Google+Luminous Events Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: Luminous Events

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!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to:
close

When a wedding planner and a chef tie the knot, you might expect beautiful styling, gorgeous details, and delicious food. And in the case of Elyse and Jack, you’d be right! Their wedding day at Stella Plantation had all of those things and more. Mixing together sweet details from their love story (yummy mini pizzas) with romantic decor (tons of dreamy candles, plus 13 different crystal chandeliers!), they created a celebration that was just as lovely as it was meaningful. I also love the way they weaved Elyse’s signature “xoxo” throughout their day, and right on into their newlywed home!

P.S. If you’re thinking the only way these photos could be prettier is if they were printed on glossy paper and surrounded by other wedding goodness, you’re in luck! We’re so glad Greer Gattuso was on hand to capture this beautiful wedding, and we were proud to feature it in Southern Weddings V8. If you don’t have your copy yet, look for it on news stands across the Southeast, or order it before we sell out here!

Since I’ve signed all of my letters to Jack with “xoxo” for years, we fell in love with the idea of having “xoxo” accents throughout the design! As guests were first introduced to the wedding through the save the dates, they noticed my handwritten “xoxo” at the top. We then commissioned one of the best local calligraphers to design our “xoxo” logo, which we used as a dance floor vinyl, had laser cut for our wedding cake topper, gold foiled on our napkins, printed on our koozies, and more! We even used “elysexoxojack” as our wedding hashtag! The “xoxo” has since carried over into our home decor, which continues to make me smile and think of our wedding.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Having shopped through New Orleans with my clients, I knew I’d have to travel to find my dress, so my mother, bridesmaids, and aunts joined me in Houston for a long weekend. Ironically, the bridal attendant had to force me to try my dress on! After removing the one-shoulder strap and some floral appliqués, it was exactly what I had envisioned myself wearing.

As the guests arrived for our wedding ceremony, they were greeted by my six honorary bridesmaids at our confetti bar! They were instructed to make their own mix of navy and metallic confetti to toss at us as we walked back up the aisle as husband and wife. Our immediate family members were given wedding bells to ring after our kiss, and my sorority sisters were each handed a Killarney rose–my sorority’s signature flower.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. My dad walked me down a long, tree-lined aisle as a cello and violin played. Once the celebrant greeted the guests, my aunt delivered an original ode to love. This was followed by the reading of the poem “Love” by Roy Croft, a poem read during recruitment in Delta Zeta Sorority, by my maid of honor, and a contemporary version of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” sung by a dear friend. Thank goodness I had gifted Jack a “Mr.” hanky because I needed it a few times myself!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote an original set of vows for both of us to repeat during the ceremony. These vows were a little more traditional, but still so meaningful to us.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? The cocktail party started outside of the tent at our champagne table, where we had rows of pre-poured champagne, each glass adorned with either a gold pom, a rock candy stick, or a rim of edible gold sugar. Our family and friends enjoyed cocktails around highboys with floral ties by the glow of our three 10-foot walls of candles.

New Orleans thrives on a buffet-style reception–they keep people moving, mingling, and dancing! Food was really important to Jack, as he’s a chef, but I am a picky eater, so we wanted to have food that could could represent us both. We offered elegant food like oysters bordelaise, turtle soup, red snapper filet with crawfish ravigot, cajun duck breast, and marsala mushroom-topped tenderloin to suit Jack’s sophisticated palate. Then, to represent my favorite foods, we served miniature Margherita pizzas and had a french fry and mac and cheese bar that guests could top with their favorite accoutrements!

Did you try anything new or nontraditional? Our guest book was a nod to the hopeless romantic in each of us! Like the Parisian love lock bridge, we asked guests to sign and add their well wishes for our relationship to a padlock, then lock in their love by attaching it to a trellis, which we continue to enjoy in the landscaping in our backyard!

What was your reception like? As cocktail hour came to an end, the drapes of the tent were pulled back to reveal the reception inside. A golden-draped tent with 13 different crystal chandeliers added the backdrop and lighting for our perfect night! Our tables were a mix of round and square tables, the chairs were a mix of gold chiavari, gold estate, and ghost chairs, and our three different specialty table linens added various navy textures to the room. The whole room twinkled!

Our cakes added some wow factor! The wedding cake was a four-tiered fondant cake accented with gold leafing and topped with our xoxo wooden cake topper! It sat on a gold bar cart–a gift from my aunts for my bridal shower–adorned with candles on the bottom shelf and on the floor around the base. The backdrop was a custom painted and gold-leafed wall that our florist created. After we cut our cake, we asked the ladies of the bridal party to join us for a cake pulls–a Southern tradition where each girl pulls a charm out of the cake that is said to predict their fate. The groom’s cake was four stacked king cakes, a New Orleans speciality, with a fleur de lis topper and purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras beads scattered on the table!

Don’t miss Elyse and Jack’s wedding film by our Blue Ribbon Vendor Bride Film below!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. In eighth grade, my parents moved to a new city right outside of New Orleans, where I made many new friends! One afternoon, I had joined my new girlfriends at the ballpark to watch their friends play baseball. After a foul ball was hit towards the stands, I scooped it up and chucked it back to the boys. Let’s just say that I didn’t throw like a girl! Impressed by my athleticism, Jack came to chat with me after the game. We spent many afternoons together at the ballpark after that, and the rest is history!
Tell us about a date you’ll always remember. For our one-year dating anniversary (keep in mind that we were 16 years old), Jack told me that he was going to cook pizza, my favorite meal, from scratch. He surprised me by writing “I <3 U” in pepperonis! He had already discovered his love for cooking (he's now a chef) and had gotten pretty good at it, so the fact that he simplified his dinner plans to cook this simple dish showed that he really understood and loved me. I’ve always told him just how special that meal made me feel! Describe the proposal: After the weather forced Jack to change his plans of proposing in the park in front of a photographer, the ring must have been burning a hole in his pocket. The very next day, he surprised me with another hand-tossed pizza, this one reading “Marry Me?” in pepperonis– a nod to our one-year anniversary date! Needless to say, we were too excited to eat the proposal pizza!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Elegant, custom, lively
How many guests attended your wedding? 200
What did the groom and groomsmen wear? Jack had purchased a light navy suit months before the wedding, but three weeks before the big day, an editorial arrived in the mail with a velvet, navy tux blazer that he had to have! It arrived just in time! He also wore my late grandfather’s Rolex watch that my father asked him to wear. During my dad’s rehearsal dinner speech, he said, “Jack, I would like you to wear this watch this weekend so that Elyse’s grandfather can be a part of his granddaughter’s wedding. Keep it on your wrist so he can feel your pulse quicken as you watch Elyse walk up the aisle in her beautiful wedding dress.” It meant so much to me to have my Dide there in spirit! The groomsmen all wore matching black suits with navy skinny ties. We also gifted them polka dot socks for a fun touch.
Tell us about your wedding flowers. I really wanted my bouquet to have a hand-picked, natural feel, so we used lush blooms in whites, ivories, and blush mixed with loose, cascading foliage to give it lots of movement. We applied gold leafing to a few leaves for a gilded touch! We used Frou Frou Chic hand-dyed ribbon to tie it all together. As a finishing touch, I had “Mrs. Jennings” in my handwriting turned into a gold bracelet, which we wrapped around the stems. Just as the bridesmaids’ dresses were different, I wanted their bouquets to be different as well. Each had the same filler flowers and foliage, but a unique focal flower! I also made each of the ladies a handwritten gold bracelet with their names to wrap around their bouquets.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to “Amazed” by Lonestar, which has been “our song” since we first started dating in 2003–the year the song became most popular. We sang every word of the song to each other while we danced! So romantic and nostalgic!
Tell us about your grand exit. In true dramatic fashion, we ended our reception with fireworks over the Mississippi River to celebrate not only our love, but all of the love that surrounds us each and every day! It was a truly magical ending to the most incredible weekend of our lives, and the perfect start to our forever!

Planning and Design: Elyse Jennings Weddings | Venue: Stella Plantation | Photographer: Greer Gattuso Photography | Videographer: Bride Film | Candles and Lighting: Luminous Events | Florist: Bee’s Wedding and Event Designs | Rentals: Perrier Rentals | Vintage Rentals: Distressed Rentals | Hair Stylist: Ginger Dickey | Makeup Artist: Ashley Sievert | Band: Groovy 7 | Catering: New Orleans Catering | Ceremony Musicians: New Orleans Finest Musicians | Officiant: Rev. Johnny Adams | Transportation: Bonomolo and Hotard | Save the Dates and Invitations: Tupelo Honey | Invitation and Envelope Calligraphy and Signage: Ebb and Flow | Cake Baker: Royal Cakery | Champagne Flutes: Anthropologie | Bride’s Gown: Ines Di Santo | Bridal Salon: Ivory Bridal Atelier | Bride’s Veil: Wedding Belles | Bride’s Earrings: Kendra Scott | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bride’s Robe: Flora Nikrooz | Menswear: Express | Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell and Badgley Mischka | Tinsel Stirrers: Em for Marvelous | XOXO Cake Topper: My Girl Josephine | Bouquet Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic | Name Bracelets: Yvonne Boutique | XOXO Floor Decal: Off the Wall Expression | Confetti: Inside My Nest | Frosted Go Cups and Napkins: For Your Party | Koozies: Discount Mugs

Greer Gattuso, Bride Film, and Stella Plantation are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Brittany reply

    By far one of my favorite weddings. It is the perfect mix of elegant and fun. I might be using some of these ideas :-)

  2. avatar Champagne bar with tinsel stirrers – Em for Marvelous – reply

    […] of my very favorite weddings from the latest issue of Southern Weddings is on their blog today! Elyse and Jack, who began dating when they were 16, blew me away with all of the thoughtful and […]

  3. avatar Elyse reply

    Our wedding was the very best day of my life and it’s made me smile from ear to ear to relive it through the magazine and the blog! You ladies are just the sweetest! XOXO

  4. avatar Sybil reply

    Beautiful wedding! I love alll the detail and how special it seems for the couple.

  5. avatar Nicole reply

    Beautiful…so this is what a wedding looks like when a super talented wedding planner makes the dream of her wedding day come to life. Details, Details, Details, Love, Love, Love!!!

  6. avatar Brooke reply

    This was one of my favorite weddings from the new magazine! Seeing even more pictures on the blog is just so exciting! I absolutely love the confetti bar and the mini chicken and waffles!

  7. avatar 5 Southern Wedding Traditions Any Couple Can Incorporate reply

    […] See the full wedding here! […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to:
close
Top