It could not have been a more picture perfect Louisiana spring day for this AH-mazing Alabama couple’s March wedding. Seriously… 70s, breezy and not a cloud in the sky. If you’re from Louisiana, you know just how rare a humidity-less 70 degree day is! There wasn’t a single person on the guest list from Louisiana; so, naturally, the bride and groom insisted on creating an authentic good ol’ southern Louisiana experience for their guests with the likes of muffalettas, a second line and rows of grand oaks at a 250-year old plantation just twenty-five miles south of New Orleans.

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Sarah and Paul, who first described themselves to me as a “jeans and t-shirt couple” that only gets “dressed up for dinner when we’re feeling fancy”, wanted their intimate 75-guest wedding day to be a true reflection of who they are as a couple: laid-back, cheerful and joyous.  Above all, they wanted their guests to feel comfortable and have a genuinely good time… skip all the typical wedding day traditions and formalities, this was going to be a pure celebration!  Their vision was shabby chic with a color scheme of sunflower yellow, blues and steel.  The bride wore converses with her wedding gown, the bridesmaids wore mismatched blue dresses and the groom and groomsmen completed their outfits with superhero socks.

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Are you getting the playful + celebratory vibe, yet?!

We created a fun and unique first look by having Paul wait for Sarah behind a handful of balloons in front of the plantation home.  When it was time for the grand reveal, Paul released the balloons and swooned over his unveiled gorgeous bride. After the jovial outdoor ceremony, everybody made their way to the beautiful bricked pool area for a cocktail hour with passed traditional southern fare and libations.  Instead of relying on a videographer, guests were encouraged to capture all of the day’s festivities and candid moments with provided go-pros.

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It wasn’t long before the bridal party threw on some colored sunglasses, the bride and groom grabbed their “Mr. and Mrs.” paper umbrellas and they all got the party started by leading a traditional New Orleans second line down the row of grand oaks and into the tented reception.  Of course, this wasn’t before I had to explain to quite a few guests how to properly shake the personalized handkerchiefs in the air as they marched away from the pool area!

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To make the reception extra personal and inviting, framed engagement portraits accompanied the bright wildflower centerpieces on all of the guest tables.  Sarah and Paul also had a wooden cake topper custom-made to look identical to them in their wedding day attire.  Don’t worry- Sarah didn’t let Paul see the topper before the big day! Of course, the couple didn’t want a traditional wedding cake, though.  Instead, they opted for a small serving cake accompanied by an array of uniquely designed and filled self-serve petifores.  Guests danced the night away under large bistro string lights and took the occasional break to snap some pictures in the photo booth.  For the grand exit, guests were given glow sticks  to light the bride and groom’s way to the buses, which then took the whole party into the French Quarter to continue the celebration.

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I am so thankful that Sarah and Paul chose to have me by their side throughout their engagement and on their jubilant big day!

Pictures:: Kristen Soileau Portraits + Venue:: Stella Plantation