Written by Myndee Corkern
Photos by Ashley Kristen Photography
HOW THEY MET IN REBECCA’S WORDS:
“We met over 11 years ago on Plenty of Fish which was the original free online dating website. Michael’s screen name was MrMichael and mine was MsBeckie. All of Michael’s friends call him Mike, but he’ll always by my Michael. I can honestly say that the first time I saw him I knew he was the one.
It took 10 years and 2 months for him to propose, but he did it on New Year’s Eve with our dogs, candles and fireworks in the rain. Worth every minute of the wait.”
“I always wanted a destination wedding. Something about them seems so much more intimate where everyone becomes family by the end. Michael’s only request for a wedding was that his family would be there and that everyone would have a good time. We went back and forth on a lot of destinations and one late night my mom suggested New Orleans and it clicked right away. New Orleans is the kind of place you always talk about going but never actually seem to make it there, or this was the case for us and the majority of our guests. So the idea was a hit and the plan for our NOLA nuptials was made. With further research we discovered that New Orleans is just as romantic as it is fun, with antebellum mansions, hidden courtyards and dreamy oak trees everywhere, the only thing harder then deciding on a spot to hold our wedding was figuring out where to go for dinner. The Tree of Life in Audubon Park, however, stood out above everything as the dreamiest place to say our ‘I do’s.'”
“Picking our venue was a bit difficult as I was obsessed with lighting. I really wanted a big chandelier and something different from a traditional ballroom. I came across Bevolo Events on Pinterest and just could not get it out of my head. Everyone looks good in the light of a flame and Bevolo is lined with the dreamiest lanterns that give everyone a romantic glow and I think the photos really show that! Bevolo also had this very gritty vibe to it with the exposed brick and unfinished floors it felt like everything I’d thought of New Orleans. Pretty in the candlelight but built for a party that ends in a mess.”
“Our first dance song was called ‘The Dreamer’ by Tallest Man on Earth. Being that Michael is more musically gifted then me this was one of his jobs to pick the song and he did a fantastic job! It was very romantic and Michael plays it all the time so its nice to get to relive that moment.”
Using lanterns instead of traditional bouquets piqued our interest here at NOW, so we asked Rebecca to elaborate on this beautiful choice:
“I wanted to try to have less of an impact environmentally so decorating with candles instead of flowers just made sense. I also wanted to bring a bit of the reception to the ceremony. Since Bevolo makes lanterns this was one of the easiest way to tie it all in.”
“The top layer of our cake was vegan and it was delicious! Everyone was super impressed with the king cake and one of my biggest sadnesses of having a NOLA wedding was that I couldn’t bring the cake home. Although I did eat a lot of it in the hotel room over the next few days.”
The wedding king cake was made of four layers, each with their own unique filling. “The top layer was raspberry lemon, and the other three flavors were praline cream cheese, strawberry cream cheese, and chocolate chip cream cheese. Michael was in charge of picking all the flavors except the top!”
Becky shares a way she created a unique, special touch for all their guests: “The month before we got engaged we went on vacation to Jamaica and the whole place smelt like lemongrass. They had diffusers candles and incense everywhere and now every time I smell lemongrass I think of that trip. I wanted to do the same thing for our wedding so we bought potent candles in very New Orleans scents from the Roosevelt Hotel that smelled like Jasmine and Gardenias. Now every time we and our guests smell these they can remember our big day.”
“Being in a relationship for ten years I’ve been subjected to a lot of bouquet tosses and ‘you’re next’ statements. I was tired of these and wanted to embrace my independent ladies. We played ‘Independent Woman’ and I handed my bouquet to my incredible grandmother, a woman who has taught me to grow flowers and drink whiskey.”
FEATURED NOW VENDORS:
REHEARSAL BRUNCH: Tableau Restaurant
TRANSPORTATION: Audubon Limousines
PHOTOGRAPHY: Ashley Kristen Photography | WEDDING PLANNER + RENTALS: Decor on a Dime | OFFICIANT: Michelle Zeller | CATERER: Rosemary & Roux | GETTING READY LOCATION: Chateau Le Moyne | CEREMONY: The Tree of Life, Audubon Park | RECEPTION VENUE: Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights | BRIDE’S ATTIRE: Samantha’s Bridal Boutique | GROOM’S ATTIRE: RW & CO | BAKERY: Shake Sugary | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Jack Magic | HAIR: AHB Hair and Makeup | MAKEUP: Makeup by Meggan | FLORIST: Harkins the Florist | VIDEOGRAPHER: Filmbalaya Films
Advice from Becky
Planning a wedding from out of the country is hard work requiring a lot of phone calls and blind trust in your vendors.
Our wedding planner provided us with a world of information on specific traditions for New Orleans, recommendations of vendors (all of ours were incredible) and gave us a heads up on traffic and the cost of parking. All of our guests were from out of town so the cost of parking really added onto some folks’ hotel bills, a tip there would be if you stay at the casino parking is free.
Other advice to give to other couples thinking about planning a wedding in NOLA is that pretty much everyone is friendly and helpful. We used websites like Pinterest and Instagram for a lot of our photo ideas, and we tried to talk to locals ahead of time to find out their favorite can’t miss things in NOLA. Alchemy Events was especially helpful for this vegan girl!
My final piece of advice to brides and grooms planning a wedding would be to make sure to plan time to explore the city! We spent so much time with our guests and families that we rarely had time to explore outside of the French Quarter and New Orleans is a huge city with so many different things to see and do that spending all your time in one spot is limiting your opportunities to get the whole vibe of the city.