Today’s wedding captured by Arte De Vie is classically Southern and sweet. We LOVE that the bride got ready with her mother and grandmother and had their wedding gowns displayed too, such a beautiful moment to share with the women in your family! And if you are looking for great advice, bride Julia has some fabulous ones, just scroll to the bottom!
Most of our guests were coming from outside of New Orleans and even the US so we wanted to give them a wedding with all of the Southern trimmings. We live in the French Quarter and I grew up in New Orleans so we immediately knew where and who we wanted to work with to showcase the city to the best of our ability. I’ve always loved the ornate Mardi Gras ball invitations so I designed my own watercolor invitation enclosures that doubled as the envelope and worked with a local stationer to handle the William Arthur invitations and reply cards.
The bridal party got ready at my apartment in Jackson Square and I had my dress, my mother’s wedding dress, and my grandmother’s wedding dress set up on mannequins. It was the first time my grandmother had seen her own dress in more than thirty years. It was wonderful to see her reliving her own wedding as she ran her hand over the lace.
I knew I wanted a vintage 50’s style look so I scoured the internet and fell in love with a net lace Watters dress. I tried two other dresses on for good measure but there was no contest. As soon as it arrived, I went to work with my long-time tailors to make edits and additions. With extra yardage from Watters, we were able to fashion a removable lace piece that seamlessly tucked in the back. I also regularly visited a wonderful fabric store in New Orleans called Promenade to pick up vintage grosgrain ribbon and a mother of pearl belt buckle to add the finishing touch to the cinched waist of the dress. I found a single piece of tulle with a cathedral train and long blusher as well as a Tania Marks hairpiece for hair accessories. My shoes were a lovely pair of lace Manolos with tiny blue grosgrain bows and I kept the jewelry simple with a pair of diamond and opal drop earrings.
The Convent is the oldest building in the Vieux Carre and it was also the location of my sister’s wedding and nephew’s baptism so it holds special meaning for our family. I also love the way the afternoon light pours through the stained glass windows and illuminates the painted ceiling. My husband is Armenian so we were able to incorporate his heritage by receiving a marriage crowning blessing as well as a traditional marriage chant from an Armenian preist.
Our main focus was to make sure everyone was eating, drinking, and dancing so we took special care picking the menus and music to showcase local culture and cuisine. The cocktail hour at Muriel’s gave guests the chance to take in sunset over Jackson Square from the wrap around balcony and then we led them all in the traditional New Orleans second line parade back to the reception at the Convent. There is a huge rear courtyard with a large white marquis and gardens so we were well on our way to my vision of moonlight and magnolias. Loads of candles, Mercury glass, garlands, and O’Hare roses decorated the space and bistro tables offered guests cheese straws and candied pecans.
I designed my own second line hankies and purely by accident, I did my own calligraphy by developing a wacky hack that I would recommend to no bride. I am now extremely proficient with spray paint, hot glue, and calligraphy pens.
1. Stop looking at Pinterest after you’ve been engaged for two months or else you’ll just keep adding things! Took me a full week to come out of the haze when I was researching centerpieces at the six month mark and then I blocked the website. “Comparison is the thief of joy” – Teddy Roosevelt
2. No matter how much time and effort you pour into your invitations and website, be prepared for friends, family, and coworkers asking you a million and one questions. You might be juggling a lot but try to keep your cool when you’re answering basic questions about your room block or registry – just to have them book an AirBnB or get you something you never knew existed. Yoga, wine, or both. Screaming into a pillow also helps.
3. Whatever is still undone at the one month till ‘I Do’ mark will remain undone. Embrace the truth because no one will know that you were planning to glue fake rose petals to your ribbon wands because it was going to add *that final touch*. Either hide it all away at the back of a closet or return it to your friendly craft store, just don’t leave it heaped in your living room corner where it sits silently judging you.
4. As soon as you wake up the morning of your wedding, no matter how little sleep you’ve had, just start laughing. On this the day that you’ve spent months meticulously dreaming/planning/working, time will evaporate faster than could ever imagine. Let the professionals do what you hired them to do and relax. Plus you’ll look better in your photos!
5. After the wedding, you’re completely exhausted plus still hanging out with our-of-town guests in the days following your grand soirée. You’re also probably scrambling to catch up on the real world work you’ve been avoiding while you handled last minute wedding hiccups. Consider waiting at least a week or two to leave on your honeymoon or maybe do a mini-moon somewhere nearby. We enjoyed our trip so much more having caught up on sleep and emails.
Photography: ARTE DE VIE | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Italian Church | Reception Venue: Old Ursuline Convent | Planning: Three Little Words | Florals: Dunn & Sonnier | Stationery: Gem Printing Company and Documart | Videography: Studio Vieux Carre Wedding Vilms | Wedding Cake: Zoe’s Bakery | Rentals: Perrier Party Rentals | Lighting: Perrier Party Rentals | Catering: Joel’s | Band: Young Pinstripes Brass Band | Band: Dancing Man 504 | Ceremony Musicians: Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra | Ceremony Musicians: LWP Music | Wedding Dress: Watters Bridal from Pearl’s Place | Alterations: Promenade and Fashion Tailors | Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Hair: Jen Stringer of Salon Diversions | Makeup: Kiss and Makeup | Groom’s Attire: Perlis | Wedding Ring: Chaim Shiminov of Innisfree Ltd | Submitted via Matchology