Weddings are always happy occasions- I mean, really, who doesn’t get excited to see people they love get hitched? But Mariah and Bill’s wedding was filled with so much joy it almost seemed like the room could not contain it! Their wedding proved that you don’t need a ton of expensive flowers, decor, and favors to have a great wedding; all you need is to be surrounded by the people you love.
A couple from Arizona, these two decided to get married in New Orleans without ever having seen the city before. They decided to have their wedding at Cellardoor (which would be the first ever wedding ceremony held at this wonderful little venue in the CBD) on May 21st to match the name of their Auto Body Shop, 521 Automotive. The couple is big into surprises and filled their day with a lot of little surprise gifts for each other- even their wedding rings were a secret from each other until the ceremony. They also incorporated family into as many aspects of their day as possible. We staged a first look with Mariah’s Dad that had him in tears and in lieu of a ring bearer, Mariah’s grandmother held on to the rings and gave them to the couple during the ceremony. A Monarch butterfly release after the kiss was one more sweet little surprise that delighted their guests (and me!).
There was little in the way of tradition; Mariah’s dress was stunning in black and white and their cake was Black with a sugar skull on top! But they did throw in one wonderful New Orleans Wedding tradition- a second line! The crew at Cellardoor made sure that everyone had a cold pink cocktail to parade with and the band was just perfect. I really enjoyed capturing the smiles on everyone’s faces as it was a first for all of them! Sure, it was a little warm in late May but nobody seemed to mind. In fact, these two were one of the most laid-back couples I’ve ever worked with and their guests were the same. I didn’t see either of them worry about a single thing the entire day, they simply let the good times roll.
Their guests were really fantastic. They all filled Cellardoor with enough love and happiness for it to really feel like a much larger crowd. It was obvious to me how tight-knit everyone was, with friends seeming like family. They were the kind of wedding party that I want to hang out with the next day- kind, fun, and genuinely sweet. And the couple, well, they were just as delightful. I especially loved the way they laughed together, throwing their heads back in unison after sharing some inside joke that nobody else heard. I feel really lucky to have gotten to meet Mariah and Bill and tell their love story.
As with any wedding, it could not have happened without a killer team! Rachel at CellarDoor was absolutely fabulous, helping Mariah iron out details long distance. Mariah’s hair was by Tommy Centanni and her makeup was done by the indomitable Midori Tajiri-Byrd both of Embodyment Salon. Embodyment opened their loft for the Bridal party to get ready and it was such a sweet space! Kate Gegenheimer was shooting at my side again for another really wonderful day of telling love stories (thanks, Kate! You rock my world!).