You know the vibes are going to be rad when the bride tops her Grace Loves Lace gown with a custom painted leather jacket. Yep—Natalie wins! And her wedding to Caleb at New Orlean’s Race and Religious is just as cool as the painted palms on her jacket. Planned by Southern Couture Weddings, the details include vibrant florals by Root Floral Design, custom illustrated invitations by Scriptura, a courtyard wedding and an intimate dinner under the cafe lights. And what would a New Orlean’s wedding be without a second line? Natalie and Caleb enlisted Caitlin B. Photo to capture their celebratory walk and all the other details of their big day.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Our venue, Race and Religious, was very unique and it really inspired the decisions we made. The wedding turned out to be the garden party of my dreams! The ceremony was held in the main courtyard with a seated dinner to follow. We ate under rows of string lights and were surrounded by brightly colored tropical flowers. I loved that our venue allowed us to have the wedding and reception all in the same place. We actually got ready and spent the night there, too! We also decided not to have a bridal party and our final headcount was 60 guests. It allowed our ceremony to be very intimate and it was important for us to be able to spend time with every guest and that’s exactly what we were able to do!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
The first time I saw my wedding dress was on Pinterest, I wasn’t engaged but I was OBSESSED. After discovering that the dress designer was located in Australia I decided to follow their instagram account, @graceloveslace, and when the day came to go dress shopping I would attempt to find something similar. A few months later they announced that they were opening their first American store located in Venice Beach! The week after we got engaged my mom and I booked flights to LA and made an appointment at the store. The very first dress I tried on, which ended up being the one, was the exact dress I had seen on Pinterest over a year before! The dress, veil, earrings, and shoes were all Grace Loves Lace. It was so surreal to be standing in the mirror and looking at myself in my dream dress, and I loved that my mom and I have that memory together!
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
Throughout the entire process I worked with Hannah Trahan at Southern Couture Weddings to ensure we incorporated Caleb’s and my personalities and story into different parts of the day. We focused on making the seated dinner really special for our guests by customizing the entire menu and the place settings along with tablescape to feel formal yet comfortable. The band from my hometown wowed my guests throughout the night; they learned songs specifically for our wedding that were special to us. I had a custom leather jacket hand painted with palm leaves that I threw on over my dress for the end reception and for our second line exit.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
The first look really was such a special part of our day. I was strongly against doing one for months but once we started working out timing details I realized that Caleb and I wouldn’t have had any time to take pictures together while the sun was still up. So we opted for doing a first look, and I am so glad that we did. I love that we had a quiet moment to enjoy each other because the rest of the night slipped by so quickly!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Caleb and I met studying abroad in Paris during the Summer of 2014. I only knew one person on the trip and Caleb knew no one! A few weeks into the trip we bonded over the fact that we are both self proclaimed foodies. We decided weren’t going to continue eating the horrible food in the hostel cafeteria and from that point on we went to dinner together every single night for the rest of the summer. About 3 years later Caleb and I went back to Europe on a multi city trip to celebrate his grad school graduation. Paris was our third stop on the trip, and we had already been in Europe for over a week, so I truly didn’t think he would actually hold out or hold on to a ring in a foreign country for that many days. To my surprise he did both and we got engaged in Paris where we met.
Photographer: Caitlin B. Photo // Wedding Planner: Southern Couture Weddings // Florist: Root Floral Design // Flower Art: Catherine Guidry // Stationery: Mallory Hopkins, Scriptura // Venue: Race and Religious // Wedding Dress: Grace Loves Lace // Cake Designer: Bittersweet Confections // Hair & Makeup: Carli Escurieux with Bleu Salon // Band: Buck Johnson Brazz Band // Videographer: Apercu Films // Rentals & Lighting: Your Event Delivered // Groom’s Attire: Custom Brooks Brothers // Shoe Designer: Grace Loves Lace // Misc: Leaf and Petal (Rug for Aisle) // Catering: Palates // Transportation: Hotard Coaches // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box