NOW Weddings Magazine April 2021

Page 1

april 2021








of Weddings


Alchemy Events

Wedding Planner + Event Designer Exceptional, unexpected, unparalleled. Let’s make some magic!









because life isn’t posed, it’s lived




The Art of Fashion A Spring Wedding Fashion Editorial featuring Calla Blanche gowns at NOMA


Isabella Finnell + Erik Fabacher


Kaylin Parker + Julius Medina


Francesca Tusa + Stanton Middleton, IV

ARTICLES 30 SOMETHING GREEN Ideas for sustainable, eco-friendly + socially conscious weddings 48 HONEYMOONS AFTER COVID-19 Travel advice from honeymoon expert Shannon Cunningham of Paradise Vacation Escapes 52 DRESS DESIGN 101 Find out what dress shape will look best on your body type


Kelly Bell + William Edwards Jr. Kristen Gurba + Zack Klein

PHOTO CREDIT: Studio Tran, from the wedding of Francesca Tusa + Stanton Middleton, IV featured on pages 56-59




FOR ENGAGED COUPLES Our blog is filled with tons of great resources, inspiration, wedding stories and photo editorials that will help you plan an amazing wedding. FOR THE WEDDING PROFESSIONAL NOW Weddings Magazine offers affordable advertising packages with tons of perks. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ADVERTISING, PLEASE CONTACT:

NOW Weddings Magazine Phone: 504-832-2775 Email:

About The Cover PHOTOGRAPHER: Jessica The Photographer ON LOCATION: New Orleans Museum of Art CREATIVE DIRECTION: Alchemy Events

NOW Weddings Magazine is published monthly by New Orleans Weddings Magazine, Inc. Copyright 2021. 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 NOWM, Inc. The use of the trademark is strictly prohibited. The information in this publication is believed to be accurate. However, New Orleans WeddingsMagazine 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

GOWN: Calla Blanche BOUQUET: Hummingbird Floral Studio MAKEUP: Nola Skin Pixie HAIR: The Hairr Doctorr MODEL: Lyn Slack Look for new issues of NOW Weddings Magazine every month.

we're social !

Follow NOW Weddings Magazine for daily inspiration. @nolawedding

@neworleansweddings @nowmagazine504


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Jessica The Photographer


3803 Toulouse Street | New Orleans 504.486.4466 |

Jessica The Photographer


3803 Toulouse Street | New Orleans 504.486.8351 |


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PHOTOGRAPHY: Jessica Burke, ON LOCATION: New Orleans Museum of Art, CREATIVE DIRECTION: Alchemy Events, FASHION: Calla Blanche, FLORALS: Hummingbird Floral Studio, MAKEUP: Kyrah Anjelica, Nola Skin Pixie, HAIR: Ty’jaTurley, The Hairr Doctorr, NAILS: Passport Polish, GONDOLA: NOLA Gondola, GONDOLIER: Robert Dula MODEL: Lyn Slack

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About the New Orleans Museum of Art Opened in 1911, NOMA is New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution. NOMA has been host to many of the City’s most opulent events, including countless wedding ceremonies and receptions.

For this dreamy, hand-tied bouquet, Hummingbird Floral Studio incoporated Cafe Latte and Playa Blanca Roses, Fringed Tulips, Sweet Pea and Spirea.

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Brynn by Calla Blanche This stunning sheath wedding dress, features ivory lace, a plunging sweetheart neckline and structured bodice. Transform your look from the ceremony to the reception by removing the full tulle overskirt (shown in previous and following spread) and sleeves for a sleek evening look.

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Hummingbird Floral Studio filled the urns flanking the staircase of NOMA’s Freeport-McMoRan Great Hall with spirea, tulips, delphinium, and magnolia and almond branches. 14 | N.O.W |

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Since 2004, Gondolier Robert Dula of NOLA Gondola has been treating guests to enchanting tours of New Orleans City Park aboard his authentic, hand-crafted Venetian Gondola, Bella Mae.

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This fragrant bridal bouquet by Hummingbird Floral Studio includes Sweet Pea and Freesia 18 | N.O.W |

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Zoe by Calla Blanche This flattering A-line gown exudes Old World elegance with modern sensibilities including flirty cap sleeves and V-plunge illusion neckline. 20 | N.O.W |

Lyn is wearing Passport Polish’s Ready Made Press Ons in the color Greece.

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Jeppe Hein, Mirror Labyrinth Besthoff Sculpture Garden, 2018 Courtesy KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin / London, 303 GALLERY, New York, and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen N.O.W | | 23

This classic bridal bouquet by Hummingbird Floral Studio includes Sweet Pea, White O’hara and Playa Blanca Roses.

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Julia by Calla Blanche This glamorous, A-line gown is nothing short of opulent. It features a sweetheart neckline and dramatic cascading sequins throughout the gown. Add the luxurious matching cape and watch as jaws drop. N.O.W | | 25

Visit the NOW Weddings Blog to see more

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Portrait of a Young Woman, Oil on canvas, ca. 1901 by Giovanni Boldini N.O.W | | 27




Click to Shop! 1

Spring-inspired Details Curated for Your Wedding







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1. Adrianna Papell Floral Printed Chiffon Gown, Shop online: 2. Spring Rose Masks, Shop online: 3. Bonfolk Magnolia Socks available at John’s Tuxedos, Shop online: 4. Greece Ready Made Press Ons by Passport Polish, Shop online: 5. MARY FRANCES Happily Ever After Beaded Floral Embroidered Clutch, Shop online: 6. Handmade Soap Favors by 1803 Soap Co, Shop online: 7. 2 Piece Gold leaf (twig) Cake Server Set, Shop online: amazon. com 8. 1928 Jewelry Womens Gold Tone Floral Pearl Decal Wire Drop Earrings, Shop online: 9. Badgley Mischka Isadora Fashion Boot, Shop online: 10. AUNMAS Lace Flower Parasol, Shop online: 11. Marigold by Calla Blanche, 12. Silver Rings & Greenery Custom Invitation by Rudman’s, Shop online: * As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.




micro weddings at the cannery package includes Up to 50 guests The Cannery for up to 4 hours: 1 hour ceremony, 3 hour reception Tables, Chiavari chairs & linens Decor Package credit (choose from The Cannery’s in-house decor collections) Uplighting in custom colors Festoon lights & candles on the terrace Votive candles for each table & around venue DJ for ceremony & reception Credit with baker & florist 4 hours of professional photography with online image gallery + hi-resolution files Event Planner to create floor plan & timeline, manage the vendors included in the package, run rehearsal & manage event on the day of Bar includes Draft Beer, Wine, & 1 Specialty Cocktail Real china, flatware and glasses Catering options include Nola-style menu by Toulouse Gourmet Catering or South Asian menu by Tava

for just

$10,000 plus tax

call 504-486-8351 or email to see if your date is available! Limited dates available; 28 | N.O.W |

Wedding date must be within 5 months of booking date

green SUSTAINABLE, ECO-FRIENDLY & SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS WEDDINGS WRITTEN BY: Jessica Burke APRIL IS EARTH MONTH AND WE CAN’T THINK OF A MORE PERFECT time to talk about ways to make your life (and wedding!) more conscientious. For some this could be making eco-friendly decisions, for others it’s going vegetarian or vegan, and for still others it could mean being more socially responsible. There are so many ways to make an impact and making your wedding conscientious doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. Small changes add up and if everyone does just one thing, we can make huge changes in our world! We hope to inspire you with an abundance of ideas.

LET’S START WITH THE BLING For years diamonds have been seen as the gemstone of choice for engagements. Unfortunately, due to the demand created by marketing, the history of diamond mining has been fraught with conflict and human rights violations including using slave labor to mine the precious stones. Fortunately, socially conscious couples have options. Lab grown diamonds are physically the same as mined diamonds and reduce both environmental and social impact; also man made diamonds are typically less expensive. That means you often can get more carats at a lower cost! Brilliant Earth offers a stunning selection of lab created and recycled diamonds. Charles & Colvard, a North Carolina-based company, also offers lab grown diamonds as well as moissanite, a stunning diamond alternative that is also man made.

Reformation and Katherine Feiel offer sustainable fashion for weddings. For vegan accessories, Lee Coren and Urban Expessions offer vegan clutches and bags and Beyond Skin offers vegan wedding shoes. Lulus allows customers to sort by “vegan” for even more options!

EARTH FRIENDLY FLORALS One easy way to reduce your environmental impact is to ask your florist to use traditional arrangement techniques (such as chicken wire for structure) instead of Oasis floral foam. Oasis foam is the green blocks that many florists use to create arrangements, but the foam contains known carcinogens that are dangerous to breathe in and that are not biodegradable. Another option is to use potted plants that can be reused as decor. Potted orchids are a beautiful option, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Fresh herbs or succulents in pots can make lovely centerpieces and can even double as favors for your guests to take home! Locally grown flowers are also an option to not only help support local businesses, but also reduce carbon emissions.


Choosing vintage and heirloom jewelry is also a great option.

It’s easy to get carried away when planning your wedding. Commit to mindfulness for your wedding. Think carefully through your wedding purchases (Do you REALLY need programs for your wedding?) and cut items from your list that aren’t necessary.



No, we’re not suggesting your gown be the color green (unless that’s what you want!). Your wedding fashion can be eco-conscious too.

Renting decor or buying previously used decor items in Buy/Sell/Trade groups online or even thrifting and upcycling is a great way to save money and create less waste (plus if you purchase the items you can sell them after your wedding too!). continued>>>

Made with Love Bridal and Emmy Mae Bridal offer vegan dresses and Wear Your Love uses organic cotton and bamboo in their gowns.

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Photo: Dudaleva


Brilliant Earth offers a stunning selection of lab created and recycled diamonds. Photo: Dgass Photography N.O.W | | 31

Kim Starr Wise Florals created this beautiful floral entrance at Race & Religious without the use of Oasis Foam. Photo: Dark Roux You can also ask your caterer to use china, flatware and glassware to cut down on waste. If it’s not possible to use real china or glassware at your venue, there are many eco-conscious items such as bamboo plates and cutlery that you can use instead of plastic. Ask your caterer about these options.

RECYCLE This one is pretty simple. Commit to reducing waste at your wedding by asking that your vendors recycle anything that can be recycled. Ask your caterer to donate leftover food to a local shelter and ask your florist to donate floral arrangements to a nursing home to brighten up the residents’ day! You can also ask that your invitations and any other printed necessities be made with recycled paper.

GO GOURMET VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN Even if you don’t want to go fully vegan for your wedding, substituting just one menu item for a vegan alternative is a great step in the right direction. Ask your caterer what vegan or vegetarian options they offer and what menu options can be made without meat or animal products. A few ideas include portobello mushroom ravioli, jambalaya with meat alternatives, and pulled jackfruit sliders. Vegan can definitely be gourmet! If 32 | N.O.W |

you’re looking for great vegan restaurants, Breads on Oak and Sweet Soulfood are two of NOW Creative Director Rena Sweeney’s favorite local vegan establishments. Cakes are already vegetarian, but did you know even your cake can be vegan? Local cake artist Katy Moser-Brandel of Sucrette Tailored Confections makes stunning cakes with vegan fondant (though she does offer non-vegan options as well) and Grey Bird Baking Company makes macarons you’d never know are vegan!

GIVE BACK Many couples find they don’t need a traditional gift registry. If you have everything you need for your home already or just would rather to give back, you might consider setting up a “charity registry” and have your guests donate to your favorite charity instead of giving you a gift. You might also choose to make a donation to your favorite charity instead of giving out traditional favors. Your guests won’t mind not receiving a favor, especially if they know the money was spent to help others in need. There are so many ways you can make your wedding sustainable, eco-friendly and/or socially conscious. How will your wedding make a difference?

Local cake artist Katy Moser-Brandel of Sucrette Tailored Confections makes stunning cakes with vegan fondant. Photo: Vanessa Velez Photography

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Click to Shop! “Geaux” green for your wedding with these eco-friendly + vegan products 4


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1. The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget, Order online: 2. WoodU Elegant Wooden Disposable Utensils Eco-Friendly Biodegradable & Compostable Flatware, Shop online: amazon. com 3. TARTE Stay Spray Setting Spray, vegan cosmetics, Shop online: 4. Kenya vegan nail polish by Passport Polish, Shop online: 5. Wicks NOLA all natural, vegan candles - availabile in “favor” sizes. Shop online: 6. Dried French Lavender Buds for exit throws, Shop online: 7. Marble Thank You Notes printed on recycled paper, available at Abbey Printing, 8. Cieovo 50 Pack Champagne Lace Ribbon Wands, Shop online: 9. Darlene by Badgley Mischka, vegan shoes, Shop online: 10. Kobelli Moissanite and Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Ring, Shop online: 11. Bloomin Mini Cranberry Red Heart-Shaped Seed Paper Enclosure Cards, Shop online: 12. Bachelorette Party Reuseable Silicone Wine Cups, Shop online: * As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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real wedding

Isabella Finnell + Erik Fabacher FEBRUARY 27, 2021

“LET ME LOVE YOU” WRITTEN BY: Jessica Burke | PHOTOGRAPHER: Anthony LaMothe, Capture Studio Photography

ISABELLA AND ERIK’S STORY BEGAN WHILE THE TWO WERE WORKING together at the InterContinental Hotel in New Orleans. One Mardi Gras the two found themselves revelling together on St. Charles Avenue while Orpheus rolled, just as friends, of course. Rebirth Brass Band serenaded the crowd with the song “Casanova” and as it would turn out, this song would become the theme for their love story. It wasn’t until months later that the two would meet for drinks, however. Initially the love birds kept their relationship a secret, not wanting there to be issues with mixing business and personal. Only a select few were in the know at first, but that circle would grow when coworkers spotted them at French Quarter Fest. Eventually Isabella invited Erik to go to Paris with her and “the ruse came to an end,” the couple shared on their wedding website. When it came time for Erik to propose, he knew “it needed to include elements of family, romance and of course it had to look good for the (insta)gram.” He decided to go big and asked Isabella to marry him on the floor of the Mercedes Benz Superdome on New Year’s Day 2020, with less than an hour to go before kick-off of the 86th Annual Sugar Bowl. With family, friends and a Superdome full of football fans watching, Erik got on one knee at the 50 yard line and asked Isabella to marry him. Spoiler alert: She said yes. “Since Mardi Gras was early in 2020, we decided to focus on surviving Mardi Gras then focus on nuptial planning,” shares Isabella. “ We met while working at the InterContinental hotel so we both knew that we had to have our wedding reception there, where it all began.” John Romano at the InterContinental was thrilled to host their wedding “and we even signed the contract on each other’s back as a parade passed by,” shares Isabella. “Certainly my most memorable contract signing in all my years in event sales.” “I think we all know what happened after Mardi Gras 2020,” says Isabella. “Erik and I were at a wedding in Miami on March 14, 2020. We knew boarding the plane that this was most likely our last weekend of fun as we knew tough times were ahead. We were right in our assessment as I was furloughed from the Sheraton and Erik had to lay off more than 75% of his workforce.” As the year went on, the couple heard from friends in the wedding industry that many 2020 weddings were rescheduling to their proposed wedding date. “We started warming ourselves up to the idea that things most likely weren’t going to go as planned,” says Isabella. Still they moved forward celebrating their upcoming nuptials with a wedding shower in the Fall of 2020 hosted by the bride’s mother and sister in Massachusetts, where Isabella is originally from, and then an engagement party in New Orleans thrown by the couple’s friends from the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE). “I originally wanted to elope,” shares Isabella, “but Erik convinced me that we needed to have a large wedding - we have so many family and friends that want to celebrate with us.” The couple was concerned about planning a large event though, worrying that restrictions would result in low attendance. When New Orleans reverted to Phase 2 in mid-January of 2021, they officially decided to change their plans.

“We decided that we would host a small intimate wedding with only family and close friends. Since my parents were coming to town at the end of February to attend a tasting at the InterContinental Hotel for our May wedding, we decided to just host the wedding then,” says Isabella. They had less than 5 weeks to plan! “We had to go with the flow and be adaptive to last minute changes,” says Isabella. “The biggest change of plans was a change of venue 2 weeks before the wedding. Luckily the InterContinental Hotel came to our aid and saved the day. It ended up being perfect. They did everything they could to meet our needs and took all the stress the way.” Erik and Isabella chose Lafayette Square with Gallier Hall, a location with fond memories for Erik’s family, as the backdrop to say their vows. “Erik’s parents hosted their wedding reception at Gallier Hall back in 1978,” shares Isabella. Keeping the wedding day on track and running smoothly was Tenisha Keller, a.k.a. “Chocolate Bunnie, who Isabella credits with “keeping everything together.” Isabella arrived via pedicab for the wedding wearing a knee length dress from Amsale’s Little White Dress Collection and carrying a bouquet of colorful blooms by Herbivore Floral Designs. Erik wore a suit from Indochino with a brightly-colored cravat. After saying “I do” the couple posed for photos as they made their way to the InterContinental for their reception. The highlight of the reception for Erik and Isabella was their first dance. “We started our first dance with “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys,” shares Isabella. “Erik and I both fondly remember listening to that song on cassette as both of our mothers’ kept a copy of it in their cars. I remember sitting in the backseat listening to that song and thinking of my future husband. We wanted to have a memorable showstopper performance, so about 30 seconds into the song our DJ, DJ Cooley, mixed into “Get it Ready” by DJ Jubilee, one of Erik’s and my favorite songs. I am not from here so Erik actually taught me this song while walking our dog, Bugsy. We choreographed the dance in our living room about two weeks prior.” “We were fortunate that we were allowed to bring in some of our own food and libations,” says Isabella. Erik’s family owns a specialty catering business with specialties including smoked meats and seafood and Erik’s father, James Fabacher, “worked tirelessly for weeks preparing some of his famous homemade hors d’oeuvres.” Guests noshed on their “New Orleans Old Fashioned” smoked salmon, an assortment of andouille sausages, and smoked gouda among many other treats. Erik’s family also “provided us with quite the selection of their brewing prowess and named them after some of the wedding party: there was Bella’s Ale after the mother of the bride, Lisette’s Lager after the mother of the groom, Erik’s Ale after the groom and Isabella’s IPA for the bride.” The morning after the wedding Erik’s family served brunch for all of the out of town guests. The menu included “champagne, mimosas and a buffet of their famous Creole grillades served over garlic cheese grits accompanied with fresh fruit with homemade poppy seed dressing,” says Isabella. The couple enjoyed a “mini moon” in Puerto Vallarta and are looking forward to having all their family and friends who couldn’t make it for the February nuptials celebrate with them later this year. “We had so much fun at our micro wedding that we cannot imagine how much fun we will have at our next!” says Isabella. “Plus, I can’t wait to wear my BIG dress!” . see more>>> N.O.W | | 37

ADDITIONAL CREDITS: CEREMONY LOCATION: Lafayette Square | OFFICIANT: Brian Henley | BRIDE’S GOWN: Amsale | GROOM’S SUIT: Indochino | VIDEO: Oscar Alatorre | BOUQUET + BOUTONNIERE: Herbivore Floral Designs | CENTERPIECES: Costco | BAKERY: Simply Sweets & Treats by Caitlin Cheramie | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Calvin Cooley | TRANSPORTATION: Need A Ride NOLA | Hair: Caroline Engvall | MAKEUP: Nicole Fabre, Fabre Beauty | WEDDING PLANNER: Chocolate Bunnie Events | ADDITIONAL CATERING: CK Hot Shoppe, Jaxsons | JEWELER: Custom Jewelry by Barattini | INVITATIONS: Paperless Post | BALLOONS: The Balloon Boutique by Ebony Reed

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See more from Isabella & Erik’s wedding at:



Have a French Quarter original at your wedding 517 Gravier St. New Orleans, La. 70130 | 504-524-6010 |

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610 South Peters Street | NOLA 70130 504-521-8055 | Jenna Bonura | Vendor Credits: Elyse Jennings Weddings | Greer Photography | Bella Blooms Floral | Luminous Events

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real wedding

Kaylin Parker + Julius Medina DECEMBER 12, 2020


“JULIUS AND I HAVE BEEN TOGETHER SINCE FRESHMAN YEAR AT Hahnville High School,” shares Kaylin. The highschool sweethearts have been able to experience every milestone together “from graduating high school, going to LSU together, buying our first house and starting our careers. Julius and I grew up together for the past eleven years. He’s my best friend and now I get to call him my husband!” says Kaylin. Julius proposed at Cafe Amelie just before Christmas in 2018. He planned for a photographer to document the moment and then continued the surprise by inviting their family and friends to celebrate their engagement at their home afterwards. “I was thrilled to get started planning our dream wedding,” says Kaylin. “I never imagined planning a wedding during a global pandemic. We watched cautiously as events unfolded, and while we wanted our dream wedding, our priority was the health and safety of our family and friends.”

offers excellent food, impeccable service, a great beach, and one of the most instagrammable decor and grounds,” says Cunningham. “After consulting with Kaylin and Julius, I knew this was a good fit for them.” “It was amazing and she arranged everything,” says Kaylin about Cunningham. “She kept us updated on anything we needed to know with COVID restrictions and even met with us about two weeks before the wedding to make sure we were all set.” Cunningham also reached out to the resort prior to the couple arriving to let them know her VIP couple was on their way and ready to celebrate their honeymoon! “We felt so spoiled on our honeymoon,” shares Kaylin. Kaylin advises other couples planning their weddings to “Enjoy every minute of it! The wedding and reception goes by so quick,” she comments. “We cannot wait to get our video in to relive that day over and over again. At the end of the day, everything comes together perfect, so enjoy every moment.” .

The guest list started with over 300 people and adjusted along with state restrictions, at one point reaching just 25 people. “After many conversations and the constant support from my parents, Julius and I decided to move forward with our date even with a decreased number of attendees,” says Kaylin. “Luckily, the state increased the number of wedding attendees about a month before our wedding and we were able to have approximately 100 people with us celebrating our marriage. We both have big families, so we were surrounded by our family and close friends.” The couple said their vows at Mater Dolorosa Church. Kaylin had known for years that she’d get married in this church after discovering it while her brother was playing in a baseball tournament at Carrollton ballpark. “Getting see Julius at the end of the aisle was the best feeling,” says Kaylin. “The vows and homily were so perfect and personal.” Kaylin wore a timeless Justin Alexander gown with a custom bow added by seamstress Rose Champagne. “She made the bow exactly what I wanted: dramatic and elegant,” says Kaylin. “She even made dramatic tails for the bow that detached when I bustled my gown for the reception.” Julius and Kaylin didn’t tour many reception venues. When they saw the Arbor Room early on, they knew it was right for them. “It had everything we wanted, big open space and a beautiful outdoor area. The Popp Fountain is gorgeous in day and at night. We also knew the food was great at City Park which was very important to us,” says Kaylin. “Our wedding was perfect with the help of our vendors, especially City Park. Following all COVID-19 prevention measures, our guests felt safe and had the best time.” After the wedding, the couple went on a 10 day honeymoon to Riviera Maya, Mexico. Their travel consultant Shannon Cunningham with Paradise Vacation Escapes visits many resorts first hand so she can better advise her clients and suggested one of her favorites, Unico 20 87, for the couple. “This place

see more>>>

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ADDITIONAL CREDITS: GETTING READY LOCATION: NOPSI Hotel | CEREMONY LOCATION: Mater Dolorosa Church | OFFICIANT: Fr. Stephen Dardis | RECEPTION: Arbor Room at New Orleans City Park | BRIDE’S GOWN: Justin Alexander, MaeMe The Bridal Boutique | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Revelry | GROOM + GROOMSMENS’ ATTIRE: Tuxedos to Geaux | PHOTOGRAPHY: Michelle Preau | VIDEO: Film Thread Productions | FLOWERS: Something Borrowed Blooms | BAKERY: Haydel’s Bakery | CEREMONY MUSIC: Linden Uter | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT + LIGHTING: X-Pert Productions | TRANSPORTATION: Audubon Limousine | HAIR + MAKEUP: Jaci Duhe | CATERER: New Orleans City Park Catering | JEWELER: Ramsey’s | INVITATIONS: Minted

See more from Kaylin & Julius’ wedding at:



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WHEN THE WORLD SHUT DOWN A YEAR AGO TO CURB THE PANDEMIC, leisure travel as we knew it became a thing of fond memories. Many couples cancelled or postponed their honeymoon plans with no idea when they’d be able to travel again safely. Over the last year we’ve learned more about the virus and how social distancing can decrease spread. Now, thankfully, we also have vaccines widely available that are proving very effective in protecting those who receive them. Traveling both domestically and abroad is now something more people are considering. But what destinations are available for US citizens? Do you have to be fully vaccinated to travel out the country?


NOW spoke recently with the author of the best selling book “Say Yes to the Honeymoon” and travel advisor Shannon Cunningham of Paradise Vacation Escapes to find out common misconceptions about travel and where engaged couples can currently honeymoon or run away to get married. Let’s jump right in!

“Honeymooners are doing Cabo, Riviera Maya in Mexico, and St. Lucia is hotter than ever,” says Cunningham. “And Hawaii is, hands down, going crazy right now.”

“There’s a pent up demand,” says Cunningham. “People have been stuck at home and they’re ready to go. People are starting to feel more comfortable traveling.” Because of this, Cunningham recommends that couples start planning for international honeymoon destinations nine months to a year in advance. If you didn’t think travel was an option for you and your wedding is in the next few months, don’t fret - there are still options available to you. “You can still plan something, but do it as soon as possible,” advises Cunningham. “Make sure your passport is valid, meaning it doesn’t expire within six months of your return date.” Many countries will not accept a passport that expires within this window. Also, expect delays getting a new or renewed passport. It’s taking the passport office around 12 weeks to issue a passport currently. “If you’re getting married within 6 months, the first thing to do is send off to get your passport renewed; second thing: call your travel advisor,” says Cunningham.


If you’re working with a travel advisor like Cunningham, you can often get insurance through them as part of a travel package. If you need to outsource insurance, Cunningham recommends Travel Insured International. “There are certain plans you have to use to get the covid coverage,” advises Cunningham. Be sure to read the policies diligently.


A popular, and possibly unexpected, destination that is open for US travelers is Greece, though a vaccine is required. Croatia and Iceland will also be opening soon according to Cunningham. If warmer climates are more your vibe, Costa Rica is welcoming travelers. “I went to Costa Rica in January and the flights were full,” says Cunningham. Exotic locales aren’t the only option for travel either. “Believe it or not, there are some cruises that are set to set sail in June of this year,” says Cunningham. “I just booked two cabins this week with Royal Caribbean that’s sailing out of the Bahamas. You do have to have the vaccine for that though. The whole crew is going to be vaccinated and all the passengers have to be vaccinated, and they still have to take a covid test.”

DOMESTIC LOCALES If traveling out of the country makes you uneasy, there are plenty of great options within the United States. Miami, South Beach, and the Florida Keys are popular locations that will get you that Caribbean feel. “A lot of couples are doing Blackberry Farms in Tennessee,” says Cunningham who adds that Arizona and the Rocky and Smoky Mountains have also been popular destinations.

“Some people think they can’t travel out of the country unless they have the vaccine, but that’s not true,” says Cunningham. “Certain places are open for US citizens. You can go to Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and St. Lucia. Some do require a negative Covid test within 5 days to enter the country; each one is different and it’s always changing. That’s one of the reasons why travel advisors are a hot commodity.”

Whatever location you land on for your honeymoon, Cunningham emphasizes the need for patience. “Have patience however you’re booking your travel,” she says. “The travel industry took a really big hit and many resorts and airlines laid people off and they haven’t fully hired back all their staff.” The wait times for responses can be lengthy, especially if you’re planning your own travel.

In addition to staying on top of ever changing regulations for travel and the various requirements for entering each country, Cunningham travels frequently to resorts around the world so that she can advise her clients which properties will suit their needs.

“Yes, you can probably book your honeymoon yourself, but in the long run that’s something you really don’t want to do because of the headache if something happens,” says Cunningham. “You need to have that added support.” Cunningham notes that her clients have her cell phone number and can contact her directly for assistance while traveling, something you won’t find with online booking sites.

And it’s not just traveling out of the country you have to be concerned about. International travelers should expect to have to take a covid test within 3 days of your return to the US. Many all-inclusive resorts that Cunningham recommends are administering the test at low or no cost to their guests and accommodating guests who test positive for two weeks of quarantine, complete with room service!

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If you’re ready to get started planning your dream honeymoon, Cunningham offers a free download on her website Visit today and download her guide: 30 Questions to Ask Before Planning Your Honeymoon.

Photo: Amin Russell Photography

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2324 Barataria Blvd. Marrero, LA 70072

504-957-7716 @dazzledoll_glam

N e w O r l e a n s M a k e u p A n d H a i r . c o m


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101 WRITTEN BY: Sophie LeChat

YOU ARE WALKING DOWN THE AISLE. You are glowing with joy as you get closer to your love and your eyes embrace. You will never forget that look…eyes twinkling at just the sight of you and lips breathing the word “wow.” Now, let us look back a few months before this moment. You have walked into a bridal salon for the first time and see an overwhelming number of dresses. Where, oh where, do you start? First of all, never trust the hanger. What your perfect dress looks like on you and what it looks like on the hanger are two entirely different things. You can’t judge a dress without giving it a try.

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Keep in mind that the store sample may be entirely too big or too small for you. You may have to use a bit of imagination in these first stages, but you should be able to tell if the dress is worth further consideration. While it’s said that it’s the clothes that make a man, it is the bride that makes a dress.

SILHOUETTE It’s such a beautiful word, but what does it mean? The silhouette of a dress is the overall shape it creates. Your own shape will often help you choose the best silhouette for your dress.


This silhouette inspires visions of opulent balls with sparkling crystal chandeliers and elegant couples dancing across brilliantly polished marble floors. Often paired with a corset-style bodice, the full skirt of a ball gown will flatter a pear-shaped figure. This silhouette may not be the best choice, though, for full figured women or women who are very petite.


The most flattering of silhouettes is the A-line. True to its name, the A-line silhouette is shaped like an “A”. A-line gowns generally have only vertical seams that often run from neckline to hemline and continued>>>

Frankie by Hayley Paige: Nightshine sparkle fit to flare gown, strapless plunging sweetheart neckline, sparkle embroidered elongated bodice, full layered skirt of tulle and organza with applique detail.

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Andrew by Sottero and Midgley, an Art Deco beaded sheath wedding dress accented in beaded fringe.

continued>>> the skirt flares from a natural or drop waist. This silhouette will cover a multitude of chocolate sundae sins.


An Empire silhouette creates a much straighter line and doesn’t hug the body as much as an A-line silhouette does. Instead of emphasizing the waistline, an empire silhouette creates a less-defined body shape. You will know an Empire silhouette by a seam that falls just below the bust line. This silhouette looks great on most brides, but those with a large bust may want to avoid this style.


This silhouette is, quite simply, loosely form-fitting gowns that tend to drape softly instead of hugging the body. Sheath silhouettes are often made of very light fabrics like chiffon and can tend to emphasize imperfections. This silhouette will look best on tall, slim brides.


If you have knockout curves and want to show them off, this is the silhouette for you. A mermaid dress silhouette tightly hugs the body from the neckline to the knees and then flares out to create a “mermaid tail.” A variation of a mermaid silhouette is fit-to-flare with the gown fit snugly from the bust to mid thigh where the skirt then “flares” out.

NECKLINE The neckline of your dress is an important decision to make, but with numerous styles, how do you choose? The most important thing to remember is never to choose a particular style just because it is popular. You want to choose the neckline that is most flattering on you. Something to think about when choosing your neckline is the type of top you wear most often to go out in. This answer will give you a good starting point to work from. As a general rule, a scooped neckline looks good on everyone because it doesn’t over-emphasize any one area. Variations of a scooped neckline are the Jewel neckline which is a high, rounded neckline that generally starts at the base of the neck, the Bateau neckline that starts about an inch below the shoulder (creating an off-the-shoulder look), and the Portrait neckline that is similar to the Bateau neckline, except that the neckline stands away from the body creating a collar-like effect. Another neckline that looks great on most brides is a square neckline. This neckline is a simple, straight line. You find this neckline most often on strapless dresses and dresses with spaghetti straps. A Sweetheart neckline creates a heart shape at the bust and shows a small amount of cleavage. This style also looks flattering on most brides. Halter necklines are wonderful for women with great shoulders and backs. It is important to note that women with a large bust may look top-heavy in a halter.

WRAP IT UP! You will know when you’ve found the perfect dress because it is the one that makes you feel beautiful when you’re wearing it. This confidence will add a sparkle to your eyes and make your smile brighter as you walk down the aisle. Now go get that “Wow!”

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Adelaide by Lazaro: Ivory and metallic floral embroidered A-line gown, V neckline front and back, cumberbund at natural waist, circular skirt, chapel train.

Gia by Lucia by Allison Webb, Ivory beaded lace and crepe sheath gown. Sheer sweetheart beaded lace bodice with plunging neckline and illusion straps. Fitted crepe skirt with illusion back and button detailing.

Valencia by Lazaro: Ivory and gold embossed organza ball gown, sweetheart neckline with narrow strap at shoulder, ruched bodice, natural waist, box pleated A-line skirt, and sweep train.

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real wedding

Francesca Tusa + Stanton Levi Middleton, IV JANUARY 16, 2021


FRANCESCA AND STANTON GREW UP AROUND THE CORNER FROM each other, but only met when introduced by their parents at St. Clement of Rome in June of 2016. It wouldn’t be until 6 months later at a New Year’s Day party that they’d reconnect and the rest, as they say, is history! “We got engaged on December 15, 2019, right before COVID rocked our world,” shares Francesca. Stanton presented her with an engagement ring on his parent’s balcony overlooking the Mississippi River. Caught completely off guard, she replied “Oh my god. Are you joking me? Is that real?” Then she said “yes!” “Stan and I knew that no matter what happened with our wedding and COVID, we both agreed that we would not reschedule,” Francesca says. “Marriage was our top priority and we didn’t care if there were 5 people or 500 people at our wedding because the big party wasn’t important to us. We wanted the marriage.” The couple held the faith throughout 2020 that everything would work out as planned and that their wedding wouldn’t be impacted. Then 10 days before, the Mayor of New Orleans announced even tighter restrictions on gatherings, limiting their venue to 5 guests from the same household. Not wanting to uninvite all of their guests on such short notice, the couple sought out alternative locations. Fortunately, Stanton’s parents were members of Metairie Country Club where the rehearsal dinner had been planned and they were able to host the reception as well! “I remember meeting with the event planner, Jennifer Keen, at Metairie Country Club nine days before the wedding and completely replanning the reception,” shares Francesca. “It was stressful, but ended up being so worth it!” Francesca found her dream dress while on an impromptu shopping trip with her mother. “I grew up watching ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, and expected my bridal dress shopping experience would be just like what I saw on TV,” she shares. “Nope! Less than a week after getting engaged, my mother and I were running errands and decided to stop into Yvonne LaFleur only to browse. I tried on 4 different styles of dresses before I found MY gown. Mrs. Yvonne asked me if I would try on her favorite dress in the store. I agreed (because who can say no to Yvonne LaFleur?!) and once I was in the dress, I was speechless.”

“The first look was the best part of the entire wedding day!” says Francesca. “It was such a special moment for us. It was the moment when both of us realized that amidst all of the craziness we encountered the week leading up to the wedding, we had made it through and we were just moments away from getting married. It was truly like a weight was lifted off of our shoulders. It was the moment I laid eyes on my Stanton that I knew my heart was at peace. We both knew that we had made it to the finish line, and if we could survive our wedding planning experience, we could do anything together!” After a traditional Catholic ceremony at Immaculate Conception Church, the couple and their guests celebrated the newlyweds at the reception. For the wedding cake, Francesca wanted a very traditional and elegant design. “The cake had a lace design that resembled the lace on my wedding gown,” she says, “and the fondant flowers added another element of femininity.” Francesca surprised Stanton with his groom’s cake. “I designed his cake based off of two of his favorite things: whiskey and cigars.” La Louisiane crafted the cake with a Bulleit Rye bottle, Stanton’s favorite. The cigar bands included the “S&F” design from the wedding invitations by Rudman’s Gifts and the cake also featured a whiskey barrel with “Middleton, est. 2021” on the front. “He ended up loving it!” shares Francesca. Guests watched as painter Denise Hopkins captured the wedding on canvas and took home Italian-themed favors - Baci chocolates and Italian almonds at the end of the night. The evening ended on a truly “New Orleans” note with a Second Line and a confetti drop over the dance floor.

At first Francesca was unsure if this gown was “the one” as it was not what she’d imagined she’d wear on her wedding day; however, the longer she wore it, the more she fell in love with it. “After about 5 minutes in the dress, my heart was telling me that I was meant to wear this dress on my wedding day because it was traditional and purely elegant. “I said ‘yes’ to the dress!” she shares. On the wedding day, Stanton saw Francesca in her luxurious gown for the first time in the courtyard of the Ritz Carlton. The First Look was a favorite for both the bride and the groom. see more>>> N.O.W | | 57

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ADDITIONAL CREDITS: GETTING READY LOCATION: The Ritz Carlton, New Orleans | CEREMONY LOCATION: Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church | OFFICIANT: Fr. Andrew Rudmann with Fr. Luis Rodriguez, Fr. Joseph Krafft, D. Min., and Deacon Carlo Maniglia | REHEARSAL DINNER + RECEPTION: Metairie Country Club | BRIDE’S GOWN: Yvonne LaFleur | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Alfred Sung, The Dessy Group | GROOM’S + GROOMSMENS’ ATTIRE: The Black Tux | PHOTOGRAPHY: Studio Tran | FLORALS: Bee’s Wedding Designs & Events | BAKERY: La Louisiane | CEREMONY MUSIC: Lisa Lafleur | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: The Mixed Nuts | WEDDING PAINTER: Denise Hopkins | TRANSPORTATION: Bonomolo Limousines | MAKEUP + HAIR: Lauren Rodas (makeup) + Lyndsay Talley (hair), Up’Sa Daisy Salon | WEDDING PLANNER: Rhonda Tusa, Mother of the Bride | JEWELER: Aucoin Hart

See more from Fracesca & Stanton’s wedding at:



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Kelly Bell & William Edwards Jr. WEDDING DATE: 4-03-2021 After postponing their nuptials due to the pandemic, one year later Kelly & William are finally saying I Do!

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Image Credit:Omer Khan, Pixo2 Photography

Kristen Gurba & Zack Klein WEDDING DATE: 10-16-2021 KRISTEN + ZACK’S STORY “Zack and I met when we started working at the same company. For 3 years we became close friends, giving each other career and relationship advice. In 2018, we both attended an event as “friends,” and ended up having the best night! The next day Zack asked me on an official date and the rest is history! My mom felt like she already knew Zack because of how much I spoke of him, and his parents felt the same! From friendship to dating - we’re excited for marriage! We’re ready to take this next step in our life as husband and wife!”

Image Credits: The Rylands Photo Co.

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ADVERTISER INDEX BAKERIES: Gambino’s Bakery................................................................... 40 Kimbla’s Cakes......................................................................... 40

BRIDAL FASHION + ACCESSORIES: Pearl’s Place...............................................................................46

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CATERERS: Toulouse Gourmet Catering................................................. 6 Lucky Dogs................................................................................ 40

DECOR: Peony & Petunia.......................................................................46

FAVORS: Wicks NOLA............................................................................. 50


HAIR, MAKEUP, BEAUTY: Dazzle Doll................................................................................. 50

INVITATIONS: Abbey Printing......................................................................... 50 Rudman’s Gifts......................................................................... 50

PHOTOGRAPHERS + VIDEOGRAPHERS: Amin Russell Photography................................................... 47


Brian Jarreau Photography...............................................IBC Capture Studio Photography..............................................46 Dyle Films.................................................................................. 50 Jessica The Photographer...................................................... 1

VENUES: Higgins Hotel............................................................................4-5 InterContinental New Orleans............................................ 9 New Orleans Marriott Warehouse Arts District.........29 The Cannery..........................................................................7, 28


The Chicory................................................................................41

TRAVEL CONSULTANTS: Paradise Vacation Escapes................................................. 50

WEDDING PLANNERS + DESIGNERS: Alchemy Events..................................................................... IFC

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