Cultural Weddings/Real Weddings

An Elegant & Timeless New Orleans Wedding

New Orleans Wedding

Elegant, classy, timeless – three perfect words to describe this fairytale New Orleans wedding.

Bride Stephanie & Groom Paxton know how to throw a proper Southern party. With over 400 people in attendance, the Louisiana wedded couple treated there guests to an unforgettably beautiful cathedral ceremony, a festive New Orleans parade, and an opulent ballroom reception filled with plenty of food (guys, there was a meatball bar!), a live band and two massive wedding cakes.

Even more timeless was Stephanie’s Grace Kelly-inspired bridal look. Wearing a classic full-skirted ballgown with modern off-the-shoulder sleeves, dramatic lace veil & elegant chignon, Stephanie certainly appeared as Southern royalty.

Photographed by regular photographers here at Bridal Musings – Arte de Vie – this NOLA wedding is one to remember!

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The Proposal

I had a feeling something was up after my mom said something about my nails and he had to go on the balcony that morning to take a call. We went to mass at the cathedral where we would eventually get married and I kept eyeing his pocket to see if I could spy a box. After mass ended, we got in the car and being the stubborn foodie that I am insisted we go to this particular restaurant, but he insisted we go to the top of the Westin Hotel because he and his family always used to get Bloody Marys there. There was a voice in my head that kept saying “Just go with it!” so I did.

He took me upstairs and led me through this empty restaurant out onto the balcony and my heart started beating faster and faster. We arrived on the balcony overlooking New Orleans’ French Quarter and it was beautiful. Nervous as anything, he asked me if I liked the view and that was pretty much all he got out before he shakily grabbed my hands. So as he held my hands, turning them nervously, he told me that ever since high school there was something special about me and he had never met anyone else like me. He got down on one knee and I become incapable of making any words except “Ahhh!!” and “Oh my goddd!” He slips the beautiful ring on my finger and I was giddily prancing and jumping up and down and we went to drink some champagne and he’s like… “Soo… is that a yes?” I completely forgot to answer his question when he was down on his knee, so then I smiled and said “Yes, asbolutely.”

New Orleans Wedding

We then walked to the Palace Cafe for a “special brunch” and there in the lobby were both of our families and that’s when I started crying because that’s what I always wanted. We had a huge table upstairs for all of us and it was so special to celebrate that moment with the people I love the most and it was one of the best days ever.

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New Orleans Wedding
New Orleans Wedding
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The Dress & Attire

I wore an elegant Valentini designed dress that was off the shoulder, with a cummerbund waist, and a large full skirt at the bottom. It was very reminiscent of Grace Kelly and exactly what I had in mind. My veil had a similar lace design on it and was breathtaking – especially walking down the aisle of the cathedral.

My bridesmaids wore off the shoulder french blue dresses. Paxton (my husband) wore a custom made Billy Reid tux that was a beautiful midnight blue shade.

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New Orleans Wedding

The Wedding Style

Our wedding overall was inviting, luxurious, elegant and love was at the center of it all. Our families have gotten super close and so it was beautiful to see them come together and to show us so much support during this special time.

I always said I wanted three things for my wedding: all my friends and family there (it was about 400-450 total), a great band to dance to (guests still tell me how fun they were) and MEATBALLS (we had a meatball station that included four different kinds).

The reception was held at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel (we really wanted an elegant ballroom setting) and our ceremony was at the timeless St. Louis Cathedral. We second lined from the church to the reception and that was one of the most special parts about the whole night. I wish I could relive the whole thing over again!

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New Orleans Wedding
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Favorite Moments

Seeing him for the first time for our first look will always be one of my favorite parts of the day. At one point on the alter I remember looking at him while we were kneeling and thinking, “Wow this is really happening right now.” Also during the ceremony, my veil fell off so I’ll never forget that! Then, the second line going from the cathedral to the reception was fun.

Literally, the whole reception was memorable – the band (Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters) took no breaks and they rocked the house. We had known we wanted La Vie en Rose as our song for a while and to hear it actually being played and us dancing to it at that moment was surreal. Also, my Dad had kept our song a secret and before we danced he bowed and I curtsied and the song was Beauty and the Beast so we had recreated the scene in that movie without me even knowing it. He was so proud and I loved having that moment with him.

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New Orleans Wedding
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The Florals & Decor

Our florals were formal and overall traditional, with but a loose texture and shape. We had lush white flowers everywhere with pops of french blue and peach, and lots of eucalyptus leaves as well. When entering the reception, the florists designed this amazing overhanging set up with greenery covering the entrance and it was gorgeous.

The reception dance floor was my absolute favorite though. There were three large ceiling sections and Bella Bloom Florals covered the round openings completely with greenery and had some hanging down as well. It was very ‘garden party meets the formal ball’ – I loved it so much.

We had beautiful white floral arrangements and gorgeous greenery hanging from the ceilings. The linens were velvet blue and we had romantic candles adorning all the tables.

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The Wedding Cake

I wanted something simple adorned with flowers for our wedding cake and that’s exactly what we got. I can’t wait for our one year anniversary to taste it again!

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Advice to Other Couples

GOOD LUCK! Ha, just kidding! It can be stressful but don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember what it’s all about, you and your favorite person on earth celebrating the love you have and the future you’ll have together.

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The Honeymoon

We went to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and both were amazing.

In Sri Lanka, we went to three different locations. We went to Sigiriya which is an ancient rock fortress and climbed to the top, to the hilly, lush, and gorgeous tea country and stayed at an old tea plantation, to ancient Buddhist temples, to a cooking class and learned how to make some of our favorite foods we ate during our trip.

The Maldives is about an hour and a half flight from Sri Lanka, so we ended the trip there. We stayed in a hut over the water and it was completely romantic, relaxing and out of this world beautiful.

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