Inspired Retreat :: A look back

July 13, 2015  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

One of my goals for this year was to attend a conference. Somehow it was always easier to attend conferences while working in the corporate world, but I didn’t want that to be the case. I mulled over all of the options and gave myself 5 minutes to press “register” when registration opened for the Inspired Conference and didn’t look back.

Evans Mill is one of the most peaceful places I’ve been, serves some of the very best food, and was the perfect place to get my mind right for this conference. I met some of the sweetest friends and walked away with more than I set out to accomplish. You’ll have to stay tuned, though, to see some of these things come of life.

Leaving for the conference came on the heels of wrapping up a pretty stacked Spring calendar. The thought of opening my closet to begin packing gave me instant anxiety. I knew it was the perfect time for Southern Fete to get Styled. Michelle and I picked an hour on one afternoon, and she literally worked magic. She used what I already had in my closet, picked jewelry, shoes, took pictures and basically wrapped a beautiful bow around what I needed to throw in a suitcase. I can’t deny that I felt this was a little diva-ish, but one of the themes of the conference was that when you have the chance to outsource DO IT. Having Michelle, I was able to kick the packing anxiety to the curb and better utilize my time to tie up any lose ends before I unplugged for a week.

Here’s a few pictures from my time there from the super talented and equally sweet Alexis June Weddings!

©AlexisJuneWeddings | Inspired Retreat, 2015 | Evins Mill, TN

©AlexisJuneWeddings | Inspired Retreat, 2015 | Evins Mill, TN

©AlexisJuneWeddings | Inspired Retreat, 2015 | Evins Mill, TN

©AlexisJuneWeddings | Inspired Retreat, 2015 | Evins Mill, TN

©AlexisJuneWeddings | Inspired Retreat, 2015 | Evins Mill, TN

©AlexisJuneWeddings | Inspired Retreat, 2015 | Evins Mill, TN

When in doubt of what to wear when meeting a new group of girls, may I suggest stripes? On the first day, there were a group of 4 or 5 of us that had on navy stripes and I’m not sure if it was the stripes or the personalities behind choosing stripes, but we were instant friends. Yes, that’s me snapping a Instagram shot. Did you honestly think I’d miss an opportunity to snap both stripes and polka dots in the same frame. I think not.
©AlexisJuneWeddings | Inspired Retreat, 2015 | Evins Mill, TN

This, right here, is one moment that I’m forever grateful to have been captured. We were asked to write down what we would have told ourself when just starting out. Besides the fact that I didn’t tap into my negotiating self and get one of the super talented calligraphy ladies to write it for me, of all the things I’ve learned in the past two years it’s this right here. I’d love to scream it from the rooftops. Instead, I guess I’ll have a print made and put it in my office.


The Chiarullis :: Danielle + Anthony

July 10, 2015  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

I remember the first time I spoke with Danielle I was so impressed with how calm, relaxed, and sweet she was. She was engaged to a former grade and high school classmate of mine, and I felt like we instantly hit it off.

Together, Danielle and Anthony are such a sweet and thoughtful couple. One of my favorite memories from their wedding was Anthony surprising Danielle with a limo to take her and her bridesmaids to Rip Van Winkle. The limo was running just a bit behind schedule, and Danielle was adamant that she wanted to stick to my timeline. The maid of honor and I were texting back and forth as she dipped into her bag of tricks to stall Danielle, but Danielle was getting upset. Finally, I told her MOH to blame it all on me. Say that I was coming, and she couldn’t leave before I got there.

Let’s just say Danielle wasn’t too happy with me. When the limo arrived and Danielle saw it for the first time, she was shocked. This was all caught on camera, but for me, the best part was when she said, “I feel so bad for being mad at Cassie!”

My second favorite memory of the night was when Danielle and Anthony had the chance to just take a look around the room, hear the band, see their guests dancing, and notice the decorations and flowers. Danielle said to me, “You were our best decision.”

It’s moments like those – both the limo and the sweet compliment – that power me through the details, timelines, and grunt work of being a wedding planner.

Danielle and Anthony – Thank for you letting me part of your big day, your surprises. I wish you all of the best and am elated to say that grade-school friends have now become my “adult” friends.


Rip Van Winkle Gardens, Southern Wedding, Southern Fete, Sharper Photography, Louisiana Wedding



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Photographer :: Sharper Photography

Venue :: Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Flowers :: Flowers by Rodney

Cakes :: Sky’s the Limit Cakes

Band :: Nik L Beer

Caterer :: Two Guys Catering


A Southern Louisiana Bridal Brunch

July 6, 2015  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

Whew, excuse me for a second while I dust off the cob-webs on the blog. There really isn’t an excuse for my absence, but humor me for a second and think of the best, most fabulous reason I’ve been MIA.

Ok, back to reality.

A few months ago, Michelle and I brought to life a vision that we had talked about for months. A styled bridal brunch. Mother nature threw us a curve ball on our original date, but we made a few adjustments and made it happen. If you ever doubt the spunkiness, drive, and incredible talent a petite person can have, you haven’t met Michelle.

There are so many things I could say about each and every vendor and model that was part of this shoot, but I think the photos say it better. Hannah, I can’t say enough about how amazing it has been to watch what amazing things you have accomplished in the year that I’ve known you. Thank you for pouring your heart into this shoot, these photos.

And lastly, a big thank you to 100 Layer cake for showcasing the shoot a few weeks ago.

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Photographer :: Hannah Mulligan Photography

Styling :: Styled. By Michelle Judice

Florist :: Root Floral Design

Invitations :: Inkling Design Studio

Calligraphy :: The Paper Princess

Hair :: Bleu Coiffure, Carly Escurieux

Makeup :: Annie Bonaventure

Jewelry :: Chloe + Isabel

Clothing:: Amor

Venue :: ULL Alumni Center

Desserts :: Indulge

Rentals :: Event Rental

The Boulangers :: Cat + Josh

May 11, 2015  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

You know the saying something goes a bit off track at every wedding? Getting a call from Cat two weeks before her wedding letting me know that we had to find a new reception venue certainly fell into the “something going awry” category.

In no time, we found – what I think – was the more-than-perfect reception venue for these two. And, may I mention the hamburger I ate during setup was the very best thing I’ve ever had?

Fun. Trusting. Bold. Those are a just a few of the things that come to mind when I remember Cat + Josh. Their wedding was different and so much fun. I can honestly say that while it was one of the most laid back weddings I’ve been a part of, it was certainly one of the most fun! Their ceremony was officiated by a CJ, hilarious radio personality; their reception included a past The Voice contestant, a Lafayette second-line in the streets of downtown, glow sticks, and two people that truly have more love for each other than words can describe.

I’m excited to share some of my favorite photos from their big day thanks to the super-talented Hannah Mulligan Photography!

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southern wedding, southern fete, hannah mulligan photography

Cat + Josh – There may have been some people that said we were an odd pair, but I think we were the perfect match. You have so much love for each other that no matter what happened that day, everything would have been right in the world. You completely trusted me to make things happen, and I couldn’t have been more appreciative for that. There are so many memories from your wedding that I will remember forever.

Cheers to you, Mr. and Mrs. Boulanger! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!

(May the force be with you! ;))


Photographer :: Hannah Mulligan Photography

Ceremony :: Vermillionville

Reception :: Jefferson Street Pub

Caterer :: iMonelli

Florist :: Flowers by Rodney

Cake and Sweets :: Sky’s the Limit Cakes

Photo Booth :: Oh Snap!

Transportation :: People Haulers

Band :: Ray Boudreaux


The Glovers :: Kate + Michael

May 6, 2015  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments

Burying a bottle of Bourbon. Sprinkling the reception site with Holy water and salt. Collecting rain water to be blessed. We did it all in the week leading up to Kate + Michael’s wedding in hopes that Mother Nature would hold out just long enough for them to get married. It almost worked. The rain held out just long enough for the bridal party to get into the church before the deluge of April 11, 2015 happened.

Although it rained poured that evening, there’s no doubt that all of their guests had the very best time. I mean, have you ever been to a wedding where a Shop-Vac received a round of applause for its efforts to dry off a packed dance floor? I didn’t think so.

There are so many things I could say about this wedding – the amazing vendors who I worked alongside to make a vision that Kate has dreamed of for so long come to life, the support of family and friends through subtle reminders that a tent wedding can be perfect even if it rains, or the lesson that God is ultimately in control regardless of how perfectly planned every last detail is.

I sound like a broken record –  I know – but the collection of photographs Erin and Geoffrey Photography captured is nothing short of amazing. Their attention to detail and creativity continue to amaze me each time we work together, and the grace they tackled the challenges the weather created with was beyond admirable.

With that, I’ll let the photos do the talking.












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KateMichaelMarried-791Michael made this cheers sign (which let me tell you was amazingly well executed), and it brought so much fun to the wedding and favor table.

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KateMichaelMarried-967 There’s so much I love about this picture! Vendors get to have a little fun too!

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KateMichaelMarried-789This was a first – a wedding photo under an umbrella. BUT, it was Michael’s idea and I love it.





I think Michael is saying/signing “perfection!”

Kate + Michael – It was a pleasure getting to know you over the past year and bringing your wedding dreams to life – both before and after the rain. Thank you for trusting me with such a very special day in your lives, and I hope that you treasure the magic of 4.11.15 for a lifetime.

Cheers to #gloverpartyoftwo!


Photographer :: Erin and Geoffrey Photography

Florist :: Flowers by Rodney

Cakes :: Sky’s the Limit

Band :: Bag of Donuts

Event Rentals :: Event Rental

Reception :: Paul and Lulu Hilliard Art Museum

Church :: Our Lady of Fatima Church

Caterer :: Stacy Landry Catering

Invitations and Paper Goods :: Inkling Design Studio

Videographer :: Apercu

Going Back Home :: STM Career Day

April 1, 2015  |  Southern Fete News  |  No Comments


Last week, I visited my high school for the first time in what seemed like ages for “Career Day.” Boy, do I wish Career Day would have existed when I was in high school. More than 100 alumni gathered and were divided into panels based on our occupations. I landed on the “hospitality” panel, which I may propose be renamed to entrepreneurs (or even lagniappe, or people-pleasers). But, hospitality is what we went with.

The guidance counselors provided talking points they recommended we cover in our presentations. Even though I answered all of them in preparation, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be the take-away. I struggled with putting together a PowerPoint (major flashback to the “corporate” days), and ended up pulling together a 2-minute video with some of my favorite images from past events. How else do you explain to high schoolers that on any given day, I can direct traffic, babysit, wire a dying hydrangea back to life, steam linens, cut a 5-tier cake, act as a psychologist, pin bouts in my sleep, crank out timelines like there’s no tomorrow, reconcile bank statements, send invoices, sign contracts, and the list goes on?

Two event planners, a restaurant owner extraordinaire, and a food-truck operator/cane-syrup-soda creator stood in front of a seemingly uninterested group of students and explained what we did. We quickly realized our individual occupations were not that interesting to the students, so we decided to change it up. We explained that as four small business owners we chose to be in charge of our own journey. Being an entrepreneur is surely not for the faint of heart, but it opens up opportunities that allow us to push ourselves harder each day, further outside of our comfort zones, and choose the people we want to work with. It demands that we wear many hats, some we never thought we’d want (ah hum, accounting, legal, etc.).

Justin (owner of the fabulous The French Press) used a sports analogy to explain how the fast-paced life of a chef was perfectly suited for him and how his journey started with a spur-of-the-moment dishwasher gig. Collin (Viva la Waffle owner and Swamp Pop co-creator) explained how watching a partner in a law firm kick over a $25,000 copy machine taught him he wanted something other than a life in the legal field. And, Sarah (owner, Mint Julep Productions) chronicled her journey beginning with getting paid mere pennies to put on sporting events to realizing the job of event planner was choosing her rather than she choosing it.

It was as another panelist talked that I saw this poster on the opposite side of the classroom.


As I reread the poster, I had my own career day revelation or my own Oprah “ah-ha” moment. I realized that what we said every day in school and wrote at the top of our tests (stop the memories already) “God’s Servant First” was what, above all, I learned in high school. I guess the jury’s still out on how exactly I use what I learn (since it should be obvious I haven’t been out of high school for more than 5 (ok, ok) 10 years), but I hope that as I continue the journey to wherever I’m headed, I will always remember to be kind … and that hard work can and will take me wherever I want to go – something else I hoped stayed sandwiched between the students’ ears.

I’m not sure if the students took away as much as I did from career day, or even if they enjoyed our attempts to impress them with references to Anthony Bourdain, Lady GaGa, Anthony Hopkins, etc. It was nice to go back “home,” but most of all it was a beautiful reminder that the people who are part of my life are in it for reasons I may yet to fully understand. Equally as nice was the reminder that the pettiness of high school (and life in general) will fade over time, but the kindness you show(ed) others will always be remembered.