There are so many places I could start this “story” … when Mandy’s mom called to tell me there “may” have been an upcoming engagement … that Mandy is the second sister of the Todd family that I’ve planned a wedding for … that Mandy – so very sweetly – called me and asked if I would be her planner. Regardless of where I start, it will end the same way … recapping one of the most memorable weddings I’ve yet to be a part of. So, here goes.
When Mandy and John Albert decided to get married at Rip Van Winkle (the same location as her sister, Erin), they knew they wanted to stay true to what they enjoy so much – the outdoors. We decided to tent the area in front of Lake Peigneur knowing that it would be unbelievable … if Mother Nature decided to join the party. When I called RVW to see what dates were available, one of the available dates was FRIDAY, March 13. Who dare have an outdoor ceremony AND reception on a Friday the 13th? These two. It really was a no-brainer. March 13 was Mandy’s brother, Scooter’s, birthday, her soccer number, and John Albert’s dad’s lucky number. March 13 it was.
As with any tent wedding, we had talked through three different rain plans. The weather the entire week left me less than optimistic that the ideal plan A would even be an option. As I sat watching the tent go up in rain boots and jacket, I emailed their vendors with a note of caution to choose appropriate shoes. Much to my surprise, Mr. Sun decided to arrive to the party about two hours prior to the ceremony and dried the ground just enough so Plan A could happen. Ah-mazing.
I’ll let the beyond-amazing photographs Erin and Geoffrey Photography captured do the rest of the talking … ok maybe with just a tiny bit more commentary! 😉
LOVE this custom invitation suite!
This locket was Mandy’s something old that was pinned to her bouquet. It’s her mom’s locket, engraved with her initials “SR,” that had two of the sweetest photos in it – one with her dad (who passed away of cancer) and the other holding her dad’s hand. A few of us told Mandy that we knew her dad was a part of the day when the sun came out, and I know he was holding Mandy’s hand the whole day!
The wood planks were made from an already-fallen tree that they found at their camp in the Atchafalaya Basin. After cutting the planks, they used a custom brand with their new last name and date of the wedding on each centerpiece. I don’t think they could have come out any better!
The antlers placed on each wood centerpiece also had ties to the couple. Mandy’s childhood neighbors, the Meagher’s, collected the antlers from their hunting lodge in Texas.
Have to love a bride who values comfort on her wedding day!
“Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.” So. perfect.
These two. They are already professional flower girls and adored their custom-made dresses made by Mandy’s mom and aunt.
One of my favorite parts of the wedding day is when the bride and groom open gifts from each other. There’s so much thought put into these gifts (ok, usually), and this was definitely an instance of that. Mandy gifted John Albert with a pair of Swarovski crystal binoculars, which have been on his wish list “for forever.” Who knew binoculars could make a guy so happy?!?
John Albert gifted Mandy with a blue topaz drop necklace – the birthstone they both share!
Mandy’s dress was beyond gorgeous. Later that evening when the band introduced them, the singer added that Mandy was one of the most gorgeous brides he had yet to see. Working with this band regularly, this is not something I’ve ever heard him say, and I couldn’t agree more. I wish he knew that her inside is just as beautiful as she was in her dress. John Albert, you done good. 🙂
Getting in your flower girl dress is pretty nerve wrecking!
Behind the scenes :: Aubrey, flower girl on the left, wasn’t really into smiling here. I remember at her mom’s wedding in August how much she loved Frozen (ok, who doesn’t?). So, I stood behind Erin and broke out my best version of “Let it go.” Not sure if it was that good or bad, but it got her smiling!
This should be in a magazine.
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Majors!
After the ceremony while the guests were making their way through the gardens to the reception, Erin and Geoffrey sneaked away with these two and snapped some of my all-time favorite photos!
To honor the bride during what is usually the bride/father dance, Mandy’s uncles and leading men in her life all stepped up to dance with her for a few minutes. Every single guest stopped what they were doing (which isn’t always the case) and watched as each of them took turns. While it was definitely a touching moment, John Albert’s dad decided to lighten the mood and twirl Mandy through the end of the song.
When we were working on the last details, and I asked John Albert what song he would dance to with his mom, he said “Over the Rainbow. It’ll make her melt.” We kept the song choice a surprise and when the first few notes sounded, her reaction did not disappoint.
I wish I had more of these “how do we cut the first piece” photos. The real “cutting the cake” photograph!
So much meaning packed into this groom’s cake. John Albert’s sister, Townsend, designed this logo for her brother and his friends to commemorate their hunting and fishing trips in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. Of course his dog, Stella, had to keep watch of the cake.
Remember I mentioned it was Mandy’s brother’s birthday? They surprised him with his very own cake during the reception. (Note the singer’s excitement!)
Sometimes, wedding planners are flower girl holders 🙂
Just like that the most magical of Friday the 13ths was over. We sent them off (possibly with the groom sporting a pair of split pants as a result of an incredible Proud Mary performance) as Mr. and Mrs. Majors.
Mandy and John Albert – It was truly an honor to be part of your wedding. The trust that both of you had in me made my job a complete joy – even when the forecast seemed to challenge what I’m made of. You put so much thought, love, and detail into your wedding, and I hope that the memories you made will always bring you smiles and joy. And, I may know a pretty good seamstress if John Albert wants to “mend” his party pants.
Cheers to #salutingthemajors!
— Their wedding couldn’t have been what is was without the team of vendors who helped me make it possible! —
Photographers :: Erin and Geoffrey Photography
Venue :: Rip Van Winkle Gardens
Event Rentals :: Event Rental
Florals :: Root Floral
Cakes :: Sugar Belle by Elise
Caterer :: Heirloom Cuisine
Band :: Phat Hat
Ceremony Musicians :: Lafayette Symphony Orchestra
Hair and Makeup :: Carly with Bleu Coiffure
Invitations and koozies :: Inkling Design Studio