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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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There’s so much classic Southern style in today’s inspiration nugget that I almost can’t stand it! Spanish moss, a statuesque plantation home, pineapples, a lace gown, and last but certainly not least, a sweet couple celebrating their first anniversary who knows the wedding is just the beginning. Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Sapphire Events for making our morning a little more lovely!

From Valerie, the planner: Earlier this spring we invited a real couple, Christine and Jordan, to collaborate with us on an anniversary shoot to capture the couple one year after they exchanged vows. The photographers and I wanted to bring out the beautiful light this couple shares for each other. We also gave the couple an opportunity to talk about their love after the first year of married life together, who they look up to as an example of a strong relationship, and what a marriage means to them now that the wedding planning process is behind them. I love the Southern Weddings mission to promote the marriage as more important than the wedding, and the results of Christine and Jordan’s brief interview with us in sharing those same values.

From the bride, Christine:

The most special moment about your wedding day: We were both so anxious before mass and the reception felt like a blur, but while we were at the church, it felt like it was just the two of us. It was nice to have that time to focus only on one another. The silly conversations we had and laughing and sharing in that moment together is something we will never forget.
What do you all look forward to in your next year of marriage? Continuing to get to know one another, grow and work together. One of the characteristics of people with happy marriages is that they never stop working on their marriage. They never stop learning about each other and never get complacent with their relationship. I cannot wait to continue to put in work together and learn something new to love about each other every day.
One piece of advice you would give to someone getting married right now? Don’t stress about your wedding day and all the details. Although it may seem like it now, your wedding day is not the most important day of your life and it will not make or break your marriage. You and your significant other decide that. Take a moment to remember why you’re getting married in the first place and that the incredible amount of love you have for one another will count for way more in the long run than what flavor the cake is or what you give out as favors. Focus on each other and try to remember as much as you can about that day, because it goes by fast!

Photography: GK Photography | Design and styling: Sapphire Events | Flowers: Nola Flora | Linens: Perrier Party Rentals | Invitation: Scriptura | Bridal Salon: Wedding Belles | Groom’s attire: John’s Tuxedos | Hair and Makeup: Bleu, a Blow Dry Bar | Venue: Houmas House Plantation

Sapphire Events and Nola Flora are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
5 Comments
  1. avatar ashley bateman reply

    Love Love Love!! Love their Love!

  2. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #168 – Floridian Weddings reply

    […] Totally inspired by these centerpieces: pineapples nestled on gilded leaves! […]

  3. avatar Genevieve reply

    This makes me want to get married all over again!

  4. avatar Gillian reply

    I’d love to know the actual designer and style number of that gown, it’s fabulous! Thanks!

  5. avatar Allison reply

    Sapphire Events is my absolute fav when it comes to styling events. I so want them to style/design my wedding!

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Oh, New Orleans. If I had to pick one place in the South to attend a wedding in, it would be this romantic, historic city in Louisiana, and Nolan and Steve’s secret garden-esque wedding is only making that desire stronger! The New Orleans Botanical Garden was the perfect place for our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Elyse of Tying the Knot, to bring Nolan and Steve’s vintage, organically glamorous vision to life. Emily and I are headed to Bridal Market this week, and I must say, Nolan’s striking Claire Pettibone dress has me more excited than ever!

Thank you kindly to Ashleigh Jayne for sharing this lovely day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew I wanted something off-white or gold, and I wanted it to scream vintage and delicate. I had done a lot of research, so I knew Claire Pettibone was my best bet. As soon as I put my dress on, I knew it was the one. Luckily, Claire was visiting from California and she worked with me to ensure that the dress would fit my petite frame perfectly. Her meticulous attention to detail and that lace truly set the tone for the wedding. I see my dress as a piece of art. It is currently on a vintage form in our house so I can see it every day!

Describe your wedding flowers. Kim Starr Wise and her team added our pop of color. My florals included camellia foliage (my ode to the South), olive branches (to symbolize peace), peonies, ranunculus, dahlias, and green amaranthus. Kim also created this amazing garland that draped the large tree at our ceremony to create an ethereal effect. It was gorgeous!! She also created several organic wreaths that lined the aisle and were repurposed on the reception walls.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes! Steve and I have so many mutual friends and we are so close to each other’s families, so we wanted to get pictures out of the way so we could spend time with them. I was most looking forward to the cocktail hour because it was around a koi pond with string lights at dusk, and I didn’t want to miss that! It was so lovely to see each other prior to the ceremony.

Instead of writing our own vows, we are going to say vows at a personal ceremony on our first anniversary. I think a lot of growth occurs in the first year of marriage, and it is important to look back over the year and see how you can improve, communicate more effectively, and grow as an individual to better your marriage. One thing we changed in our ceremony was the wording at the end of our ceremony from, “You can now kiss the bride” to “You can now kiss the love of your life,” to make it less traditional and more about the union between the two of us.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? New Orleans is the perfect place to represent the South’s diverse culture and our delicious cuisine. The soundtrack of our souls fill the cobblestone streets and the old oaks covered in Spanish moss paint every background. The French aura, old architecture, and richness are the definition of romantic. My husband and I don’t plan on moving down South anytime soon, so I knew this was my one chance to show our friends and family where I come from. We wanted an ethereal, natural setting that complimented our vintage glam theme, and we could not have found a better venue than the New Orleans Botanical Gardens situated in the heart of City Park. We wanted it to feel like a secret garden wedding, where people could roam the gardens into the dark hours and enjoy the scenery beyond the wild dance floor. The Botanical Gardens were the perfect backdrop to our day of love.

I worked with an outstanding team of vendors, and of course, my wedding planner, Elyse, was our glue. My vision changed several times, but I always stuck to my core: it had to be vintage, feel organically glamorous, be in a garden, integrate the oaks, and have epic music. Like most things in my life, I wanted to create an imperfect medley of the old and the new. I randomly found Steve’s lion cufflinks at a flea market, ordered vintage stamps that illustrated the states we have lived in, wore my great grandmother’s ring as my “something blue,” and found wedding photos from the 1800’s to add rich history to our tables.

Our first dance was “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison, as it depicts the journey that marriage truly is. Music is life’s soundtrack, so we also made an album that our guests can listen to forever.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Over ten years ago, I dug up my firmly planted Southern roots and ventured out west to Colorado. In exchange for the hundred-year-old oaks, I was surrounded by rugged Rocky Mountains and narrow aspens that rained gold in autumn. Looking back on it now, I’d say giving up that sweet tea was worth it because I found the one soul that makes mine complete. Steve and I met during the first week of college, and it was not love at first sight. I was straight out of LA, “Lower Alabama,” and he was a too-cool-for-school Southern Californian. As a petite lil’ lady, I saw him and immediately jumped into his lap for a bear hug. Not. So. Fast. He had boundaries and I crossed them. It took many months for our friendship to blossom and we did not start dating until two years into college. I told him I’d marry him after the seven-year itch and we got married a month shy of our eight-year anniversary.
Tell us all about the proposal! We went to college together in Boulder, Colorado. We didn’t hike often, but when we did go, we always went on one particular trail. After college, we moved to San Diego and then relocated to Denver. One Saturday morning, Steve planned a hike to go on “our” mountain, and we packed a bottle of wine and cheese, remembering that it as a long, hard hike. It only took us 30 minutes! We were at the top of the mountain in no time, and I wasn’t about to start drinking at 10 A.M., so we each had our coconut water instead. He had me pour it into a dixie cup (which was odd) and then we said a toast. We toast with something we’re grateful for for every drink or meal, so this wasn’t unusual, but then he went pale. I asked him if he was okay and stepped away to look at the view of Boulder. Seconds later, he came up behind me and presented the ring. Of course, when he asked, I said yes!
When did y’all get married? April 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I had the bridal party walk down the aisle to Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” I think this song is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and it is also so meaningful–our entire wedding party consisted of mutual friends who have been with me and Steve since day one. I approached my soon-to-be husband to “Fools Rush In” with the irony that it took us eight years to tie the knot.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Cheryl at Bittersweet Confectioners made the most delicious and gorgeous cake a bride could ask for. I wanted a simple, textured, tiered cake so that when we added florals, they would pop! It was the best cake I’ve ever had!! I ate it for days following the wedding.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My biggest advice is to plan ahead and find help. So many decisions can get overwhelming and it’s great to have various perspectives. Take it day by day, and don’t get bogged down in the details. People appreciate details, but they don’t pay nearly as much attention to them as you do.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We bought a home! We are looking forward to some down time this winter, to cooking, to spending time together without the wedding planning stress, and to our honeymoon in Japan next fall.

Photographer: Ashleigh Jayne / Videographer: Bride Film and Street Car Films / Planner: Elyse Skansi of Tying the Knot / Venue and Catering: New Orleans Botanical Gardens / Florist: Kim Starr Wise / Cake Baker: Bittersweet Confections / Rentals and Lighting: Event Rentals / DJ: Larry DeWitt Music Source / Ceremony Music: Harry @ New Orleans Classical and Jazz / Paper Products: Paper Source / Bride’s Gown: “Eloquence” by Claire Pettibone / Bridal Salon: Little White Dress / Bride’s Jewelry: Nordstrom / Hair and Makeup: Kiss and Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Transportation: Alert Transportation

Tying the Knots is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    What a stunning gown!! I love it paired with the bridesmaid dresses!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    the back of her dress is so gorgeous! so are the flowers!

  3. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    Oh that DRESS!!! *swoon*

  4. avatar Valerie reply

    Wow, simply gorgeous! Her gown is incredible.

  5. avatar 25 stunning bouquets for a summer wedding reply

    […] Charming pink bouquet featuring peonies, garden roses, spray roses, dahlias and ranunculus. Via Southern Weddings […]

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