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Real Wedding: Courtney + Nathan {A Classic Tale of True Love}

March 11, 2017

Written by Natalie Pompilio

It was love at second sight: Nate Threlkeld and Courtney Dugas didn’t hit it off when they met during Mardi Gras 2013. One year later, they found themselves celebrating Carnival together again and they had a “strange but fun conversation about nerd movies,” Courtney says.

That talk sparked a long-distance romance, with Nate in New Orleans and Courtney in Birmingham, AL. Bonded by a love of travel and good food and eager to spend more time together, the couple took vacations together.

The most memorable of those adventures: A trip to Disney World that allowed Courtney to introduce Nate to one of her favorite places. As the clock approached midnight while the pair were standing in front of Cinderella’s castle, Nate asked a stranger to take a photo. He dropped to one knee as the hour struck.

It was a wonderful and amazing proposal that I didn’t expect and made the trip even more magical, Courtney says.


The couple married in March 2017 during a ceremony rich with personal details: Courtney’s bouquet included her grandmothers’ wedding rings, a way to honor the loved ones who passed away before the big day. The non-denominational ceremony included a reading from the couple’s favorite movie, “The Princess Bride,” and Nate’s favorite musical, “Les Miserables.”

Family members and close friends were drafted as readers and into the bridal party. Nate’s nephew Coleston was the very eager and enthusiastic ring bearer. He dressed with the groom and groomsmen, shunning his mother to “hang with the guys” before the ceremony. With grave concentration, he carried the rings down the aisle. He only cried when told he had to leave the wedding reception.

The reception at The New Orleans Lakefront Terminal Atrium included a live wedding painter.

I think it was the best money we spent for our wedding,” Courtney says. “Our guests loved watching him paint and we got an amazing piece of art to take home.

While Courtney remembers the entire day as amazing, her favorite moment came after the ceremony, when she and Nate were alone in a side room having something to eat.

“We could just bask in how happy we were,” she says. “It was a calming moment after all the planning and getting ready and before the excitement of the reception. It was a great way for us to have this little intimate moment.”

N.O.W. Vendors:

PHOTOGRAPHY: North Photography | CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION: The New Orleans Lakefront Terminal Atrium | CATERER: Messina’s Catering

Additional Vendors: GETTING READY LOCATIONS: The Roosevelt New Orleans (bride), Courtyard by Marriott French Quarter (groom) | OFFICIANT: Emily Mosow | REHEARSAL DINNER LOCATION: Drago’s | BRIDE’S GOWN: Little White Dress Shoppe | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Bridals by Lori | MENSWEAR: Rome’s Tuxedos | FLORIST , CANDLE + DÉCOR RENTALS: Blumen Lendle | BAKERY: Melissa’s Fine Pastries | CEREMONY MUSIC: Harlequin Chamber Music | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Mobile Beats | TRANSPORTATION: Alert Transporation | HAIR + MAKEUP: Bella Bride | INVITATIONS: Elegant Wedding Invitations | LIVE PAINTER: Art by Christopher Turner

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Her experience spans many areas as she is a lover of learning new things and immediately incorporates those into her entrepreneurial pursuits, from home and office organizing and wedding/event planning to web design. She has appeared on Dr. Oz, TLCโ€™s Hoarding Buried Alive and The Larry King Live Show during her career as an Organizing and Productivity Consultant.

Her true love has always been weddings and beautiful events. Even as a teen she loved weddings, planning and creating various perfect weddings for herselfโ€ฆ.with no actual fiance ? Her first taste of real event planning came with becoming a member of the Social Events committee for the Miss Louisiana Organization in 1999. Since then she has planned weddings, social events, conferences and educational summits.

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