Today’s wedding shows not only the ceremony of Monique and John, but also the perfect marriage of Canadian wilderness and New Orleans charm. Greer Gattuso, Blue Gardenia Events, and Bee’s Wedding and Event Design helped to create and showcase a wooded scene in the fantastic venue Race & Religious. Being a NOLA wedding, it wouldn’t be complete without a parade through the streets to top it all off!
From the wedding planners, Blue Gardenia Events: All the way from the Canadian wilderness comes a love story like no other. After meeting and falling in love, this Deer couple wanted to incorporate their love of the Canadian wilderness with the old world charm of New Orleans. By incorporating rustic accents with the perfectly distressed backdrop provided by the venue space Race and Religious, John and Monique created a wedding and reception space that invoked the feeling of an intimate wooded glen.
Monique and John’s special day started off as a very typical warm New Orleans summer day, which they filled with lots of laughter and joy between friends; all while enjoying the hauntingly beautiful Race and Religious. Even a little mid-day rain couldn’t wash away the excitement and joy felt by the bride and groom as they prepared for their special moment. As the ceremony drew nearer Monique slipped into her gorgeous blush pink gown, John finished putting the cuff links onto his deep blue suit, and finally John and Monique were ready for their first look. The setting for their first look was the weathered facade of Race and Religious, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect setting to share this touching moment. Deer were a main theme incorporated into many facets of the wedding; from antler centerpieces, stationery, to custom made dioramas. Deer have a very sentimental place in this couple’s hearts, and have come to represent the couple themselves. The toy deer started off as a funny inside joke when the couple started hiding small toy deer in unexpected places around their home. Soon friends and family started associating deer with the couple, which led to Monique and John wishing to incorporate them into their nuptials. Monique, a graphic artist, created all the stationery and logos for the wedding, as well as several gorgeous custom diorama center pieces that were placed around the wedding space. These dioramas used toy deer to recreate special events in the couple’s love story. Some of the dioramas are funny and playful while others are sweet and romantic, and each one gives the guest an intimate look at this truly wonderful love story.
Being that John and Monique are both Canadian, they both wanted to incorporate the rustic and organic feeling of being in the woods while still keeping their wedding classic and beautiful. One of the ways this was achieved was to incorporate very natural and wild florals by Bee’s Wedding and Event Design throughout the venue, which gave the feeling of the space being reclaimed by nature. One of the main arrangements doubled as a backdrop to the wedding vows. This particular arrangement spread from the brick floor up the side of the back wall, which provided a gorgeous organic feel to the space. Center pieces on the main tables were comprised of gorgeous leafy foliage accented with deer antlers and touches of gold. Also adding to the wooded glen feel were a plethora of candles tucked into every nook and cranny. The candle décor and festoon lighting by Firefly Ambiance reflected off the historic bricks and pool to create a soft and beautiful glow reminiscent of fireflies. The colors that Monique and John chose for their wedding included a rich cobalt blue for John and a blush pink for Monique sprinkled with turquoise, grey-ish greens, mustard yellows, marigold oranges, and pops of crimson; all of which were perfectly represented in the wedding programs, signage, and wedding stationary. Greens, including the natural greens of the floral arrangements, tied everything together seamlessly. Accents of gold were used throughout the venue from rich textured linens to candle votives to give an overall golden glow to the space. Rustic woodland elements sprinkled throughout the venue included birch bark, moss, and farm tables.
Some of the unique and fun aspects of Monique and John’s wedding included an amazing oyster bar, whiskey sampling nook, and authentic New Orleans snowballs. They even projected a montage of classic Hollywood films on the walls of Race & Religious. However, the most popular of the attractions featured at the wedding reception had to be the real New Orleans fortune teller! Like every other piece of Monique and John’s wedding, fortune telling holds a special place in the couple’s hearts. Monique shared with her wedding guest a special story about her trip to a fortune teller during which she was told she would meet her true love. This just weeks before meeting her future husband John! The guest thoroughly enjoyed having their tarot read just like Monique had done years before. In fact, they enjoyed it so much they had the fortune teller stay an extra hour! Even though Monique and John brought so much of Canada with them, they still wanted New Orleans to shine through. Like everything else New Orleans holds a special place in the hearts of Monique and John, and they wanted to share that with their guests. The spirit of New Orleans was more than happy to oblige, and even gave the wedding venue a ceremonial New Orleans baptism in the form of a summer downpour just hours before the wedding ceremony! Some of the very New Orleanian pieces of the wedding included a brass-band led second line, Nola famous snowballs in flavors like banana fosters, a fortune teller, an oyster bar, classic New Orleans style fare, and of course lots of local music! By far the perfect recipe for a perfect New Orleans wedding.
Photography: Greer Gattuso
Wedding Planning and Design: Blue Gardenia Events
Floral Design: Bee’s Wedding and Event Design
Venue: Race & Religious
Hair: Diem Lu of Carpe Diem Salon
Makeup: Cat Vo
Catering and Desserts: Joel Catering
Food Truck: Saigon Slim’s
Snowball Stand: Plum Street Snowballs
Ceremony Music: Courtyard Kings
Reception Entertainment: Swamp Donkeys
Lighting, Candles, and Wood Bars: Firefly Ambiance
Rentals: Perrier Party Rentals
Linens: Nuage Linens
Tarot Card Reader: Gwendolyn Entertainment