The Kushiyamas :: Bridget + Shawn

January 28, 2015  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my favorite parts of this job is reconnecting with past friends and classmates. Bridget and I danced together at the same studio throughout high school, and when she contacted me to help with her wedding I couldn’t have been more excited – and panicked about pronouncing her future last name.

Bridget and Shawn had such a beautiful (despite the heat) wedding at Rip Van Winkle followed by a reception in the Bayless Center. Guests of all ages danced the night away to Stormy the Band and of course to my favorite, Proud Mary.

One of my favorite parts of their wedding was the live painting. I know I’m partial because BC and I had one at our wedding, but I know how much I enjoy ours and hope that Bridget and Shawn will enjoy theirs just as much.

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Be sure to also watch their wedding video (click here!) It’s so much fun and will be sure to put a smile on your face!

Wishing you many years of happiness, Mr. and Mrs. Kushiyama!


Venue :: Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Florist :: Root Floral

Photographer :: Chris Deville

Cakes :: FleurDeLicious

Popcorn Bar :: Doc Popcorn

Live Artist :: Magnifeeq Art

Hair / Makeup :: Sara Buteaux

Band :: Stormy the Band

Caterer :: Chef Bobby and Dot

Videographer :: Randy Diddly


Oysters and Champagne :: A Favorite Things Rehearsal Dinner

January 22, 2015  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

If working on Alex and Andrew’s wedding wasn’t exciting enough, I was beyond delighted when Andrew’s mom (Mrs. Maria) reached out to assist her with planning their rehearsal dinner. Throughout the planning, it was clear to me where Andrew inherited his thoughtfulness and outgoing personality from!

Mrs. Maria and I talked a lot about making sure the dinner highlighted each of their personalities and celebrated what makes them unique while not competing with the ideas and designs of the wedding. When we got to their favorite things – oysters and champagne (and Alex’s love of DOTS)  we knew we had our central design elements. We decided to stick with black and white – the same color scheme for their wedding – and after it was all setup, I couldn’t wait for Alex and Andrew to see it.

My favorite part was the hand-painted and hand-lettered oyster shells we used as place “cards.” Guests loved being able to bring them home with their mini bottles of champs, which made me so happy! (May I add that some of these precious bottles of champs reappeared the next day at the wedding :))





Each table was named after a significant place in their lives!




There’s too much sweetness in this one photo!


Can we talk about how amazing Alex’s dress is? Swoon!

There’s something so special about rehearsal dinners, and I was so honored to have been part of this one! :)


Photography :: Spindle Photography

Venue :: City Club of Lafayette

Paper :: Inkling Design Studio

Oyster Place Cards :: Lettered by Anna Broussard

Flowers :: Flowers by Rodney


The Leonpachers :: Alex + Andrew

January 13, 2015  |  Southern Fete News  |  Comments Off

Alex and Andrew are two of the sweetest and most sincere people I’ve yet to meet. From our very first meeting, I knew that these two would hold a special place in my planner heart! Alex, while not born in the South, has a Southern charm about her that is beyond endearing – not to mention the most impeccable taste – while Andrew is one of the most thoughtful and kindhearted grooms I’ve worked with.

There wasn’t a detail that Alex overlooked, and I think it’s safe to say that their wedding came to life just as they had hoped and dreamed about. Kelly of Spindle Photography was amazing to work with and was the perfect fit to capture their journey to become Mr. and Mrs. Leonpacher.

I spent hours poring over their galleries and tried to pick just a handful of favorites. I’ll leave you to enjoy this amazing black and white wedding under the stars – of course with commentary by yours truly!







Dots, dots, and more dots!


If this isn’t proof that you should have a first look, I’m not sure what is!



Confession :: the bridal party tried to peek in from inside the house on their first look. I can’t say that I didn’t try myself. These two weren’t fooled and took a second to acknowledge the curious crowd inside! :)


When Alex and I talked about where the first look would be, I cautioned her that the reception site wouldn’t look complete until well after everyone had left for the ceremony. Sure enough, there were a few items that were held up on a FedEx truck flying around town and didn’t arrive until after they were partying their way to the church. I was waiting for Alex to sweetly ask me why I was stalling to finish setting up the table or why this was like that, but she had the best go-with-the-flow attitude.



The day before the wedding, Andrew spent time with his brother and grandfather to assemble rocking chairs that were added to the porch for guests to enjoy at Alex’s request. Isn’t this one of the best bridal party pictures ever? I have a feeling that Alex and Andrew will continue to enjoy these rocking chairs with friends and family now at their house. Who knows, they may even make it until they’re older and grey! :)




Aren’t the flowers so incredible you want to eat them? Wait, that’s only me?


There’s so much love in this one photo. Alex and her mom collected ALL of the silver pieces for the flowers. When she delivered them to Lafayette, Mia and I unpacked each of them like kids on Christmas morning. It was a sad day when I had to send them back with Alex. I also have to point out that a family friend sewed each of these swiss dot table runners that brought so much character to the tent. Must I point out that these dotted runners hold a special place in my heart?


There’s a little improvisation that has to happen at every wedding … and here is one of them that just happens to still be my favorite arrangement to date. Mia is so talented and was able to adjust to make this happen.


Among other things that made my heart flutter in our first meeting, Alex mentioned the necessity of having an oyster station at the reception to “honor the groom”. These literally FLEW off the table.


Shouldn’t every bar have a boxwood swag? I mean really!



From the beginning, Alex knew she wanted a Meche’s donut midnight snack with coffee service instead of a groom’s cake. First, can I tell you how incredible the room smelled as we stuffed 400+ donut holes into their bags? I need a minute! The personalized coffee cups were a hit and even though it was hard to pull guests off the dance floor, it was so much fun to see them enjoy these snacks!


While a few of Andrew’s favorite things were found at the reception, it was important to Alex and her mom for her New England favorites to also find a special place. So many guests made note of how much they enjoyed this table and the “foreign-to-Southerners” treats they snuck from it.


Only the biggest tent I’ve worked with to date. While there wasn’t much time to just stand there and take it in, believe me when I say it even took my breath away! Throughout the day, we had quite a few “visitors” stop by to walk through the tent and take pictures. You could tell they wished they would have know the couple and have been invited to this wedding. It truly was a site to be seen!


Are there even words for this photo? Per. Fection.

Alex and Andrew’s wedding certainly could not have come to life so perfectly without an incredible group of vendors who I’d be lucky to spend every weekend with!


Photography :: Spindle Photography

Church :: St. Genevieve Catholic Church

Reception :: Paul and Lulu Hilliard Art Museum // A Hays Town House

Flowers :: Root Floral

Catering :: Sam Trahan Catering

Rentals :: Event Rental and Event Restroom

Band :: Phat Hat

Bride’s Cake :: Crystal Weddings

Groom’s Midnight Treat :: Meche’s Donuts

Hair // Makeup :: Bleu Coiffure

Invitation Suite :: Val Marie Paper

Calligrapher :: Patricia Leith

Eventware :: Inkling Design Studio



Oh What a Year :: A 2014 Recap

December 31, 2014  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

2014 … It’s truly been an incredible year! The Southern Fete family continues to grow – making me even more proud every day. While it’s easy to recap the year by the number of events were a part of, 2014 was more about the relationships we established and the friends we’ve made along the way. I could certainly go on and on, but I think the best way to recap the year is through some of my most favorite photos from a crew of super-talented photographers!


Southern Fete, Dawn Earles, Southern Wedding




View More:

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I can not wait to see what 2015 has in store!



The Simons :: Jeanne + Brandon

December 5, 2014  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

I love this job for so many reasons but one is reconnecting with old friends. Jeanne and I grew up in the same neighborhood and knew each other when we were younger. When she emailed me to work with her on her wedding, I was so excited.

Jeanne and Brandon have truly the sweetest souls and were beyond a delight to work with. One of my favorite memories from their wedding day was pinning the “Ring Security” badge on Brandon’s son and ring bearer, Ethan. He took his job very seriously, and it was so fun to see him so excited about his dad and Jeanne getting married.

Lindsey Michelle did such a great job capturing so many special moments throughout their wedding day!

10850015_881917895175116_8305998933955718358_nWe absolutely love navy with a grey suit. And to top it off, do you notice the subtle DOTS on Brandon’s vest? Oh yes, they’re there!



10806440_881918211841751_497272627638920249_nThis, friends, is why I LOVE a first look. 10382876_881918271841745_1259571583167987655_nI love the photo of Fr. Gary carrying Jeanne + Brandon’s program.


If you didn’t believe me earlier about the night’s ring security, shame on you! How adorable are these photos?!


Ethan wasn’t the only cute kid that night! These flower girls were SO well behaved. You have no idea how happy that makes a planner!




We love when there’s time to snap a photo with our couples! Harley and I had the best time and are so honored to have been part of your big day!


Photographer :: Lindsey Michelle Photography

Venue :: City Club at River Ranch

Flowers :: Flowers by Rodney

DJ :: Ryan Powell

Bride’s Cake :: Crystal Weddings

Groom’s Cake :: Fleur de Licious

Hair and Makeup :: Leah w/ Salon 411


Casie + Dylan :: A Surprise Proposal

December 4, 2014  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

When Hannah asked me to help with a styled shoot that would turn into a surprise proposal, I was elated. It happened to be one the same day as one of our weddings, so I knew unless I was bestowed some magical power of teleportation I wouldn’t actually be able to be there. I even had to tell myself not to wish for rain so they’d have to postpone – meaning I could be there!

Hannah was fabulous about sending me sneak peaks throughout the morning, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about how it turned out or about Dylan + Casie’s upcoming wedding! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did putting it together!

Cheers to love, fabulous color, and the woods!


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Photos :: Hannah Mulligan Photography

Location :: Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Flowers :: Root Floral Design

Furniture :: Paul Michael Company

Dress :: Rent the Runway

Suit :: Acadiana Tux & Limo