Since my one year wedding anniversary is Sunday, I thought a fun way to celebrate would be to share my wedding story and photos with y’all! I’m also so excited to announce that our wedding was featured on Borrowed and Blue!
My husband Zander and I began dating 10 years before we tied the knot, and have been friends for even longer. We wanted our wedding to represent the commitment we already had for one another and to reflect the life that we built together. Our goal was to create a fun celebration with the family and friends who had been there to see our relationship grow over the years.
Ideally, both the ceremony and reception would have been outdoors, but I didn’t want to risk being rained out with the unpredictable New Orleans weather. We also disliked the idea of using a typical wedding venue like an ornate ballroom. We wanted the day to feel natural and fit with our laid-back personalities.
We searched and searched for the perfect venue and finally stumbled across Il Mercato. It was still completely under construction when we first visited. The walls were not painted, the floors were bare concrete and the courtyard was a mound of dirt – but I could see their vision and knew it was the perfect spot!
We were so happy to find a venue with the best of both worlds. A gorgeous outdoor courtyard and an elegant indoor space. With Il Mercato as our location, we were able to keep decor simple with pops of color and let the renovated Spanish style building shine.
I decided on the color palette immediately and just like I do when working on a client’s branding, I compiled all of my inspirations into a mood board to help set the tone. I wanted bright florals even though it was a Fall wedding (which doesn’t mean much in New Orleans) and decided to go with Navy dresses for the bridesmaids so the bright flowers would really pop.
I designed our invitations myself and got them printed with gold foil and navy blue letterpress. I accented the navy envelopes with a pink floral liner, chose vintage stamps in my color palette and had a friend hand address them with a modern calligraphy in a light pink ink. I couldn’t be more pleased with how they turned out!
When the day finally arrived, we began with a simple ceremony in the courtyard, followed by a cocktail hour for the guests while Zander and I snuck away to take some photographs and have a few minutes to ourselves.
One of the few requests that Zander had was that the reception was a big party, so it was! We had a buffet style dinner (typical of the South) so there was as much time as possible for dancing! We stayed away from traditional wedding music and supplied the DJ with songs straight from our day-to-day playlist. We had people breakdancing, doing the limbo, grandma’s busting a move and of course, some New Orleans bounce!
It was so great to spend this special time with family and friends that we don’t always get to see due to distance and busy schedules.
One of my favorite memories of the night was when my grandfather sang a toast to me and Zander, it was so special to us both.
It was such an amazing day. During our final song, I stood back and scanned the room, trying to take it all in, feeling so lucky and amazed at the love we felt… celebrating love is fun!
Supporting friends, family and other local businesses was important to me when selecting my vendors.
- My mom conceptualized and sourced everything for my decor including the glass bottles used for my centerpieces, candelabras, mantle decor and the furniture used in the courtyard sitting area. She even surprised me with handmade streamers for the guests to wave when Zander and I entered for the first time as a married couple. Our coordinator helped to bring all of her ideas to life the day-of!
- My dad designed and built the large C&Z marquee light sign.
- A good friend addressed my invitations and created my chalkboard signage.
- Our photographer and florist are both friends from the creative scene in New Orleans.
- My aunt prepared me and the bridesmaids an amazing lunch as we got ready.
- My grandmother altered my dress to perfection.
- A long time friend of the family created our cake.
- My hair was done by the same person who trims and colors my hair year-round.
Not to mention all of the other friends and family who threw us parties and helped in other ways! I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such creative and innovative family and friends!
Click through for more photos and sources.