How did you meet and how long have you been together?
We met in high school at St. Thomas Aquinas. Christopher was a freshman, and I was a Sophomore. We immediately became such good friends which blossomed into us being best friends within our inseparable friend group. Within that group ended up being my maid of honor and his best man! We began dating my senior year/his junior year of high school. Christopher and I were together for almost 5 years by the time we got married! What’s crazy, however, is that we had mutual best friends growing up prior to meeting. We grew up living in adjacent neighborhoods only 5 minutes away from each other! Its likely that our paths crossed earlier in life, but I guess we’ll never know for sure!
What were your highlights of the day? Were there any surprises?
There were many highlights and surprises throughout the day! One surprise was waking up and realizing my mom and her best friend had completely decorated the bridal suite with balloons. It included flowers, breakfast, and a champagne bar! It was absolutely stunning! The beautiful bouquet of flowers from my soon-to-be husband was one! One of our favorite shows is The Office. Which means I had to send him the green teapot filled with some things I had kept throughout our relationship. Including a ring pop when he fake proposed to me when we were still just friends my junior year of high school!
Our parents actually surprised the both of us too with a dance they’d been practicing for weeks prior to the wedding! Our wedding party dance was to “September.” It originally had our parents as part of that dance too (because we thought it’d be fun/funny) so when they didn’t show up for their part, we were confused. All of a sudden, the music changed and they start doing this completely choreographed dance that we knew absolutely NOTHING about! The parents absolutely killed it!! Some highlights included the first look, which I’ll touch on a bit more in the advice question and the reception decorations, which we don’t think could have been any more perfect! Another highlight was having our grandmothers as our flower girls! They were paving the way for our marriage. Both grandmothers had lasting, loving marriages, and it made them feel so special. The confetti cannon ending ended the reception on such a high! I remember Christopher looking at me and just telling me “tonight was absolutely perfect.” After the reception, we all went to the Sazerak Bar and had a silent disco. Not to mention, one of our favors were slippers (mostly for the ladies to dance without their heels), but both women AND men were wearing them throughout the reception, after party, and apparently in the French Quarter, as we got a picture of one (just one) slipper in the middle of Bourbon Street from a friend that night. We still get questions from guests asking if we have any extra slippers cause they want another pair! It was the little things like that which made the whole day a highlight; I can go all day talking about our favorite moments, but I’ll stop there!
What advice would you give to other couples planning their day?
The absolute BIGGEST piece of advice I can give other couples is to do the first look! I went back and forth for a bit at first. I can’t harp enough on the fact that everyone should do it, and for many reasons. Here’s why: (1) The day is about the bride and groom. I felt very anxious and honestly didn’t feel well the morning of our wedding. As soon as I saw Christopher, it all went away! All day I just wanted to be with him. I couldn’t imagine having to wait until the ceremony to see him. We both so enjoyed having just some time to ourselves before all the craziness happened! It helped make the day not feel so short because we got to spend even more of it together! (2) It gives you an opportunity to have the pretty natural light shots if you want to have an evening wedding. (3) It
allows you to get EVERYTHING out of the way before the ceremony/reception! The way we did it, we took pictures together, with our families, and with our wedding party, but we even took it a step further and got the pictures with our wedding party that you’d typically take during the reception, like the “toasting” picture. With a group of 20 (including our ushers), we knew it’d be a nightmare and a time-waster trying to get everyone together in the middle of the reception to get those shots, and they were able to let their guards down and have fun as soon as the ceremony was over. Basically, once the ceremony was over, their duties were over, so they could do what they wanted and their dates/significant others also weren’t waiting around for an hour or 2 after the
ceremony to be with them. It was honestly a win all around.
Another tip is to make sure you tell the venue to keep the air LOW if you’re expecting people to drink and dance. We definitely expected this and actually made this request beforehand, but unfortunately we think the Roosevelt underestimated the importance of this for us, so the beginning of the reception was pretty hot, but luckily the venue fixed
the issue fairly quickly. As a result, we ended up pretty sweaty, but again another plug for the first look, we luckily got the most important pictures out of the way so this wasn’t
such a big deal as it would have been if we hadn’t had those already! Christopher is a wedding DJ and I had been to many gigs with him over the years. We knew this last tip as a result of seeing so many weddings, so I thought I’d share. When it comes to the “feel” of your reception, as in if you want it to be a big party or if you want it to be relaxed and low-key, while a big part is the
entertainment (music) and alcohol you provide, I’d venture to say the biggest part is up to the bride and groom. A beautiful and classy wedding was something they wanted, but at the same time we wanted it to be a huge party! So we made a pact that we would stay on the dance floor and if people wanted to see us, they’d come to us on the dance floor. While it’s a bit taboo (since we know the proper thing is to make your rounds to everyone), that was just one thing we didn’t want to compromise on. It also worked out too because we wanted to make sure we stayed together all night instead of both being separated by different conversations and such. We just wanted to spend all our wedding day together and have a blast while doing so! And it really worked out for us. I don’t think there were many guests that we didn’t say hello to or thank! Almost everyone was on the dance floor at least once!
What made you decide to have your ceremony at Immaculate Conception?
Picking Immaculate Conception stemmed from a date we had about a year prior to getting engaged! Christopher and I were across the street at Domenica Pizza in the Roosevelt and I saw the building and told Christopher how beautiful it was and that I wanted to go inside! We sat in a pew, prayed together, and admired how gorgeous the church was. I looked at Christopher and told him I wanted to get married there and he exclaimed how amazing it’d be. Fast forward to a year later, when it came time to choose a church for our wedding, we immediately knew that’s where we wanted to get married, so we booked it!
What made you decide to have your reception at the Roosevelt?
A lot of people thought we chose the Roosevelt first and The Immaculate Conception second. Probably because of the Christmas decorations in the Roosevelt! It was actually the other way around! Since we chose the Immaculate Conception and it kind of dictated our choice of a date of December 30th , it was a natural decision to look into the Roosevelt. We had explored other options, but it just made too much sense to have our reception at the Roosevelt. It’s across the street and the famous Christmas decorations would still be up, so it really was the perfect choice for us! Also, both of our families have a big music background, with my mom owning a record label and being an artist manager and his whole family growing up playing 1000 different instruments, the Blue Room and its vast musical history was the perfect location for us!
Event Planner: Wink Designs and Events
Videography: Lipari Films
Catering: The Roosevelt
Florist: Bella Blooms Floral
Wedding Cake: The Roosevelt
Grooms Cake: Bittersweet Confections
Wedding Dress Designer: Essence of Australia
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN
Getting Ready Attire (ex: robes, pajamas): We got some large men’s button downs from
Dillard’s and had a family friend monogram them!
Wedding Shoes Designer: Blue by Betsy Johnson
Bride’s Hair Dresser: Glam Nola
Makeup Artist: Glam Nola
Groom + Groomsmen Apparel: A Formal Affair by Trish
Reception Music: The Phunky Monkeys
Event Rentals: Wink Designs and Events
Calligraphy/Signs: Cheri Calligraphy
Wedding favors: Cookies (the bride’s mother) Slippers (Alibaba)
Printed Items: Cupcake Graphics
Invitations / Stationary: Alibaba
Bouquet Preservation: Keepsake Floral
Second Line: Frenchmen Street Productions
Koozies: Mailbox Happiness
Second Line Umbrellas and Handkerchiefs: Roxygs