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REAL WEDDING:: JESSICA SALAFIA + RHETT WARD

REAL WEDDING:: JESSICA SALAFIA + RHETT WARD

JESSICA + RHETT’S STORY: 

“Jess and Rhett’s story dates back to December 2014 when Jess arrived in New Orleans for a two-week holiday to ring in the new year. She was swept off her feet by his Southern charm and he was intrigued by the girl from the Land Down Under. A whirlwind romance ensued before Jess and Rhett decided to embark on a long-distance relationship. After a couple of trips to-and-fro across the globe, they reunited in August 2015 when Jess moved from Australia to the United States. After a magical engagement during Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at Walt Disney World in 2018, Jess and Rhett married on October 12, 2019 at the historic St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.” 

Jessica and Rhett's wedding announcement was designed as a newspaper titled "Romance Times"
Jessica and Rhett's wedding announcement was designed as a newspaper titled "Romance Times"
Jess wore an Essense of Australia gown from MaeMe The Bridal Boutique, customized with illusion sleeves with lace details.
Jess wore an Essense of Australia gown from MaeMe The Bridal Boutique, customized with illusion sleeves with lace details.

Fr. Michael Schneller’s homily for Jess and Rhett’s wedding ceremony at St. Louis Cathedral drew lessons from Disney’s “Princess and the Frog” – a perfect selection for their New Orleans wedding as Jess is a big Disney fan.

The St. Louis Cathedral, located in Jackson Square in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, is the oldest cathedral in North America.
The St. Louis Cathedral, located in Jackson Square in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, is the oldest cathedral in North America.
After the ceremony, the couple posed for photos with their bridal party at the W.P. Brown Mansion on St. Charles Avenue. The 22,000 square foot Romanesque Revival home was built in the early 1900s and is filled with ornate architectural details and opulent antiques, including the footboard of a bed that is believed to have been owned by Marie Antoinette.
After the ceremony, the couple posed for photos with their bridal party at the W.P. Brown Mansion on St. Charles Avenue. The 22,000 square foot Romanesque Revival home was built in the early 1900s and is filled with ornate architectural details and opulent antiques, including the footboard of a bed that is believed to have been owned by Marie Antoinette.

For exceptional, unexpected, and unparalleled event design. Elegant or out-of-the-box, let's make some magic! Photo: Katie Sarpolis
The couple chose the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom at the Roosevelt Hotel for their wedding reception.
The couple chose the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom at the Roosevelt Hotel for their wedding reception.
Jess’ 3-tier wedding cake was fit for a princess - complete with a castle and royal carriage! - and featured decadent flavor profiles, including white velvet and apricot champagne and Italian cream and pistachio.
Jess’ 3-tier wedding cake was fit for a princess - complete with a castle and royal carriage! - and featured decadent flavor profiles, including white velvet and apricot champagne and Italian cream and pistachio.
Star Wars fan, Rhett, was treated to a red velvet groom’s cake styled as R2-D2 in a tuxedo. 
Star Wars fan, Rhett, was treated to a red velvet groom’s cake styled as R2-D2 in a tuxedo. 

FEATURED NOW VENDORS:

PHOTOGRAPHY + VIDEO: North Photography & HD Video

BRIDE’S GOWN: MaeMe The Bridal Boutique

MAKEUP: Ann Marie White, Dazzle Doll Salon + Glam Bar

DECOR RENTALS: ELEMENT

ADDITIONAL CREDITS:

GETTING READY LOCATION, RECEPTION, CATERING, WEDDING CAKE: The Roosevelt Hotel | CEREMONY LOCATION: St. Louis Cathedral | OFFICIANT: Father Michael Schneller | REHEARSAL DINNER LOCATION: The Rex Room at Antoine’s | ALTERATIONS: The Alteration Shoppe | VEIL: Made by groom’s mother, Brenda Ward | BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Bariano Australia | MENSWEAR: Luca Falcone (groom), Tuxedos to Geaux (groomsmen)  FLORIST + CANDLE DECOR: Ambrose Garden | CEREMONY MUSIC: Sarah Jane McMahon | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Party Tyme Productions | TRANSPORTATION: Trinity Trolleys | HAIR: Bride’s mom, Maria Salafia and Sue Fuller | WEDDING PLANNER: Ashley Brien, Uncommon Camellia | JEWELER: Aucoin Hart | FAVORS: PrayerNotes, Etsy | INVITATIONS: SDezigns, Etsy | PHOTO BOOTH: Boogie Booth | LIVE EVENT PAINTER: Jared Osterhold | SECOND LINE BAND: Kinfolk Brass Band  

Jess and Rhett’s sweetheart table featured an elegant white and gold Baroque throne loveseat from ELEMENT. 
Jess had sleeves added to this Essense of Australia gown from MaeMe The Bridal Boutique.
More than half of the couple’s 140 guests travelled from Australia, including Jess’ grandparents. The couple treated their guests to a truly New Orleans experience including a cocktail hour on the rooftop of the Roosevelt Hotel.
The couple treated their guests to a traditional Second Line parade from the Roosevelt rooftop to the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom.
A tiara and 14 foot cathedral length veil, made by Rhett’s mother, Brenda Ward, completed Jess' bridal ensemble.
Jess pauses with her father and bridesmaids before her grand entrance at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans French Quarter.
Jess' fairy tale wedding shoes were gold Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps.

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