I'm so ecstatic to share our big, big, big news! Our Mardi Gras Wedding Inspiration shoot is featured on Southern Weddings - and on Mardi Gras Day, Fat Tuesday! Oh, be still my heart. It is an absolute dream come true to see my work featured by a publication that I admire and love so dearly! I'm humbled to think that brides from the Carolinas to the great state of Louisiana will be inspired by the unique and fabulous culture of New Orleans. Really, I feel like someone should just pinch me! You never know why certain people are placed in your life. And, I do truly believe that God does place people in our paths. Julie Staley of Old South Studios and I met at a wedding earlier this year - and it was our first time working together, too. At the end of the night Julie says, hey do you want to design a Mardi Gras wedding for an inspiration shoot? The rest is history, of course, and I just can't help but believe that we were meant to work on this project together. In that moment, I was thinking YES!, YES!, YES!, and later told Julie that I was actually born and raised in New Orleans. I had a million ideas to share for the shoot!
First and foremost, the most important aspect of the design was to infuse the energy of Mardi Gras and unique characteristics of traditional New Orleans weddings. I wanted this wedding inspiration to be as authentic as possible, so we incorporated real New Orleans wedding traditions - a second line complete with boa-lined umbrellas and a jazz band, and cake pulls to name a few. To me, New Orleans is full of life in every way. It's people full of personality and passion; It's architecture full of character and poise; It's landscapes expressing charm and a rich history; It's food full of flavor; It's creativity expressing the unique voice of its' artist; and it's celebrations full of energy - Each element is beautiful in it's own way. So with that inspiration in mind, I started to pull together a design plan. With the idea of Southern elegance, we choose to have the shoot at the stunning Separk Mansion - a renovated venue full of natural light, gorgeous chandeliers, and rich wood floors. Chelish Moore of Chelish Moore Flowers took my vision and ran with it, incorporating gold candelabras, vibrant flowers and candles upon candles. I love the sophistication and luxury of the floral design! Best Impressions Caterers provided a delicious menu, influenced by the incredible food and unique flavor palette of New Orleans. The chef had all of starving by the end! And, of course they provided us with a creative signature drink that was naturally N'awlins. Elisabeth Connolly of Elisabeth Rose created all of the amazing paper goods, and incorporated the grace of New Orleans weddings. The incredible cake was crafted by Mandie Miller of Got What It Cakes. I love how she captured the grandeur of Mardi Gras through her design. I just had to include a welcome box designed to greet guests upon arrival full of Louisiana goodies - Abita Root Beer, Tabasco chocolates, and Mardi Gras-inspired chocolate doubloons - tucked within a glittery gold box from Paper Source. Stephanie and John, our bride and groom for the day, are actually a real married couple - which I just thought was so perfect! The gorgeous bridal gowns were both by Modern Trousseau from their Fall 2014 collection ("Tate" and "Teacup") and came from Hayden Olivia Bridal. I am absolutely obsessed with these ultra glam dresses! They couldn't have been more perfect for the shoot. And our bride and groom looked picture perfect thanks to Erin Ashley Makeup and Adrian D. Howe Esthetics & Beauty. All of the rentals came from Party Reflections of Charlotte - Sara Shelor you are amazing! It is always a team effort to pull together a shoot like this, and I'm so grateful to each of the talented vendors that helped make my dream a reality. Especially Julie Staley of Old South Studios who allowed me to design every detail. Julie is so insanely talented, and her eye for capturing emotion and storytelling is incredible! I can feel her passion for the art of photography and the love of her job with each photo - I am so lucky she asked me to work with her on this project!
I hope you grab a big slice of King Cake and stay a while - come celebrate New Orleans on the Southern Weddings blog! Happy Mardi Gras, y'all and laissez les bon temps rouler!
Here are some of my favorite shots from this fun shoot!