A French Quarter FairytaleWords by Taylor Wilson
Photos courtesy of Cameron Kelly Studio
The Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans had always been a special place for Emily’s family. Her grandparents had celebrated their wedding anniversary there for over thirty years and when Emily’s grandfather passed away, the entire family started vacationing there to celebrate her grandma’s birthday. Shortly after Emily and David started dating, Emily’s grandmother passed away, but the family continued their visits in memory of her grandparents. This family tradition happened to fall on the weekend after David proposed to Emily and as they celebrated this wonderful occasion in a place so familiar to them, it became apparent that The Royal Sonesta Hotel was where they would wed.
“We picked New Orleans because of the special memories our family has had going there over the years,” says Emily. Everyone was ecstatic about the idea of attending a destination wedding in New Orleans, as such a fun and vibrant location was ideal for a wedding celebration and it was an easy trip to make from the couple’s hometown in Texas.
Christina Caruso, the couple’s wedding planner was their saving grace. Although the couple felt confident they knew New Orleans well from traveling there so often, there were many factors involved in planning a wedding they never would have though about. “Christina helped make our wedding weekend perfect. She took the worry away that my mother and I would have had to deal with had we done the wedding on our own,” says the bride, encouraging other couples hosting a destination wedding to hire a wedding planner.
The couple made several trips to New Orleans during the nine-month planning process. Christina was able to keep the couple on a timeline, keeping them organized and coordinating their meetings with vendors, the hotel and the church. The couple also created a wedding website to organize all the logistics for guests, ensuring transportation and lodging was all sorted out and the weekend’s itinerary was easily accessible.
Overall, the couple feels they spent just as much money on the event as they would have had they had it in Houston. However, they would have definitely missed out on most of the fun! Emily leaves other couples with one last piece of advice. “Enjoy every second of the wedding planning and the big day. Staying on a timeline is a must if you’re going to do a destination. If you’re able to, I would suggest hiring a wedding planner even if it is just someone to help you coordinate the day of the wedding.”
Photographer: Cameron & Kelly Studio, Wedding Planner: Christina Caruso Weddings & Events, Ceremony/Reception Site: Royal Sonesta Hotel, Florist: Bella Blooms, Stationery: Charles Leigh with Embossed Graphics of Texas, Cake: Royal Sonesta Hotel, Hair & Makeup: Nicole Klein of Blush and Bashful, Gown Designer: Jenny Kim Couture, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Jos. A. Banks, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Jenny Kim Couture
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