Lindsay and Marty made sure their destination wedding guests experienced the city they love—New Orleans. Their celebration featured plenty of the city’s rich traditions—a second line parade following the ceremony, a daiquiri machine, a shrimp & grits station, while Race & Religious, an 1830’s architectural gem, provided a stunning backdrop steeped in New Orleans history. And, we totally love how Sapphire Events infused a mix of graphic, bohemian and deco elements together to create a totally unique and stylish event perfectly captured by the uber-talented photo and video team We Are The Mitchells.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Being a destination New Orleans wedding, it was very important to us to make the wedding weekend about our guests just as much as it was about ourselves. It meant a lot that our friends and family would travel that far to celebrate our marriage; so we made a conscious effort to create a weekend where guests could truly experience the city we love so much. We kicked things off with a guided bar crawl to all our favorite New Orleans bars. We made a mobile app with tons of NOLA “must try” restaurants and sites to see so guests could explore on their own with guidance. We tried to find a good balance of wedding activities and free time so the weekend wasn’t too over-engineered. The day after the wedding, we invited everyone back over to the venue for a pool party with a pizza food truck. It was a great way to say good bye before everyone took off, and those that stayed continued the party!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
My dress was by Hayley Paige – the “Dori.” gown. It was as if Haley herself stepped inside my head and flawlessly “Frankensteined” every element from every wedding dress I ever admired together into one dream frock. From the voluminous tulle skirt to the bedazzled backless bodice – it was everything.
I can’t remember the first time I saw it, but much like with my hubby – it was love at first sight. I started stalking all the local boutiques for the next Hayley Paige trunk show until one popped up. I took the first available appointment and waited very impatiently until the day arrived. When I walked in and saw the dress hanging, I basically hugged it hello and whisked it away to the fitting room. I put it on, twirled around once and handed over payment. The stylist was completely perplexed by the fact I didn’t want to try on any other dresses in the store. It was pretty magical to have such a relaxed and seamless dress-buying experience.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
The Food – our main wedding obsession while planning was food. We wanted to serve true Southern New Orleans cuisine and basically anything we would personally want to eat late at night while drinking heavily in New Orleans. I’m not a fan of plated anything so we went for a station concept. The apps were super fun and tasty – lobster corn dogs, crab remoulade, chilled corn soup to name a few. For dinner we had a build your own Po-boy station, shrimp & grits station, macaroni and cheese bar, traditional gumbo, rice and beans as well as a few salad options (need some greens in there!). Our late night pass was pretty yummy too – chicken & waffles and beignets with iced coffee shooters. No one went home hungry!
We also worked several New Orleans traditions into the wedding ceremony that many guests had never seen before– we surprised them with a second line parade immediately after the ceremony, a traditional brass band for cocktail hour and a daiquiri machine with our favorite frozen beverages (White Russians & Hurricanes!). We hoped everyone got a good serving of New Orleans; we sure did!
What was the most memorable part of the day?
When Marty said his vows to me and only me – let me explain. We had agreed on a simple, fun, and casual ceremony officiated by our great friend Scott. We worked on the scripting and overall theme together, but I decided we should each add an excerpt of our own words to one another. I said it could be funny, a movie quote, a story about us – pretty much anything. I wrote my portion in the weeks leading up to the wedding and on the day-of excitedly scribbled it into the ‘His & Her’ vow books we would read from at the altar. I liked how mine turned out and was excited to share them with Marty and our friends during the ceremony. Marty however, didn’t feel the same. The thought of confessing his love via written word for all those around to hear was nerve-wracking for him. He always knows the right words to say, but I’m certainly the extrovert between the two of us. The morning of the wedding, my bridesmaids realized he hadn’t written anything in his vow book. They did some behind-the-bride troubleshooting, but seemed a little anxious about what was going to happen when it was Marty’s turn to speak.
What ended up happening blew me and the entire wedding away. I finished my reading and when Scott turned it over to Marty he took off his lapel mic, handed it to Scott, looked to our friends and family in the audience and said “you guys don’t get to hear this!” He pulled me close and said the most heartfelt and gracious things anyone has ever said to me in my ear so only I could hear. I was caught completely off guard. The photos and video from this moment are my favorite because you see the candid emotion of the very special moment. It was completely ad-libbed and completely perfect. He didn’t need to write a story in a booklet and read words from a page. He shared with me what was important to hear, and it was just for us (I’m so thankful this was captured beautifully by our amazing photo & video team).
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Long version or short version? I had a small personal request to be engaged before Marty deployed for the second time. It was coming down to the wire for deployment # 2 — yet no ring had made it on my left finger. We’d always discussed marriage and knew it was in our future– given the Navy’s involvement in our relationship, you kind of have to establish if you are in it for the long run more vocally than what many consider traditional.
I was getting antsy as our days together were numbered and he helped stifle my nerves by suggesting we go look at rings. I’d told him in passing my ideal ring, but he wanted to be sure he had a great visual. The joke was on me with that trip to the jeweler but I’ll get there later.
So the pressure is on at this point, add to that, I’m an event planner by profession and my largest event to date in Boston coincided with Marty’s pre-deployment leave. His leave however, was consumed with studying for a board exam which you can equate to the bar exam for his branch of the Navy (comprehensive and intense.) Needless to say he was stressed, I was stressed and we realized the only weekend we had together before he left was if he met me in Boston after my Conference.
Fast-forward to April 25th – he passed his board exam, my conference was a huge success and we FINALLY had unstressed time together. I was so happy we were together and relaxing the idea of getting engaged was on the back burner. He mentioned a restaurant he wanted to try out. I, of course, being the planner, made a reservation at “Top of the Hub” – a restaurant in the tallest building in Boston. On our way to the 53rd floor Marty got out of the elevator at the Sky Walk level. We go to observation decks in all of the big cities we visit, so I thought nothing of it and joined. Unbeknownst to me, he had the ring on him and was going for a more ‘organic’ (unplanned) proposal than a big shebang. Problem was, the Skywalk wasn’t intimate at all and a little awkward to pop the question. Being a picture lover I spotted a photo booth and convinced him to jump in. I paid the $5 fee and arranged all the poses. The pictures went very differently from what I planned — as the machine started snapping away, our poses turned in to him pulling out the ring, popping the question, and getting my reaction – all caught scene by scene on film! It was perfect for me because I would have fainted had he done any dramatic planned public proposal.
Back to the trip to the jeweler – I was sold my own ring. He’d started designing it months ago – it just wasn’t finished when we went “ring shopping.” The jeweler brought it out as a loose unset diamond, and empty setting to mimic what I wanted. I fell in love with the concept ring which ended up being my real engagement ring a few weeks later (much to Marty’s delight because it was already paid for).
Photography + Videography: We Are The Mitchells // Florals : Kim Starr Wise // Coordination + Design: Sapphire Events // Bridal Gown: Hayley Paige // Bridal Gown Store: Love Couture Bridal
Cake: Pure Cake // Hair + Makeup: Kiss and Make Up // Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas // Bridal Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Brass Band: Kinfolk Brass Band
Sound/Audio: Line 7 Entertainment // Menswear: Macy’s // Bridesmaids Shirts: Sweet Pea & Tulip // Bridesmaids Casual Shoes: Bucketfeet // Second Line Handkerchiefs: Roxygs
Custom Decanter + Glasses: Teals Praire & Co // Bridesmaids Dresses: Lovely Bride // Venue: Race & Religious