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Destination I Do
Friday, June 2, 2017

New Orleans Destination Wedding

Words by Nicole Dusanek
Photos courtesy of Jessica Claire Photography

For the eight years they’ve been together, Kate and Sean would vacation in New Orleans to have some time together despite living in separate cities. When it was time to plan their destination wedding, they chose New Orleans immediately — a place that felt like home to them.

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When they first began dating, Sean lived in Washington D.C. and Kate lived in London, and then New York City. Growing up, Kate had lived in eight different states with her military family. While New Orleans may not be home, it was Kate’s favorite city and bringing Sean there was special to her. 

When they announced they’d be having a destination wedding, there were some difficulties. Some of Sean’s family members, including his mother, refuse to fly and were from the Washington D.C. area. Luckily, when their friends and family found out that New Orleans was the destination, they hopped on board with the idea — excited to mark the location off their bucket lists.

Everything was going perfectly; however, like with most destination weddings, there was the question of hiring vendors that you can’t meet in person. Kate and Sean decided to hire a wedding planner in New Orleans, and it made all the difference.

Within a week of being hired, the wedding planner had already contacted venues, churches and had lined up viewings and appointments. She was hired in April, and by the first weekend of May the couple flew out and saw all the available venues for October. By the end of the weekend, the couple had a venue and a date.

The wedding planner also was on top of things when the unexpected happened. The hotel that was being used to accommodate many of the wedding's guests flooded the weekend before the big day. By the time the bride and groom heard about it, the wedding planner had already resolved the issue by moving the reservations to a hotel down the street.

The couple also highlights the benefits of having friends or family you trust in the area of the wedding. When it came to choosing a band, Kate and Sean listened to playlists and checked YouTube videos. However, they knew nothing could compare to seeing and hearing a band live. 

They asked a couple of their friends who live in Baton Rouge to go see one of the band’s showcases. The friends sent videos and Facetimed the couple, and from their references the couple booked the Nola Dukes Band.

“Nola Dukes Band ended up being one of the highlights at our wedding,” Kate says, “Our guests really enjoyed the live band.”

The bride made sure to make her big day special for everyone by designing welcome bags for her guests with the bride and groom’s favorite local Louisiana items such as Zapp’s Chips and Mardi Gras beads. She says it is important to make sure personal mementos that are special to you are not rushed, such as handwritten "thank you" notes to parents or gifts for bridesmaids.  

Despite the couple of bumps in the road, Kate advises couples to not let any mishap or anything that doesn’t go as planned bring down your day. She says most people won’t notice the little things you do and it is more important to take in the big moments (like the first dance or best man’s speech) than sweating the small stuff (like the band playing a song on your “do not play list.”)

“People will look to you throughout the night and you will have pictures capturing every moment,” Kate says, “You will want to look back at those pictures and memories to remember that you were living it up and truly having the best day of your life!”

Vendors: Photographer: Jessica Claire Photography, Wedding Planner: Danielle Papania, Ceremony/Reception Site: Christ Church Cathedral & Latrobe's on Royal, Florist: Poppy & Mint, Stationery: Scriptura, Hair and Makeup: Flawless Bride, Gown Designer: Berta, Groom's Clothing Designer: Knot Standard, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen's Clothing Designer: Monique Lhuillier & Knot Standard, Band: Nola Dukes Band, Lighting and Specialty Decor: Luminous Events

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