Modern Weddings/Real Weddings

Jubilant New Orleans Wedding In The Park

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You all should know by now how much I love running off to New Orleans with my girls for a heck-of-a-time. The food, the music, the vibes are always pure jubilance.

And that classic Nola feeling is singing through Claire & Kate’s wedding photos. Marrying in a gorgeous park, in front of a grand fountain, the couple celebrated in a true public New Orleans party style following their “I do’s” with a brass band parade.

We’re smitten with how much joy, happiness & pride (in every sense of the word – see the rainbow flags for their ceremony exit!) comes through each and every frame. The couple credits their fabulous planner Spanish Oak Events who not only created their dream wedding but connected them with so many local vendors of great talent & values.

Enjoy Mateo & Company‘s cinematic photos & the tale of the two proposals (it’s so sweet!)

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Our Love Story

We met on the dating site OkCupid and had our first date at Ardesia, a wine bar in New York City, on December 16, 2013. Every December 16, we sit at the same table in the same seats and celebrate the day we met together. It’s very sweet and Kate still gives me the last bite of the S’mores dessert!

Kate (who is a lawyer) told me she had a deposition in Saugerties, New York and said I should take the train up there after work. I took the train up, we had dinner and then she drove me to a house I immediately recognized. It was the same house we had rented almost four years prior for our first Valentine’s Day together.

When we opened the door this time, she had bouquets of red roses all over the living room and kitchen and pictures of us together taped all over the house. It turns out she hadn’t had a deposition that day – she had been in the house all day setting up! She immediately walked to the place where we first said “I love you” and knelt down on one knee. Our dog was going crazy and I was completely shocked. It was the most thoughtful and romantic thing that has ever happened to me.

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I always knew that I wanted to propose to Kate, too, and it was important to me that she had that experience.

Three months after she proposed to me, I had her friend take her out of the apartment for drinks so that I could set up clues around the apartment with the final clue leading her to the roof of our apartment, where I knelt down in front of the Manhattan Bridge and said, “Will you marry me also?” I had included diamonds that had belonged to her grandmother as the sides of her engagement ring, which meant a lot to her.

After we finished having dinner, I had placed a final clue under her dinner plate. The clue led her back down to our apartment, where I had left a key for her friends to surprise her inside our home. We spent the evening celebrating with them, beaming at our double proposal!

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The Dresses

Claire chose the “Venice” dress from Sarah Seven – a long-sleeved, lace gown with an illusion lace v-neck bodice with a fitted lace skirt that draped to the floor with a subtle surprise back slit. Claire chose the dress because it was elegant, yet relaxed, and incredibly comfortable.

Kate chose a crisp, a-line David’s Bridal gown that was easy to dance in – something she did a lot of that night!

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The Photography

We chose Mateo & Company as our photographer because Matt Diaz and his team are not only so talented, but they are such calm, welcoming and wonderful people. We wanted that energy day-of and they delivered.

During our engagement shoot and during our wedding, Matt and his team had smart suggestions, such as where to get the perfect bridal party shots in City Park, and we appreciated their thoughtful approach throughout both experiences. Our photographs turned out so beautiful and romantic and they are a perfect balance of posed and candid shots. We will recommend them forever.

We chose Montoto Productions because we loved how their footage captured the small intimate moments and told a story, so the viewer truly felt that they were there. Their production style is perfection and working with their team day-of was a wonderful experience. We would highly recommend them.

The teams from Mateo & Company, Montoto Productions and Becky Lampp had a long history together and their ease when working together was contagious.

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The Ceremony

When we met with our wedding planner Becky Lampp (of Spanish Oak Events in New Orleans), the first thing we said was that we wanted our wedding to be fun and personal – and we think it was just that.

Our wedding was on April 6, 2019 at the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain in New Orleans’ City Park. With the breathtaking fountain beaming behind us, the ceremony began and it stands as our favorite part of the evening because of the personal touches.

We each wrote our own vows, which were deeply personal and each of the readings were purposeful. We had a close friend read part of the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision that led to marriage equality – something that did not exist when we first met. Our guests applauded when she was finished. And we had Claire’s cousin read “Coming Home” by Mary Oliver – the image of Mary with her partner in their car on the way to Provincetown hit home as we’ve been in that exact position – it was beautiful and simple.

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The Planning & Flowers

A huge reason why we loved our vendors so much is because of our wedding planner, Becky Lampp (of Spanish Oak Events). Not only were Becky and her team wonderful to work with throughout every step of the process, but Becky also had such strong connections to some of the best vendors and we trusted her. She knew we wanted vendors who would be accepting of a same-sex couple and who would be wonderful to work with and also able to give recommendations.

The colors of the wedding were navy, white and gold – we thought it would be crisp and clean – and the flowers were a combination of white flowers and luscious greenery, including magnolia leaves and eucalyptus. Diane of Fat Cat Flowers was so calm and wonderful to work with.

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The Parade

After the ceremony, the Kinfolk Brass Band led us and our guests into a traditional New Orleans “Second Line” parade through the park – guests waved their rainbow handkerchiefs in the air as we led the line with parasols in our hands (shout out to Bella Umbrella for the beautiful parasols).

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The Reception

Our reception was filled with joy. From oyster shuckers to a photo booth with RuPaul and Ruth Bader Ginsburg cutouts to pose with, to beignets, to the bourbon bar, we wanted people to eat, drink and be merry all night long.

We worked with Firefly Ambiance to compliment the flowers with candles and bring in some wooden long farm tables inside for the reception and comfortable couches outside to make guests feel that they had plenty of space to mingle and relax. Our favorite part of the décor, though, was the small details that made it personal to us. For example, our cake topper resembled our dog Maisy and we had Alaina Polander Design create wooden signs with our signature drinks (an Old Fashioned for Kate and an “Orange Crush” for Claire).

Having Two Girls One Shuck on-site to shuck oysters was what our guests bring up the most now, but the food from City Park was also delicious, with odes to New Orleans, including shrimp and grits and jambalaya. We couldn’t help but have a lot of desserts – in addition to a cake from Haydel’s Bakery (made out of pound cake as Claire is allergic to the traditional New Orleans almond flour cakes), we had traditional “Snoballs” and warm, powdery beignets.

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The Honeymoon

We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon, with a week in Kauai and a week in Maui, and we would highly recommend it. We want to mention that we took our honeymoon in September, which was four months after our wedding. We recommend having a break between your wedding and your honeymoon so that you can focus on planning both at different times. Trying to plan the wedding and the honeymoon at the same time became too stressful, so we recommend scheduling them a part.

Hawaii was the perfect place for us. In Kauai, we stayed at the Sheraton Kauai and highly recommend going on a helicopter tour with Jack Harter Helicopters, having a dinner date at The Beach House, walking the Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail, going on a rafting tour with Captain Andy’s and trying the tacos at Pat’s Taqueria (so delicious).

In Maui, we stayed at the Grand Wailea, which we highly recommend. The best thing we did in Maui was the Road to Hana drive, where we jumped into breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls and got to see some of the most beautiful sites we’ve ever seen. If you and your partner like great food and a combination of activities and relaxing, Hawaii is a perfect choice. We are so grateful we had that experience.

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