If I could run off and marry a wedding, it would be this one. Margaret + Marty planned their New Orleans nuptials themselves, with a beautiful venue to springboard off of and a desire to vivaciously celebrate their new life together — one read-through of their interview tells us that M + M love to dance! I’m absolutely smitten with how their wedding seems to have organically sprung up from the bricks at Race and Religious, but the Southern Weddings gals have agreed — it must be Margaret’s radiant personality and lovely smile that top this wedding off beautifully.
Thank you, Heirloom Collective for sharing this day with us!
Two things: How amazing are Margaret’s shoes? I love that they’re a modest nude color with a spark of red! Next, how cool do these gals look below? I am impressed that Margaret’s ‘maids were able to find matching dresses from various stores like Asos, Modcloth and BCBG.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew I needed something I’d be able to dance in. I didn’t want anything too trendy, or anything to looked to era-specific. I admired BHLDN dresses from afar until I found out I’d be going to Chicago over Memorial Day weekend, so I booked an appointment with them immediately! After trying on a few options, I put on my dress and never looked back. It was the first dress I did a twirl in, and that’s how I knew.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did decide to do a first look. Our ceremony and reception were at the same place, so we knew we would have limited time to admire each other’s looks and have some alone time.
I love this photo below! Heirloom Collective did a wonderful job capturing a calm and intimate moment before the ceremony. The colors are gorgeous, and I can only imagine the exciting things these gals are talking about while sipping on sodas and fixing each other’s hair.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Song of Solomon 2:10-13, 8:6-7 and Colassians 3:12-17
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We hired a traditional New Orleans brass band to play before, during and after the ceremony. Our original brass band fell through a week before the wedding, but thankfully our friends helped us pull together a band, and they were wonderful. The entire wedding party walked down the aisle to Trumpet Voluntary, and the recessional was “When the Saints Go Marching In!” We told the band to play whatever they wanted, and that was what they settled on. It was perfect. Our first dance, mother-son and father-daughter dances somehow ended up being disco themed: “Boogie On Reggae Woman” by Stevie Wonder, “Late in the Evening” by Paul Simon and “More than a Woman” by the BeeGees, respectively. It was awesome!
Y’all!! I just want to cry when I see this photo below. There is so much joy!
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The venue! Our venue was a big chunk of our budget, but we couldn’t imagine NOT getting married there. And, having splurged on such a perfectly curated, eclectic place, we didn’t have to worry about decorating it too much. Our wedding would have a very distinct look (one we wanted) without a lot of work on our part!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern detail — and part our Northern guests loved the most — was the reception-style dinner! I loved that everyone could mingle while noshing, and we didn’t have to worry about whom to seat where or whether there were exactly as many chairs as there were guests (there weren’t, and it was totally fine). Of course, our food was Southern. We served collard greens, black eyed pea salsa, pickled shrimp salad, cornbread, brisket, pulled pork, the works.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Marty hates cake, so we went with pies for our dessert (and then Marty ended up being too busy dancing to try any! Sorry, Mart!). Our caterer created a bunch of different Southern-influenced pies, including sweet potato pie, an apple galette, and pecan pie, for guests to choose from.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Definitely the dance party. I found our DJ, Otto Orellana, while at a bar with co-workers. We could not stop dancing! So, I asked him for his business card. The next day I emailed him (introducing myself as the girl who could not stop dancing) and asked him to DJ our wedding. He responded with, “Well, I don’t normally do weddings anymore but you and your friends seemed really fun, so sure!” And did he deliver! The dance portion of our wedding was the most fun we’ve ever had.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met in college. During our freshman year, we lived three floors apart and were introduced by mutual friends. We soon learned that we’d gone to brother and sister high schools, had some of the same friends, and had never met! Marty pretended that he needed help with his homework in order to get me to hang out with him. Soon I realized that he didn’t need homework help as much as he needed a dance partner.
Describe the proposal. We currently live in New Orleans, but we both grew up near Oak Park, Illinois. Every holiday season, we escape our family parties and go see a movie at Lake Theater, a classic art deco movie theater in Oak Park. On the day before Christmas Eve in 2011, Marty invited me to go see Mission: Impossible 4 (how holiday-appropriate!), but instead of going into the theater, he proposed. Afterward we headed to a bar on Madison Street to celebrate with friends and family.
In what month did you get married? March 2013
How many guests attended your wedding? 115
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our venue was pretty much a blank slate. We could choose the caterer, the bartender, the flowers, everything. While I loved that everything was completely customizable, it was also a challenge to cover all of our bases without a wedding planner (having tents on standby for rain, ordering compostable dinnerware, renting linens!). We did everything ourselves, down to making sure we had enough ice! But, the upside was that we could do everything our own way, to our taste.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Go with your gut when making decisions and customize your wedding to how you want it.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We went on a fantastic honeymoon to Paris, Croatia (the Dalmatian Coast) and Istanbul. Now that we’re back, Marty is graduating from Tulane School of Medicine and starting his residency at Tulane; I am continuing to work as a public interest attorney in New Orleans.