When I think of New Orleans, my mind automatically goes to the St. Louis Cathedral. It is so full of history and Southern charm which makes it my favorite landmark in the city! My family attends church services at the cathedral every Christmas Eve and I have dreamed of being able to shoot a wedding there. I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to shoot one with Rachel Erin Photography!
Colleen & Louis were from South Carolina and planned a gorgeous destination wedding. While it was much smaller than originally planned (thanks, COVID), everything still came together beautifully. Colleen got ready in a stunning downtown apartment overlooking Jackson Square. I was able to peek in for a few minutes on my way to meet Louis and his groomsmen. The apartment was historic and modern at the same time. There were beautiful high ceilings and big windows that made the room so inviting. Colleen and her bridesmaids were relaxing and celebrating with champagne. I was able to meet Colleen quickly before I started my short walk to the Hotel Monteleone where Louis and his groomsmen were getting ready.
Louis was a bit stressed when I arrived thanks to some missing cufflinks, but everything calmed down when we found them hiding in Louis’s secret suitcase compartment. His groomsmen already had the drinks pouring and were relaxing before having to get all dressed up. They told tales of their trip to Harrah’s the night before and asked about my restaurant recommendations for the rest of their stay. While I usually shoot detail shots with the bride’s special items, I took the opportunity to take some photos of Louis’s. He and his groomsmen had the coolest dark green bowties!
Once the guys were ready, we set out for the Hotel Monteleone lobby for some group pictures. The Carousel Bar, the coolest bar in the city (in my opinion), was closed due to COVID-19, but we were lucky enough to be able to go in to snap a few pics. We couldn’t get them to turn on the actual carousel, but we still got some cool shots!
Next up was a first look in Jackson Square. I scurried ahead of the guys to make sure that Louis wouldn’t catch a glimpse of Colleen when he walked up to the courtyard. Once Colleen was hidden away, we put Louis into place. Now I know that a wedding is usually all about the bride, but I couldn’t resist the chance to capture some of the emotions on Louis’s face as he waited to see his bride for the first time. Colleen & Louis were so laid back that the first few pictures of their first look actually included Colleen trying to get something out of Louis’s teeth! I know those aren’t the pictures that everyone wants of their first look, but it was such a funny and sweet moment that made their gallery so uniquely theirs.
The ceremony went off without a hitch. As I expected, the cathedral made for a great wedding. I was even able to climb the creepy steps in the back to get a few shots from the choir balcony. The guests were mainly close friends and family, but everyone was so happy to see Colleen & Louis profess their love to one another in such an intimate way.
Antoine’s is another quintessential New Orleans spot for which Colleen & Louis chose for their reception. I got a little scared when I arrived to take some detail shots and saw that the windows were boarded up. But, after a quick phone call, I was able to find the one open door that lead to the restaurant’s event space that was opened up specially for the reception. The decor was simple yet elegant. Candles were lit throughout the rooms and there were framed photos of Colleen & Louis scattered throughout. I thought the photos added such a personal touch!
The guests had a great time the minute they walked in. Bar staff was waiting to take their drink orders and jazzy music was already playing over the loud speaker. Even though the guests had to split between two separate rooms (for COVID purposes), there was a great little balcony that connected the two rooms and provided a great view of the French Quarter street below. Other than a small mishap with the cake topper, the reception went off without a hitch!
It was so fun to see a group of South Carolinians enjoy such a classing New Orleans night. The laid back attitudes of the bride, groom, family, and friends throughout the day made it such an enjoyable and fun experience! I cannot wait to go back to Jackson Square for another wedding!
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