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Katherine & Mark

Timeless planning and design process for a legacy bride and her mother

Having previously worked with Debbie on her other daughter, Jordan’s wedding, our team had the honor and challenge of collaborating again with the family to plan a fun and memorable event for their guests for their second daughter, Katherine’s wedding. Because both of our clients were sisters, we wanted to be sure we were planning an equally amazing and beautiful event, while at the same time incorporating enough unique and different experiences for the high percentage of guests that would have attended both events.

Since Jordan’s wedding was a fall outdoor rooftop ceremony and reception at the same venue in the Warehouse District a few years prior, Katherine’s winter wedding would be in the French Quarter neighborhood, with a religious ceremony in a church, and a second line parade to the reception in a different venue. Using similar décor vendors, we were able to maintain the quality control of the design and aesthetic of both events, assuring that they were a match for the consistent style and taste expectations for our brides as well as on a consistent budget for both weddings.

The Client:

The mother of the bride, Debbie, and her daughter Katherine, planning a destination wedding to New Orleans for 150 guests from all over the South. Event goals included a church ceremony, a second line parade through the French Quarter, and a cocktail style reception with a focus on good food, great drinks, and fun entertainment.


The Objective:

Debbie and Katherine were hoping for a fun, elevated experience for their out of town guests that highlighted both the architectural and cultural references of New Orleans that made the city a spectacular option for their destination wedding. A top priority was to make Katherine’s wedding a unique experience from her sister’s previous wedding, while keeping a balance of a consistent décor and entertainment value for each event.

Challenges

  1. Picking a date was the first challenge we encountered in the planning process. Katherine’s groom, Mark, is a college football coach, and Jordan’s husband, DJ, plays for a major league baseball team. Since the family is so close-knit and everyone involved would be wedding party attendants, we had only three available weekends where the end of football season and MLB spring training did not intersect with fall and winter holidays. Beyond the family’s personal calendars, the preferred time of year that worked for their schedules coincided with the two-week celebration of Mardi Gras, which would prevent even more available weekends from being used.  Knowing this would be an issue, the bride’s mother, Debbie, reached out to our team prior to Katherine actually getting engaged to prepare for what could be a difficult venue search. Once Katherine and Mark were officially engaged, their wedding planning process would last only five months in order to secure a date that would allow everyone to attend without sacrificing their work commitments.

  2. Tasked with selecting separate venues for ceremony and reception on a limited number of available dates, Debbie and Katherine both wanted a set of venues for the event that would be altogether different from her sister Jordan’s wedding locations since so many of the same guests would attend both events. Furthermore, the groom’s family is Catholic, so finding an available Catholic church for the ceremony in the French Quarter that was also walking distance to a suitable reception space that was available for the same date were the parameters our team set out to meet.

  3. Even though mother of the bride, Debbie, had reached out to us in advance of Katherine’s engagement, there was little we could actually solidify in advance without a date or venue in place. After venue selection was set and the date solidified, our team had a few short months to plan the entire event. Making time constraints even tighter, the holiday season in the midst of the already short engagement meant a lot of our vendor teams would be out of office and unavailable for weeks at a time, making final details and the proposal process even more difficult.

Our Strategic Solutions

  1. Our team worked immediately contacting venues in different parts of town beyond the Warehouse District (where the bride’s sister had hosted her recent wedding) in search of a reception venue that had interesting architectural features as well as proximity to a Catholic church that was preferably walking distance, with a date available in late January or early February that would not experience interference from Mardi Gras. After reaching out to venues in City Park, Audubon Park, and the Garden District, we landed in the French Quarter with a Catholic ceremony at St. Mary’s Italian which had an available evening time slot and was nearby to Latrobe’s on Royal, which happened to have on February date open for a reception. During a day of site visits to venues with Katherine, Debbie, Jordan, and the girls’ friend, Katie, we were able to secure a contract on both ceremony and reception location for the first weekend in February, allowing everyone to attend without missing work, without interfering in the busy Mardi Gras parade schedules, and in venues that would offer a unique experience for their guests.

Results

We were able to leverage our years of experience in contacting venues and securing a location on a short turn around engagement that not only worked for the family’s schedules, but also afforded our clients with the knowledge of what would feasibly work for their logistics and event goals. We were able to advise the Freeman family that St. Mary’s was nearby to a number of possible reception locations, and with a second line parade between ceremony and reception, we could avoid having to deal with transportation logistics and elevate the cultural experience for their out of town guests travelling to New Orleans for their special event. Designing a beautiful and classic event for both daughters was made easier by our mother of the bride’s decisive nature and her ability to trust in us to advise her faithfully, keeping both the visual and financial goals in mind throughout the process. The night ended with a fabulous celebration for their friends and family, and a treasure trove of memories for our team in having the honor to work with both daughters on their special days.

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