New Orleans Bride Winter 2021

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Refined Texture R EAL WE DDINGS 52

Picture-perfect confections sure to be a focal point of any reception


Six Feet Apart


Go the distance — and get it —with these outdoorsy honeymoons

Seated Sip Pairings Safety-forward serving methods steeped in personalization and personality


Check It Twice Petit Gâteaux

There’s a lot that goes into wedding planning, so don’t feel bad if you’re having a hard time keeping track of it all. Use our handy checklist to stay organized

Individual mini wedding cakes are the icing on top LO C AT I O N S 4 2

Lovely Locales L AGNI APPE 64

Current-day etiquette calls for smaller weddings allowing plenty of space for guests

Flavorful Favors Send guests home with creamy, dreamy chocolate

P H OTO G RA P H Y 4 6

Think Petite


Intimate weddings make great photo opportunities


M US I C 4 8

Pulling Strings BEAU TY 10

New Year, New Skin The top skincare treatments of 2021 for your ultimate, Big Day glow up HAIR 12

Hair-Raising It’s time to #treatyoself to new products packing powerful results MA K EUP 14

Face Forward The hottest makeup for 2021 begs to be seen when the masks come off



Modern Love T RA N S P O RTAT I O N 50

Subtle sparkle, floral appliques and peekaboo lace make these gowns the perfect complement to a modern love story. Trending design details like the sheer corset bodice and square neckline for her, and brocade jackets and pastel suits for the groom offer a fresh take on tradition.

Getting There A handy guide to New Orleans’ many options to get you and your guests to and from the wedding


Hometown Homage Crescent City-inspired inviations let guesets know a New Orleans soirée is on the way!


Callin the pros to plan music for your wedding ceremony

Photograph by Theresa Cassagne, Styled by Lisa Tudor, Model Marcy dufrene, Makeup by Meggan Ory, Hair by Monique Munoz. Gown at Unbridaled.





lanning a wedding is challenging in the best of times. There are so many moving parts and countless opportunities for mishaps. My heart goes out to any couple who had to cancel, postpone and generally rethink the entire concept of their wedding amid the pandemic in 2020 or those facing those choices in the first few months of 2021 as we await a vaccine while continuing to curb the virus. That said, we’ve seen firsthand just how creative couples can get when put to the test. People found ways to get married while staying safe and keeping the wellbeing of their loved ones at the top of their priority list, too. This creativity from couples and the talented wedding vendors they work with has spurred trends that are so fabulous, we hope they stick around. This issue is dedicated to those spirited couples, New Orleans’ creative wedding industry professionals and the trends they’ve set. As always, we have news, beauty and hair advice and product recommendations, inspiration for stationery and cakes, as well as wedding food and beverages, photography, venues and more. The trends range from throwbacks to new ways of doing things and we are excited to see where it all leads. As you plan your wedding, we are as hopeful as you that soon enough, we won’t have to concern ourselves with the pandemic and can celebrate surrounded by loved ones while clinking glasses and hugging necks. Until then, stay safe and plan on. Cheers!



EDITOR Melanie Warner Spencer CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tiffani Reding Amedeo ASSOCIATE EDITOR Kelly Massicot PHOTOGRAPHER Theresa Cassagne CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Mirella Cameran, Becca Hensley, Andy Myer, Lisa Tudor CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Amy Gabriel, Rich Collins, Misty Milioto COPY EDITOR Liz Clearman ADVERTISING

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Brooke LeBlanc Genusa 504-830-7242 or






For subscription information call (504) 828-1380

A Publication of Renaissance Publishing, LLC Printed in USA 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380

P.S. Visit Let Them Eat Cake (, the official blog of New Orleans Bride Magazine for more tips and trends, trunk shows and other events, plus advice, ideas, inspiration and interviews. It’s all of the bridal buzz you can use, five days a week.


New Orleans Bride is a publication of New Orleans Magazine and is published twice a year by Renaissance Publishing, LLC., 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005; (504) 828-1380. It is sold at newsstands throughout Greater New Orleans, complimentary at retail locations and available online at Postage paid at Metairie, LA, and additional entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Renaissance Publishing, LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright © 2021 New Orleans Bride Magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark New Orleans Bride is registered. New Orleans Bride is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in New Orleans Bride Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazine managers or owners.





Local entrepreneur Mari Alejos-Puente first started Passport Polish in July 2018 with a focus on handmade, vegan and cruelty-free polish inspired by different countries around the world. She launched liquid lipsticks in January 2019, and recently launched traditional lipsticks and gel polishes. Most exciting though, is her new Destination Wedding Collection. It includes polishes, lipsticks, press-on nails and accessories with fun colors in names like “Engagement in Saint Vincent” and “Say I Do in Seychelles.” Passport Polish also offers jewelry made specifically for jet-setting brides. — BY MISTY MILIOTO

GOWNS GALORE! Unbridaled, a bridal store with locations in Austin and Houston, recently opened a third location in the Lower Garden District. Expect to find independent, emerging designers who push the boundaries when it comes to bridal fashion and trends. Designers include Rue de Seine, Vagabond, Made with Love, Rish Bridal and Alexandra Grecco (among others), and gowns range from $1,200 to $6,000. The store also carries veils, belts and some jewelry. 1810 Magazine St., 504.233.9029,


At the end of 2020, floral designer Kim Starr Wise opened a flower shop in the Lower Garden District, offering opulent florals, luxe botanicals and delightful accents. In addition to pre-made arrangements, The Flower Shop offers one-on-one consultations for custom floral arrangements and inspiration at every turn. When it comes to weddings, Wise will work to plan, source, design and handcraft wedding florals that reflect the aesthetics of the couple — whether that means traditional whites, beiges and

LOCAL CHARMS Beloved New Orleans-based jewelry designer Mignon Faget has released an heirloom set of sterling silver wedding cake pulls perfect for a classic Southern wedding. For the uninitiated, the charms are inserted into a tier of the wedding cake, and attending single women choose a ribbon to reveal their fortune. The nine-piece set of cake pulls, which Faget designed for her own daughter’s wedding, represent luck, marriage, true love, stability, opportunity, prosperity, eternal beauty, red hot romance and wish come true. $490 for the set, 3801 Magazine St., 504.891.2005, mignonfaget.


pastels or bohemian creations full of wildflowers, warm tones and vintage touches. 2036 Magazine St., 504.390.0563,





New Year, New Skin

The top skincare treatments of 2021 for your ultimate, Big Day glow up BY MIRELLA CAMERAN


hen it comes to skincare, there is a lot one can do. The secret however, is to look like you have done nothing at all except be born with beautiful skin and a perfect complexion. That is easier said than done with so many products and devices now available, both in office and at home. So how does a bride choose from a mountain of skincare options? A busy bride needs someone to guide her when it comes to skincare and skin treatments. Consultations are often complimentary, as they are at Audubon Dermatology, so there is no reason not to go and see a professional whose job it is to be up to date on the latest and greatest. “It’s really easy to spend time and money on products and services that won’t make any noticeable difference,” says founding partner Dr. Deirdre Hooper of Audubon Dermatology. “So go and see a board certified dermatologist ideally a year or six months before the wedding and we can assess what is best for your skin, your time and your budget.” Dr. Hooper says her bridal clients are “most concerned about skin quality and achieving a beautiful, lit-


from-within glow, so we often create a plan which combines topical products like retinoids with some light resurfacing using either chemical peels, a laser treatment or some microneedling.” Lasers are often incorporated into a skincare plan because of their ability to achieve results quickly with less downtime than other options. Fractional and IPL lasers treat a range of issues including early signs of aging, such as fine lines, dullness and pore size. They can also treat discoloration such as freckles, sunspots, veins and facial redness. “For acne, a blue light laser treatment penetrates to the hair follicle killing the bacteria that causes the acne in the first place,” Dr. Hooper says. “Red LED light lasers are anti-inflammatory so we can use those for healing. They penetrate into your skin and stimulate collagen and elastic. The science behind them is strong.” As far as at-home laser treatments, Dr. Sarah Jackson, co-founder of Audubon Dermatology says, “At home devices can work but you have to buy the right ones to deliver the correct doses of LED light, and know exactly how much time you

need on the treated area. Always protect your eyes and avoid dark skin patches, as some lasers can make these worse.” Dr. Sean Weiss of Sean Weiss Facial Plastic Surgery has this advice, “A HydraFacial is a fast and efficient treatment and delivers more even and radiant skin after just one treatment. The smooth result and added hydration lasts from 5 to 7 days. “This facial makes a difference. It removes dead skin cells, extracts impurities and infuses the skin with cleansing, hydrating and moisturizing serums, which we customize for your unique skin condition and needs. “Microneedling is another option for brides. It creates microinjuries to cells by creating tiny holes in the skin and uses the body’s healing process to improve the quality and texture of the skin. Chemical peels treat many conditions such as uneven pigmentation and a dull appearance. “Dermal fillers can be particularly effective for thin lips, or hollow temples and flat cheeks. Botox offers very natural-looking outcomes for dealing with frown lines between the brows and forehead.” Dr. Hooper has a final piece of advice for brides. “It’s important that brides don’t forget their neck, back and décolletage areas: they should try on their dress and take a photo so we can see all the areas that will be exposed and ensure that they glow from head to toe.”b






It’s time to #treatyoself to new products packing powerful results BY MIRELLA CAMERAN

When life seems overwhelming, uncertain and daunting it can be helpful to step away from the fray and indulge in a little self-care. A relaxing treatment or a fabulous blowout can work as a life reboot and enable us to feel fresh, ready and invigorated to tackle another day. Here are some little helpers that might lift your spirits even further.

Kenra Signature Style Dry Setting Spray 15/20 We love the looks our straightening and curling irons can deliver but not the damage they can do. This spray protects strands from heat up to 450 degrees and a nozzle which offers a medium or firm hold to suit your hair texture.

The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment For healthy hair we have to go back to our roots and make sure we take care of the skin on our scalp. We had to include this treatment which works as a pre-shampoo to remove product build-up and flaky dead skin.

Color Wow Shine Spray This brand changed the hair game with Dream Coat, now its new spray uses mullein, a flower to capture invisible UV light and convert it into full-spectrum light delivering extreme shine.

Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Shampoo Don’t miss out on using a shampoo which can double up as a mini-treatment. This choice combines keratin proteins and black rice to add shine, repair split ends and effectively cleanse all hair types.


Milbon Creative Style Volume Thickening Mist The volume this light mist deposits has to be seen to be believed, but that’s not all. Its honey and panthenol protects and enhances the elasticity of each strand making voluminous hair manageable and easy to style.

Kerasilk Control Rich Protective Oil Heated styling tools, an increase in humidity or just a gust of wind can create flyaways in seconds; this light, non-greasy oil tames tresses while adding envious shine without weighing hair down or leaving a damp deposit.

Kenra Refresh Dry Shampoo Foam Using a powder-free, water-based formula, this foam absorbs oil and dirt for three days, creating clean, itch-free volume and freshsmelling hair.

Marc Anthony Grow Long SulfateFree Conditioner with Caffeine & Ginseng Gwenyth Paltrow revealed that she can’t find a better conditioner than this drug store brand, with a $10 price tag to match. Its blend nourishes dull hair and the caffeine spurs fresh growth.





Face Forward

The hottest makeup for 2021 begs to be seen when the masks come off BY MIRELLA CAMERAN

If your beauty routine took a battering along with the rest of your life in 2020, you are not alone. It was difficult to keep up good routines while quarantining, wearing a mask and worrying about what was going on in the world. However, with light now shining at the end of the tunnel, it’s time to put our best faces forward again.

Makeup By Mario Master Metallics Eyeshadow Palette If there’s one secret we’d like to know about the Kardashians, it’s how they achieve their flawless skin and glowing looks. Now we do! Kim’s favorite make-up artist has debuted a stunning range including this metallic eyeshadow palette promising long-lasting shimmer.

Tarte Tarteist Lip Crayon We love how this liner defines and contours but the colors are so rich and pretty it is also perfect for filling in your entire pout.

Nars Highlighting Powder Your wedding joy will undoubtedly help you light up the room during your wedding season but there’s no reason not to benefit from the luminescence of a great highlighter. The Nars version in seven shades will bounce light off all your high points.

Covergirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara At $8 this new vegan, clean mascara is a quantum leap in the beauty world. It still delivers the long, voluminous, defined lashes of the original version without any of the “extras”(think parabens and oils). Competitors be warned.

Urban Decay Stay Naked Foundation This is everything you could ever want in 50 shades. Instead of covering up your skin, it transforms it into a silky, flawless, luminous canvas for up to 24 hours come rain or shine.

Rouge Hermès Matte Lipstick in Rose Nuit Wearing this lipstick is like slipping into a silk nightdress. It glides on with a rewarding softness delivering a light-filled and vibrant pink hue. The tube is refillable but some of the shades are limited edition, ensuring you’re one of a kind.


FLOWER Beauty Blush Bomb Color Drops in Bitten Drew Barrymore’s line available in CVS comes in a silky, creamy formula which sinks into the skin for a natural, glowing rosiness that you build to your preferred hue.

Bite Beauty Agave+ Vegan Mini Scrub & Sleep Lip Duo Why even after hundreds of daily applications of lip balm do your lips still feel tight and dry? Maybe because you’re not sloughing off the dead skin first to allow the moisture to sink in. This effective pair fixes that problem.





Hometown Homage Crescent City-inspired invitations let guests know a New Orleans soiree is on the way! BY ANDY MYER PHOTOGRAPHED BY THERESA CASSAGNE

This lovely suite immediately evokes a sense of place, printed on soft white stock, and featuring beautiful sketches of a horn, streetcar and Brennan’s Restaurant — clearly setting the stage for a day to remember in the “City That Care Forgot”; by Scriptura,




Traditional heavy Bristol stock engraved with a soft French blue ink; accentuated with a floral watercolor envelope liner,


Timeless and traditional, on ecru card stock with scripted black ink, this suite includes an added pearlescent band with an antique map of New Orleans giving the invitation a modern feel. Lined envelopes and matching response cards complete the set; by Gem Printing,



MODERN LOVE Subtle sparkle, floral appliques and peekaboo lace make these gowns the perfect complement to a modern love story. Trending design details like the sheer corset bodice and square neckline for her and brocade jackets and pastel suits for the groom offer a fresh take on tradition.


Lazaro “Ines” mermaid gown in blush petal embroidered tulle over Chantilly lace with corset bodice and chapel train at Linen Jolie

West End three-piece suit at Tuxedos to Geaux

Pared-back, coveredup options inspired by the gown worn by the Duchess of Sussex join sleek and structured column styles, modern versions of corsets, goddess sheaths and regal ball gowns in the season’s runway mix

Ike Behar navy blue two-button “Collin” suit with vest at John’s Tuxedos & Suits

MLL Martina Liana Luxe square-neck gown with beaded and textured lace appliques, sheer bodice, scalloped teardrop train and tulle hem; Toni Federici “Alana” veil and Haute Bride earrings at Town & Country

Allure Bridal strapless gown at Pearl’s Place with beaded appliques on English net sampled in nude/champagne/ ivory/nude/silver

Lillian West by Justin Alexander “Maeve” lace A-line gown with square neckline, scoop back and allover embroidered leaf motif at Bliss Bridal. A lush, free-form bouquet of white anemone, White Cloud garden roses, burgundy astrantia, Brunia berries, eucalyptus gunnii, Veronica, Lamb’s Ear, white ranunculus and pink astilbe, The Plant Gallery.

Ike Behar singlebutton peak “Xavier” charcoal tuxedo at Rome’s Tuxedos

Rue de Seine “Little Rock” lace gown over companion silk slip with high neck, cut sleeves and open back, at Unbridaled

Lace and tulle A-line, scoop back “Michele” gown with chiffon and organza 3-D petal appliques in graduating size from sheer bodice to hemline at MaeMe The Bridal Boutique. This organic bouquet contains a delicate mix of dahlias, lisianthus, ranunculus, bupleurum, sedum, bleached ruscus, jasmine, nagi, bleached grass and pink Majolica spray roses, by Kim Starr Wise Floral Events.

Sottero & Midgley “Fairfax” mermaid gown with sequin lace motif over tulle and plunge illusion neckline at James & B Bridal House

Monique Lhuillier “Larissa” sheer lace strapless gown at I Do Bridal Couture. A lovely, textural combination of lisianthus, roses, dusty miller, scabiosa, helleborus, estrangea, eucalyptus and Veronica, by Grow With Us Florist.

Kent & Park Brocade jacket and companion tie at Tuxedos to Geaux



Refined Texture Picture-perfect confections sure to be a focal point of any reception BY ANDY MYER PHOTOGRAPHED BY THERESA CASSAGNE

Old-fashioned almond pound cake with pineapple filling, iced with a classic buttercream wave and swirl, Swiss Confectionery,




Two-tiered, Funfetti cake filled with strawberry buttercream and frosted with vanilla bean buttercream in white and a lovely soft pink, Bittersweet Confections,




A Southern classic — white almond cake with almond mousseline filling, finely piped Ameri-Swiss buttercream icing and pearl borders, La Louisiane Bakery,





Seated Sip Pairings

Safety-forward serving methods steeped in personalization and personality BY AMY GABRIEL


t many wedding receptions, it’s pretty much an elbow-to-elbow race to the open bar once the I do’s are done. Since current times aren’t well suited for crowding with cocktails, it’s a perfect opportunity to think outside the bar and seek alternative ways to get guests to toast. “It’s clear that satellite or ‘open bars’ are not safe right now because of the lack of social distancing,” said Braithe Tidwell, beverage director at Brennan’s. “It’s much better for guests to be seated and served by someone wearing a mask. This type of service is a natural component of wine service, so it makes sense that wine and cocktail service are a better fit in the climate.” Tidwell suggests presenting seated guests with a mix of paired wine and cocktails as a way to elevate the intimate mood of the reception, as observed at a recent reception. “We announced a description of the pairing between each course, which added a personal touch and an engaging element for guests,” said Tidwell, referencing combinations like Turtle Soup with German off-dry Riesling and Gulf Fish Amandine with a White Burgundy. “There’s so much you can do with beverage pairing that will enhance any dining experience, but for a wedding it’s particularly celebratory!” Tidwell notes that in most instances, the approach will heighten your guests’ imbibing and eating experience. “There’s a lot to be said for getting your favorite cocktail at the bar, but a great wine pairing can often enhance the memories you make at the event. Not to mention that being waited on, rather than waiting in line


at a bar, is a more relaxing experience.” Katie Morris, co-owner of Black Pearl Catering, views this type of pairing service as a way to present yourselves as a couple to your guests. “I think there’s a unique opportunity here to be creative and add some touches that reflect your personal story, and what’s important to you and your family when it comes to food, drink, and celebrating together,” said Morris, observing that some couples utilize this type of beverage service as a way to showcase their shared interests. “We’ve had couples choose wines from different countries they’d traveled to and paired each with a dish from a similar region,” said Morris. “There’s so many routes you can go, I think the important thing is to think about how to tell your story in a meaningful way.” Walker Geoffray, executive chef and co-owner of Black Pearl Catering, believes that it also lends itself to a more memorable reception, as witnessed during a course-pairing themed on clarity, which showcased a translucent Satsuma Ice Box Pie with a clarified milk punch from Cocktail & Creative. “When you want the story [of the couple] to come across to the guest, it’s so helpful for them to see consistency with all components in front of them,” said Geoffray. He notes that seated reception dinners with chosen pairings are a way to create an intimate experience. “You can take your guests on this really meaningful food and drink journey that’s specific to your story together. I think at this time especially, we’re all cherishing every minute we can spend together and the menu can enhance this in a really thoughtful way.” b



Petit Gâteaux

Individual mini wedding cakes are the icing on top BY AMY GABRIEL


hen you envision your perfect wedding reception, you see a series of wow moments that will have your guests gushing and hashtagging throughout the celebration. You can bet your buttercream that a creative dessert moment is a golden opportunity to impress partygoers, and petite, individual wedding cakes will do just that. “It’s a great opportunity for a couple to have individual servings of something sweet that’s special to them,” said Ryan Haydel, co-owner and third generation baker at Haydel’s Bakery, who views the unexpected addition as a way to up the dessert experience. “The sky is the limit of what can be done to make it unique and creative,” said Haydel, noting ideas like three-tier petit four cakes. “Individual cakes require similar attention as large wedding cakes, so it definitely presents an upscale experience.” It’s also a way to customize the dessert concept further by catering to individual dietary requirements of guests. “Couples could send menus with R.S.V.P. cards with (flavor) options to choose in advance or dietary options for each,” said Haydel, acknowledging that bespoke requests might be easier with a smaller number of guests. Cheryl Scripter, owner of Bittersweet Confections, sees mini wedding cakes as an opportunity to create a dramatic moment. “I think that a presentation with all the cakes served at the same time — putting them on little silver platters with a lid on each and delivered to the table — is super exciting for guests,” said Scripter. “Not only is there


this amazing dessert just for you, but the little cakes show that the couple went out of their way to make the guests feel special.” She also sees the potential for a couple to be artistic with design choices, playing up the color story of the event. “Some people are very much about coordinating and matching elements,” said Scripter. “But if you are doing a buttercream cake, it could be a fun idea to do different designs for each. Sort of like bridesmaids all wearing a different shade of the same dress.” The idea of individual cakes doesn’t mean you have to forego the tradition of the centerpiece cake, reminds Haley Kennel, catering sales manager at the Windsor Court Hotel. “It’s fun to do the new and different, but there are still ways to have those traditional moments,” said Kennel, who recently helped with an intimate wedding where the couple had a smaller scale wedding cake that featured a cake topper and bottom for the formal cutting. “Every single guest there was served an exact replica of the big cake topper. It was beautiful and it was a wow factor that set the night off.” Keeping in mind safety issues and minimizing contact between servers and guests, for those comfortable she also suggests providing send-off slices for a sweet finish to the evening. “Having go boxes with individual slices from the larger cake available for those wanting to take them is also an option to consider. The guests will feel at ease and be appreciative for feeling taken care of while still having choices.” b SERGIO SANDONÁ PHOTO WEDDING PLANNER @JULIELINDEMANMANEVENTS





Southern Oaks Plantation

Lovely Locales

Current-day etiquette calls for smaller weddings allowing plenty of space for guests BY MISTY MILIOTO


ith the introduction of a global pandemic, fiancées around the world have adopted the mantra, “Love isn’t cancelled.” Instead, couples are finding ways to have smaller, more intimate weddings that allow for plenty of social distancing. These local venues provide both indoor and outdoor space — allowing for plenty of elbow room — making them perfect for the current climate. And, with a smaller number of guests, couples can afford to focus more on the details that make their wedding unique. THE CHICORY

The Chicory, which was built in 1852 and first began as a simple coffee warehouse, is an historic New Orleans event space that simply begs for weddings and receptions. The venue perfectly blends Old-World charm (think pressed-tin ceilings, gas lanterns, exposed brick and original beams) with modern amenities (the wedding reception package includes tables with gold Chiavari chairs, china, glassware, stainless flatware and ivory linens). 610 S. Peters St., 504-521-8055, CREOLE GARDENS GUESTHOUSE & INN


Creole Gardens consists of a 2,700-square-foot event space, dubbed The Roadhouse, and an outdoor courtyard with lush foliage. There’s a built-in bar, easy access for local vendors (food trucks, anyone?), an in-house speaker system and a Caribbean ambiance that will kickstart your reception with a jovial vibe. 1415 Prytania St., 504-569-8700, IL MERCATO

Built in 1931, this European-inspired event space in the Lower Garden District features a beautiful ballroom with herringbone wood floors and Italianate chandeliers, an intimate library and grand arches leading from the indoor event space to a sprawling brick courtyard with outdoor fireplace. The gas lanterns, brass doors and reclaimed brick set the stage for modern, romantic weddings. 1911 Magazine St., 504-827-2400, NEW ORLEANS ATHLETIC CLUB

A venue previously reserved only for members, the New Orleans Athletic Club has a few onsite spaces that are open for weddings and receptions for 20 to 500 guests. The Bienville Room, with its attached, open-air courtyard (the largest private courtyard in the French Quarter), is ideal for smaller



The Chicory

weddings with about 8,000 square feet of space. The courtyard has brick and industrial features and a classic flagstone patio. 222 N. Rampart St., 504-525-2375, NEW ORLEANS PHARMACY MUSEUM

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum features a 19th-century courtyard that comes to life with tropical foliage and twinkly lights. This opulent setting is perfect for small, romantic weddings — all with that perfect touch of New Orleans flair. 514 Chartres St., 504-565-8027, PARADIGM GARDENS

Paradigm Gardens initially began as a community garden, but has grown into a lush landscape perfect for intimate and casual weddings and receptions (with space for 30 to 125 guests). The in-house planning team assists with every aspect of the special day. The private events chef also will customize the menu using seasonal ingredients, while a custom bar package can include specialty cocktails using the garden’s ingredients. 1131 S. Rampart St., 504-344-9474, RACE + RELIGIOUS

Located along the riverfront in the Lower Garden District, Race + Religious is a romantic compound consisting of three buildings built in the 1830s. It offers 4,000 square feet of indoor space connected by a 2,500-square-foot courtyard with a swimming pool and flickering gas lanterns. Architectural details include unvarnished staircases, French tiles, wrought-iron gates and stained-glass doors — all of which ensure beautiful wedding photos. 510 Race St., 504-523-0890,



Race + Religious

The Rooftop on Basin


For a luxe-yet-intimate venue for as little as 50 guests, consider The Rooftop on Basin at Basin St. Station. The fourth floor features a kitchen, a stage, banquet space and a furnished outdoor terrace. Overlooking the French Quarter, the event space also offers stunning skyline views of downtown New Orleans, gas-burning lanterns and a magical setting for the Big Day. 501 Basin St., 504-293-2600, ROSY’S JAZZ HALL EVENTS & CATERING

An award-winning venue for weddings and receptions, Rosy’s Jazz Hall acts as a beautiful backdrop for a New Orleans wedding thanks to its hardwood floors, brick walls and outdoor patio. There’s also an indoor balcony that overlooks a two-story atrium. All events are fully catered in-house, and wedding packages start with pricing for 75 to 99 guests. 500 Valence St., 504-896-7679, SOUTHERN OAKS

The quintessential Southern venue, Southern Oaks is an all-inclusive event space featuring an historic mansion and meticulously landscaped grounds offering plenty of breathing room. Expect an unforgettable wedding and reception with delicious cuisine and exceptional service, surrounded by towering, picturesque live oaks. 7816 Hayne Blvd., 504-245-8221, Make the most of smaller weddings by inviting only the closest family members and friends, and spend the extra cash on glorious cuisine, unique entertainment, cascading florals and extra wedding photography. Love isn’t cancelled; it’s simply done differently. b





Dark Roux Photography

Think Petite

Intimate weddings make great photo opportunities BY MISTY MILIOTO


eddings during COVID-19 have gotten smaller. But, if you ask the experts, that means the wedding photos are getting better. Fewer guests and less pomp and circumstance, some photographers say, creates opportunities for them to capture intimate, unscripted moments that are harder to get when the schedule is crammed. “Small weddings are enjoyable in a different way,” says New Orleansbased photographer Michael Caswell. “Usually I’ll be able to spend more time with a couple doing portraits, as opposed to a big day where I’d only have 10 minutes.” Heather Schneider, who owns Dark Roux Photography with her husband Jamie, has experienced the same thing. “The smaller weddings are great,” she says. “If you’re trying to shoot a big event, you have eight hours and there’s 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen to shoot, you have a long to-do list, you have to get to the church at a certain time and to the bus a certain time, so you’re far more restricted.” Small weddings are a totally different story. “It’s just so fluid,” says Schneider. “If we don’t get something done the first time around, it’s fine. It’s the same 20 people at the event all day, so we’ll just


do it later. We can just go with the flow and it’ll give us more opportunity to be relaxed. It gives us more time to be creative instead of just ‘Get it, get it, get it.’ We can examine the surroundings, see things from different angles and do something different.” Photographer Tracie Morris shot a recent wedding at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. During the drive from the church to the reception, the wedding party was halted by a raised drawbridge near the lake. Disaster? Not hardly. In fact, the unplanned moment turned into a highlight of the day — and a great photo opp. “It seemed like traffic was going to be a while, so I jumped out of the car and then got them out of their car,” says Morris. “So now we’re on the bridge. That can be a stressful moment for a bride, being stopped by a bridge or a train. You’re looking at the clock and trying to get to your reception — but we were able to take that moment and make it fun. “Their friends were honking their horns, groomsmen ran up the bridge to toast them. We took a bunch of photos and turned it into a nice memory. It’s not something you would ever plan but when it’s a small event you can just wing it.”

Tracie Morris Photography


No matter the size of the wedding, proper planning still leads to perfect performance. Caswell’s biggest piece of advice for couples planning their Big Day? Just assume everything is going to take much longer than you expect. “Don’t be overly optimistic about scheduling things during the day,” he says. “If you think hair and makeup are going to take an hour and a half, it’s going to take two hours. If you think it’s going to take 20 minutes to get into your wedding dress, it’s going to take twice that long. If you make a realistic schedule, the day will go a lot more smoothly.” Schneider’s top suggestion, meanwhile, is to make sure to meet with your photographer in advance to clarify your objectives. “Make sure you talk to them first on the phone or FaceTime just so you can get an idea of their personality and get your vibe together,” she says. “Our approach is more hands off but we still need to know information about family dynamics and what couples find important on the wedding day. Do not just shop solely by price.” One pandemic-specific piece of advice from Tracie Morris is to plan a series of smaller events on your wedding day so you can include all your loved ones while keeping things at the right size. The wedding at the New Lakefront Airport ultimately changed venues several times so that the older folks could participate in a safe environment and the younger crowd could dance all night. “This way, you don’t have all the pomp and circumstance,” she says. “You just have the bride and groom and you get to know them and see their love for each other — and that’s what everything circles around.” Follow those suggestions and check out our Bride New Orleans rules for perfect wedding photos and you will be delighted with your results. b BRIDENEWORLEANS.COM |




Pulling Strings Call in the pros to plan music for your wedding ceremony BY RICH COLLINS


uring the pandemic, wedding receptions have gotten smaller and quieter. Health restrictions mean crowded dance floors are, temporarily at least, a thing of the past. So when it comes to planning music for your Big Day, it makes sense to focus on the sounds of the ceremony itself as much as the party afterward. There are plenty of ways to be creative within current guidelines — though the location of your event will dictate what works best. For a church wedding, you might want vocalists accompanied by strings, organ, piano or horns, for instance. Or, if you’re getting married outside, a classic string quartet may fit the bill. One thing’s for sure: the best thing to do if you don’t know what you want or need is to reach out to the pros. One wedding music veteran is Harry Hardin, a Loyola University and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts grad who has been playing professionally for more than two decades. Hardin has planned music for and


performed at literally thousands of weddings over that span. Hardin has done it all, from playing solo violin for a couple and their officiant at an outside ceremony with no guests to assembling an orchestra to perform at an epic wedding … for dogs. Once, he flew to play a wedding in Mexico, where he literally partied with a rock star. Another time, a bridesmaid — how can we put this delicately ... tossed her cookies, on one of his cello players. Then there was the time the bride’s ex-boyfriend showed up at the event to make a big speech. … So, yeah, he’s seen the good, the bad and ugly of it all. And Hardin’s No.1 piece of advice to make sure your day goes smoothly? Hire the best people you can find. “I always advise people to work with really credible vendors — although I hate to call them vendors because what they really are is artists, whether it’s musicians, florists or photographers,” he said. “If you get good people working for you, it usually goes well.” Hardin provides turnkey solutions for couples who know exactly what they want as well as those who need creative guidance. He puts together everything from a string quartet or vocalist and pianist to entire orchestras. Song selection ranges from Pachelbel’s Canon and other wedding staples to Gershwin ballads, Beatles classics and more contemporary pop songs, like “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. “Very rarely are two weddings alike,” he said. “We have some songs that are more popular than others but everybody’s got different tastes so it’s important to be versatile and plan in advance and be upfront about what you want. Brides have a vision and it’s important that we’re on the same page.” Hardin said it’s not uncommon for a customer to plan a musical theme for the day. “I recently played for a bride marrying a British man,” he said. “So it was all Beatles songs and the song the groom walked out to was ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ [from the Austin Powers movies]. We’ve also done weddings on Halloween, when we played ‘Dance Macabre,’ ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ and the theme song from ‘The Gremlins.’” If customers don’t have a strong vision, Hardin has them study the videos on his website to figure out what they like. He can also reverse engineer the music plan based on a budget. NO POSEURS

Troy Marks of the band No Idea, which has been together for 26 years and can perform more than 400 songs, said the most important thing for couples to do is find a truly experienced wedding band. “If you’re going to pay for live music, the main thing is hire a reputable band,” he says. “When we first started, there were 10 or 12 groups in the city and now there are thousands. Everybody saw the money in it, so people will gather Bourbon Street musicians, call themselves a wedding band and get whoever can show up that night to play. So check references. We’ve been around 26 years and have the same members every show.” Marks said it’s also important to see the band in person and not rely on their website. “It’s difficult to shop that way,” he said. “You can post a picture of guys in suits and they look great — but when they show up to the gig they look like members of [metal band] Korn. So talk to vendors — communication is the thing.” FREE HELP

One other tip: New Orleans & Company, the city’s destination marketing organization, will introduce couples to wedding professionals, send requests to wedding vendors, contact hotels for room blocks and much more — all for free. b






Get a fleet of motorcycles or scooters to carry you, your beloved and your guests to your wedding. Pick between classic Harleys or BMWs on the motorcycle side or hop on a Genuine Buddy scooter with your pals and fly through the streets., TANDEM BIKE

Prove your commitment to fun, whimsy and teamwork by renting bikes on your Big Day. The American Bicycle Rental Company gets its bicycles made specifically for the wear and tear of the Big Easy’s streets, so that the beginning of your marriage isn’t too bumpy.

Getting There A handy guide to New Orleans’ many options to get you and your guests to and from the wedding


Why not rent a party bus? Champagne chillers, accent and fiber optic lighting, flat-screen TVs, a mirrored ceiling and a dancing pole — gasp! — (in case you want to show off your moves) are a few of the amenities. The buses range in size, running up to 28-passenger limits, and Royal Coach will meet all of your specifications., GONDOLA – CITY PARK


on’t stress about how you’re going to make it to your wedding. With so many options for couples in New Orleans — whether you want to make it to your ceremony by land, air or sea — you can arrive in style. Each choice has its own charm and beauty and can be perfectly tailored to your wedding ceremony, so all you have to do is enjoy the ride.


They’re ubiquitous to weddings for a reason — the luxury and comfort of a limo is tough to beat. Sip champagne and settle into the rich leather interior while a chauffeur gets you to your destination in style., bonolimo. com, ROLLS ROYCE


The classic New Orleans mode of wedding transportation, the horse and carriage, is the image of wedded bliss. Enter your ceremony as if you are in your own personal fairy tale. Royal Carriages has been a New Orleans institution since 1941 and provides several options to its guests.

A classic Rolls Royce or antique Bentley exudes vintage luxury and style and allows you to transcend time. Arrive at your wedding in true elegance and enjoy the plush leather seating while sipping champagne in VIP Transportation’s antique motorcars., PEDICAB


Seat 40 to 52 of your guests in a classic New Orleans streetcar by chartering one from the city. You can create your own route, bring food and non-alcholic drinks onto the streetcar and decorate it to your heart’s content. It’s a mode of transportation steeped in history but customizable to your goals. streetcar-charters


Whether it’s your main means of transportation for your ceremony, a bachelor or bachelorette party visit to the French Quarter, or you put a coupon for a free ride in your wedding gift bag, these chauffeur-driven bicycles provide a fun means to explore the city and offer a quick getaway when necessary., neworleansbiketaxi. com

If you’re near City Park for your wedding, a gondola ride is a must. Glide through the smooth waters of the park and have a private, relaxing moment with your new partner in life and love. If you want to bring guests, the boat carries up to six. YACHT

Charter a yacht and party all the way to the altar. Watch the sun set and enjoy balmy breezes as you float through the waters of Lake Pontchartrain. If you’re up to it, have the captain of the ship officiate the wedding. The options are endless when luxury is your focus. Neworleansyachtcharter. com, TROLLEY

Don’t worry, you can still ride off into the sunset in a classic Crescent City trolley even if your wedding isn’t on one of the town’s main streetcar lines. Limousine Livery provides refurbished streetcars free of both cable restraints and pesky tourists. What’s more, the renovated vehicle’s cushioned seats are an enormous improvement from the city’s current hardwood offerings, so you can cozy up and cool off next to your new spouse without fear of splinters or snags in your swanky attire., b





Bride: Judy Flumenbaum Groom: Jonathan Conrad Date: March 14, 2020 Event Planning & Design: Karson Butler Events Ceremony & Reception Location: Il Mercato Catering: Joel’s Catering Cake: Bittersweet Confections Gown: Reem Acra Florist: Leaf & Petal NOLA Photographer: Greer Gattuso Band: Groovy 7 String Quartet: NOLA Strings Second Line: Kinfolk Brass Band Rentals: Distressed Rental Stationery & Paper Goods: Emily Baird Designs Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy Hair & Make Up: Flawless Bride Getting Ready Location: Henry Howard Hotel







Bride: Angela Palmer Groom: Chris Bradley Wedding Date: October 18, 2020 Ceremony Location: New Orlean’s City Park (Peristyle) Reception & Catering: Ralph’s on The Park Gown: Allure from Bliss Bridal Bridesmaids dresses: Men’s attire: Men’s Warehouse Rings: Kay Jewelers Florist: Crystal Vase Flowers Cake: Swiss Confectionery Photographer: Rae Caroline Photography Makeup: Dee Rouzan at Face of Virtue Makeup Studio Hair: Red Fascio at Fascio Hair



Do you want to submit your wedding for our magazine?

CHECK OUT HOW.... Do you want to see your wedding in these pages and share your Big Day with our readers and New Orleans? To be considered as a featured local wedding in New Orleans Bride Magazine, mail a CD or flash drive with high-resolution (4x6/300dpi) photographs. If you are selected you agree to be published in the pages of New Orleans Bride magazine, as well as on our related websites and blogs. Below is a helpful checklist to ensure that you have included all of the correct materials.

WHAT WE NEED 1. A Word document of the following vendors: ___ Couple’s full name ___ Date of the wedding ___ Ceremony location ___ Reception location ___ Coordinator ___ Gown (designer and store) ___ Bridesmaids’ dresses (designer and store) ___ Men’s Attire (store) ___ Rings ___ Florist ___ Caterer ___ Cake ___ Photographer ___ Videographer ___ Hair (Stylist and Salon) ___ Makeup (Stylist and Salon) ___ Music ___ Any other vendor you would like to include

2. High-resolution (4x6 / 300dpi) photographs of: ___ Couple ___ Bridesmaids and groomsmen ___ Cake ___ Rings ___ Flowers ___ Ceremony ___ Reception ___ Wedding Favor ___ Second Line ___ Detail shots of shoes, dress, jewelry ___ Detail shots of the decor ___ Please include five other photos of your choice.



Please email a download link of photos and word doc to OR mail your CD or flash drive of photos and Word document of vendor information to: New Orleans Bride Magazine Attn: Tiffani Amedeo 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005

New Orleans Bride Magazine reserves the right to choose the wedding and the issue in which it will be featured. Submissions are not guaranteed to be published and CDs and flash drives will not be returned. The bride, groom and photographer must give permission to use the photographs and information of the submitted wedding.


* Please send at least 10-15 photographs and Word document of your vendors saved to a CD or flash drive. * All CDs and flash drives will NOT be returned.

HON E Y MO O N Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton South Carolina

Six Feet Apart

Go the distance — and get it — with these outdoorsy honeymoons BY BECCA HENSLEY


ou’d hoped to visit the thronged markets of Bangkok, the busy streets of Paris or follow that sports team or musical group to several engagements on a mobbed world tour. But, it must be said: now is not the time for crowded honeymoons. Circumstances require that you and your beloved broaden your vacation landscape — literally. Instead of joining the rabble on the swarmed dance floor of life, set out to discover some of the world’s wide open spaces. Not only will fresh air, fragrant flora and captivating fauna restore and revive you, but authorities report that spending time outdoors poses a lower risk of COVID-19 virus spread. Add in unspoiled expanses, immense enough for social distancing ease, and suddenly safe honeymoons seem reassuringly back on the table. Ready to dream? Here’s a slew of al fresco options for now — or later. LAKE QUINAULT LODGE, QUINAULT, WASHINGTON

In far northwest Washington State, stretching out for more than 922,000 unspoiled acres on the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park enjoys a variety of ecosystems, including immense old-growth forests, glacier-topped mountains and the Pacific Northwest’s moody seashore. To explore them, stay on Lake Quinault at sumptuously restored Lake Quinault Lodge. Built in 1926 in the rustic Great Camp tradition, the luxurious hideaway hearkens back to bygone times, immersing guests into nature’s largesse and the region’s palpable history. Experience the surrounding rainforest and shimmering lake in the manner guests have done for a century — hiking, boating, fishing and biking. Alternatively, picnic by a waterfall, enjoy


massages by the pool or dip into the park’s nearby hot springs. Not to miss, the six-mile Lover’s Lane Loop, famous for its vistas, and the Rainforest Nature Trailhead, home to the thousand-year-old “World’s Largest Sitka Spruce Tree,” will never be forgotten. MONTAGE PALMETTO BLUFF, BLUFFTON SOUTH, CAROLINA

Porching? That’s a thing … sitting, laughing, sipping and watching the world go by from one of the resort’s tony Moreland Village Homes. You can linger all day long with a glass of something cold, but you’ll likely yearn to scope out Palmetto Bluff’s two villages, marina and 20,000 acres of fun. From golf to horseback riding, including bocce ball, sunset yacht cruises and tennis, plus sunrise kayaking, birdwatching and more, this quintessentially Southern retreat offers the best of South Carolina’s Low Country elegance and style. The resort’s Veuve Cliquot Picnic + Pedal adventure redefines the notion of an ordinary bike ride. Expect cruisers, a bottle of champers and a gourmet picnic boasting ingredients as racy and scrumptious as oysters, caviar, pimento cheese and red velvet cookies. THE INN AT DEATH VALLEY, THE OASIS AT DEATH VALLEY, DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

Honeymooners may wish this destination had a less ominous name, but this eye-popping national park inspires an awe as euphoric as what couples feel when they walk down the aisle. Keep the post-wedding elation alive at this otherworldly, 3.3 million-acre national treasure, the largest park

Togwotee Lodge, Moran Wyoming

Acre, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

The Inn at Death Valley, The Oasis at Death Valley, Death Valley National Park, California



Sheldon Chalet, Alaska

outside of Alaska. Hot as Hades, it has soaring sand dunes, sub-sea-level salt flats, startling sunrises, rainbow-hued canyons, mysterious singing sands, rocks that miraculously move on their own — and lots of space to cavort without ever seeing another soul. Pamper yourselves at the inn, a refurbished Mission Revival masterpiece. Opt for the intimate, stand-alone casitas, set amidst date palms. Golf, hike, sandboard the dunes and gallop on horses beneath the moonlight. ACRE, SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO

What could be more remote than sleeping in a tree? At Acre, wedged into the foothills of San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos region’s more characteristic and mellow town), 12 design-savvy treehouses hover over a landscape of agave, cacti, palm and citrus trees. Each has a terrace, outdoor shower, canopy-like mosquito netting, a curated mini-bar — and, yes, of course, high-speed internet. Part of an organic farm, the boutique hotel draws gastronomes for its farm-to-table restaurant, which sources a majority of its ingredients from its gardens and fields. Near beaches, amusements from camel riding to whale watching, and buzzy bars (though you’ll likely prefer the hip onsite bar), this cool kids’ hangout offers complimentary yoga, a zero-edge, solar-heated pool, and Fausto’s — an all-day breakfast diner. SHELDON CHALET, DENALI NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA

You’ve hankered to see the Northern Lights with him, hands clasped as you gaze upward with dropped jaws. Why wait? Ogle them at Sheldon Chalet, a magnificent, diminutive, five-room, villa-style hotel, poised on a nunatak 10 miles from the summit of Denali — North America’s highest mountain. Most common from mid-September to mid-April, the Aurora Borealis explode in a panoramic display of rolling green, purple and blue, reflecting off the snow-capped peaks. During the day, ski, sled or snow trek on Ruth Glacier. Get cozy at night before a roaring fire, with a dinner that

showcases Alaskan-sourced seafood and ingredients. Then, tuck into bed to watch nature’s light show, framed by your window. Far flung, this chalet comes with your own guides, a private chef and a concierge. CYCLE SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK, TUCSON, ARIZONA

Anthropomorphic, barrel-chested cacti, majestic saguaros look a bit like people standing around in the desertscape. At Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, they pepper the terrain like a botanical mob — the only crowd you’ll see on a velo tour of the area. Awash with backroads and world class ascents, such as Mount Lemmon, the region begs to be explored by bicycle. Escape Adventures offers customized, five-day tours of the park and its environs. You’ll base at historic Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, set at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountain Range, beloved by heyday power couple, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. During the days, fully supported with a van and guides, you’ll pedal and pump for miles (electric bikes available upon request), then return at night to relax beneath the stars. TOGWOTEE LODGE, MORAN, WYOMING

In winter, you’ll feel gratifyingly snowed in at this old-school cabin complex, uniquely situated near both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. For duos craving cozy, these simple cabins do the trick, a salt-of-the-earth home in the wilderness. A complex of 54,400-square-foot cabins, each with kitchenettes and electric fireplaces, plus a lodge, all-season Togowotee might be most celebrated for its winter offerings. Considered one of the world’s top purveyors of snowmobiling excursions, the retreat leads guests on rollicking rides through the power-packed expanses. Honeymooners can ski in nearby Jackson, and soak their weary bodies at Granite Hot Springs, (accessible in winter only by cross-country skiing, dog sledding, or snowmobiling with outfitters like Togwotee Snowmobile Tours). b BRIDENEWORLEANS.COM |




12 Seasons Catering & Mr. Mudbug 131 23rd St., Kenner, 504-465-9770,

I Do Bridal Couture 4265 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, 225-361-0377,

Pontchartrain Hotel 2031 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, 800-708-6652,

Aroma Catering 400 E. William David Pkwy, Metairie, 504-833-2120,,

InterContinental New Orleans 444 St. Charles Ave, New Orleans, 504-585-4353,

Rome’s Tuxedos 3213 17th St., Metairie, 504-324-7227

Backyard Printing (& Secondline Handkerchiefs) 1960 Surgi Drive, Mandeville, 985-231-7789,,, Secondlinehandkerchiefs. com, Leslie McGoey

IRIS floral + event design studio

Royal Sonesta New Orleans 300 Bourbon St., New Orleans, 504-553-2205,

Jared Osterhold Event Fine Arts 427 Royal St., New Orleans, 504-701-8730,

RZ Productions 504-975-0817,, Cinematic Wedding Films

Balcony Ballroom 4738 Utica St., Metairie, 504-885-8001,

John’s Tuxedos 3200 Houma Blvd., Metairie, 504-455-5353,

Signature New Orleans Frank McNish, 504-828-6652, info@

Bliss Bridal 4712 Magazine St., 504-592-7507,,

Joe Gambino’s Bakeries 4821 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-885-7500,,

Swiss Confectionery, Inc. 3700 Orleans Ave., New Orleans, 504-522-7788,,

Club Pilates 6001 Magazine St., New Orleans, 504-355-1898,; 2077 N. Causeway Blvd, Madenville, 985-807-1186, mandeville

Kim Starr Wise Floral Events 437 Philip St., New Orleans, 504-315-5607,, fb: kimstarrwisefloralevents, instagram: kimstarrwise

Eye Wander Photo 7964 Goodwood Blvd, Suite A, Baton Rouge, 225366-4567,

Le Pavillon Hotel New Orleans 833 Poydras St., New Orleans, 504-581-3111,

Gem Printing Co. 504-834-9580, 504-831-1762, gem@gemprinting. com,

Limousine Livery 4333 Euphrosine St., New Orleans, 504-561-8777,

Grow With Us Florist 106 Metairie Heights Ave, Metairie, 504-837-9449,

Loews New Orleans Hotel 300 Poydras St., New Orleans, 504-595-5320,,

Fabulous Flowers LLC. By Appointment, New Orleans, 504-909-0253,, Federal Ballroom New Orleans 147 Carondelet St., New Orleans, 504-587-2088,,

New Orleans Marriott Warehouse Arts District 859 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, 504-613 2888, Noel Marcantel

Harvie Live Wedding Paintings 1204 S. White St., New Orleans, 985-687-9106,,

NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans 317 Baronne St., New Orleans, Pre Opening Executive Offices, 935 Gravier St., Suite 120, New Orleans, Colleen Page, Director of Catering,

Haydel’s Bakery 4037 Jefferson Hwy, Jefferson, 504-837-0190, 504-837-5512,

Omni Royal Orleans Hotel 621 St. Louis St., New Orleans, 504-529-7022,

Higgins Hotel New Orleans 945 Magazine St., New Orleans, 504-528-1944,

Pearl’s Place 3114 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-9213,,

The Bridal Boutique by MaeMe 3331 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-266-2771,, The Chicory 610 S. Peters, New Orleans, 504-521-8055,, The Pearl Room 2310 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 504-737-0604, The Sweet Life Bakery 6268 Vicksburg St., New Orleans, 504-371-5153, 516 veterans Blvd., Metairie,, The Moore 5616 Citrus Blvd. New Orleans, 504-737-1300, The Westin New Orleans 100 Iberville St., New Orleans, 504-553-5106, Tuxedos To Geaux 3400 16th St., Metairie, 504-455-5393,, Your Day Video Production 504-273-0005,,•

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Check It Twice There’s a lot that goes into wedding planning, so don’t feel bad if you’re having a hard time keeping track of it all. Use our handy checklist to stay organized ILLUSTRATION BY SHAINA ANDERSON


__ You’re engaged! Make sure you celebrate with your fiancé, friends and family. __ Nail down the basics. Where are you getting married? Who’s paying for what? What is your budget? How many guests will be there? __ Alert the wedding party. Decide who you want in your wedding party and ask them as soon as you can. __ Pick the date. Check with your family members and wedding party before you make a final decision so there are no huge time conflicts. __ Find a wedding planner. If you’re going to use a wedding planner, find one in the early stages. He or she will make all the craziness more manageable. __ Book your ceremony and reception location. Where you get married will affect a lot of your planning decisions, so reserving a place should be at the top of your to-do list.


__ Insure your ring. Your engagement ring is special, but it’s also expensive. Make sure you get it insured, just in case. __ Book officiant. Make sure your preferred officiant has your wedding date on the calendar. __ Write thank you notes for engagement gifts. You will most likely receive a few gifts right after your engagement. Send a thank you note for each gift within three months of receiving it. __ Take engagement photos. Book a session with a professional photographer so you have a few nice photos of you and your fiancé for save-the-dates, newspaper announcements and more. Some photographers will include an engagement shoot with a wedding package. __ Pick your colors. Think about your wedding colors and the overall look of your day. Are you going for a classic look or trendy? Vintage or glamorous? Your color scheme will guide you through other big decisions, such as the bridesmaids’ dresses and the groomsmen’s ties.



__ Interview and select vendors. Make sure you book the “big ticket” items, such as the photographer, the caterer, the florist and the entertainment, early.

__ Mail out the invitations. Double check with the post office that you have enough postage. Many wedding invitations require more than one stamp.

__ Send out save-the-dates. The typical rule on sending save-the-dates is six months before your wedding, but send them earlier if you’re inviting a lot of out-of-town guests so they can book flights.

__ Solidify the catering menu. Whether you’re doing heavy hors d’oeuvres or a sit-down meal, verify the final menu.

__ Go dress shopping. You need an appointment at most wedding boutiques, so call a few of your favorite stores to set up a time. __ Register. Register at two or three stores. Choose items at a variety of prices so everyone can find something they can afford. Add more gifts than you think you need so your friends and family have some options. __ Think about the rehearsal dinner. It’s customary that the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner. Talk to your future in-laws about possibilities. __ Schedule transportation. Book a limo, trolley or another form of transportation to shuttle your wedding party from the hotel to your ceremony location. Decide whether you need transportation for your guests to get from the reception to the hotel at the end of the reception. __ Plan your honeymoon. If you’re going out of the country for your trip, make sure you and your fiancé have up-to-date passports. __ Figure out your rentals. Rentals depend on the location of your wedding, but if you’re responsible for common rental items such as chairs and plates, make a list of everything you need and where you’re going to find each item.

__ Schedule your hair and makeup team. Find a good hair stylist and makeup artist to help you and your bridesmaids get ready for the day.


__ Send your wedding party an itinerary. Make sure your family and friends know where and when to be for the wedding day so everyone shows up at the right place at the right time. __ Enjoy a facial. Everyone reacts differently to facials. If you’re planning on getting one, schedule it a few days before your wedding, or do a trial run months before. __ Get your marriage license. Head to the Orleans Parish Marriage License Office in Benson Tower (1450 Poydras St., Suite 407) for your marriage certificate. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. Visit for requirements. __ Set up your second line. If you’re planning to second line at your wedding, you’re going to need a permit. Call the New Orleans Police Department Special Events Section at 658-7100 to schedule everything 15 to 20 days before your wedding day.

__ Book a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. If you’re not familiar with the hotel, ask a hotel representative to show you a room and don’t forget to inquire about a group rate.

__ Practice your hair and makeup. It’s best to practice with your hair stylist and makeup artists ahead of time so there are no surprises on the big day. Plan your trial run for a day you want good hair, such as your bridal shower or bachelorette party.

__ Order bridesmaids’ dresses. If your bridesmaids live far away, give them plenty of time to buy their dresses and get them fitted.

__ Finalize the guest list. Send a final headcount to your caterer and any other vendor who needs the number.



__ Buy wedding bands. Shopping for wedding bands is usually less stressful than shopping for an engagement ring, but carve out a time when you and your fiancé can go look together.

__ Double check with your vendors. Touch base with everyone one more time to remind them where to go and to answer any last-minute questions they might have.

__ Finalize the rehearsal dinner. Once you’ve decided on the location, book your rehearsal dinner.

__ Remind friends and family of their responsibilities. Assign duties to your wedding party or other loved ones. Who is the contact for the photographer? Who is making sure all guests get a favor?

__ Reserve a wedding night hotel room. Where are you staying for the wedding night? If you’re not leaving for your honeymoon immediately after the reception, decide where you want to stay for the night. __ Get your dress fitted. Your wedding dress is one of the most important dresses you will wear in your life, so it should fit impeccably. Many brides plan up to three fittings. __ Decide on attire for the groom and groomsmen. Talk to your fiancé about what he wants to wear and what will match your overall color scheme. Keep the time of day in mind when researching options. __ Check in with your vendors. Make final decisions with your vendors and update them on new wedding information, such as when they should arrive. __ Order your wedding cake. Taste a few cakes before you decide on your final choice. Talk to your fiancé about a groom’s cake if he wants one.

__ Get a manicure and pedicure. This can be a great bonding experience with your bridesmaids, mom and future mother-in-law. __ Put together a welcome package. If you have a lot of guests traveling for your wedding, ask the hotel if you can put a welcome basket or bag in their hotel room for when they arrive.


__ Find a way to relax. Whether you go for a run or read a book in the morning, find a way to keep stress to a minimum. __ Make sure you eat something. Brides always say, “I never had time to eat anything!” Give yourself some time during the reception to have a bite. __ Have fun! You’ve made it through all the planning, now it’s time to celebrate. Enjoy your first day as a married woman. b




Flavorful Favors Send guests home with creamy, dreamy chocolate BY MISTY MILIOTO


hen it comes to wedding favors, it’s always a great idea to give something from the heart that is locally made. That way, your guests get a taste of your special city. One such option here in New Orleans is a box of lovely bonbons from Piety and Desire Chocolate. The New Orleans chocolatier hand-paints each bonbon (with colored cocoa butter) and is one of only a handful in the United States that makes bonbons from its own chocolate. “We manufacture chocolate ourselves starting from Direct Trade cocoa beans (much more equitable prices for farmers than Fair Trade) and Louisiana cane sugar,” says owner Christopher Nobles. “We make our own dark, milk and white chocolate.” Piety and Desire Chocolate typically makes about 480 bonbons per day, and they are available in the Classic Collection (available year-round) and the Contemporary Collection (available sporadically year-round). There also is a Winter Collection, a Carnival Collection, a Festival Collection, a Summer Collection and a Fall Collection. The Classic Collection includes flavors like Brown Butter Bourbon and Cafe Au Beignet, while the Winter Collection includes flavors like Satsuma Moon and Oh, Tannen-Bomb. Available in four-, six-, 12- and 24-piece boxes. 2727 S. Broad Avenue, 504-799-1709,


Four-piece Bonbon Box (clockwise from top left: Single Origin, Classic Bonbon; The Duck Blind; Sazerac; and Pumpkin Stout), $11, Piety and Desire Chocolate