What made the wedding special and unique?
Our wedding was so special obviously because of the friends and family that joined us to celebrate our love, but also, because we were able to have it in our favorite place ever. I lived in New Orleans for about 10 years and miss it terribly. We live in Washington DC now and both of our families live in different states, so it made the most sense to just pick a place we love. We planned the wedding completely from DC with the help of our wonderful wedding planners at Get Polished Events. We really had no idea if our vision would turn out until we were actually there.
One of my bridesmaids was in New Orleans when we started planning, and she visited Il Mercato for us and sent us video. We booked the location without ever having set foot on the property. Almost all of the details were picked based on reviews from friends and our planners. We just had faith everything would turn out. And, if it didn’t, we were still getting married, so it was going to be great no matter what!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
Wedding dress shopping was probably my least favorite thing ever. I never imagined a white dress. I didn’t like all of the people tucking and pinning and prodding. I must have tried on dozens of dresses at several different shops over the course of two months. I started going to the appointments with my bridesmaids, but everyone had a different opinion and it made it tough to know how I really felt about the dresses–my friends have very different styles. After two months, close to giving up, I went to New York to visit the Vera Wang bridal atelier, because I loved their non-traditional gowns I saw in magazines. I went by myself and tried on only two dresses. Though neither felt like “the one,” I was getting closer. After I returned to DC, I realized nothing seemed to be working because the only opinion I wanted was my fiance’s. We are pretty non-traditional, and I had no problem with him seeing the dress before the big day. That next weekend, Aindriu and I went to the Saks Jandel in Washington, DC, that carried Vera Wang. I wanted to try on a blush dress for him that I had liked in New York. While we were there, he also asked me to try on the Ethel dress, because he had a feeling about it. I tried the blush dress first and it was fine. But when I put on the Ethel, I knew it was the one. It was everything I thought I didn’t want. It was white and strapless and a little poufy. But it just clicked. I was in love. I looked at Aindriu and he was crying. It was the dress. Of all the times I looked at dresses, that day was the best one, and the only one I really truly loved. I love that dress so much, I’m planning on dying it black so I can wear it again.
And the shoes. I’ve been obsessed with the blue Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps forever. Aindrìu gifted them to me at the wedding.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
There were two incredibly memorable moments that day (aside from saying our vows–which was by far the most memorable). First, my best friend, and man of honor, Kirk, did his best Louis Armstrong impression and serenaded everyone with What a Wonderful World. Kirk spent last Christmas with Aindriu and me at Aindriu’s mom’s house in Steamboat Springs, CO, where, after a couple cocktails we discovered he was a dead ringer for Louis Armstrong. His wedding present to us was a repeat performance of that lovely song.
The other memorable moment had to be our second line. I changed into a short, beaded, Needle and Thread dress and we second lined through the French Quarter to a bar called Cane and Table for our after party. Most of our guests were from out of town, and had no idea what a second line was (it’s a traditional brass band parade used to celebrate weddings and jazz funerals). We marched through the streets of the french quarter, brass music filling the air. It’s really a unique experience. About half way through we ran into another wedding second line, and kind of merged for a few minutes. It became this massive party in the street. It really encapsulated how we feel about New Orleans.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Aindriu and I met at work. I had just moved to DC and had gotten a new job after law school, and was seated in a cubicle catty-corner to his. I knew from the moment I met him that he would be someone special in my life. Our coworkers caught on to our connection, and knew we were going to end up together even before we started dating. We dated for about a year and a half before getting engaged. We had talked about it from early on, since I told him after only two months of dating that I was certain that one day we would get married. Aindriu proposed with our dog, a Boston Terrier named Milo, in a park in Georgetown. I know everyone wants you to say it was a surprise, but I HATE surprises, so I had figured out exactly when he was going to do it. It was very sweet. He proposed with the most amazing rose gold ring we had picked out in New York a few months earlier. We had dinner at the restaurant where Aindriu first asked me to be his girlfriend. I told everyone we had gotten engaged by posting a picture of me wearing a ring pop.
Photography: Starling And Sage // Event Planning: Get Polished Events // Floral Design: Leaf + Petal Nola // Ceremony + Reception Venue: Il Mercato // Save The Dates (San Diego): Seaside Papery // Custom Portrait Invites: Rifle Paper Co. // Cake: Sucre // Dessert: District Donuts // Gown Designer: Vera Wang // Rentals: Distressed Rentals & Revival // Linens: Lovestruck Linens // Band: The Yat Pack // Band: Free Agents Brass Band // Ceremony Music: Phunky Monkeys // Transportation: A Regal Limo // Transportation: Destination Management // Getting Ready Hotel (Groom): Hotel Monteleone // Getting Ready Hotel (Bride): The Saint Hotel