- 3 years ago
- Wedding: May 2013 - Canal St Inn
My wedding was 2 months ago, I know, but I thought it’d be nice to share how everything went with people who want to know. What they say is true, it’s so much less stressful in hindsight. Sorry for the length and different pic sizes and quality.
We arrived in NOLA a little less than 2 weeks before the big day, staying with friends right outside of town, time for us to spend with incoming relatives and friends, enjoy the city, while tying loose ends. We even saw one of our favorite bands perform at Tipitina’s! As each day passed, we got busier and busier, and the weather was becoming a little unpredictable, but most forcasts said our wedding day was going to be a monsoon. So we distracted ourselves as much as possible and ordered a tent just to be safe.
A few days before the wedding, we, along with a little over half of our wedding party, settled into the B&B where we were hosting the ceremony and reception. We rented out all but one room in the house, and for the most part had the place to ourselves. It was great for showing around our guests who had never been to my hometown before since we were on Canal Street and a 15 minute streetcar ride to the French Quarter.
Many a trip was made to see the sights and enjoy the city throughout our stay.
The next day, most of our OOT guests arrived, and that evening was the bachelor/ette parties. So I’d planned for a girly primp afternoon with my flower girl, bridesmaids, and a few friends and family members. Another plus on our location was that it was a block from a great salon that took all 9 of us as walk-ins on the Thursday before Mother’s day. Seriously loved those guys.
While we were doing that, all of the groomsmen and DH’s male family and friends, went out on a swamp tour to see some gators and other cool wildlife.
After hanging out around the B&B for a while, soon everyone started to head back to their hotels/homes to either get ready to go out for the parties that night, or catching some Zs for work on Friday.
We all met up on Bourbon Street as the sun set, and soon the parties split to go to different places. The guys went to a few clubs and we ladies went to sing some karaoke at the Cat’s Meow. Here’s me trying to make my way through “Thrift Shop“. It’s pretty awesome, even with the random dude coming up onstage with me. Once we finished our songs, we started to make our way down Bourbon Street, getting drinks here and there, taking pictures, and just having a good time.
Eventually we ran into the bachelor party outside Spirits on Bourbon (a turnaround of Bar Rescue for fans of the show), pleasantly surprised to see my dad along for the festivities; I didn’t think he would be in till the next day. After saying hi and bye to my soon-to-be husband, we split up again. We spent the rest of the night in a gay bar at the end of Bourbon, and met up once again at the end of the evening to say our goodbyes and go back to the B&B.
The day before the wedding, my MOH hosted a bridal shower at the B&B in the early afternoon. There was tea, some nice food, and wonderful company with all of the ladies on mine and my hubby’s family, as well as a few close friends. Instead of games, MOH and I decided on a classy, practical, and sweet idea of “Words of Wisdom” book. She found a lovely gold-leaf edged book with peacock feathers on it, and passed it around the group of ladies, each taking some time to write down their advice for DH and I. My favorite was from my (divorced) aunt: “My advice is to hire ugly babysitters.” I literally laughed out loud after reading it.
After a few hours of last minute scrambling around the city for minor details, we made it back to the B&B a few minutes late to our rehearsal dinner. We quickly changed, had some lovely moments giving my bridesmaids their gifts, went over the general schedule for the day of and where people needed to be. Folowing dinner, most of the wedding party, as well as DH and I, danced around a Maypole I made. It was a little awkward, since most of them had never danced around a Maypole before, but we soon got the hang of it.
When the day finally came it was a blur. I woke a little later than I anticipated, but after eating breakfast I was arranging centerpieces, handing off lists, setting up escort cards, etc.
Even though it was just a little drizzly in the morning, it was beautiful in the afternoon and evening, with just a little mud being the only extremely minor problem, since we had a patio to dance on. My cousin is a hairdresser and did mine, almost all the maids, and her own hair, and stood as bridesmaid; all in all it took her about 4 and a half hours to do 6 people’s hair. All the while I’m observing from my little window, watching the tent go up, lights go up, tables getting covered. It was pretty cool watching it all come together.
Before I knew it, it was time for the first look. It was pretty crazy and it was difficult to get my DH’s attention but once we finally did the result was a fantastic photo.
We’d decided on City Park for our formal photos with the wedding party because it was where I originally wanted to have the wedding, and I’d grown up there as a kid. It’s one of my favorite places in the whole city, and makes for an elegant, authentic New Orleans backdrop.
Here are a few from Popp’s Bandstand, featured in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
A little over half and hour, and some lovely photos later, we made our way back to the B&B where we snuck me in my wedding dress back in unnoticed by the growing crowd of our guests. Before I knew it, it was time to start walking.
After a few words about marriage that I took from the 2003 Mass. Supreme Court Decision over same-sex marriage and some lovely blessings from our parents, we started with our promises to each other. The format I found that I liked the most is in an almost question and answer; “Will you promise to (XYZ)” “I will.” One of my favorite parts of this ceremony is that it also asks of the negatives of marriage; “Will you anger her/him?” “I may.””Is that your intent?””No.” Afterwards, a lot of our guests expressed how interesting it was to them to see such an honest set of vows. With each question, our officiant wrapped our joined hands in our handfasting cord, a Pagan tradition.
Once finished with the cord, we exchanged our own personal vows to one another. We were both a little emotional, but I think he had more tears than I did, the big softie.
And then came the big kiss!
Bringing the ceremony to a close, the handfasting cord was tied, to keep it in a circle, representing unity and infinity, and removed from our hands. Then we had the Maypole that we danced around placed in front of us to be jumped over, in our own version of jumping the broom to Joey Ramone’s cover of “What a Wonderful World.”
The music faded and the second-line band we hired came from the left side of the congregation, surprising everyone. Our coordinator handed us our parasols and we went for a second-line dance with our wedding party and some friends and family members around the block. Truly one of the greatest moments of the while day.
Once we made our way back around to the B&B, the reception was being set up and our receiving line was waiting for us to start meeting and greeting.
Our photographer got a great group of just shots of us. Love these.
Finally done with all formal pictures with family, were able to jump right into reception festivities, starting with the First Dance. We faked out the guests by having the DJ start with the first few seconds of “The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing, then going right into “Jenny Says” by Cowboy Mouth, our song. If you haven’t heard it google it, it’s awesome.
Then there was the Father-Daughter Dance.
At this point I was starving, and I had to get something to eat. After finaly get a full plate, I was called to the dance floor by the DJ once again. Katy Perry’s “Peacock” starts playing, and my brother, dad, and grandfather are all dancing around my reddening face.
Soon everyone joined in. Another great moment of the whole day.
The food was a little slow to come out due to some miscommunications between my aunt who catered and the B&B owner. But once it did come out, everyone was digging in! We had a sno-ball cart as well as crawfish monica, shrimp dip, gumbo, poyboys, and bread pudding with rum sauce. I’m getting hungry just remembering it!
Things settled down a little after the traditional dances and guests started to sit down with their food. We decided this was a good time for toasts. We thanked all of our parents, friends and family who’ve helped, as well as all of our vendors. To save time, we had only our BM and MOH give toasts besides ours. My Catholic grandmother almost didn’t make it to my wedding due to some outdated practices the church no longer abides by. After speaking with her priest, she was able to come, and asked to give a Christian blessing from her heart, which we both gladly accepted with love.
With the toasts and blessing finished, it was time for everyone’s favorite part of weddings, THE CAKE. I love how it came out, especially with the masquerade mask topper I’d made. It looked fantastic.
A tradition in many Southern weddings is to place small charms on ribbons, called “pulls” and place them in the cake, usually under one of the layers, most often the bottom, or under icing caps, like ours. The tradition is for the single ladies to pull them from the cake. Each charm is representative of something. A baby carriage for fertility, a ring for the next to married, etc. I made my own, and picked a few things that could fit for ladies of all ages and marital statuses.
Not long after the cake cutting, guests started hugging us goodbye, helping break things down and put things away, cleaning up, etc.
The next morning we went to Morning Call beignet cafe in City Park, not far from where we took photos the day before.
This gave us a chance to relax with family before they took off for home, have some nice breakfast and coffee, take some nice photos, and enjoy our remaning time in my hometown. A wonderful place for an after-wedding brunch.
All in all, it was expensive, and stressful, and heart warming, and fun, and a whilrwind. I don’t know if I would do it again if I had to do it over. But it looked beautiful, everyone had an amazing time, and I have lovely memories with my DH and family for the rest of my life.
Thanks for reading my (LONG) recap. Hope it gives someone some inspiration.