They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I can tell you that the same can be said for throwing a big New Orleans Wedding! What a guest sees is elegant flower arrangements, a spectacularly put-together couple and wedding party, good music and a delicious cake. What they don’t see is the many people who worked together to make that happen. From the stationary to the favors and everything in between, it takes teams of people to make a wedding go off seamlessly. Alaina and Jonathan’s wedding had the largest team of amazing vendors I’ve seen to date.
Alaina and Jonathan had the unique challenge of a Summer wedding in New Orleans. As anyone who has ever spent any time in New Orleans in June can tell you- it’s hot. Really hot. Like melt-the-paint-right-off-your-car hot. So they chose to have their ceremony and reception indoors at one of the city’s best blank-slate venues, The Chicory. With its distressed brick walls and old-timey gas lanterns, the Chicory brings in just enough charm while allowing a couple a canvas to decorate any way they choose. The couple’s first choice in creating the wedding of their dreams was to hire Kelley Mitchell Nola Weddings and Events to plan their wedding. With a level head, a talent for executing artistic vision, and a rockstar team of vendors, Kelley created a wedding event that was as seamless as it was stunning (insert slow-clap for the amazing Kelley here!).
Their wedding colors were Navy and Gold and the Chicory was decked out in subtle yet awe-inducing elements that stuck with their color scheme. The walls were painted in blue uplighting while golden candle holders and vases decorated the navy-draped tables. Dee from Bella Blooms Floral put together truly stunning centerpieces at the reception as well as a gorgeous candle wall behind the couple for their ceremony. Dee also collaborated with Royal Cakery and Kelley to create the most unique wedding cake I’ve ever seen- a golden cake hung upside from the ceiling as a chandelier! The couple stood on chairs to cut their cake making them a centerpiece instead of the side-note cake cutting often ends up being. Their humble photographer was up on a chair, too. I wish I had a photo of that! The reception also boasted a fresh, hot praline station by Divas Sweets and a delicious spread of food from The Chicory’s own kitchen. Because of Alaina’s Italian heritage, it was important for her to incorporate that into elements of her wedding. Jonathan’s groom’s cake was a giant cannoli stuffed with little cannolis and their guests each left the wedding with imported little bottles of limoncello bearing the couple’s names.
The reception was lively with Flow Tribe providing funky tunes for the large guest list to get down to. Kristen Schenk of Nola Live Painting worked on a beautiful painting of the couple and their guests as everyone partied. Baskets of navy blue flip flops lined the dance floor so guests could kick off those uncomfortable formal shoes and dance. The whole venue was decorated with really cute signage from Fergie at Stationary Stylist (who also made Alaina and Jonathan’s pop-up save-the-date cards and super cute coozie favors with images from our engagement session). Alaina made sure to make her tiny guests feel at home too with a kids’ table she decorated with a hand-made lollipop bouquet centerpiece and custom activity coloring books. It sat right next to the fun green-screen photo booth from Booth 504 where guests got to pose in front of photos of New Orleans, Paris and Italy (the couple’s honeymoon destinations!).
Here’s the part where I GUSH about my amazing second shooter, Kate Gegenheimer. I was surrounded by killer vendors doing a knock-out job making this big wedding happen but the person I relied on to help carry out my part was Kate. With Bride and Groom prep, three first looks (Dad, Bridal Party, and Groom), a backlit and candlelit low-light ceremony and a guest list of 300, there is no way I could have done my job without Kate at my side. She always brings a calming energy to long, hectic wedding days plus her creativity and professionalism never fail to impress me. This wedding was absolutely no exception and I was thrilled to have her with me every step of the way.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the illustrious Midori Tajiri-Byrd and Tommy Centanni of Embodyment Salon who did Alaina’s hair and makeup. Her lace bridal gown came from Wedding Belles and the bottoms of her custom shoes were bedazzled in “I Do” by Tattoo Tina. Under the amazingly detail-oriented direction of Kelley, everything came together flawlessly for an epic night to remember.