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Danielle and Richard wanted their wedding to feel like they were throwing it in their dream fancy backyard, and when it came time to choosing a location for their pending nuptials, New Orleans turned out to be the perfect place! It’s a city they both love, and to Danielle and Richard, it symbolizes “warmth, festivity, and fun”–all fabulous attributes of a Southern wedding, y’all! After checking out 10 venues in 36 hours (woah!), they said an “instantaneous and unanimous” yes to The Terrell House. Of course, when you top off a beautiful ceremony with a surprise second line, it’s a given that your celebration was a blast!

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor, Maile Lani, for sharing!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had an image in my head of the style of dress that I wanted and did a lot of research online to try and find it. I came across a boutique in Soho called Saja that seemed to have the type of soft, unstructured, simple, yet elegant dresses that I liked. My sister and I went together, and the very first dress I tried on, I loved. I tried on a few more there, and then a few at BHLDN, but soon, I went back to Saja with my mom. When I put that first dress back on, there was no question. I love my dress and I love that I didn’t stress about it.

We did do a first look. We wanted to take all our formal pictures before the ceremony so that our guests wouldn’t have to wait for us (and so we wouldn’t miss any of the party). I was really worried that the first look and our portraits would be awkward., but somehow, our photographer, Maile, made them not LOOK awkward. We were laughing and goofing around the whole time, so it ended up being really enjoyable.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our first step was choosing New Orleans. We knew we didn’t want to get married in NYC or where either of us grew up (Boston and El Paso). New Orleans is a city that we both love and have visited frequently. It’s also a place that symbolizes warmth, festivity, and fun. On a short trip there, we checked out 10 venues in 36 hours, but our love for The Terrell House was instantaneous and unanimous. We wanted to get married somewhere that would feel like we were throwing a ceremony in our backyard (albeit a backyard nicer than one we’ll ever own!). Since we were going to have to plan everything from afar, it also helped that they do the planning, decorating, and catering themselves.

Describe your wedding flowers. Our flowers were all shades of pink with silver and turquoise accents. We wanted a unstructured, mismatched look with different shaped and sized vases, and no two bouquets looking exactly the same.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It’s just one day and it goes by so fast. Enjoy the planning, because if you are not having fun, it’s not worth it. When decisions come up, make them and move on. There is no right answer, so stressing over the decisions will only make you miserable. Your guests will not judge you on the details (and if they do, they are missing the point), and when you are actually living in the moment, even the things that didn’t turn out perfectly will become endearing. A lot of my guests commented on how relaxed I was as a bride, and I really was. All I saw around me were my friends and family from all around the WORLD, and Rick’s smiling face. It was such a happy day and I’m so appreciative that the whole process leading up to it was an adventure, rather than something stressful.

We don’t feel particularly drawn to multi-tiered, white wedding cakes, and find that guests don’t often eat them, but Rick LOVES cake. We decided to go with the New Orleans theme and get three doberge cakes in three different flavors. They were a big hit!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking the second line, I was already having so much fun, but at one point, I remembered to turn around and look at my guests. We hadn’t told anyone about the second line, so it was a huge surprise. Seeing their gaping mouths and the thrill in their eyes as we danced through the street, chaperoned by the police, with revelers from the neighborhood coming out of their homes to wave at us…it was the most special moment of my day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Rick and I are both television producers and we met when working on an MTV show. The first place we traveled together was Ohio State, and as we interviewed kids about their personal lives, a spark quickly grew between us. Once we returned home to NYC, we started dating, and it made the rest of our work travel a whole lot more fun. Almost exactly three years later, we were married.
Tell us all about the proposal! We had been talking about our future for a while and knew we wanted to make that commitment, but then I got a job working on a show where I would have to live in Chattanooga, Tennessee for three weeks a month for five months, so we put our plans on the back burner for a little while. Since both of us travel for work, we try to take advantage and visit each other when one of us is out of town at an interesting location. Rick came to visit me for a few days and we got to explore the city. One day, we went to a rock climbing haven at a golf course, and at one point, when we were resting on the top of a boulder, Rick proposed to me with my great-grandmother’s ring that he had gotten from my mother. It certainly wasn’t where I had expected to get engaged (I was wearing sweatpants and no make up!), but there was romance to the randomness of it. It symbolizes to me that no matter where life takes us, we can find a way to make any place we land special.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My 86-year-old grandmother traveled from Toronto to New Orleans–a very long trip. It was important to me to honor her by having her read at our ceremony, so she read “Blessing for Marriage” by James Dillet Freeman.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Having the love and laughter from our friends and family all around us. When all is said and done, that is 100 percent what we remember most.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into?
$25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? The Terrell House has a deal with a liquor distributor, so we were able to order bottles at wholesale cost and then return the unopened bottles. Our liquor costs were way lower than any quotes we received from caterers. Also, I taught myself photoshop so that all the programs, welcome letters, etc., were handmade.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just returned from our honeymoon–a safari in Tanzania, Africa–and now, it’s time to enjoy our lives together. I would be lying if I said we haven’t both talked about being sad that our wedding is all over, but it’s nice to have the time together where we don’t feel like there is something we have to plan.

Photographer: Maile Lani / Venue, Flowers, and Caterer: The Terrell House / Cake Baker: Debbie Does Doberge / Band: 504eva Band / Bride’s Gown: “HB6633” by Saja / Hair and Makeup: Kiss and Make Up / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Groom’s Attire: Loro Piana

Maile Lani is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Charleston Wedding Videographer reply

    Absolutely love browsing through the photos of this wedding! Gorgeous greenery, floral arrangements and New Orleans theme. Simply stunning.

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In true Southern fashion, friends and family in attendance was the most important part of their wedding to Katie and Michael, so hosting the celebration locally in New Orleans was a given! These two wanted to create a good ol’ classic NOLA wedding, so when it came to the details of their nuptials, selecting the gorgeous interiors and formal garden of the Beauregard-Keyes House as their venue was one of the first decisions they made. I could go on and on about the beauty of this wedding, but I doubt I’ll do a better job than Katie–she said their wedding was “just a beautiful, twinkly evening full of glasses clinking and people smiling.” Sounds divine!

Big thanks to Maile Lani for sending us their day!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We went through so many options, but in the end, we realized it was important to us that our friends and family could all easily attend, so keeping it in New Orleans was the first decision we made. Michael and I both love the French Quarter with all of its charm and mystery, and the Beauregard House has beautiful interiors, a courtyard, and a formal garden! It was the perfect venue for us.

There was this one moment during the ceremony when a woman walking down the street outside of the garden with a huge beautiful voice randomly sang out, “It’s a glorious day!!” It was so New Orleans and perfect, and it set the mood for the whole evening.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We actually just let our officiant write something. The ceremony was the first time we heard it and it was lovely. Letting go of some elements of the day was hard for me, but once I did, it allowed us both to enjoy the whole experience more.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food, the weather, the music, the people…it could not have been anywhere else but in the South, ya know? Many people have told us our wedding is exactly what they picture when they think of a good ol’ classic New Orleans wedding. Love it!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Letting go of perfection and details so we could actually enjoy ourselves and remember the day fondly, instead of worrying about what was not done correctly. We succeeded! It is perfect in our memories–just a beautiful, twinkly evening full of glasses clinking and people smiling.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Michael was a friend of my roommate. I was living in New Orleans and Michael was in Jackson, Wyoming. He came to visit my roommate and we totally fell for each other. A month later, I was on a plane to Jackson to visit, and and two weeks after I left Wyoming, Michael was on a plane to New Orleans for good. Three years later, we were engaged. He proposed around the holidays at dusk out in the country. It was really sweet and funny, and I was totally surprised!
When did y’all get married? October 25, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. There is a really fun old school shop in New Orleans called Yvonne LaFleur. All of their dresses hang from the ceiling. I remember going in there as a kid and being totally enamored. My bridesmaids and I went one day to try some dresses on, not thinking I would find the one, but then I found a lace dress that made me tear up–it reminded me of my grandmother in the best way. I was comfortable, I felt elegant, and most importantly, I felt like myself.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Michael and I are working on a little house we bought in Old Metairie. He starts dental school in a few weeks and I keep myself beyond busy owning two businesses.

Photographer: Maile Lani / Venue: Beauregard-Keyes House / Florist: The Plant Gallery / Cake Baker: Haydel’s Bakery / Caterer: Martin’s Wine Cellar / Bride’s Gown: Yvonne LaFleur / Hair Stylist: Agnus at Lux / Groom’s Attire: J.Crew

Maile Lani is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Charmaine reply

    Everything about this wedding is divine and the ring bearer and flower girl are so cute!

  2. avatar Beauregard-Keyes House Wedding New Orleans • Katie and Michael | New Orleans & Nashville Wedding Photographer | Fine Art Film Photographer Maile Lani reply

    […] am so excited to finally be able to share this wedding with you guys!! It was featured on Southern Weddings today!! Katie and Michael got married last October at the historic Beauregard-Keyes House in the […]

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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.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
10 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Love, love, love this wedding!! New Orleans is definitely one of my favorite wedding cities–they all seem to have the best energy and joy, and this is no exception! Her dress is gorgeous, and the venue is just amazing!

  2. avatar Lauren reply

    I LOVE the mustard bridesmaid dresses. I can’t believe how perfectly they matched since they came from different stores.

  3. avatar PJ Greetings reply

    This wedding looks like it was a blast and I love the colors

  4. avatar Jen reply

    New Orleans weddings are the BEST!! My husband and I hosted a NOLA destination wedding in March…so I’m a little biased!

    Congrats M & M! Beautiful wedding! :)

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  10. avatar Rudy reply

    Love the bridesmaids dresses! Such an awesome color too. Such great photography!

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