Jessica and Ryan live in Atlanta but they chose Jessica’s hometown as the destination for their wedding. Planning from out of state with the help of Carolyn of Bee’s Weddings and Events, they pulled off a gorgeous wedding that is unique to New Orleans. Kelly is Nice flew down to the Big Easy and shared these images with us, but we have heaps more images in the gallery too.
Some words from the bride: when Ryan and I got engaged in September, it was a somewhat of a surprise to me. I’m not the type of girl that’s had my wedding planned since I was 5 years old, so I had absolutely no clue where to start. I’ve been to a few weddings in my day, but I have never been IN a wedding, so I was also unaware of pretty much all wedding traditions and what a wedding is “supposed to be”. I think this simple fact made it easier to recognize what I WANTED our wedding to be, not what our wedding was EXPECTED to be.
We tried to break out of the typical wedding traditions to give our wedding more of our personal touch, while still respecting the traditionalists in our family. The result was a sophisticated twist on Ryan and I’s original vision of a home-y, intimate outdoor wedding.
The only thing I knew for certain is that I wanted to get married in my hometown of New Orleans. Ryan agreed that New Orleans would be a fun place to get married, and a fun destination wedding trip for his family and friends in Georgia. We flew down to look at venues, and both immediately fell in love with the oak trees in City Park and Audubon Zoo. We both wanted an outdoor wedding. However, midway through touring venues that Saturday a huge thunderstorm came through. I think that spooked both of us enough to reconsider that idea, especially in the middle of hurricane season. Our compromise was the Chicory, a beautiful new venue in the Warehouse District with exposed brick walls and high ceilings. It was an old coffee warehouse in the 1800s, and was converted into a venue after Katrina. It was a blank canvas, and we began to envision our outdoor wedding being brought indoors.
I like to think Ryan and I are both creative people. I’m a graphic designer and craft-er, and in the beginning of planning I wanted to do a lot of our decorations myself. But as an out of town bride, I knew this would be difficult and time consuming. Ryan’s work had him traveling a good amount during our engagement, and I knew we would not be able to get down to New Orleans as much as we would need to to pull off a DIY wedding. I came to the decision that the practical thing would be to put my faith and trust into our wedding and floral designer, Bee’s. Eric and Carolyn at Bee’s Wedding and Event designs captured the vision of our wedding to a T. We still had our hands on certain aspects of our wedding– I designed our save the dates and invitations, and our guest book was a vintage New Orleans architecture book I found at an old book store on Magazine Street. We also got a bunch of our personal touches (cake topper, veil, garter, bridesmaid’s jewelery) on Etsy.
Eric and I communicated primarily through email, so it’s amazing he was able to capture our vision with little to no face to face meetings. We told Eric that we had wanted to get married outdoors, and that we still wanted the venue to feel like a courtyard wedding. I sent him a bunch of pictures for inspiration, and what I didn’t realize was that most of the pictures I sent him looked like things I would have around my house. Some of our decor was already set up in the the Chicory for our rehearsal dinner, and when I walked up the stairs and into the room, I almost cried. I felt like I was at home. It eased so many of the nerves I had about walking down the aisle in front of so many people!
Some of my favorite details were the found windows and doors placed by our guest book table and on our altar. Our cake tablecloths were also very interesting…the wedding cake tablecloth was made out of our wedding planner’s lace wedding dress (yes, she let us cut up her wedding dress!). We had the men in our family donate some of their old belts to make the groom’s cake tablecloth. They were woven together to make the table covering.
I have many fond memories of our wedding day, but one of the most original moments of our day didn’t come until the very end of our reception. The “second line” is a New Orleans celebratory tradition. For those who are unfamiliar with the tradition, a “first line” is a brass band parading through the street, and the “second line” is the crowd that follows and dances through the street behind the band. Second lines can happen at any time to celebrate any occasion. Weddings, funerals, births, or just even just a typical Saturday when you are feeling particularly happy to be alive.
Bee’s Weddings and Events, they pulled off a gorgeous wedding that is unique to New Orleans. Kelly is Nice flew down to the Big Easy and shared these images with us, but we have View all images from this wedding in the gallery
Wedding Vendors (New Orleans, LA + Atlanta, GA):
Venue: The Chicory Venue / Photography: Kelly is Nice / Event Designer and Florist: Bee’s Weddings and Events / Wedding Dress and Necklace: Rivini / Invitations: DIY inspired by Kiera Ormut-Fleishman / Veil: FascinatingCreations on Etsy / Favors: Hubig’s Pies / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jcrew / Cake: The Royal Cakery / Reception Band: Deacon John / Second Line Band: Ruddley and the Algiers Brass Band / Second Line Handkerchiefs: Gem Printing Company / Wedding Shoes: “i do” by Seychelles / Hair: Ashely at Salon M / Makeup: Christy Chaffin Thiessen (friend) / Bicycle Cake Topper: heatherboyd on Etsy