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The more New Orleans weddings I see, the more anxious I get to attend one–they all look so fabulous and fun! Donielle and Vince’s wedding was certainly no exception, and from the Creole cuisine they served to their lively second line, they filled their wedding with nods to their exciting locale. Even more than all of the beautiful details they used on their big day though, I can’t stop admiring their portraits. Their love is so evident in the way they laughed together at their first look, stared into each others’ eyes during their ceremony, and so much more. Dark Roux, their photographers and members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory, did a truly wonderful job!

Wedding dress shopping was one of the happiest planning moments for me. I decided to set up initial appointments with only my wedding planner to ensure I would get the dress I really wanted and not rely on anyone else’s opinions. I always knew I wanted a lace dress, but I was unsure of the fit, so I tried one dress in each silhouette on before narrowing my search to the mermaid style. I decided to go with an ivory lace gown by Tara Keely, which had a strapless sweetheart neckline, an elongated bodice, and a chapel train. I glammed the dress up with a diamond studded belt.

Describe your wedding flowers. In one word, they were impeccable. Our florist was amazing! Dee was so good, I just gave her my wedding color palette and trusted she would deliver. I didn’t even schedule a follow-up appointment after my initial consultation visit. My first time seeing our flowers was the day of the wedding and I was blown away.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes we did. I wanted the photographer to capture both of our initial expressions seeing one another in one single shot. Seeing each other before the wedding gave us a moment to share our most intimate thoughts before we had to turn our attention to our wedding guests. It was also beneficial because we did not have to take away time from the reception to get the traditional bride and groom shots.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we decided to stick to the traditional vows. We liked the idea of reciting the timeless and classic words that united so many other prosperous marriages.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings at our wedding. The first was “I Love You” by Roy Croft and the second was the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was our sweetheart canopy accented with a crystal chandelier. Not only was it a gorgeous statement piece, it also acted as the focal point of our reception. It was nice to be able to eat and spend time with each other under the canopy without leaving our guests.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our menu consisted of many famous Creole dishes. In New Orleans, food is an important part of our culture, so it is only right that it played an important role in our wedding. We also incorporated a second line band. The second line tradition stemmed from the African American jazz funerals and has evolved to become part of all New Orleans weddings. It signifies the start of a new beginning for the bride and groom. We led the second line twirling black and white umbrellas, followed by our guests dancing and waving monogrammed handkerchiefs to the live jazz band.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In December 2007, I received a phone call from one of my best guy friends, Kristian. Kristian and I had known each other for years and were great friends. Our lives were so busy, it was difficult to keep in touch. When I finally received a phone call from him, I was excited to catch up, but instead, he told me a story that went like so: “Well, I was at work looking at your Facebook page today. Out of nowhere, my co-worker/friend Vince asked me ‘How do you know her?’ and I told him you were my childhood friend. He proceeded to tell me that he saw you at a party in Baton Rouge and he couldn’t get you off of his mind. Since that conversation, he has been constantly asking me to throw him a little interference, so I was wondering if it would be okay if I gave him your phone number.” I hesitated, but since I valued Kristian’s opinion, I did not oppose. Vince finally called me and we engaged in many long conversations. I found him to be very smart, business savvy, and funny. However, he was still a mystery man because we never met face to face, so we finally set up a date night. I was really nervous because I had never been on a “real” date before, so I gathered my friends to help me get ready. When I opened the door and saw him, he smiled and said hello. It was then I noticed the train tracks in his mouth. My first words were, “OMG, you didn’t tell me you had braces!” I am soooooo ashamed of this, but it was a typical Donielle moment–I am an extremely blunt person and my thoughts are always written on my face! Vince just laughed it off. Our date night consisted of dinner at an upscale Baton Rouge restaurant, Juban’s, followed by a stroll downtown that ended at the Shaw Center. We talked for hours. When I returned home, I called my girlfriends and told them, “I am going to marry that man.”
Tell us all about the proposal! The day we got engaged started off as a low-spirited day for me. To cheer me up, Vince decided to take me to my favorite restaurant, J Alexander’s, for dinner. To make me feel even better, he took me shopping for a new dress and shoes to wear for the evening. The day was starting to look up for me. While shopping, he asked if he could invite some of our friends who were in town to dinner. I agreed–we have the best time with our friends. While at dinner, we received a phone call from our friend Josh, who invited us all to help celebrate his birthday with drinks downtown, so we finished dinner and headed downtown to the Tsunami Restaurant in the Shaw Center. The restaurant has a rooftop with an amazing view overlooking the Mississippi River. I noticed Vince was a little nervous, which was so unlike him, but I continued to have a friendly debate with one of our friends. When I turned around to get Vince’s support of my argument, he was on one knee with a gorgeous diamond! I was extremely caught off guard and couldn’t believe it! He had managed to gather all our friends (near and far) and propose where we ended our very first date. The entire day was staged and I had had no clue!
When did y’all get married? March 8, 2013
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 love the beautiful sounds of the harp, so a harpist played all the songs for the wedding ceremony, including “Here Comes the Bride” for my walk down the aisle. Our first dance was to John Legend’s song “So High,” which we chose because of the lyrics, “So high…walking on cloud nine.” It was the perfect song for us. Other songs were: “Mama” by Boyz II Men for the mother/son dance, “Dance with my Father” by Luther Vandross for the father/daughter dance, “Single Ladies” by Beyonce for the bouquet toss, and “Pony” by Ginuwine for the garter toss.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge I had to overcome when planning my wedding was distance. I had already moved to Dallas, Texas and the wedding was in New Orleans, Louisiana. Although I had a wedding planner, it was still quite difficult to align our meeting availability. The use of technology definitely helped aid the situation; however, I would have liked to be physically present to experience the vendor meetings.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? First, our photographer, Dark Roux. When picking our photographer, it was very important for us to find someone who possessed the photography style we desired and who had personalities we both connected with. This down to earth husband-wife duo was perfect for us–they were creative, funny, and very professional. Most importantly, they captured amazing wedding photos that we will cherish forever. Our other most important vendor was our wedding planner. On our wedding day, I did not have a care in the world because Mrs. Audi had every detail under control. She was always professional, punctual, and patient. She truly took the time to make this the best day of our lives, and it was.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The best part of the wedding for me was my father walking me down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams. I am such a “daddy’s girl” and being able to have him by my side to share this special day meant the world to me. This simple gesture was also confirmation that my father accepted and approved of my husband-to-be. For my husband, his most cherished moment was the first look.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do not rush the process. You want to give yourself enough time to plan every detail, and managing your time will eliminate the stress factor. Wedding planning should be an exciting process for both the groom and bride, but when stress is involved, it can become draining.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? The next step is starting our new life together in Dallas, Texas. We are most looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together and growing as one. We would like to accomplish our dreams and goals as a unit as well as expand our family.

Photographer: Dark Roux Photography / Videographer: Bride Film LLC / Planner: Occasions By Audi / Ceremony Venue: City Parks Botanical Gardens / Reception Venue and Caterer: City Parks Pavilion of Two Sisters / Florist: Bella Blooms Floral / Wedding Cake: La Louisiane Bakery / Groom’s Cake: Haydel’s Bakery / Rentals: Event Rental, Big Easy Photobooth and New Orleans Limo Service / Lighting: Event Rental / Harpist: Ashley Toman DJ: DJ Hollaback / Band: 21st Century Brass Band / Bride’s Gown: Tara Keely / Hair Stylist: Shena O. Cox / Makeup Artist: Kisha Williams from The Makeup Lab Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alvina Valenta / Men’s Attire: Brown & Brown Custom Clothiers

Dark Roux Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    What a perfect bridal look – love her bun + gown!

  2. avatar Happy Father's Day! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Dark Roux from Donielle + Vince’s wedding […]

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Have you taken our 2012 survey yet? Thanks, y’all!

Y’all, we don’t often get to read entire wedding interviews from the groom’s perspective, but every once in awhile, one does come in and we LOVE it. Nick brought plenty of chuckles around the office with his story, but what we adore the most is how in love he is with his new bride, Whitney! Really, y’all — it’s too sweet. Whitney + Nick’s New Orleans wedding is perfect for Mardi Gras week and just bursting with Southern charm.

Since Whitney + Nick’s nuptials were more like a destination wedding for many of their guests who had never been to NOLA, all the stops were brought out! The first? How about Whitney’s lacy-sleeved wedding dress, netted veil (with a few feathers, of course!) and bright shoes? I think it’s a genius idea that W + N held their wedding in The Cabildo , part of the Lousiana Museum of State History — what better way to set the historic Southern vibe? — and that their ring ceremony was led by Whitney’s grandfather.

This next part is what had us head over heels for this wedding — The Second Line! Here’s what W + N had to say about their “hands down” favorite part of the day: “We started from the Cabildo and marched a square through the heart of the French Quarter, led by a fantastic brass quartet called Kinsfolk. Most our friends and family had never seen or heard of a Second Line, but they were instantly hooked, dancing, waving hankies, taking pictures, celebrating with onlookers who joined in the celebration. It was insanely fun and an experience of a lifetime.”

According to Whitney + Nick, Southern traditions came into play at every level. “The Second Line was a big one, and we provided all our guests with handkerchiefs with our wedding date printed on. The food, from top to bottom, was thoroughly Southern, and a huge reason why we wanted to get married in New Orleans. We served jambalaya, duck and andouille gumbo, shrimp and crawfish, fried oysters, steamed veggies, shrimp ‘n grits, blackened alligator, Louisiana crab claws and crawfish tails.”

Along with their band who kept everyone on their feet all night, the food was one detail that couple was happy they splurged on.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Whitney and I met at church! It was the summer of 2009. Whit was teaching Sunday School at a congregation for young single adult Mormons, and I was smitten. She was smart, funny, well-traveled and had this incredible sparkle – a smile and personality I instantly wanted to be around. But it wasn’t until two months later that we finally hung out, on a long bike ride from NYC up to the Palisades in New Jersey. That bike ride quickly turned into a weekly ritual, where we’d meet up for early morning rides in Central Park, slowly getting to know each other and giving me ample opportunity to stare at Whitney’s cute bum in spandex. We still didn’t go on an actual date until December. Finally on that date, it was just…ON. We never looked back, and I’ve never been happier.
Describe the proposal. The morning of the proposal, we had breakfast together followed by a 90-minute bike ride through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, rekindling some of the magic of our very first “non-dates.” We followed it up with lunch at a hot dog place we both love and where we went after one of our first rides together. That night, we had a date night planned: a perfect way to set the mood, and an easy disguise for my proposal maneuverings. We decided on dinner at a delicious French-Mexican restaurant, and swing dancing at the 92nd Street Y. Whit was beautiful and charming at dinner as always, questioning my curious, sappy romantic side that was gushing out. Dancing, which was dominated by the retiree crowd, was quirky and delightful, with men four-score older than me anxious to ask Whit to dance, hoping to capitalize on her twinkle toes and my own ineptness. Later on, after getting dessert to-go and a cab home, I led Whitney out to the roof-deck of her apartment – a place special to both of us — dropped to one knee, poured my heart out, and asked the girl of my dreams the most important question of my life, “Do you have forks for the dessert?” No, I popped the question, of course. She said yes, and we’ve had an incredible adventure ever since.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Magical, delicious, joyous
In what month did you get married? October
How many guests attended your wedding? Approximately 125.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: (From the bride) The wedding dress was a bit of a challenge as I wanted covered shoulders. It seems like 99% of dresses are strapless! I narrowed down the exact look that I wanted and found a sleeveless lace dress that could be tailored pretty easily to become the vision that I wanted. My mom went to the garment district in New York to match the lace and then I worked with a great tailor, Ellen’s Couture who made my bespoke wedding dress.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We’ve never been huge fans of wedding cake, so we decided on cupcakes instead. We had tasty little bite-sized cupcakes for our guests, and Whit and I had king (and queen) sized ones for our cake cutting. Sadly, there was no cake smashing in the face.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Leaving the reception in the back of a Pedi cab, with the cool evening breeze brushing over us, on-lookers cheering, and kissing the whole way to the hotel. The ultimate victory lap, I’d say.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No – we didn’t do a first look as we had a two-part ceremony. The first part was a traditional temple wedding in Baton Rouge, so we rode up in the car together on our wedding day. It definitely helped release any nerves as we could both relax – we both knew we wouldn’t be stood up at the altar!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Elope! No, just kidding. Our best advice is pretty simple: decide at the very beginning what’s important to you, and focus on that with your time and money. For us, it was food and music. Both turned out great, and we had an awesome party.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Besides world domination? Actually, we’re just loving the newlywed bubble and being done with wedding planning. We’re looking forward to our annual trip to New Orleans in March, family vacations this summer, spending more time with friends, taking some classes, cooking, getting to the outdoors more often, practicing our baby-making skills, and hopefully, a little more time back on the bike.

Photographer: Rachel Thurston // Ceremony Venue: Baton Rouge Temple, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints // Reception venue: The Cabildo, Lousiana Museum of State History // Caterer: DC Events

We thought you might like more Mardi Gras fun!
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Modern Mardi Gras Traditions and Inspiration
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nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
8 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding Albums By Hayley reply

    I simply love the vibrant colour of the shoes and how they match the bridesmaids dresses and everyones ties. So well coordinated.

  2. avatar Marissa reply

    I LOVE this wedding! So much! It’s like Mardi Gras for my eyes! I feel like I need to go put on some beads, and eat a Moon Pie!

  3. avatar Shelley reply

    Are those beignets? Swoon!

  4. avatar Love List « reply

    […] {Couldn’t let the week of Mardi Gras pass without a little NOLA tribute I think that the second line tradition needs to make its way into other states, because parading around with a jazz band after your ceremony sounds like way too much fun! Picture by Rachel Thurston Photography via Southern Weddings} […]

  5. avatar Rachel Thurston reply

    Can I be an honorary Southern girl? I loved everything about this celebration and was honored to be a part of it. Thank you Southern Weddings for inspiring us all!

  6. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    Totally loving her shoes! And that last picture is too adorable!

  7. avatar Weddings, New Orleans Style « thehighlifesuite reply

    […] steamed veggies, shrimp ‘n grits, blackened alligator, Louisiana crab claws and crawfish tails. (Southern Weddings) Doesn’t that sounds amazing?!?! Shrimp for shrimp and grits, of course (from Southern […]

  8. avatar Lieschens goes USA: Honeymoon-Planning & Co. | Hochzeitsblog Lieschen heiratet reply

    […] Hochzeitsfeier in New Orleans auf Southern Weddings […]

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