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REAL WEDDING:: Kiara Butler + Michael Stohlman {Micro Wedding at Ralph’s on the Park}

By: Jessica Burke

Photos: Brian Jarreau Photography


“Michael and I met through a mutual friend. She told me I had a secret admirer and told him he had no shot. We exchanged text messages before going on our first date.

Our proposal happened in August of last year. We decided to spend an evening in the French Quarter. We had an amazing steak dinner and took a walk on the river. While on the river, he down on one knee and proposed.”

Kiara and Michael's seating chart and guest book. Photo: Brian Jarreau Photography

Louisiana natives Kiara and Michael originally planned to marry on December 12, 2020, but decided not to wait and moved the date up six months and tied the knot in June ahead of their move to Austin, Texas. The new date came with new locations but Mother Nature made additional changes necessary on the day of.

“Our original location was the Audubon Nature Center for the ceremony and reception,” shares Kiara. “We changed it to City Park Botanical Garden and Ralph’s on the Park for the reception. Because of rainy weather, the ceremony and reception were at Ralph’s on the Park.”

Kiara's brother "Zooms" the ceremony for guests who couldn't attend in person. Photo: Brian Jarreau PhotographyKiara’s brothers stepped up to Zoom the wedding so that family and friends who couldn’t attend in person would be able to participate virtually.

In addition to location changes, the gathering size restrictions meant changes to the guest list as well.

“We had to cut our guest list from 150 people down to 35,” says Kiara. “It was difficult deciding who would get an invitation. We shared our wedding with almost everyone who wasn’t able to attend via Zoom. It was beautiful and my mawmaw got to be there… thanks to technology.”

Kiara walks down the aisle during the wedding processional. Photo: Brian Jarreau Photography

Michael and Kiara exchange vows. Photo: Brian Jarreau Photography

Michael and Kiara wrote their own vows for their June 2020 nuptials.

Kiara and Michael hold hands during their wedding ceremony. Photo: Brian Jarreau Photography

Kiara and Michael exchange vows with Michele Zeller officiating. Photo: Brian Jarreau Photography

Kiara and Michael were all smiles on their wedding day.

Kiara and Michael's wedding cake was embellished with beautiful fresh flowers in ivory and fuschia. Photo: Brian Jarreau Photography

With social distancing in effect, guests enjoyed a seated reception dinner; the menu included a gumbo appetizer, grilled chicken or bbq shrimp for the entree, and, of course, wedding cake for dessert.

The cake by Gambino’s Bakery was traditional almond flavor with strawberry and lemon filling and was decorated with ivory and fuchsia blooms.

During a break in rain showers, Kiara and Michael were able to take a few photos across the street in City Park. Photo: Brian Jarreau Photography

During a break in rain showers, Kiara and Michael were able to take a few photos across the street in City Park.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Brian Jarreau Photography

MICHAEL’S ATTIRE: John’s Tuxedos

FLOWERS: Beth’s Flowers

BAKERY: Gambino’s Bakery


GETTING READY LOCATIONS: The Westin Hotel | CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION + CATERING: Ralph’s on the Park | OFFICIANT: Michele Zeller | BRIDE’S GOWN: David’s Bridal | HAIR + MAKEUP: Victoria Vasquez | DECOR RENTALS + CANDLES/LIGHTING: Decor on a Dime | JEWELER: Lee Michael’s | FAVORS: Patty Stohlman + Sarah Zafirau



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