Amy and Mike met one fateful night at a karaoke bar in New York City, and while they currently reside in San Francisco, they are from Texas and the New York area respectively. With quite the geographical hurdle to overcome, Amy and Mike chose to celebrate their marriage in none other but the fabulous city of New Orleans! They may come from very different backgrounds, but one common thread throughout both families was the love and support for their commitment to each other. With the help of their planner, Blue Ribbon Vendor Sapphire Events, Amy and Mike welcomed 200 out-of-town guests to The Crescent City to enjoy a place that Amy referred to as having “unbeatable hospitality, a way of welcoming everyone that makes you feel like family, and a spirit you can’t find anywhere else–not to mention, wonderful food and strong cocktails.” From the old brass band to the unforgettable second line, I’m sure guests had nearly as much fun as Amy and Mike did!
Big hugs to Arte de Vie for sending along this magical day!
Finding the right dress was a process. I probably went to eight different stores, some twice. I quickly learned that what I loved in magazines didn’t necessarily look best on my figure. I also discovered that I was drawn to dresses with vintage, romantic details and interesting colors. Not easy to find in one dress! While I was home in Texas for a weekend, I took my mother on a shopping trip. We had a few appointments set up for the day, but after trying on this gorgeous Watters dress with interesting lace, a rose gold underlay, and a great silhouette, I knew I’d found the right dress for me. We canceled the rest of our appointments and said “yes” to the dress!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? It was important to me to do a first look with both my groom and my dad. Mike and I knew we would want a moment to ourselves before the ceremony and to shake off the nerves. He was scared of tearing up, but when I saw him for the first time, I’m the one who started crying a little! It was a wonderful way to enjoy a private moment before having all eyes on us. I also decided to do a first look with my dad. We’ve always been very close, and I knew I wanted him to be one of the first to see me in my wedding dress. As the last of three daughters to get married, I just wanted to congratulate him, give him a huge hug and kiss, and thank him for everything.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Mike and I met in New York City. We live in San Francisco. He’s from the New York City area, and I’m from Texas. We’ve always loved the city of New Orleans and knew it would be the perfect place for us to be married–not only because it’s a great halfway point where all of our friends and family could easily meet, but because we love the culture, food, music, people, and atmosphere of The Crescent City. We visited several venues around New Orleans to find a place that felt right to us and absolutely fell in love with Il Mercato. We loved that it was outside of the French Quarter, giving our guests the opportunity to explore more of New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street. We loved the history of the building (a former marketplace), its stunning brick courtyard, the architectural details, and the beautiful, modern finishes. It was the perfect mix of vintage and modern, which is 100 percent our style.
Having our wedding in New Orleans was really a dream come true. To me, it epitomizes what I love about the South: unbeatable hospitality, a way of welcoming everyone that makes you feel like family, and a spirit you can’t find anywhere else–not to mention, wonderful food and strong cocktails. It was important for me to share Southern culture with Mike’s family and friends who are primarily from the Northeast. Many had never been to the South before, and they haven’t been able to stop talking about it since. Outside of that, our second line was an amazing experience. Dancing and singing in the streets of New Orleans while being cheered on by strangers standing on balconies and driving by in their cars was absolutely incredible.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Mike and I wanted to offer our guests something more than the traditional wedding cake. On the tip of a friend who had also gotten married in New Orleans, we decided to go with donuts, and ordered an assortment of 250 gourmet donuts from District Donuts, including Spicy Maple Praline, Wedding Cake, Elvis (peanut butter and banana), Oatmeal Cream, Blackberry Black Pepper, Piña Colada, and, of course, Beignet.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. One October night in 2011, while Mike was supposed to be fasting for Yom Kippur, he and his pal, Kyle, decided to go to Union Hall in Brooklyn for a routine Friday night at Karaoke Killed the Cat, an underground karaoke dance party. That same night, three of my closest friends were in town to visit me in New York for the first time since I moved that summer from Texas. We also decided to head to Karaoke Killed the Cat. Fast forward an hour or two and many $2 Yuenglings later, Mike and Kyle approached me and my friends over the song book. What happened between that moment and the point in time hours later when Mike and Kyle dragged us all onstage to join them for The Killers’ “When You Were Young” is a little hazy, but good whiskey and cheap beer are the building blocks of any solid relationship…right?
Tell us all about the proposal! Mike and I had taken a brutal red-eye flight to New Jersey to meet up with his family and attend the wedding of his close friend. After landing, we took a cab to his parents’ house and crashed. After a quick nap, a bagel, and an emergency manicure with Casey (Mike’s sister), I started to get ready to leave for the wedding. As I was wrapping up, Mike alerted me that everyone else was already waiting in the car. We rushed downstairs through the garage to get to the car when Mike told me he had a surprise. He opened the garage door to reveal a limo. Seriously confused, I followed Mike as he escorted me to the door and helped me inside. It was then that I noticed rose petals and votive candles. “Where is your family?” I asked. Mike replied by climbing into the limo and getting down on one knee. He tried to start the proposal once, but then had to start again, half-hyperventilating and half-laughing with nervous excitement. I put my hands in his and told him to take a deep breath. He did, and then he looked up and smiled at me and got the words out. I, of course, said yes. We enjoyed the 45-minute ride to our friend’s wedding by polishing off a bottle of champagne while calling a few family members and friends to share the news.
When did y’all get married? May 28, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a traditional New Orleans brass band play for our ceremony, second line, and cocktail half-hour. We love old brass band/jazz music–we visit the historic Preservation Hall every time we visit NOLA, and knew we wanted our guests to experience it. We had Kinfolk Brass Band play “Dream a Little Dream of Me” as family walked down the aisle, “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” as the bridal party walked down the aisle, and “La Vie en Rose” as my father and I walked down the aisle. Our recessional, which led straight into the second line, was “Washington and Lee Swing.” Our first dance song was “The Very Thought Of You” by Billie Holiday. It’s completely romantic, had a very vintage, old-record sound, and uses the phrase “my love” a lot, which Mike has always used. It’s a song that stands the test of time–something that was important to us as we started our marriage.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Mike and I come from completely different walks of life. I grew up Catholic in a small Texas town, while Mike’s family is Jewish and based out of the New York City area. Living in San Francisco, we had to navigate several time zones and long distances between both our families and our wedding venues and vendors, which added to the challenge of navigating our very different cultures and backgrounds. We learned how to balance our wants with our families’ expectations across the country. It wasn’t always easy, but I think the entire process made us closer to our families that we’ve ever been.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Mike is a graphic designer, so we spent a lot of time designing our own invitation suite. We also called on our friend Jen Phillips at Press Engaged to consult on materials and letterpress the suite. Putting in a lot of our own time and skills, coupled with help from friends, saved us a lot on invitations. Also, we decided to cut back on some decor, like upgraded linens and extra florals, to cut costs. We knew the venue was stunning on its own, and it really didn’t need anything else.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Stick to your budget, but don’t stop reevaluating what’s important to you as a couple. We initially budgeted more for decor, but later realized it wasn’t as important to us as good food and drink, so we put the money where we wanted to have the most impact. A friend once asked me, do you remember the color of linens at the last wedding you went to? No? Then people probably won’t remember at yours. It was a good test for evaluating what we spent money on.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re settling into our new house in San Francisco, as well as both settling into new jobs. We’re looking forward to slowing down, enjoying each other’s company, and becoming an old married couple!
Photographer: Arte de Vie | Videographer: Velare | Planner: Sapphire Events | Venue: Il Mercato | Florist: Kim Starr Wise | Dessert Baker: District Donuts | Caterer: Joel’s Catering | Rentals: Distressed Rentals | Lighting: Luminous Events | Band: Kinfolk Brass Band | DJ: DJ Jack Magic | Party Bus: Club Mayweather Party Bus | Paper Products Design: Mike Winston | Paper and Letterpress: Press Engaged | Calligraphy: Curlicue Designs | Bride’s Gown: “Vida” by Watters | Bridal Salon: Bridal Boutique Lewisville | Hair and Makeup: Just Face It | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung | Menswear: “Midnight Blue Tuxedo” by The Black Tux | Transportation: Hotard | Hotel: Le Pavillon
Sapphire Events and Distressed Rentals are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!