Yes, I am a full grown adult, and yes I still truly believe in fairytales! (That’s why I about died when a childhood friend of mine married the Little Mermaid — or, at least the girl who plays her at Disney World! True story, y’all!) So, when I started reading Caroline + Ben’s interview, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that I was absolutely taken by their modern day Cinderella story. That might be a bit of a stretch, but our bride did lose a shoe and her groom did (kind of) find it! Either way, I love that Caroline described Ben as her “knight in shining armor.” Swoon!
I also love the gorgeous classic details and family traditions C + B weaved throughout their wedding, especially the gardenias inspired by the ones surrounding her childhood home. What a lovely sentiment (and scent!).
Y’all are going to love the second line photos captured by Meg Baisden — they make me want to join in!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was a very difficult process. I tried on over 70 dresses and was even invited to Randy Fenoli’s new show, “Randy to the Rescue” in New Orleans. I thought I had found the right dress and even said yes to a dress on the show. However, after one last dress shopping excursion in Boston, I finally found the dress. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and on the way home from trying it on, I got the omen of a lifetime. My sister and I were driving down Beacon Street when I happened to notice that there was an Omni Hotel, which was where we were having our wedding reception. As we were driving by I caught a glimpse of one their window displays. I did a double take and quickly told my sister to pull the car over! I got out of the car and ran to the window, and sure enough, my dress was on display in the Omni window! We couldn’t believe it.
I’d have to say that Caroline made the right decision with this gorgeous dress. Those ruffles all the way down her gown are absolutely amazing!
Yes, we did a first look and I absolutely loved it. It might have been my favorite part of the whole day. I loved that it was just he and I—no one else. We were able to talk and reflect privately about how it was finally here and actually happening. The whole weekend was so surreal and it was nice to have some alone time with my best friend. It was very comforting, and I was very grateful for it.
I love the subtle, but super sweet way Caroline is holding her dad’s hand instead of linking arms.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The second line! The second line walk from the wedding ceremony to the reception was extraordinary. Everything was perfect—the weather, the streets, the crowd, and of course, the music! It was truly an amazing experience and a very special memory that I will never forget!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Oyster shells nameplates, Pimm’s Cup signature drinks for the second line walk (after the ceremony), cake pulls, and our welcome gift bags full of local goodies such as Zapps chips, saltwater taffy from Roman Candy guy, pralines, and a variety of other New Orleans items.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We picked out a beautiful all-white wedding cake decorated with our new initials, CJB, and fresh gardenias that were placed around and on top of the cake. I also had 8 “cake pulls” for by bridesmaids, which was a fun surprise for them. I personally picked out the charms for each of my bridesmaids, which offered a nice personal touch. They loved them!
Such a fun groom’s cake!
Ben and I danced to Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.” We are both big fans of Van Morrison and felt that this song was a great classic that fit our relationship and the occasion perfectly. I danced with my father to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” This has always been one of my parents’ favorite songs, as well as mine. The fact that it was by Louis Armstrong was like the cherry on top; it fit into the New Orleans theme perfectly!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in college (we both went to UGA) at a party that Ben and his roommates threw. Ben really caught my attention after handling a rather annoying situation by someone who had had far too much to drink. This girl, whom I had never met, thought it would be funny to throw my shoe out the window (I had taken them off while playing pool with Ben). She threw it down onto the busy and very popular Clayton Street. This would not have been that big of a deal had my shoe been found, but it wasn’t! Ben ended up having to lend me a pair of his flip-flops for the rest of the night while we hit the bars and it ended up being quite comical.. It turned out to be one of the best nights of my life, other than losing my favorite pair of shoes. The next day, Ben called to let me know that he had gotten a check from the girl to cover the cost of my shoes! I had not asked for or expected this gesture, so you can only imagine my excitement upon finding out that Ben had acted as my knight in shinning armor and I was going to get a brand new pair of shoes! This was in the fall of 2003 (yes—a very long time ago!). Ben and I hit it off pretty quickly after that, and after eight years of dating, Ben popped the question in New Orleans, Louisiana!
Tell us all about the proposal! Ben surprised me at one of my favorite New Orleans locations, The Columns Hotel. After he popped the question in a private room filled with candles and and rose petals, the surprise continued as we walked downstairs for dinner to find some of our closest friends and family shouting congrats and popping champagne! Ben even made sure my mother, who was living in Italy at the time, was there. I couldn’t believe it!
When did y’all get married? 12/22/12
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Proverbs 3:1-6: “My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life, and abundant welfare they will give you. Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them round your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and of people. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:13-18: “Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding, for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy.” These Old Testament scriptures make good wedding readings because a wedding is a transition between stages of life. It’s a time when our parents give us advice about what lies before us. Though a couple getting married aren’t children, it’s a good time to be reminded of the need to trust in the Lord
Describe your wedding flowers. Gardenias. I have loved the smell of gardenias for as long as I can remember. My mom had gardenias planted all around my childhood home and the smell has always triggered a sense of security and well-being for me. When Ben and I moved into our first home together (2009), the first things I planted were gardenia bushes. With all this being said, it is no surprise that my choice of flower was the gardenia. The groom and the groomsmen all wore gardenia boutonnieres, and everything else was accented with gardenias in some way or another. I even wore two fresh gardenias in my hair. They smelled amazing!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? My wedding planner, Michelle Adams, was phenomenal all around. We could not have done it without her.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our first look and the second line were my two most memorable moments. Hands down.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take it one day at a time and when things get really tough, just remember what it’s really all about: marrying your best friend and getting to spend the rest of your life with them. No one is going to care which way the napkins are folded or the fonts picked for the menu, so just step back and try to look at the bigger picture. Be grateful for the wonderful new chapter in your life that you are about to begin.
Planner: Michelle Adams | Ceremony Venue: Louisiana State Museum Cabildo | Reception Venue: The Omni Royal Orleans Ballroom | Florist: Meade Wenzel | Wedding Cake: The Royal Cakery | Groom’s Cake: Gambinos | Caterer: Rib Room | Band: ELS | Bride’s Gown: Addison Gown by Coren Moore found at Flaire on Newbury Street of Boston Paper Products: Tupelo Honey Design, Oyster Shells by Maria | Bride’s Veil: Bird Cage Veil from Wedding Belles | Hair Stylist: Heather Mahony from H2O Salon & Spa | Makeup Artist: Christine Lombardo | Bride’s Shoes: Isabel by Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy Collection in Midnight Blue | Groom’s & Groomsmen Attire: Rentals from Perlis