Written By: Jessica Burke | Photos: Hannah Herpin Creative
Alysia and Bradley met at a fraternity event in college and became fast friends, chatting that evening and whenever they crossed paths afterwards. Their relationship took a new direction when Bradley asked to be Alysia’s date for her upcoming semi-formal and the two have been together ever since. “I just remember how he kept me laughing the whole night and was the best date I could’ve had,” shares Alysia. “He has kept me laughing for five years and I am so excited for a lifetime of laughter.”
Just shy of 4 years after the semi-formal, Bradley proposed. He and Alysia had plans for a walk through City Park in Baton Rouge, lunch and an arts festival. What Alysia didn’t know was that Bradley had planned to propose at the top of a hill in the park and had Alysia’s friend who is a professional photographer ready to take photos as he did! “Once we reached the top of the hill, I saw her jump out from a bush and immediately knew what was happening,” says Alysia. “Sure enough I looked over and there Bradley was on one knee and he asked me to marry him.”
The couple decided on a Spring wedding, selecting March 20, 2021 as their date. “We knew we wanted to get married in Spring so what better day than the first day of Spring?!” says Alysia. “On top of that, it was also what would’ve been my Grandmother’s 71st birthday so having that connection with her the day of was incredible since she couldn’t be there with us.”
It was very important to Bradley and Alysia to honor their grandparents who had passed on at their wedding. “We had an in memoriam table with photos of our grandparents who had passed,” says Alysia. She also wore her great-grandmother’s pearls and carried her maternal grandmother’s handkerchief. Bradley’s gift to Alysia was Chanel No. 5 which was her maternal grandmother’s signature scent. “Incorporating those that couldn’t be with us meant the world to us and our parents.”
The couple’s officiant, Ranna Zahra McSwain from Let’s Elope New Orleans wrote a beautiful ceremony script that moved the couple to tears. She took the time to get to know both Alysia and Bradley and learn their story. “We messaged each other and kept in touch for a year,” says McSawain. “Six weeks before the ceremony, I set up a Zoom with her and Bradley and I spent time talking to them and asking some key questions, to help me create a completely custom ceremony script which captured their moment in time perfectly.”
“When we first received it from her, I was moved to tears over how well she captured our love,” shares Alysia. “We both knew that it captured us perfectly but when we went to our reception and heard from our loved ones that it captured our love in the most beautiful and romantic way, we knew we made the right decision with Ranna to have the ceremony we did.”
The couple exchanged vows at sunset at Degas House in New Orleans. “I have dreamed of getting married in New Orleans since I was a little girl,” says Alysia. “Bradley is a history buff and so it was important to me to find something that had that touch of history to it as well. When we walked up to Degas House for our initial tour and I saw all of it in person, I just knew it captured the essence of all things New Orleans.” Alysia and her bridesmaids stayed in the main suite of the house the night before the wedding. “Something about waking up that morning with my best friends on the first day of Spring with the breeze and sounds of New Orleans coming through the balcony windows just made the day that much better,” says Alysia.
Before they said “I do”, the couple shared a First Look which helped ease the stress of the day. “Bradley is an introvert and very quiet and shy so we knew that if we wanted a genuine, authentic reaction out of him, it would be better in a moment just us two,” shares Alysia. Bradley appreciated the quiet moment noting “it was more intimate and I didn’t feel rushed or as much pressure during the actual ceremony.” Both recommend having a First Look!
To set the tone for the event, Alysia, a graphic designer with her own business, Alysia By Design, created the save-the-dates, invitations and signage personally for the wedding. “I gathered together some simple star and moon elements to tie in a quote that we always say to each other which is ‘you are my sun, my moon and all of my stars’” shares Alysia. “This quote was from a poem by ee cummings that we also used in our ceremony.”
After the ceremony, the newlyweds shared a private meal before joining their guests to celebrate. Guests enjoyed delicious food and what Alysia says was “the most yummy cake that felt too beautiful to eat!”
In addition to the three-tier wedding cake, the cake artist Kim Carinhas of Kimbla’s Cakes, created a cake featuring Bradley‘s favorite beer, Catahoula Common from Hammond brewery, Gnarley Barley. “The cake itself was vanilla bourbon infused chocolate with brown sugar buttercream icing and it was a hit!” says Alysia. “Bradley spends every Friday night with some of his closest friends and Catahoula Common so he felt it deserved its own recognition.”
The newlyweds honeymooned in Hawaii and look forward to many years of love and laughter ahead.
FEATURING ALYSIA + BRADLEY’S WEDDING::
NOW FEATURED VENDORS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Hannah Herpin Creative
BAKERY: Kimbla’s Cakes
OFFICIANT: Let’s Elope New Orleans
ADDITIONAL CREDITS: VENUE + CATERER: Degas House | BRIDE’S GOWN: Randy Fenoli, Bridal Boutique Baton Rouge | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Show Me Your Mumu | MENSWEAR: Generation Tux | VIDEO: Isaac Suttle Films | FLORIST: Crystal Vase Flowers | CEREMONY MUSIC AND RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Stage 1 Music, LLC | HAIR + MAKEUP: She Laughs Hair & Makeup | JEWELER: Kristin Coffin Jewelry | FAVORS: Tossware | INVITATIONS: Alysia by Design | PHOTOBOOTH: The Pixure Booth
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::AS SEEN IN THE AUGUST 2021 ISSUE OF NOW WEDDINGS MAGAZINE:: Written by: Jessica Burke…