite time of year, Carson proposed right after the holiday on December 28th in front of the Christmas Tree in her home. | NOW | 55


The wedding weekend started with a bridesmaids’ luncheon hosted by the bride’s mother’s friends at the home of Suzanne Lyell. “It was the perfect start to our weekend, shares Natalie. “Mrs. Suzanne is an extremely talented artist with Prayers on the Side and painted a beautiful picture of the front of Stewartfield as a gift for my bridesmaids.”

“We got married in the church I grew up in,” shares Natalie. “I was very active in our church as a child and throughout my teenage years and have always loved singing with our choir. I was lucky enough to have Bill Taylor, our Associate Minister of Music (and my choir director) playing the organ during our ceremony.”

The reception followed next door to the church at Stewartfield at Spring Hill College. “I have always loved the Avenue of the Oaks,” explains Natalie, “and wanted our out of town guests to be able to experience it.”

The couple shared their first dance under a beautiful full moon to “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” performed by their band Compozitionz. “I really wanted a classic but fun first dance song,” says Natalie, “so that seemed like a perfect fit.”

At the end of the evening, the wedding guests lit the way with sparklers to the couple’s get-away car, an antique red convertible.

“Having all of our friends and family in one place to celebrate was the highlight for both of us,” says Natalie. Even the couple’s vendor list included friends. “We…had the best team put together. Most of our vendors were close friends and people we have known for years.”

56 | NOW |





READY LOCATION: Bride’s Parents’ House |

CEREMONY LOCATION: Spring Hill Baptist

Church | OFFICIANT: Dr. Ben Stubblefield |

RECEPTION LOCATION: Stewartfield at Spring


Mobile Carnival Museum | BRIDE’S GOWN: Sareh Nouri, Carriage House | BRIDESMAIDS’

GOWNS: Amsale, Bella Bridesmaids (Mobile)


Wearhouse | VIDEOGRAPHY: Take Two |

FLORIST: Elizabeth’s Garden | BAKERY: Betty

Weber Cakes | CEREMONY MUSIC: Reverend

William Taylor, Enen Yu, and Guo-Sheng Huang |


| TRANSPORTATION: Old Shell Trolley | HAIR:

Nicole Moore + Cameron Thomas, Guest House

Salon | MAKEUP: Courtney Matthews | TRAVEL


Brooke Guesnard + Jeanne Hunt Akin, Events

Detailed | DECOR RENTALS: Port City Rentals


CATERER: Morrissette & Co. | JEWELER: Karat

Patch | INVITATIONS: Soiree Signatures | BAR:

Mark Kidd | SPARKLERS FOR DANCE + EXIT: Mike Perkins | NOW | 57
from NATALIE + CARSON’S wedding at:
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Bon Appétit

IF THERE IS NO ON-SITE CATERER at your reception location, the catering professionals in NOW WEDDINGS MAGAZINE are among the very best in the business. Do your research, accept recommendations and be sure to taste-test! A full-service caterer provides linen services, waiters and table service. Choose one who will listen to your ideas and help plan a menu for a delightful, memorable event

What To Ask Prospects

1. May we see a menu and package samples?

2. Will you be at the reception? Who will be assisting? How will your staff be dressed?

3. How many servers do we need for a seated/buffet reception? What is the estimated cost per person for each? What does that include?

4. How much floor space do you need for preparation, serving and bar service?

5. Are you licensed/insured for bar service?

6. What is the bar fee? What does that include? How many bars and bartenders can you provide?

7. What amount of liquor do you recommend based on our guest list?

8. Will we be charged for unopened bottles/ can those be returned?

9. What bar supplies do you provide?

10. Can you provide cash/open bar services?

11. What time will the bars close?

12. When will we need to finalize our menu?

13. When do you need a final guest count?

14. Can you provide special dietary food?

15. What are the taxes and gratuities? Are there any additional fees?

16. How much set up time do you need? Are you full-service?

17. How is the food presented? Do you provide any decor for buffet tables?

18. Are we able to do a tasting? If yes, when?

19. What are your payment terms?

20. What is your cancellation policy?

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The cocktail hour is a wonderful time for couples to infuse their own unique personalities into the precursor to the more formal reception. Everything from the food to the beverage to the décor of the cocktail hour can be customized to reflect the couple and set the stage for the rest of the night.


Signature drinks can encompass anything from a favorite cocktail of the couple to a special concoction with a story attached.

Consider printing the signature cocktail recipe and story behind the featured signature drink right on coasters or beverage napkins!

58 | NOW |
don't forget the cocktails
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NOW Weddings Planner | NOW | 59


WHETHER YOU’RE “A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY” or he’s “a little bit rock ‘n’ roll,” the entertainment needs to be accommodating to please you, your family and guests. Musicians can provide that versatility from classical music ensembles to funk bands. You might also choose to have additional entertainment, such as a photo booth or live event painter at your wedding! Choose your entertainment with as much care as you would with other items for your wedding


1. Are you performing locally any time soon? May we attend the performance?

2. Can we see a song list? Can you perform particular songs we want that are not on the list?

3. How will you be dressed?

4. Do you provide lighting/special effects?

5. How far in advance must we book?

6. Will you be the master of ceremonies at the reception?

7. How many breaks do you take and for how long? Do you require a break room and/or food to be provided?

8. How many sets do you play and how long is each set?

9. Do you charge a total rate or by the hour?

10. When do you start overtime rates? How much?

11. What are your payment terms?

12. What is your cancellation policy? your location as far in advance as possible.

ask these questions


n What is included with your service?

n How many hours are included?

n How much space do you require for setup? When will you arrive to set up?

n How will you be dressed?

n How far in advance must we book?

n Do you charge a total rate or by the hour?

n When do you start overtime rates? How much?

n What are your payment terms?

n What is the cancellation policy?

if you’re hiring live entertainment, take time to see them perform at another event or on video to make sure they match your wedding style.

60 | NOW |
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The Ultimate Wedding Music Checklist

Planning your wedding day involves countless details, and choosing the right music is essential to create the perfect atmosphere. Here’s a checklist of moments you’ll want to consider when selecting special songs for both your ceremony and reception.

Welch Photography & Video


1. Prelude

n Set the tone with instrumental music or light background tunes as guests arrive at the ceremony location.

2. Processional

n The Grand Entrance: Depending on the size of your wedding, you may need multiple songs. If grandparents and parents are part of the processional, select a song for them to walk to. The wedding party may walk to the same song as parents and grandparents, or you may choose a song just for them. For the bride or groom-to-be’s entrance, select a special song that complements the moment, whether a classic like “Canon in D” or a personal favorite.

3. Unity Ceremony

n If you have a unity candle, sand ceremony, or any other ritual, choose a meaningful song to accompany this special moment.

4. Recessional

remember to pick a song that holds sentimental value or speaks to your relationship

n Celebrate your newlywed status with an uplifting and joyful song as you exit the ceremony venue together.


1. Cocktail Hour

n Set a relaxed and enjoyable ambiance with a mix of light, instrumental music, or your favorite songs.

2. Grand Entrance

n Make a memorable entrance as a couple with a lively and upbeat song that reflects your personality.

3. First Dance

n Your first dance as a married couple is a significant moment. Pick a song that holds sentimental value or speaks to your relationship.

6. Father-Daughter Dance

n Select a touching song for this special dance between the bride and her father.

7. Mother-Son Dance

n Choose a meaningful song for the dance between the groom and his mother.

8. Last Dance

n If you’re considering a private last dance with just the two of you, pick a meaningful song - preferably one you can slow dance to!

62 | NOW |
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n “My Girl” by The Temptations

n “I Loved Her First” by Heartland

n “Daddy’s Little Girl” by Michael Bublé

n “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle

n “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder

n “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

n “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole

n “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses (instrumental versions are also available)

n “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins

n “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross

n “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts

n “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

n “In My Life” by The Beatles

n “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra

n “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman

n “Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon

n “Sweet Pea” by Amos Lee

n “Daughters” by John Mayer

n “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw

n “A Song for My Daughter” by Ray Allaire

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n “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men

n “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd or Shinedown

n “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins

n “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

n “In My Life” by The Beatles

n “A Mother’s Song” by T. Carter Music

n “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban

n “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses (instrumental versions are also available)

n “The Perfect Fan” by Backstreet Boys

n “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder

n “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts

n “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd or Shinedown

n “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

n “My Boy” by Elvis Presley

n “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor

n “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys

n “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen

n “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole

n “Have I Told You Lately” by Rod Stewart or Van Morrison

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REMEMBER TO CONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL PREFERENCES, THE OVERALL THEME OF YOUR WEDDING, and your guests’ preferences when making your music selections. Whether it’s a classic ballad, a contemporary hit, or a sentimental favorite, the right music will elevate every moment of your special day. Weddings Planner

NOW real wedding


Something Special



“Dating apps are awful,” shares Christian, “Not because they’re ineffective, but because you have to work for what you want with a 90+% failure rate per swipe. Sometimes you just don’t click, sometimes they’re just not interested in you, sometimes they’re… something special.”

One day, he found Garima and was immediately taken with her beauty. “I sent her a message,” he shares. “You’re so beautiful that I’d ask if you were a bot, but most bots don’t ask for a Christ centered relationship,” he messaged her.

Though not a big texter, Christian found that texting Garima was easy for him. “We must have sent a few hundred text that first day, and the next day I was at her house for a date. That day, minutes quickly turned to hours as we talked about everything and anything.”

“We monopolized each other’s free time over the next few days and when I told her I was planning a backpacking trip with some friends in Georgia and would be out of signal for three days, she thought ‘This is it. This is how he cuts me off and moves on to the next one.’”

On the trip, the phone he usually left in his backpack for peace and quiet was out and he was constantly searching for a signal, which he fortunately found. When he returned, they were inseparable.

The duo went everywhere and did everything together and eventually, Christian proposed.

Garima said “Yes!” | NOW | 67


The couple wed in a traditional Catholic ceremony at Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans. After their vows, Christian and Garima led a Second Line with Big Fun Brass Band from the church to their reception at Galeriè de Galatoire.

Garima wore a strapless fit-and-flare gown for the ceremony and also had henna painted on her arms. For the reception she changed into the traditional Nepali dress, a lehenga.

The reception included delicious food catered by Galatoires, a two tier cake by Maurice French Pastries and lots of dancing.

68 | NOW |





READY LOCATION: Renaissance New Orleans

Pere Marquette French Quarter AreaHotel


Conception Jesuit Church | OFFICIANT: Father


Acme Oyster House | BRIDE’S GOWN: Pearl’s Place | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Birdy Grey |

MENSWEAR: The Black Tux | BAKERY: Maurice


D2 Entertainment | HAIR + MAKEUP: Wake Up to Make Up by Rebecca | BRASS BAND: Big Fun Brass Band | CATERER: Galatoires | NOW | 69
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Your Event Planner

AN EVENT PLANNER will be your new best friend in the months leading up to your wedding day. Meet and interview some of NOW WEDDINGS MAGAZINE planners and choose the best fit for you. Discuss everything from design details down to the budget, and let them help make your dream wedding a reality.


Consultants aren’t just for the rich and famous. Their services run the gamut from day-of planning help to full on coordination packages. There’s a plan of action for every couple and every wedding. Here are 5 reasons to hire a planner:

1. REFERRALS. Working with a consultant means you get hooked up with the best people and the best plans.

2. EXPERIENCE. Your planner’s experience coordinating previous events will benefit you in a big way.

3. Efficiency. A recent study by Minted says the average couple spends an average of 528 hours planning their wedding! Save yourself a good bit of this by hiring someone who knows the ins and outs of wedding planning!

4. READY FOR ANYTHING. Tissues? Check. Backup plan? Check. Your coordinator thinks of everything and that’s a major plus when you’re stressed out, confused or just plain scared of what to do next in the planning process.

5. STAY ON BUDGET. Whether you’re spending $20,000 or $500,000 on your wedding, you don’t want to waste money. A seasoned planner will connect you with vendor discounts and tell you what items are wastes of money and which ones are solid investments.

ask yourself these questions

1. Does this planner “get” my vision?

2. Have they given me realistic options and advice?

3. Do I feel comfortable with them? Do our personalities mesh?

4. Do I like their overall style shown in their portfolio?

5. Do they understand the religious and/ or cultural traditions that are important to us?

6. Am I comfortable with the cost of hiring them?

7. What about this planner makes me think they’re “the one”?


1. May we see references and your portfolio?

2. Tell us about previous weddings you’ve coordinated.

3. Have you planned weddings similar to ours (size/traditions/venues/etc)?

4. How much or how little are you willing to handle?

5. What services do you offer? Planning? Design?

6. Do you have a recommended vendor list?

7. Do you base your fees on the total cost or by preset packages?

8. How can you help my wedding day run smoothly and stay on budget?

9. What are your payment terms?

10. What is your cancellation policy?

70 | NOW |
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72 | NOW |

Your Wedding Décor

IF YOU’RE PLANNING YOUR wedding at a “blank canvas” site, you’ll definitely need to make use of rental services. Even if you hold your event at an all-inclusive venue, you may find that you want to personalize the space with specialty linen or furniture. Décor rental companies have so much to offer from practical items like tables and chairs to fanciful thrones, ambiance creating lighting and special effects and more!

Getting Started

Before you try and select a party rental company, you’ll want to sit down with your wedding coordinator or the event planners for your ceremony and reception sites to determine exactly what you’ll need. Venues often offer linens and tableware, so you’ll want to be certain of what you’ll be receiving from your wedding venues.

Once you determine what you already have, you’ll then know what you’ll still need to make your celebration complete. No matter how big or small, it’s likely a party rental company can help you find it. From lounge furniture, roulette

tables, mirrored disco balls, portable restrooms, and photo booths, party rental companys can find just about anything – all you have to do is ask.

Shop Around

After determining what type of items you’re looking for, it’s time to shop. To find a reputable party rental company, consult with your wedding coordinator, the event planners for your ceremony and reception sites for recommendations. Once you’ve narrowed your selections to a few rental companies, make appointments so you can check out each company’s inventory.

ask yourself these questions

Rental and Décor


1. May we see pictures from past weddings you’ve done?

2. Have you worked at our location before?

3. What are your delivery/setup/ breakdown fees?

4. What type of lighting options are available?

5 . How can you help us create the ambiance we are envisioning?

6. What rental items do you suggest to help us create our vision while staying within budget?

7. What type of specialty items do you offer?

8. Will you be present to oversee set up on the wedding day?

9. Are you insured? What are your policies for damages/missing items?

10. How early do you need to arrive for setup?

11. When should we expect to receive a quote and decor plan?

12. Do you secure necessary permits for tenting?

13. What are your payment terms?

14. What is your policy for cancellation?

74 | NOW |
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NOW Weddings Planner

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More than Friends

MAY 13, 2023 | NEW ORLEANS, LA


As fate would have it, Crystal and Hieu lived in the same dorm one year as undergraduates at Stanford. They met and became friends, sharing common interests and activities, but didn’t start officially dating until years later.

Two years after meeting Hieu, Crystal arranged a summer program at Stanford but realized she had forgotten to arrange housing at the last minute. She decided to call Hieu who she knew was always ready to help out a friend, and asked if she could sleep on his couch for a few days. As it turned out, Hieu’s lease was about to end, so the two friends decided to find a place together for the summer months.

Their friendship quickly deepened and by the end of the summer they realized there was something special about their relationship. Since then, they have traversed the country together, living in Philadelphia, New York, and now New Orleans.

Hieu planned the proposal during a romantic trip to Santa Barbara, California – a location Crystal had always wanted to visit. Although he made plans and attempted to propose at multiple points during the trip, it wasn’t til the last day (on the way to the airport!) that he was finally able to ask her to marry him. Hieu made a stop at a hill overlooking the entire town and there, after 12 years of dating, got down on one knee. Crystal said “Yes!” | NOW | 77


Crystal and Hieu's wedding plans, expertly executed by their planner Uncommon Camellia, included traditions, music and food from many places that are special to them. The couple embraced their Vietnamese and Chinese cultures including Chinese Wedding Door Games and a traditional Tea Ceremony that they dressed in traditional attire for.

To incorporate their home city of New Orleans, they included a cake pull and a traditional New Orleans Second Line with a twist! The Second Line included not only a brass band, but also traditional Chinese and Vietnamese Lion Dancers!

The wedding ceremony took place at Longue Vue House & Gardens where the decor was designed to mimic the hotel in Santa Barbara that Crystal and Hieu stayed in for the proposal trip. Crystal intended to have her grandfather walk her down the aisle, but he passed away shortly before the wedding. To honor his memory, she carried a photo charm of her grandfather with her bouquet so he could still “walk her down the aisle.”

After the ceremony, guests were treated to snowballs and games including Jenga and Connect Four.

A traditional Tea Ceremony took place during the reception before dinner, with the couple serving tea to their family as a sign of respect.

The reception took place at Capulet in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. The reception included a decadent three-course menu, music and yet another game - a giant crossword puzzle for guests to complete.

The evening ended with the Second Line from Capulet to nearby Anna’s for an afterparty.

78 | NOW |






LOCATION: Longue Vue House & Gardens |


Anna’s | INVITATIONS: Colibri Gifts | Photography:

Gabrielle Hail | VIDEO: Tone Productions |

FLORIST: The Plant Gallery | BRIDE’S GOWN:

Jenny Yoo, Wedding Belles Nola | HAIR + MAKEUP:

Verde Beauty Studio | GROOM’S ATTIRE: Luca

Falcone | GROOM’S PREP: Legend Barbershop |


v.calligraphy | ENTERTAINMENT: Micah McKee

| BAR: Tap Truck Nola | BAKERY: Jenny’s Cake

Creations | BAND: Typically Booked | BRASS

BAND: Knockaz Brass Band | CAKE PLATEAU:

Lush Magnolia | LION DANCE: Southern Lotus Lion


DINNER: 9 Roses Restaurant | DANCE LESSONS:

Dance Quarter | SNOWBALLS: Plum Street

Snowballs | OTHER DECOR/RENTALS: Lovegood

Wedding & Event Rentals | MINISTER: LaToya

Papillion-Herr | GUEST BOOK: Simon | NOW | 79 See more from CRYSTAL + HIEU’S wedding at:

Your Wedding Flowers

Your flowers should reflect the personalities and tastes of the “complete” couple and create a fragrant and beautiful treat for everyone. Get your ideas together, along with a picture of your wedding dress, style and colors of your wedding and a maximum budget figure. Confirm deliveries and pick-up times and as with all things, sign a contract and secure your preferred floral artist with a deposit!

use this area to take note of your favorite flowers and flower colors


Bride’s Bouquet

Toss Bouquet

Maid of Honor’s bouquet

Bridesmaids’ bouquets

Flower Girl bouquet/basket

Groom’s boutonniere

Groomsmens’ boutonnieres

Mothers + grandmothers’ corsages

Fathers + grandfathers’ boutonnieres

Ceremony Arrangements (Altar, pew markers, gifts)

Reception Arrangements (Guest Tables, Buffet Tables, Cake Table)

Other _______________________________________

Favorite Flowers

ask florists these questions

n May we see pictures from past weddings you’ve done?

n Are any of our flower choices restricted by season?

n Do you suggest any particular flowers based on the time of year and/or location?

n Will you be present to set up on the wedding day? Will someone assist you?

n Will you deliver personal flowers to our getting ready location? Transfer arrangements from the ceremony site to the reception?

n Do you provide decorations and equipment, like arches, trellises, candles, etc?

n How fresh will the flowers be on the wedding day?

n What are your delivery/setup/ breakdown fees?

n What are your payment terms?

n What is your policy for cancellation?

80 | NOW |
Find More PlanningWeddingTips & Inspiration at: NOW Weddings Planner
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Bouquet Shapes

WHEN PLANNING A WEDDING, CHOOSING THE PERFECT BOUQUET is as crucial as selecting the ideal dress. The bouquet not only complements the bride's attire but also reflects her personality and the overall theme of the wedding. Among the myriad of details to consider, the shape of the bouquet stands out as a key element that can transform the bridal look. Here is a breakdown of the most popular bouquet shapes.


A round wedding bouquet is a classic and timeless choice for brides. Characterized by its symmetrical shape, this type of bouquet features flowers arranged in a circular pattern, creating a lush and compact design. The round bouquet is versatile, suiting both formal and casual weddings.

Florists often use a mix of blooms, including roses, peonies, and hydrangeas, to achieve a full and balanced look. The size can vary, but it's typically easy to hold and complements various wedding dress styles. With its elegant simplicity and beauty, a round wedding bouquet is popular for brides seeking a traditional and romantic floral arrangement.


A hand-tied wedding bouquet is a beautifully relaxed and natural floral arrangement, perfect for brides seeking a more organic and personalized touch. This type of bouquet is characterized by its loosely gathered blooms, which are artfully arranged and then tied together, giving the impression that the flowers have just been freshly picked. The handtied technique allows for various flower types and colors to be included, as well as different textures and greenery. The relaxed style of a hand-tied bouquet suits a wide range of wedding settings, from rustic outdoor ceremonies to elegant indoor celebrations.


A posy bouquet is a charming and petite floral arrangement, perfect for brides who prefer simplicity and elegance. This type of bouquet is characterized by its small, round shape, making it comfortable and easy to hold in one hand. Posy bouquets often feature a tight cluster of flowers, with stems wrapped in ribbon for a polished look. They can include a variety of flowers, such as roses, tulips, and daisies, often arranged with minimal greenery to keep the focus on the blooms themselves. Due to its compact size, the posy bouquet is an excellent choice for bridesmaids, flower girls, and brides seeking a subtle yet beautiful floral accessory for their wedding day.


A cascade wedding bouquet is a stunning and dramatic floral arrangement that gracefully flows downward, mimicking a waterfall of flowers and greenery. This type of bouquet is known for its luxurious and voluminous shape, starting fuller at the top and tapering to a point, creating a visually striking effect. It often features a mix of large blooms and delicate trailing elements, such as ivy or ferns, to enhance its cascading appearance. The cascade bouquet's timeless beauty remains a favorite for brides dreaming of a fairy-tale entrance on their wedding day.


A nosegay bouquet is a compact, rounded floral arrangement that exudes elegance and tradition. Larger than a posey, nosegays are distinguished by their tightly arranged blooms, often of a uniform size, creating a neat and orderly appearance. This bouquet type emphasizes the beauty of each flower, typically featuring a harmonious blend of flowers and greenery. The stems are usually cut to the same length and bound with a decorative ribbon, contributing to the bouquet's polished look. The nosegay bouquet remains a timeless wedding choice with its historical roots and classic appeal.

82 | NOW |

The Fine Print

Stationery Checklist



Seating Cards and/or Menu Cards

Thank You Notes






that sets the tone and style of your big day.

ask your stationier these questions

1. May we see references, samples and your portfolio?

2. What style of invitations do you recommend for our wedding?

3. How long does it take to process orders?

4. Does the invitation I’m interested in require additional postage?

5. Can we get matching thank-you notes and stationery?

6. How many invitations should I order based on my guest list?

7. If I need to order additional invitations, what is the cost and how long will this take?

8. What customizations are available?

9. Can you recommend a calligrapher?

1o. What are the payment terms?

84 | NOW |
don't forget
MAKE THE RIGHT FIRST IMPRESSION with your guests and wow them
with stationery
Invitations + Envelopes Reply Cards + Envelopes
Other _______________________________________
Envelopes should be addressed by hand
Record RSVPS to your Master Guest List
Record the dates of each mailing
Amin Russell Photography NOW Weddings Planner Download our Printable Planner at

your wedding invitation timeline

6-8 Months Before the Wedding

4-5 Months Before the Wedding

2-3 Months Before the Wedding

6-8 Weeks Before the Wedding

2-4 Weeks Before the Wedding

Week Before the Wedding

n Create your guest list.

n Choose your invitation design. You should select a design that complements your wedding theme and style.

n Order Save the Dates.

n Finalize guest count.

n Collect guest addresses.

n Order invitations.

n Mail Save the Dates.

n Assemble invitations, ensure that each envelope is stuffed correctly and organized.

n Address the invitations and triple-check for accuracy to avoid delivery mishaps.

n Calculate the postage required for each invitation. It's best to bring a fully assembled invitation to the post office to ensure accurate postage.

n Affix postage

n Mail invitations

n Follow up with guests who have not returned RSVPs to help you finalize catering numbers and other logistical details.

n Finalize seating arrangements and provide your venue and caterer with the confirmed guest count.

n Confirm final details with vendors, including the catering, florist, and venue. Ensure they have the most up-todate guest count.

n Compile a final guest list with any last-minute additions or changes. Share this with your wedding coordinator or point person. | NOW | 85


real wedding

DR. HANNAH AUTIN + MR. RENÉ CHIASSON High School Sweethearts

MAY 27, 2023 | NEW ORLEANS, LA


“René and I met when we were in high school,” shares Hannah. “I was in 9th grade and René was in 11th grade. Apparently René had been eyeing me for weeks and knew I was the one, but did not know how to approach me.” René decided to sign up to host the school’s Family Feud game. “By being the host he had to go around and ask people questions at recess for the game,” shares Hannah. “This gave him the chance he needed to talk to me. Every day for a week straight he would come ask only my group of friends the questions for the game.”

René eventually got Hannah’s number and the two began texting and eventually started dating in the summer of 2021. “We dated through high-school and college and after a hurricane caused him to lose his job, he moved to Auburn with me,” says Hannah.The couple married in May 2023 after Hannah graduated medical school. | NOW | 87


The couple married on the rooftop of Hannah’s parents’ Royal Street apartment building. The ceremony backdrop was an arch of pink and ivory blooms designed by Nola Flora. Lush florals surrounded the stage and lined the aisle.

The couple's dogs walked down the aisle with Hannah’s mother and the officiant of the wedding was Hannah’s best friend that she’s known since high school

René’s ring is a family heirloom, passed down from his great grandfather to his grandfather and then to René’s father. Each of the men who wore the ring “had a life-long happy marriage.”

Hannah too wore jewelry passed down through generations, including her mother’s jewelry and her great grandmother’s rings.

After the ceremony, the wedding party Second Lined to Galariè de Galatoire for the reception. Reception highlights included a cigar roller and a performance by Louisiana fiddler Amanda Shaw.

The couple departed the reception in a pedicab while their guests waved goodbye from the Galatorie's balcony.

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READY LOCATIONS: The Bride’s Parents’

Apartment on Royal + Hotel Mazarin | CEREMONY

LOCATION: The Rooftop of the Bride’s Parents’

Apartment on Royal | OFFICIANT: Lindsey Wood

| RECEPTION LOCATION + CATERER: Galariè de Galatoire | REHEARSAL DINNER: Felipés | BRIDE’S GOWN: Town & Country Bridal | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Azazie | GROOM’S + GROOMSMENS’ ATTIRE: The Black Tux |

PHOTOGRAPHY: Brocato Photography Collective


VIDEO: Studio Vieux Carre | BAKERY: Jenny’s Cake Creations (wedding cake) + La Louisiane (groom’s cake) | CEREMONY MUSIC: A Touch of Rose | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Karma + Amanda Shaw | TRANSPORTATION: Nola

Pedicabs | HAIR + MAKEUP: Stephanie Hogan + Nikki Micheal | TRAVEL AGENT: Audley Travel



DECOR: Luminous Events | FINE JEWELRY: Family

Heirlooms | FAVORS: Beignets | INVITATIONS:

Scriptura | CIGAR ROLLER: Cigar Factory |

PHOTO BOOTH: Snap & Sketch Photo Booth |

SECOND LINE BAND: Knockaz Brass Band | LIVE

PAINTER: Alex Harvie | NOW | 89
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HANNAH + RENE'S wedding at:


MATTER HOW BIG, STYLISH or expensive your wedding is, it won’t be complete without a wedding dessert. Traditionally this dessert is in the form of a wedding cake, but don’t feel like this is your only option. Have some fun! Wedding pie anyone? Milk and Cookies bar? Your options are limitless and oh so sweet!

Anatomy of a Wedding Cake


BUTTER CREAM A creamy, spreadable icing that’s made from butter and sugar.

Let Them Eat Cake ask these questions

FONDANT A thick concoction made from sugar and gelatin that is rolled out flat and then draped over the cake to provide a completely smooth, firm surface for decorating.

ROYAL A frosting made by beating together sugar and egg whites. It hardens when dried, so it is great for dots, lace or lattice work.

GANACHE This fancy term is simply chocolate melted with heavy cream. This frosting makes a beautiful shiny glaze on cakes and cookies. If you chill a ganache, beat it until it’s fluffy and  stiff, then form it into balls, you’ll end up with truffles. You can also chill and beat a ganache.


MARZIPAN a rolled paste of ground almonds, egg whites and sugar that can be draped and shaped.

SUGARPASTE Also called gum paste, it is used like marzipan to make beautiful flowers and decorations.

DRAGEES Hard little sugar balls are painted with edible gold or silver paint.

PULLED SUGAR Boiled sugar, water, and corn syrup used to create beautiful designs like roses and bows.


The filling is what really gives a wedding cake its personality. Filling separates the layers of a cake, adding additional flavor and richness. Filling is usually fruit or cream based and depending on the number of tiers, many couples choose two or three different fillings.

1. May we see your portfolio and hear about your culinary background? Do you offer tastings?

2. How soon should we order our cake? Are delivery and setup included? If so, how far in advance before the reception will the cake be delivered?

3. How do you price your cakes?

4. Can you create a custom wedding and/or groom’s cake from a photograph, fabric swatch, flower, etc.?

5. Do you specialize in certain styles or flavors?

6. Can you accommodate special dietary needs?

7. Can you make extra sheet cakes if necessary?

8. How far in advance will you make my cake?

7. Do you provide cutting instructions for servers?

8. Do you supply a container to freeze the top layer? Boxes for left-over cake?

9. Is there a charge for supports or bases? If so, may we return them and be refunded?

10. Do you rent cake stands?

11. How far in advance do I need to get my cake pulls to you?

12. What are your payment terms?

13. What is your cancellation policy?

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Find More PlanningWeddingTips & Inspiration at: NOW Weddings Planner | NOW | 91


92 | NOW | NOW WEDDINGS INSPIRATION | NOW | 93 Find More PlanningWeddingTips & Inspiration at:


Floral Wedding Inspiration at Chateau LeMoyne



Photography by Amin Russell Photography

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The historic Chateau LeMoyne Hotel is located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. The hotel’s private garden courtyard, where this editorial was photographed, has been host to wedding ceremonies and receptions of countless couples.

A “broken arch” of colorful blooms designed by florist Diane Mouton of Fat Cat Flowers sets the stage for our romantic editorial.


PAGES 94-96 Allie is wearing a tulle, ruffle skirt A-line gown by Lillian West, available at Bliss Bridal. This ethereal gown features a plunging, notched neckline and delicate, hand-pleated English net details on the sheer bodice. The light-as-air tulle skirt features vertical panels of ruched English net creating a whimsical ruffle effect. Matte lace appliqués mixed with textured 3D appliqués cascade down the skirt.

Allie’s jewelry includes a 14K White Gold Classic Tennis Bracelet, a 14K White Gold Mixed Shape Tennis Bracelet, Mixed Shape Diamond Chandelier Earrings, a 14K White Gold Right Hand Band with 5 Radiant Cut Stones, and a 14 K White Gold Engagement Ring with 3.01CT GIACertified Emerald Cut Center Stone AND 0.63 CT Trapezoid Side Stones and an Eternity Wedding Band featuring 16 Brilliant Round Diamonds Set with a Single Prong Setting, all available at Diamonds Direct.

Her makeup, by Makeup Artist Chris Carter, is romantic and glamorous and her hair is styled in soft waves by Jessica Jackson Hair. A Bel Aire Bridals veil, available at Bliss Bridal, with floral details completes her ensemble. Her manicure by Update Nail & Spa features a mix of sparkle and linear detail. | NOW | 97


True Value Rentals’ Ivory Damask Linen sets the stage for this charming reception table styled by Diane Mouton of Fat Cat Flowers. Arrangements of ivory and yellow flowers create the centerpiece and china and glassware from Diane’s personal collection complete the table. Chateau LeMoyne’s Champagne Chiavari Chairs provide elegant seating.

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Allie is wearing a lace fit-and-flare gown with bell sleeves by Lillian West, available at Bliss Bridal

Her jewelry includes a 14K White Gold Classic Tennis Bracelet, a 14K White Gold Mixed Shape Tennis Bracelet, 18K White Gold Feather Art Deco Earrings, Antiquestyle Oval Cocktail Ring, 18k White Gold Mixed Shape Marquis, and Brilliant Round Cut Diamonds Wedding band designed by C. Gonshor Fine Jewelry and a 14K White Gold, 4.31CT GIACertified Pear Shape Center Stone, 0.33 CT Tapered Baguette Side Stones Engagement Ring from Diamonds Direct

The groom's band, shown left, is a 14K Yellow Gold Brushed Finish Band with 0.59 TOTAL CTS designed by Simon G Jewelry, available at Diamonds Direct

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Allie is wearing “Citrine” by Justin Alexander, available at Bliss Bridal. This A-line gown features a plunging V-neck and a sheer bodice. The sheer A-line skirt features a slit with a jersey mini skirt underneath and the gown is adorned with sequined 3D lace appliqués and 3D laser cut chiffon petals.

Her jewelry includes a 14K White Gold Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet, 14K White Gold Flower Studs and 18K White Gold Floral Wrap Necklace, and a 14K White Gold Vine Ring from Diamonds Direct | NOW | 103


THIS PAGE Jarrel is wearing the Dusk Blue ‘Lane’ Tuxedo by Ike Behar, available at John’s Tuxedos & Suits. His tie is a brilliant coral color, “Sedona.”

OPPOSITE Jarrel is wearing the Slate Blue ‘Bartlett’ Tuxedo by Allure Men, available at John’s Tuxedos & Suits. Adding a pop of color is his tie, also from John’s, in the color “Clove.” His wedding band is a 14K Yellow and White Gold 7MM Textured Center band designed by Verragio and available at Diamonds Direct. | NOW | 105


THIS PAGE This confectionary work of art by Kimbla’s Cakes incorporates round and square tiers with fondant “lace” matching the floral lace appliqués from the “Citrine” dress. Colorful sugar flowers and a fondant drape complete this cake design. The cake sits atop a Square Gold Cake Plateau with Roses from True Value Rental

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Chateau LeMoyne Hotel


Amin Russell


Fat Cat Flowers


Bliss Bridal


John’s Tuxedos


Jessica Jackson


Chris Carter


Kimbla’s Cakes


Diamonds Direct


Update Nail & Spa


True Value Rental


Allie Simoneaux + Jarrel Bowens



NOW THE FUN BEGINS - the search for the perfect wedding gown and styling your wedding day look. Be sure to choose a dress that looks and feels like it was made just for you. Be realistic about your budget and let your bridal boutique attendant know both the style and price range you’re looking for. But remember, this is all about you. Don’t let outside opinions get between you and your dream dress!

if your ceremony site has restrictions pertaining to strapless gowns, consider removable straps or a jacket or cape.

ask yourself these questions


1. Where are you getting married? Your dress should be appropriate for the level of formality of your event and also the time of year.

2. Do you want to wear a veil or other headpiece?

3. Does your ceremony site have any restrictions pertaining to clothing?

4. What style gowns are you most drawn to? Bring photos of gowns that catch your eye to give your bridal boutique attendant an idea of what you like.

5. Are you planning any major body transformations before the wedding? Ask when the latest you can order is so that your gown will fit as comfortably as possible.

6. Will you need any particular foundation garments with the gown you choose? Be sure to bring these and your wedding shoes with you to all alteration appointments!

7. Are there any special accessories you wish to wear?

8. When shopping for your dress, a small group of trusted friends who know your style is best. Resist the urge to bring everyone you know shopping.



1. Do you have any gowns in stock, or must they be ordered?

2. Can you guarantee a delivery date? How far in advance do I need to place my order?

3. How many fittings should I schedule?

4. Do my attendants need to be here in person to order their dresses?

5. When can you offer alterations and fittings? Can you make last-minute alterations?

6. What is your return policy?

7. What are your payment terms?

don't forget about accessories. Bring your shoes, belts and veil to your fittings to ensure a perfect fit.
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Rae Leytham Photography Rae Leytham Photography


After your wedding gown, a wedding veil is one of the most defining aspects of your bridal appearance. Historically a veil was worn to protect the bride from evil spirits; today it is simply considered a beautiful form of adornment. Veils also come in many lengths, with and without embellishments. Here are few of the most popular lenths.

BLUSHER: This style falls loosely over the bride’s face, The Blusher is often attached to a longer veil that trails down the back of the bride’s head and gown.

FLYAWAY: A multi-layered veil that just brushes the shoulders mid-back, it’s considered less formal than other styles.

ELBOW: Multiple layers of fabric are usually used to fashion this type of veil, which extends to the bride’s elbows. The length makes the veil quite versatile, for a formal or less formal gown.

FINGERTIP: Like the Elbow, this veil is typically made from a few layers of fabric, and extends to the bride’s fingertips when her arms are resting at her sides.

BALLERINA: Also referred to as ballet-length or waltz, this style varies, falling anywhere between the bride’s knees and the ankles. It can be paired with a formal or less formal gown.

CHAPEL: Reaches to the floor and extends up to three feet past the hem of your gown. This length is a very romantic look, and is great for formal black tie weddings.

CATHEDRAL: Also referred to as the “royal veil”. Cathedral length veils are perfect for formal church or large venue weddings. They extend way beyond the hem of your gown for a dramatic entrance. | NOW | 109

NOW Weddings Planner

Bridesmaid Responsibilities


IS AN IMPORTANT CHOICE that embraces closeness and support during an exciting time. When choosing your bridesmaids, consider their ability to commit to the responsibilities. Use this checklist so you and your bridesmaids can understand the commitment, time, and sometimes financial contributions required. And ensure your chosen ones are ready to take on these roles and are prepared to support you wholeheartedly throughout your wedding planning.

Months Before the Wedding


nAttend dress shopping appointments with the bride.

nProvide honest and supportive feedback on potential bridesmaid dresses.

nEnsure timely ordering of dresses to allow for alterations.


nCollaborate with other bridesmaids to plan and organize the bridal shower.

nContribute to ideas and plans for the bachelorette party.

nAssist in collecting funds for group expenses.


nStay in regular contact with the bride and other bridesmaids.

nBe responsive to emails, texts, and calls regarding wedding plans.


nAssist the bride with any do-ityourself wedding projects.

nOffer creative input and support in crafting personalized elements.

Weeks Before the Wedding


nAccompany the bride to her final dress fitting.

nMaid/Matron of Honor: Ensure all bridesmaids have attended their dress fittings and alterations.


nAssist in communicating with vendors for any last-minute details if the bride does not have a wedding planner handling this.

nConfirm arrival times and services with hair and makeup artists.


nCollaborate with other bridesmaids to organize gifts for the bride.

nEnsure the gifts are ready for presentation at the rehearsal dinner.


nOffer emotional support to the bride as the wedding day approaches.

nHelp with any last-minute errands or tasks.

don't forget the costs involved with being a bridesmaid.

things for the bride to think about


1. Consider your bridesmaids’ budgets when selecting the gown, shoes and accessories you’d like them to wear. If your maids have limited budgets you might consider allowing them to select their own dresses (with color and style parameters you provide) that work within their budget.

2. If you’re expecting your bridesmaids to have their hair and makeup professionally done, consider offering to pay for this or allow them to do their own hair and makeup if they prefer.


3. Think of unique gifts for each of your bridesmaids to say thank you –remember – they’re all individuals and don’t have to have matching gifts!

4. Consider treating your maids to a bridesmaid’s brunch before the wedding as a fun treat and a way to say thank you for everything they’ve done for you.

nYour own dress, shoes, jewelry

nYour own hair and makeup

nTravel costs to the wedding and accommodations on the wedding day

nA shower and wedding gift (may be group gifts from all the bridesmaids)

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Stunning Bridesmaid Gowns | NOW | 111 NOW WEDDINGS INSPIRATION
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1. "Moore" by WTOO, shown in pewter, 2. Style 52301, black liquid metallic strapless gown, by Hayley Paige Occasions, 3. Style BD103, Slim fit satin midi dress in dusty rose, by Ladivine, 4. Style 52302, gold liquid metallic A-line gown with deep V-neckline, by Hayley Paige Occasions, 5. "Kayla" indigo satin trumpet gown scoop neckline with off the shoulder strap, corset bodice, and font slit on skirt, by Lazaro, 6. Style 7475C Curve satin long sleeve gown in a soft satin gown with romantic split blouson sleeves, a pleated wrap-effect bodice, and a deep v-neckline, with a thigh-grazing split skirt, shown in burgundy, by Ladivine,

NOW real wedding


I Deux



Jasmine and Phillip met as many modern couples do: online. “We were supposed to be just friends but it did not stay that way,” shares Jasmine. “At an Indian festival we sat down to eat with a stranger and he asked when we were getting married because I had just gotten henna done on my hands,” shares Jasmine. “It was awkward, but that's when I realized that my feelings for Phillip went beyond friendship.”

A few months went by and Jasmine and Phillip began discussing the future, in particular buying a home. ”I told him I'm not buying a house with him unless we're married,” says Jasmine. Phillip responded, ”'You think I won't marry you?'” And just like that they were engaged. | NOW | 113


Jasmine and Phillip planned a New Orleans wedding with the help of event planner Kristen Rauch of PK Weddings & Events. The ceremony took place beneath the sprawling branches of the Tree of Life in Audubon Park. A candlelit reception followed in the Dryades Ballroom of the NOPSI Hotel.

The two included many nods to their respective cultures on the wedding day. Moments included jumping the broom during the ceremony and Lion Dancers performing during the reception in honor of Phillip’s Chinese heritage. Of course, they couldn’t let the day end without a traditional New Orleans Second Line to which they added Moko Jumbie stilt walkers, a tradition from Jasmine’s mother’s home in the U.S. Virgin Islands!

“My favorite part was definitely the reception,” says Jasmine. “The food was excellent and the DJ and performers were so great.”

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NOPSI Hotel | FLORALS: Kimberly’s Unique Bridal Blooms | CAKE: Chez Ru Rene Bakery |

MAKEUP: Faces of Virtue | CEREMONY MUSIC: Encore Musical Services (violinist) | VIDEO: The Video Aces | PHOTOGRAPHY: Ibay Photography | ENTERTAINMENT: Bill Horaist Musical Services (Second Line/DJ/Lion Dancers) | OFFICIANT:

Hire a Minister | RENTALS: Fleur de Lis Event

Rental | TRANSPORTATION: Big Easy Limos |

PHOTOBOOTH: New Orleans Photo Booth |


DINNER: Domenica | BRIDE’S GOWN: Nicole Milano, Brides for a Cause (Sacramento, CA) |

MENSWEAR: Suit Shop | BRIDESMAIDS GOWNS: Birdy Grey + Azazie | JEWELER: Filosophy, Nadri, IB Designs VI | FAVORS: East Meets Dress |

INVITATIONS: The Knot | NOW | 115
more from JASMINE + PHILLIP wedding at:

THE TASK OF SELECTING the groom’s attire is his decision. Whether purchased or rented, his attire should complement the time and feel of your wedding!


Choosing a tux might just be the easiest wedding-related decision you’ll make. After all, it’s hard to go wrong with a suit that has changed so modestly in the past 120 years. In fact, if you compare today’s tuxedo with the one your father wore at his wedding, you’ll likely see only slight variations (provided dad didn’t wear a ruffled shirt). The single-breasted notch lapel tuxedo, is a classic look that never goes out of style. Searching for your own take on the traditional tux? From ties and vests to buttons and shoes, here’s the straight talk on your options, along with styles that best suit your groom’s silhouette.

Tie one on

When it comes to ties there’s standard, and then there’s spectacular. While the classic bow tie will always be a perennial favorite, there are other options for grooms who choose to venture outside the norm.

One of the most popular styles, the four-in-hand, is similar to a standard business tie. Paired with a matching fullbacked vest in a subtle pattern, a four-inhand is the top choice.

Jacket required

The key to a flattering tuxedo often lies in the jacket. The right one can whittle the waist, lengthen the torso, or add the

appearance of broader shoulders. The most common jacket is single breasted with a shawl lapel. This look is perfect for both short and tall men with more of a stocky or husky appearance. The same jacket with a notched lapel would flatter a short, thin groom because the notch in the lapel gives the appearance of broader shoulders.

A double-breasted jacket is great for thinner men because the eyes are drawn to the two rows of buttons at the midsection and gives the illusion of girth. With a double-breasted jacket, the shoulders can also be padded a bit to give the wearer the appearance of broader shoulders while still retaining the look of his trim waistline.

Somewhere between black & white

The color of your groom’s tuxedo is up to the two of you. Take into account the formality of your celebration, along with the time of day. If you’re planning an afternoon ceremony, a gray tuxedo with a stroller jacket is the standard look. A more casual celebration closer to evening might call for a white dinner jacket with black trousers and tie. A formal evening affair warrants the classic black tuxedo. Keep in mind, however, that traditions are just that and the two of you should choose the style and color that you want, no matter the time of day or the formality of the occasion.

select and order menswear

6 months prior to your wedding date

Finish the look

Finally, complete the formal look with matching socks and shoes. The guys’ socks should either be the same color as their shoes, or show some personality and match the colors in your wedding, which make for some great photo ops. Nowadays men are choosing less formal shoes and also showing personality with matching “Chucks” or “Toms.” But if needed, formal shoes can be rented from your formalwear company. Styles vary from slip-on versions with a parade shine to mock wingtips in classic black.


n What type of attire do you suggest based on the time, date, location and formality of our event?

n Do you have the attire that we want in stock or does it need to be ordered?

n Are shoes and accessories included in the price?

n How far in advance do we need to make reservations?

n Do the members of the groom’s party need to be fitted in person? Do you offer fittings, pressings and last minute alterations?

n When does the attire need to be returned?

n What is your damage policy?

n What are your payment terms?

n What is your cancellation policy?

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Tux Talk

Groomsmen Responsibilities


IMPORTANT DECISION that reflects the bonds and friendships you value most. It's crucial to consider the honor it bestows and the responsibilities it entails. Your groomsmen are critical in supporting you from the early stages of wedding planning to the culmination of your celebrations. They will be contributing to the smooth execution of your big day. Use this checklist of groomsmen's duties to help guide your selection. This list serves as a roadmap for them to navigate their roles effectively, ensuring they are prepared to undertake the tasks ahead with dedication and enthusiasm.

Before the Wedding


nParticipate in the planning and attend the bachelor party to celebrate the groom's last days of singlehood.


nAssist in planning and attending prewedding events such as the rehearsal dinner and any other gatherings.


nCoordinate with the groom and other groomsmen to ensure everyone has their attire ready well before the wedding day.


nOffer support to the groom in deciding on wedding details, if needed.


nAttend any scheduled meetings or rehearsals to ensure everyone is on the same page for the wedding day.

On the Wedding Day


nBe punctual for all wedding-related events, including pre-wedding photos, the ceremony, and the reception.


nHelp the groom with any last-minute preparations, calm nerves, and ensure he is ready for the ceremony.


nEnsure the groom arrives at the ceremony venue on time. Coordinate transportation for the wedding party if needed.


nAssist in seating and guiding guests to their designated places before the ceremony.


nThe Best Man is responsible for keeping the wedding rings safe until they are needed during the ceremony.


nWalk down the aisle, stand by the groom, and participate in any ceremony rituals as required.


nBe present and cooperative during photo sessions, ensuring the photographer captures memorable moments.


nEngage in the celebration, join the dance floor, and encourage others to participate.

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Amin Russell Photography


From Tuxedos to Timepieces

Inspiration for Men's Attire

1 2 3 4 5 7 6 8
1. John's Tuxedos & Suits 2. John's Tuxedos & Suits 3. Jack Mason Nautical Chronograph Watch, Randolph Aviator Sunglasses, and gold crown cufflinks from John's Tuxedos & Suits 4. John's Tuxedos & Suits 5. Tuxedos to Geaux, photographed by Sarah Alleman Photography 6. John's Tuxedos & Suits, photographed by Sarah Alleman Photography 7. John's Tuxedos & Suits, photographed by Sarah Alleman Photography 8. John's Tuxedos & Suits, photographed by Sarah Alleman 9. Tuxedos to Geaux, photographed by Sarah Alleman Photography 10. Rome's Tuxedos, photographed by Welch Photography & Video | NOW | 121 Find More PlanningWeddingTips & Inspiration at: 9 10

Beautiful Bride

SELECTING THE HAIR AND MAKEUP ARTISTS FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY is key to achieving your dream bridal look. Here’s a list of questions to ask potential wedding hair and makeup artists you’re considering for your wedding.


nHow many years of experience do you have in wedding hair and makeup? Can you share examples of weddings you’ve worked on in the past? Do you have a portfolio or online gallery?

nHow would you describe your signature style when it comes to bridal hair and makeup? Are you specialized in a particular bridal look or cultural wedding styles?

nHow many weddings do you typically book in a day? Will you be able to accommodate my entire bridal party?

nDo you offer a trial session before the wedding day? What is included in the trial, and how much does it cost? How do you handle feedback and adjustments after the trial session? Are you open to making changes based on my preferences?

nWhat brands and types of makeup products do you use? Are they suitable for all skin types?

nWill you be the one personally handling my wedding day hair and makeup, or do you work with a team? If you have a team, can I meet or see examples of their work as well?

nHow much time will you need for each member of the bridal party on the wedding day?

nWhat is your pricing structure? Do you have packages, and what do they include? Are there any additional charges, such as travel fees or extra hours?

nCan you provide a detailed contract outlining the agreement's services, costs, and terms?

nWhat is your cancellation policy, and what happens if you cannot fulfill the commitment on the wedding day? Do you have a backup artist in case of an emergency?

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Welch Photography & Video
our Printable Planner | NOW | 123


real wedding




“We met at the end of Summer of 2019,” says Madison. Chapman was starting his Junior year at Mississippi State University and Madison was starting her Sophomore year just down the road at East Mississippi Community College. “There was an instant connection and we have been attached at the hip since,” says Madison.

The proposal happened on Christmas morning in 2022. Madison was convinced Chapman would propose in the weeks following Christmas, but he had other plans. “In Chapman fashion he had to throw me a curveball and do it in our pjs with our security camera videoing,” she shares. “I could not have asked for a better proposal.” | NOW | 125


Madison and Chapman said “I do” at The Cottage Venue in Laurel, Mississippi with 300 friends and family in attendance.

The couple included family heirlooms in the details for their wedding day.

Chapman wore his late grandfather’s cufflinks and vintage Cartier watch and Madison carried a bouquet with a rose honoring her late aunt who passed away the Sunday before the wedding.

At the end of the ceremony, the couple walked down the aisle as husband and wife to “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley in honor of Madison’s late grandfather. He “was the biggest Elvis fan!” Madison shares.

The mirror welcome sign was also a family heirloom that once belonged to Madison’s great, great grandmother.

Chapman’s groom’s table at the reception was decked out in all things Mississippi State, honoring the place the couple met and where their relationship grew.

At the end of the evening, the couple did a private send-off with just their parents in attendance. The get-away car also had family ties. It was Chapman’s late grandfather’s most prized possession, his Mustang Shelby.

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Sikes | REHEARSAL DINNER: Edgar's Steakhouse, Dixie Golf Club | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Birdy Grey | PHOTOGRAPHY + VIDEO: Dream Lights

Photography and Film | FLORALS: Hayden Powell |


ENTERTAINMENT: Shake The Bucket | HAIR +

MAKEUP: Indigo Child Salon | TRAVEL AGENT:

Madison Jordan | WEDDING PLANNER: Pieces

Event Coordination | DECOR RENTALS: Taylor

Rental | MARQUEE LETTERS: Magnolia Marquee |

CATERER: Benson's Steakhouse | JEWELER: Hills

In House Jewelers | INVITATIONS: Minted + Canva |

BAR: Magnolia Mixology | NOW | 127
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Memories Captured

CAPTURE THOSE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME memories with professional photography and video! Make sure your photographer and videographer will catch all the important aspects of your wedding. You need to decide on this service as soon as possible in the planning phase to be sure you get the best available

Photographers and Videographers

Find a Photographer or Videographer Who Matches Your Style.

This may seem easy, but there’s often more to consider about a photographer than his or her website. You need to work with a professional photographer who shoots in a style that suits you. If you’re a really unstructured couple, you may love a fly-on-the-wall approach to shooting a wedding; but for a more traditional look, you’ll want a photographer who shoots a mix of portraits and candids so you can fill your album with posed pictures and still have the benefit of getting some fun candids. The best way to gauge a photographer’s style? Ask to check out an entire wedding the photographer recently shot. Look for photos that convey an overall sense of the day in a style that you love.

Do a Dress Rehearsal.

Get to know your photographer by shooting some engagement photos. You’ll get some great shots and you’ll get a sense of how your photographer works. You can also run through your wedding photos ahead of time. Many couples dress up in their wedding attire before the big day to shoot photos in a relaxed setting without time restrictions.

ask potential photographers these questions

1. May we see your references, portfolio and past wedding samples?

2. Will you be the one photographing/ filming my wedding?

3. What style do you specialize in (candid, portraits, etc.)?

4. Have you ever worked in our wedding venue before?

5. Will someone assist you on the wedding day?

6. Are you familiar with the lighting and layout at our venue(s)?

7. What are your packages and what do they include (number and size of photos, albums, additional costs)?

8. For videographer, what is the price for additional copies? Do we need to provide a song list to be played along with the video?

9. Do you offer overtime? What is the rate?

10. Can we purchase the negatives/ digital files/raw footage? If not, how long do you keep them on file?

11. What are your payment terms? Are there any additional charges we should know about?

12. What is your cancellation policy?

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WEDDING PLANNING IS FUN AND EXCITING, but it’s also a business. As a bride, you need to be business savvy as you finalize all the details of your big day. One of the most crucial things to consider is having a clear and solid contract for every wedding vendor and service.

n Get everything in writing and make sure you’re clear on all the terms. A verbal agreement may seem like a good deal at the time, but without a written agreement, your spoken understanding doesn’t have much merit. It may seem uncomfortable to ask for every detail in writing, but it’s worth it in the long run, especially if you need to reference the written agreement in the future.

n A contract should also cover payment timelines. An industry standard in catering is to pay the estimated food and beverage costs 30 days prior to the event, which is non-refundable.

n Check with your vendors about their substitution policies too. A caterer for

example, may want to substitute Chilean salmon with Alaskan salmon because of what’s in season or pricing differences. It may not be a big deal for you and you and your fiancé(e), but it’s fair that you should know about the possible changes.


n To make sure you’re getting good service, a good product and a good contract, get quotes from two to three other vendors in each category.

n Once you’ve found a vendor you like, make sure you seal the deal in a reasonable amount of time. The timeline for signing a contract can vary, but typically contract timelines can be

as short as 24 hours or as long as two weeks.

n Most of the time, a contract is considered final once it’s signed by both parties. Still you may have some flexibility if you need it.

n Ask your vendors if they allow changes or modifications to a contract. They may allow it, but they may charge extra for the courtesy.

For liability reasons, most vendors want to make sure they’re covered in case of an accident or wedding day mishap. With all vendors, make sure you have a backup plan in case of an emergency and always try to be calm and fair. Remember having a contract is a good thing. It protects you and your vendors on your special day. | NOW | 129

What's the Difference?

Photographer and Videographers vs Social Media Content Creators

IN THE EVER-EVOLVING WORLD OF WEDDINGS, the visual narrative is as diverse as the couples tying the knot.

Hiring social media content creators is more common at weddings, and more couples ask what the differences are between traditional professional photographers and videographers and these new visual creators on the scene.

Have content creators replaced video? Do you need to hire a content creator if you already have a photographer or videographer? Do you need to hire a videographer if you have a content creator?

Let's explore the differences so you can confidently decide when hiring professionals to capture your wedding memories.


Amanda Bravender, the creative mind behind The Social Confidant, a social media content creation company, highlights the aesthetic differences between social media content creation and traditional wedding photography and videography. She notes, "Social media content creation often prioritizes quick, attention-grabbing visuals with trendy editing styles, vibrant colors, and engaging captions."

In contrast, professional wedding photographers and videographers focus on timeless, carefully composed shots, capturing emotions and narratives more formally.

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"The key differences lie in the style, tone, and purpose of the visuals," says Bravender.


The camera equipment each type of artist uses is also different.

Content creators will often use cell phones to film and capture images that can be immediately posted online.

Professional photographers and videographers will use professional camera gear requiring post-processing. They may also utilize lighting and, in the case of video, drones for specialty shots and microphones to get clear audio of critical moments.


"In social media content creation, storytelling involves concise and engaging narratives catering to short attention spans," Bravender explains. Social media narratives rely on captions, hashtags, and visual elements to convey messages quickly. Social media posts have mere seconds to grab viewers' attention and shorter videos are preferred by the algorithm.

In contrast, wedding photography and video storytelling are

more extensive, capturing the depth and emotion of a moment with elaborate, timeless narratives. Wedding videographers often deliver a "long form" video that is 1-2 hours long, and photographers will provide galleries with hundreds if not thousands of photos.


In social media content creation, the planning process for wedding content takes on a different rhythm. Bravender notes, "Unlike traditional wedding content planning, the focus shifts to prioritizing shareability and engagement, adapting the storytelling approach to suit the faster-paced nature of social media consumption."

Social media videos will be shorter bursts, often filmed in the vertical format preferred for social platforms. Traditional videos usually include long-form footage that captures the entire wedding ceremony instead of brief moments. Traditional video is also filmed in a horizontal format suitable for watching on television.


The post-production process in social media content creation | NOW | 131

revolves around editing for quick and engaging visuals. Social media is all about being in the moment, and content creators may go live from the wedding or post photos, videos, and reels as the event is happening directly to their client's social media platforms.

Bravender notes, "Editing software, filters, and effects play crucial roles in enhancing the overall appeal, with speed and visual impact being prioritized to align with the fast-paced nature of social media consumption."

Social media content creators often deliver unedited files to clients immediately after the event.

For traditional photography and video, edits may take much longer to ensure that the color and brightness of the photos and video are consistent from start to finish. Photographers often deliver a formal gallery or wedding album, and a professionally edited video is also expected from the videographer.

Professional photographers and videographers rarely provide clients with "raw" or unedited footage and photos from their events.


Social media content creation clients have distinct expectations compared to traditional photography and video. Bravender highlights, "Clients often expect rapid delivery, frequent updates, and a focus on trends to stay relevant." Unlike conventional mediums prioritizing timeless quality, social media content clients often emphasize platforms' current and dynamic nature. Using trending transitions, organizing dances, and capturing timely themes would be expected from social media content creators.

Professional photographers, in contrast, will focus on high-value images meant to stand the test of time. They will often pose and light group photos and other essential photos requested by the couple to document important people in attendance and important moments.


Remaining at the forefront of social media content creation requires continuous monitoring of platform updates, following industry influencers, and engaging with relevant communities. Trends change quickly and may not be relevant just days or weeks after the wedding. Bravender advises, "Integrating trends into projects requires adaptability and a keen understanding

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of your target audience." She recommends regularly analyzing successful content, experimenting with new formats, and staying open to evolving strategies to ensure work remains current and resonates with the audience.

Traditional photography and video trends take longer to come and go. Editing styles like "light and airy" or "dark and moody" that have been popular in recent years tend to stay relevant for extended periods and don't go out of style quickly.

As the visual landscape of weddings continues to evolve, professionals, whether content creators, photographers, or videographers, showcase the artistry and adaptability required to capture and celebrate each couple's unique story. Whether it's the timeless elegance of traditional media or the dynamic allure of social media, the magic lies in crafting moments that resonate with the hearts of those who say, "I do."

find more wedding planning and wedding inspiration on our website | NOW | 133
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Behind the Lens and theLaughter

A Look into the World of Alabama

Boudoir Photographer and Stand-Up Comedian Matt Mathews

MATT MATHEWS IS AN ALABAMA-BASED BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHER AND STAND-UP COMEDIAN who has made a significant shift from wedding photography to focusing exclusively on boudoir. In this interview, Mathews shares insights into his journey of capturing the essence of personal beauty and empowerment through his lens, alongside his unexpected foray into the world of comedy. With a unique blend of talents, Mathews offers a glimpse into how his dual career paths complement and enrich his artistic expression and connection with his audience. | NOW | 135

NOW: Now you started as a wedding photographer and then started shooting boudoir, correct? Can you tell us about the moment you realized that boudoir photography was what you wanted to do full time? What made you want to give up weddings and do only boudoir? What was making that decision like for you?

MM: Yes. I started as a wedding photographer and for that season of my life, it was incredible. I loved being a part of a couple's special day. However, I wasn't completely fulfilled and knew I was worth more than a checkmark off a list for a bride. I started photographing boudoir sessions for brides, then for Valentine’s and special occasions and it took off. From there, I photographed a boudoir session for my mom who struggled with her body image and self-worth for her entire life, and seeing how beautiful she felt lit a fire in me to make other women see the same thing. I think this is when my transition from weddings to boudoir photography began and it's now been over a decade my journey is a little different now and I am doing a lot with entertainment, comedy, etc. I am lucky that because of my associate, Brianna we still get to photograph women from all around the world and make them feel amazing.

NOW: Tell us about the Matt Mathew’s boudoir photography experience. What is it like working with you?

MM: Here at Matt Mathews, we believe that everyone deserves to feel absolutely incredible and beautiful. Your worth is not determined by a number on a scale or someone's opinion of you. My associate, Brianna makes sure to make every single woman who comes through our doors feel like a queen. She is the most nurturing, kind, and attentive person and genuinely makes all of our clients look and feel amazing.

NOW: Do you find it takes clients a while to warm up in front of the camera? How do you help a client who is nervous to get comfortable?

MM: I think it depends on each individual person. We have some clients who come in ready to jump in front of our camera and then we have others that are definitely far outside of their comfort zones and a little more timid to start. I do think though that when clients come into our studio specifically, they already feel connected with us from what they see on social media. So, they already feel a little connected to us and I think that adds a little touch of comfort for someone who might be far outside of their own comfort zone.

NOW: What do you love most about boudoir photography?

MM: I love that Boudoir truly lets people see themselves how other people see them. I feel like most people can be very self-critical. So when you show them a glimpse of someone else’s perspective, it can give them a whole new viewpoint of seeing themselves in new light.

NOW: Do you have an all-time favorite photograph that you’ve taken?

MM: I think some of my favorite images I've taken are the ones that tell a story... The ones that show the real person, the scars, the warrior and the survival of a human.

NOW: You also teach boudoir photography, correct? What, in your opinion, does it take to be a successful boudoir photographer? What should you look for in a boudoir photographer?

MM: I used to teach boudoir workshops, yes. With the path my career has taken in the entertainment industry, I no longer teach but I absolutely loved being a part of other photographers' journeys. I think

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to be a successful boudoir photographer, you have to be so much more than a good photographer. You have to be a good listener, you have to be empathetic, real and want to make a change in people's lives. This is one of the most vulnerable moments for a person and you should be able to connect with them. When looking for a photographer, I suggest looking for someone whose work you love first; from there, do you connect with the artist? Do you connect with their message? All of these things are important in taking this journey.

NOW: You are a busy, and incredibly successful, man with not only a photography business, a lingerie store, a farm and a husband to keep you busy, but now, in addition to all of that, your comedy career took off in the last few years. What prompted this addition to your career path? What’s this journey been like for you?

MM: Entertainment has always been something I dreamed of doing but I wasn't sure which path to take. Doing standup has fallen into my lap and it's been a way to make people feel good, laugh and smile in a really dark world. That was the passion - making people feel good. So, you can see how that transitioned for me from boudoir to comedy. This journey has been nothing short of AMAZING. Getting to perform in a theater filled with people laughing and forgetting about their own issues for 90 minutes is a feeling I’ll never be able to fully explain.

NOW: And lastly when can we expect you to add New Orleans or South Alabama on to your comedy schedule???

MM: No, New Orleans or South Alabama is on the list right now BUT I do have a show at the Golden Nugget Casino in May in Lake Charles, LA, and I'll be filming my first comedy special in July in Birmingham, AL. | NOW | 137


real wedding




Stephanie and Mallory’s story began when they were both bridesmaids in a mutual best friend’s wedding.

“The spark that would define our journey ignited during a casual evening at our friend’s house,” shares Mallory. “We both knew then we were meant for each other.”

Five years later, Stephanie enlisted Mallory’s mother’s help to find the perfect ring and asked her father’s blessing to propose. Stephanie was so excited to propose that she couldn’t wait until the following week for their vacation to Mexico. “On that quiet Tuesday night, she popped the question,” shares Mallory. But Stephanie wasn’t the only one with plans to propose. “Little did she know, I had a proposal of my own in mind for our upcoming trip,” says Mallory. “I waited until the final night of our vacation to ask her the same question she asked me just the week before.” | NOW | 139


“Our day was a tapestry woven with meaningful details and cherished traditions,” shares Mallory. “Among them, my role as a Big Sister with Big Brothers and Big Sisters for over 10 years had a special place—my Little [Sister], Shantia, stood by me as one of my bridesmaids.” The couple chose the “Sacred Third Saturday” of October 2023 for their wedding day. “Stephanie and I celebrated with a cigar and bourbon bar, especially sweet after an Alabama victory – Roll Tide,” says Mallory.

“Amidst both loss and love, my Grandaddy, who passed away the Wednesday before our wedding, surely watched from heaven alongside my late grandmother (nanny),” Mallory shares. “Their presence lingered in my wedding bands, adorned with diamonds from my nanny’s ring. Stephanie, too, bore the weight of recent loss, honoring her late mother and best friend in a poignant bouquet adorned with their photo.”

“In a touching tribute, dogwoods — her mom’s favorite — graced the aisle, carried by her brother, finding a place next to her father,” says Mallory. “These details, a symphony of love and remembrance, made our day truly precious.”

“Our wedding day was filled with countless little moments that made it perfect,” Mallory says.

The evening ended with a sparkler send-off led by a Second Line Brass Band that paraded the couple and their guests through the streets of the city they love so much, Mobile.

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Johnny Tapley | MALLORY’S GOWN: Paloma Blanca, Town and Country Bridal | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Dessy Group, Bella Bridesmaids (Mobile) | BRIDESMENS’ + FATHER’S ATTIRE:

Men’s Wearhouse | PHOTOGRAPHY: Amber

Fletcher Photography | FLORIST: Southern Veranda | CEREMONY MUSIC + RECEPTION

ENTERTAINMENT: Party Time Productions | HAIR

+ MAKEUP: J.EDWARD Beauty + Carlyle Taylor |


Georgia Ruossos | JEWELER: Ware Jewelers |

SECOND LINE BRASS BAND: Mobile Second Line Society | NOW | 141
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STEPHANIE'S wedding at:

Glamorous Getaways

As couples embark on their journey to the altar, the choice of transportation becomes crucial in creating a memorable and stylish wedding day. From classic elegance to modern extravagance, here's a curated list of popular wedding transportation options to add a touch of glamour to your special day.


Icon of Elegance

The timeless appeal of a classic limousine is unmatched. Perfect for couples seeking a touch of vintage sophistication, a sleek, black or white limo offers a stylish and comfortable ride, making a grand entrance and exit.


Nostalgic Charm Step back in time with vintage cars like a Rolls-Royce, Bentley, or a charming convertible. These classic automobiles exude romanticism and make for stunning photo opportunities, capturing the essence of a bygone era.


Fairy Tale Fantasy A horse-drawn carriage adds a whimsical touch for couples dreaming of a fairy tale wedding. This enchanting mode of transportation creates a magical atmosphere, allowing the newlyweds to feel like royalty on their special day.


Understated Sophistication

Modern couples often opt for sleek and luxurious SUVs or sedans. Ideal for those who appreciate a more understated and contemporary style, these vehicles provide comfort and class without compromising sophistication.


Boho-Chic Vibe Embrace a laidback and bohemian aesthetic with a vintage VW bus. Perfect for outdoor or destination weddings, these quirky vehicles bring a sense of adventure and charm to the celebration.


Speed and Style For the thrill-seeking couple, an exotic sports car adds an element of excitement. Whether it's a sleek Ferrari, a powerful Lamborghini, or a classic Porsche, these high-performance vehicles are perfect for making a bold and memorable statement.


Rev Up the Romance Motorcycle enthusiasts can rev up their wedding day with a stylish Harley-Davidson. Ideal for couples who love the open road, these bikes provide a unique and exhilarating way to make a memorable entrance.


Nautical Nuptials For waterfront weddings, consider arriving or departing by boat or yacht. This option adds a touch of luxury and allows the couple to enjoy a private moment together while cruising on calm waters.


Sky-High Romance Elevate your wedding day to new heights by arriving in a helicopter. This dramatic entrance is perfect for couples who want a truly unforgettable and cinematic experience, offering breathtaking aerial views.

No matter the style or theme of your wedding, the choice of transportation sets the tone for a magical celebration. From classic to contemporary, these popular wedding transportation options ensure that the journey to your happily ever after is as memorable as the destination. Choose the one that resonates with your vision and adds glamour to your special day.

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Rae Leytham Photography
NOW Weddings Planner | NOW | 143

Your Honeymoon

names on travel reservations must match what is on your government issued ID

Travel Agent Question

How long have you been in business?

What special packages and rates can you offer for our

Do you have a Honeymoon Registry?

How far in advance must we make reservations and arrangements?

Do you offer cruises, air travel, car rental and other types of reservations as well?

What paper work will we need for specific travel plans?

Do you notify the manager of the hotel that we are

Do you offer traveler’s insurance?

What are your payment terms?

What is your cancellation policy?

DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE to decide where, when and how long your honeymoon will be. If you don’t have a “dream” Download

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our Printable Planner at NOW Weddings Planner

NOW Weddings Planner

The Ultimate Name Change Checklist

CHANGING YOUR NAME AFTER YOUR WEDDING IS AN EXCITING STEP in marital bliss. To ensure a smooth transition, follow this checklist to update your name across various platforms and institutions.


1. Social Security Administration (SSA)

nObtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

nVisit the SSA office or complete the online application to update your Social Security card.

2. Driver's License/ID Card

nVisit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to update your driver's license or ID card.

3. Passport

nApply for a new passport with your updated name.

4. Bank Accounts

nVisit your bank to update your account information and order new checks and debit/credit cards.

5. Insurance Policies

nContact your insurance providers (health, auto, life, etc.) to update your name.

6. Employer Records

nInform your employer of your name change and update records, including payroll and tax documents.


1. Email Address

nUpdate your email address and signature on personal and professional accounts.

2. Social Media

nUpdate your name on social media platforms. Consider updating your profile pictures or creating a post to announce your new name.

3. Professional Networks

nUpdate your name on professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

4. Online Subscriptions

nUpdate your name on any online subscriptions or accounts you may have.


1. IRS

nNotify the IRS of your name change. Update your information for tax purposes.

2. Postal Service

nInform the postal service to forward mail with your new name.

3. Voter Registration

nUpdate your voter registration information.


1. Healthcare Providers

nInform your doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers of your name change.

2. Health Insurance

nUpdate your name on your health insurance policy.


1. Utilities

nContact utility companies (electricity, water, gas) to update your name on the accounts.

2. Credit Cards

nContact credit card companies to update the names of your accounts.

3. Subscriptions

nUpdate your name on magazine subscriptions, streaming services, and other memberships.


1. Alumni Associations

nUpdate your name with any educational institutions or alums associations.

2. Library Cards

nUpdate your name on library cards and accounts.

3. Legal Documents (Wills, etc.)

nUpdate legal documents to reflect your new name.

4. Clubs and Memberships

nInform any clubs or memberships about your name change.

Remember to keep copies of your marriage certificate handy, as you may be required to provide proof of your name change during the updating process. Happy name-changing! | NOW | 145

Wedding Day Checklist

MAKE YOUR LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE! Use this list as a packing guide for the Big Day so you don’t forget anything important!


nGetting Ready Attire (Robe/Shirt)

nWedding Gown/Tuxedo



nUndergarments/Foundation Wear



nGoing Away Look (if changing)

nHoneymoon Attire/Luggage

Your engagement ring will be in lots of photos on the wedding day; have it cleaned the week before the wedding


nPurse/Wallet with Cash/Credit Cards/ Checkbook


nPins/Tape/Sewing Kit

nCosmetics/Hair Products/Styling Tools/Shaving Kit/Deodorant/ Perfume/Cologne


nWritten Vows

nRing Pillow


nLucky Coins/Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

nExtra Eyewear/Sunglasses/Contact Lenses

nMedications/Pain Relievers

nInvitation Suite for Photos

NOW Weddings Planner

nPhone and charger

nPlaylist for getting ready

nAny devices you use on a daily basis plus power cords

nCamera for honeymoon

nMarriage License

nFinal Payment/Tips Due on Wedding Day

nDriver’s License/Passport

nAirline Tickets/Travel Itinerary for Honeymoon

nWedding Day Itinerary



nBlotting Papers/Powder


nCell Phone


Vendor List with Contact Info
Hotel Room Key/ID/Credit Card
Find More PlanningWeddingTips & Inspiration at:
Tissues NOTES

Unlocking the Door to Your Dream Home A Guide for Newlyweds

As you embark on the exciting journey of married life, buying your first home is one of the most significant steps you'll take together. While the process can seem daunting, Stefani Horn, a seasoned Realtor®️, shares valuable insights to help you navigate this adventure seamlessly.


"Everything starts and stops with the mortgage," Stefani emphasizes. The first crucial step is creating a budget with your partner. Sit down and candidly discuss your housing budget, ultimately guiding your decision to buy or rent. Stefani recommends, "Give a mortgage company

a call to explore different loan options— conventional, FHA, USDA, and VA. They'll help you determine eligibility, down payment, and closing costs."


"To make the decision-making process smoother," Stefani suggests, "create a list of the top 5 things you both want in a

148 | NOW | Tamrong

home." This collaborative effort ensures both partners have a say in the selection process. From a spacious pantry to gleaming hardwood floors, this list will guide your real estate agent in finding properties that align with your dreams.


"Choosing the right neighborhood is crucial," Stefani advises. Drive around different areas during the day and night, attend open houses, and even experience the daily commute. This exploration will help you find the perfect locale that suits your lifestyle, ensuring you're content with your decision in the long run.

FINDING "THE ONE Stefani suggests exploring 5-8 homes

before making your decision. Return to your top choices at different times of the day to truly understand the atmosphere and envision your life there. It's about finding a home that resonates with both of you.

“Choosing the right neighborhood is crucial”


"Having a Realtor®️ is crucial throughout this process," Stefani emphasizes,

especially when making an offer on your dream home. Ensure your agent conducts a market analysis to strengthen your offer. She adds, "Come prepared with a pre-approval letter to reinforce your commitment to the purchase."

As you embark on this journey as newlyweds, remember that buying a home is not just a transaction; it's an investment in your shared future. Happy house hunting!

Stefani Horn is a Realtor®️ licensed in the state of Alabama and available to help with all your home-buying needs there. If you’re looking for a home anywhere else in the world, you can still reach out to her for assistance finding a trusted Realtor®️ in your area. You can reach Stefani at (205) 296-6976 or | NOW | 149

NOW real wedding


SEPTEMBER 24, 2023 |


“We met through a friend and coworker of mine who I asked for a barber recommendation,” shares Myah. “My friend gave me the number of his mobile barber, Jordan, who brought his barber services to my dorm room at Mississippi State University.”

Myah’s haircut seemed to go on forever, “but in the best way possible,” she shares. “It felt like I was catching up with an old friend, though it was our first time meeting.”

“Though we kept in constant contact through haircut appointments, roller skating, Waffle House dates,’ and endless text message threads, we did not start dating until almost a year and a half after that first appointment,” says Myah.

Jordan proposed on Valentine’s Day 2023. His plan was simple. “Go out, have a nice dinner, and return home to find the house decorated just as I left it for the proposal,” he shares.

However the restaurant’s ordering system went down and they ended up skipping dinner and went home early.

“We arrived home and I rushed in to light all the candles and to make sure everything was in place,” Jordan says.

With the scene set, he led Myah through the front door with her eyes closed. Once inside he revealed the rose petallined and candle-lit pathway to their dining room.

“As she lowered into her chair, I lowered to one knee,” Jordan shares. “Looking back, it seems as if everything happened so quickly, but I'm glad I mustered up the courage to ask a special someone a question that would change my life forever.” | NOW | 151


Jordan’s father, Charles McDonald, officiated the wedding held at The Plant Venue in Jackson, MS. “Charles has been a minister for over 15 years, and it was important to us to have him lead our ceremony,” Myah shares. We have always said that we want Christ at the center of our relationship, so including Jordan’s dad and prayer in our ceremony was important.”

“We love doing DIY projects together, so it was only right that we included a few in our wedding day!” says Myah. “The wooden stage that we stood on during the ceremony was built by us. The vases for the reception centerpieces were bought/ thrifted and painted by us. We also worked together on some of the artificial floral arrangements for our day.”

“Jordan wanted to honor his mom in some way besides a mother and son dance,” shares Myah. “He opted to have her pin on his boutonniere. It was a special moment for them both.”

The couple included their dog Storm, who they bought as a puppy just one week into their dating relationship, in the wedding ceremony. “She walked down the aisle with Jordan and sat with his mother, Daphne, throughout the ceremony.”

Since roller skating is an activity that the couple has always enjoyed together, the couple chose to incorporate it into the wedding and skated together for their first dance wearing skates that Jordan made himself.

“Our first look was our favorite part of our wedding day,” shares Myah. “ We were able to have a quiet moment before the ceremony to read our personal vows to each other. It was important to us to have this peaceful, private moment to share our hearts.”

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See more from MYAH + JORDAN'S wedding at:



OFFICIANT: Charles McDonald (Groom’s Father)

| BRIDE’S GOWN:Justin Alexander, The Bride & Groom | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: David’s Bridal | GROOMSMENS’ ATTIRE: Pronto Uomo, Men’s Wearhouse | PHOTOGRAPHY: Emily Swan Photography | VIDEOGRAPHY: Cine Garden Film Company | FLORALS: Ling’s Moment | BAKERY: Sam’s Club | CEREMONY + RECEPTION MUSIC: Jeffrey Drake (Saxophonist), Ronderick King, Sr. (DJ) | HAIR: The bride! | MAKEUP: Ashton Tisdale | WEDDING COORDINATOR: Purple Door Planning

| RENTALS: Great Southern Events | CATERER: Chef Phillip Brown | FINE JEWELRY: Juniker Jewelry Co. (engagement ring) + J. Parkerson Jewelers (wedding ring) | INVITATIONS: Designed by the bride in Canva | STAGE, CENTERPIECES + SIGNAGE: The Bride + Groom | NOW | 153














NOW Weddings Planner
Our Vendors | NOW | 155
Welch Photography & Video


Look Who’s Tying the Knot!

Congratulations to these couples on their upcoming weddings.

If you’d like to see your names featured in the next issue of NOW Weddings, visit It’s free to submit!

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December 6, 2024

We met during Mardi Gras 2019 and began a long-distance relationship. We’ve traveled 721 miles every two weeks to spend time together. We are so excited to spend forever together!

Janai Garrison + Calvin Slocum Nyejah Bolds Photography

 Samira Medina Del Arca + Leonardo Lopez Merlo

May 2024

Leonardo and Samira met at church in 2016 and their connection was instant. Friendship became love and as the years unfolded, their love grew unbreakable. This year they are embarking on the journey of marriage, “with unwavering trust in God.

Kaitlyn Raykiewicz + Evan Fisher  May 2025

We started dating after high school, then went on to do long-distance for four years in college, and got engaged on December 9, 2023! We are so excited for our future together!

 Stephanie Rogers + Tyler Matte July 5, 2024

Tyler + Stephanie are both Deputy Sheriffs and met on duty during the COVID pandemic. Stephanie asked Tyler to the Mande Milkshaker ball and the rest is history.

Rachel Larry + Richard Foster  November 2024

Rachel and Richard, both Mobile natives, met in October 2021 at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Their first date was the following week, and the two have not separated since. Richard proposed on December 15, 2023, and they will tie the knot on November 2, 2024.

NOW Weddings Engagement Announcements

MARCH 2024

Emma Pitts and Will Kent

Casey Chaudoir and Bryce Dugas

APRIL 2024

Lauren Gengler and Scott Kay

Brooke Bailey and Gregory Brown

Meghan Fisse and Josh Tassin

Brynne Dugas and Terry Bozeman

Sarah Salmon and Joseph Ciambrone

Josie Serigne and Parker DeAgano

Kristina Tucker and Keith McKean

MAY 2024

Carmen McCoy and Charles Farley

Kaila Jones and Charles Razon

Samira Medina Del Arca And Leonardo Lopez Merlo

JUNE 2024

Dalton Doucet and Zoe Clement

Rev. Dr. Travis R. Ford and Vernelle T. Mitchell

Meredith Ashlyn Woodfin and Judson Hilliard Beedy

Meghan Merritt and Daylon Self

JULY 2024

Tyler Matte and Stephanie Rogers

Dr. Julie G. Broussard and Mr. Jonathan Howell

Paxton McKee and Brooklyn Odom


Kristen Ashford and Tyler Sibley


Anna Bond and Bryant James

Logan Allen and Kristen McDonald

158 | NOW |
Photo Victor Hugo Abbie Gayle Photography

 Meghan Fisse + Josh Tassin April 2024

Meghan and Josh met through Facebook and hit it off immediately! Josh proposed Christmas 2022 with a puppy and they are so excited to say “I do” in April 2024.

Rachel Hava + Cory Cole  October 14, 2024

After reigniting a preteen romance in the fall semester of 2012 at LSU, Cory finally popped the question July 9, 2023 in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Rachel and Cory are set to be married in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Dahlonega, Georgia on October 14, 2024.

 Rev. Dr. Travis R. Ford + Vernelle T. Mitchell

Rev. Dr. Travis Ford and Vernelle Mitchell plan to wed on June 8, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Casey Chaudoir + Bryce Dugas  March 23, 2024

From friends to fiancés, Casey and Byrce’s story came full circle when he pulled off a surprise proposal at Louisiana Tech University seven years after meeting on campus!

NOW Weddings Engagement Announcements


Rachel Green and Connor Bentley

Tremeka Coleman and Bryan Malter

Morgan Dupre and Trey Bagley

Rachel Hava and Cory Cole

Kaylynn Jenkins and Vincent Roderfeld, Jr.

Taylor Broadway and Shawna Burge

Aundrea Gray and FItzgerald Brazeal

Veleeta Aaron and Novel Sanders


Autumn Trecek and Jon Capitano

Rachel Larry and Richard Foster

Heather Garcia and James Headley

Kristin Smith and Mark Johnson

Sarah Kane and Angelo Torres

Anthony Cooper and Tristan Nations

Abby and Braxton Bostwick


Laney Guidry and Alexander Guttry

Shelby Abney and Jamie Laurent

Janai Garrison and Calvin Slocum

Sofia Bruno and AJ Esposito


Colby Mock and Morgan Martel

Victoria Clement and Austin Ventura

Gracie Clark and Joe Terry

MAY 2025

Kaitlyn Raykiewicz and Evan Fisher

Madison and Tim Martin


Nick Beninate and Nyree Simmonds | NOW | 159
Photo Jessica Ray Darian Clement Photography Brittney Malone Photo
160 | NOW | ARTISTS Melissa Munger Wedding Painter 65 BAKERIES Jay&Kay Custom Cakes ................................................................................................... 91 Joe Gambino’s Bakery 91 Kimbla’s Cakes 91 BEAUTY Brushed + Blushed Hair and Makeup Artistry 123 Chris Carter, Makeup Artist 123 Update Nail & Spa 123 BRIDAL SHOWS The NOW Wedding Event 5 Welliver Productions 29th Annual Bridal Expo 14 CATERERS Bistro Saint Emanuel 17 Fleur De Lis Charcuterie 59 Messina’s Catering & Events ......................................................................................... 59 DECOR + RENTALS NOLA Grace Decor 72 True Value Rental 73 Gulf Coast Events & Rentals 75 DESTINATION WEDDINGS Beaches & Bouquets 47 FASHION Bliss Bridal 109 John’s Tuxedos & Suits 117 Rome’s Tuxedos & Suits 119 Tuxedos to Geaux 121 FLORISTS Nola Flora 83 Shasta Daisy’s Florist & Boutique................................................................................. 81 The Shade Tree Floral Events & Design ...................................................................... 1 GUEST ACCOMMODATIONS Chateau LeMoyne 53 Fort Condé Inn 17 Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans French Quarter/CBD 31 Hotel Provincial 53 InterContinental New Orleans 11 The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa 2-3 The Higgins Hotel 6-7 The Royal Sonesta New Orleans 53 INVITATIONS Abbey Printing 85 MUSICIANS + ENTERTAINMENT Geaux Big Entertainment 61 GTS Weddings 63 Hanna Mignano Music 49 PHOTO BOOTHS Reel Photo Booth .............................................................................................................. 63 PHOTOGRAPHERS Amin Russell Photography 129 Rae Leytham Photography 131 Stefani Marie Photography 132 Welch Photography & Video 133 Your Day Video Production 133 PLANNING RESOURCES New Orleans & Co. 51 REAL ESTATE Divine Home Mortgage, LLC 149 Stefani Horn, Realtor IFC VENUES Belforest Pointe 75 Chateau LeMoyne 53 Compass Point Events 15 Court of Two Sisters 31 Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans French Quarter/CBD ...................................... 31 Hotel Provincial 53 InterContinental New Orleans 11 Jordan Beech Farms & Venue 47 Messina’s at the Terminal 59 The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa 2-3 The Cannery 47 The Higgins Hotel 6-7 The Ridgeway of Old Metairie 45 The Rooftop on Basin 59 The Royal Sonesta New Orleans 53 Venue Thirty One .............................................................................................................. 75 WEDDING PLANNERS Page Designs & Events 72 PK Weddings & Events 71 Uncommon Camellia 72
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