Year 2 … Did I really say that? How did that happen so fast? And wowza, what an incredible year! Before writing this post, I looked back at the things learned in year one. So many of those still ring true, but year two brought a new set of things I’ve learned.
- Southern Fete Family – Never would I have imagined having such an amazing, loyal, energetic, talented (and the list goes on) family of clients. So many have become close friends who I’ve shared dinners, baby showers, house warming parties with and for that I could not be happier. I have been blown away by the number of thoughtful grooms who have taken the time to text or call the day after the wedding to thank me for making their wedding so stress-free and memorable. Equally amazing is the number of thoughtful gifts I’ve received and hand-written notes that I’ll cherish forever! Year two took me to family property on Spanish Lake, New Orleans, Grand Coteau, amazing family property in Ruston, Rip Van Winkle, the lawn of the Paul and Lulu Hilliard Art Museum, Breaux Bridge, Opelousas, Washington, and Charenton.
- Tents – It seems that the past year was year of the tent wedding. There’s something so beautiful about an outdoor tent wedding, but equally as logistically challenging. I could write a novel about them – I think – but look back and realize some of my very favorite moments are the end results of tent weddings!
- Proud Mary – It’s still one of my favorite wedding moments and year 2 has yielded amazing performance by Krossfyre, Mojeaux, Phat Hat, Stormy the Band, Louisiana Red, Compozitionz, and some I’m sure to be forgetting. I want to start filming pieces of each Proud Mary performance and look back in a year at how many I have. I may test how many of you actually read this by admitting that one of my sweet couples demanded I dance to Proud Mary with them and Krossfyre, which resulted in 4 minutes of ROLLING on stage with Mr. and Mrs. St. Blanc (more to come when I blog their wedding!).
- Small Business Owner – Being a small business owner is surely not for the faint of heart! At the beginning of year 2, I launched the new website. It seems like the website and blog continually require energy that I rather spend picking linens, recommending vendors, or making itineraries. The Southern Fete brand is constantly evolving, and year 3 should yield some exciting changes. I’ve learned that my competitive self is better served turning those relationships into valuable assets. Coordinating close to 25 events in year two has taught me that while I “can” do it, I want to focus on quality not quantity.
There’s already so much that’s happening this year that makes me think year 3 will be unbelievable! I hope you’ll stick along with me for the ride – and plenty of gorgeous wedding photos along the way!
I’ve been anxiously awaiting blogging Caroline + Matt’s wedding and hope you’ll love looking through some of my favorite images from their big day. From the first time I met Caroline, I knew she and I would have a blast working together. She’s so kind-hearted but equally particular in the vision of her wedding day and focused on creating timelines that happen in five-minute increments. 🙂
I also knew it was a match when she told me that she and Matt were JUNIOR HIGH sweethearts. You may remember me sharing that BC and I have known each other since kindergarten and “dated” since junior high, so I knew that Our Lady of Fatima School clearly played the same matchmaker role for her and Matt that it did for me!
Their special day turned out to be cloudy and a bit rainy, but I was so thrilled that they remained focused on what the day was actually about and made the very best of it!
Loved her shoes!
A polka dot liner with the sweetest card … Caroline, I don’t think he needed anything else! 🙂
I am obsessed with the bridesmaids dresses Caroline picked for her girls!
No caption needed.
Caroline and Matt – I wish you many years of happiness! You were such fun to work with, and I loved being able to share in your special day with you!
Flowers :: Flowers by Rodney
Photographer :: Erin and Geoffrey
Church :: St. Landry Catholic Church
Reception :: Wolff Ballroom
Transportation :: Washington Trolley, People Haulers, Calco
Cakes :: Country Cakes
Hair and Makeup :: Studio 121
Band :: Nik L Beer
There are some couples you love from the very beginning. When I first met with Traci, some of the first things she said to me were, “I’m crazy,” “We’re not engaged; just getting married,” “I never thought I would get married,” and “We just want a party.” Oh I forgot one, “I’m pregnant with twins.” This would usually prompt me to run far, far away, but I had this little feeling. A feeling that told me to push back my December vacation, buckle down and plan.
Planning this wedding in just short of three months was a little hectic to say the least, but I honestly don’t think it could have turned out more perfectly! The best part of my job is watching two people who love each other celebrate that with their family and friends. Traci and Jake (and their sweet twin boys) are loved by so many, and seeing everyone celebrate them was amazing.
Traci pulled me aside at the reception – to which I could only guess what she was going to ask/tell me – but she thanked me. Thanked me for being the only person to challenge her original plans of getting married at a courthouse and showing up for a party. (Looking back I realize I was the only one brave enough to challenge a strong-willed, pregnant mommy to twins!) For challenging her to want more for a dream she didn’t even know that she had and for making that dream more perfect than she could have ever imagined. Planner heart attack (in the best way possible). We hugged it out, took a picture together, and got her back on the dance floor. 🙂
Enough of the emotional stuff … choosing my favorite images is becoming harder and harder but here goes.
Traci and Jake were not technically “engaged” so her rings were a complete surprise. She gave me permission to sneak a peak before the ceremony for the photographers and videographers to capture it. I just stared. I knew she had no clue what Jake had picked up and the moment she saw them at the ceremony certainly didn’t disappoint. She did manage to mutter, “I deserved this” (or something along those lines) from behind her hand, which was glued over her mouth in shock!
You should also do yourself a favor and watch their amazing wedding video.
Traci and Jake (baby Baer and Dean, too), I couldn’t have been more blessed than to have shared in your wedding day! Thank you for trusting me and for letting me challenge you! I know you will be fabulous parents, and I wish your sweet little family all of the happiness (and successful hunting and fishing trips) in the world.
Photographer :: Hannah Mulligan Photography
Reception :: Social Southern Table and Bar
Florist :: Root Floral
Band :: Randy Latiolais
Cake :: Sugar Belle by Elise
Videographer :: 63 Films
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.
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
Popcorn :: Popcorn Bistro
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
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
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