Alexandra & Greg live in California but with her New Orleans roots, they wanted to give their guests a taste of the city they love so much. They also wanted to incorporate Japanese elements to honor Greg’s heritage.
Alex & Greg fell in love with the architecture of Il Mercato which is a Spanish colonial style building in the Garden District that originally housed a neighborhood market & reminded them of their California hometown. To further incorporate California, they had a seated dinner (which is not common in New Orleans) with carefully selected wine pairings.
However, since food is such a large element in New Orleans culture, the menu was an elevated take on many popular local dishes including blue crab beignets, gumbo, cochon de lait and corn cakes with lump crab meat & mirliton. They also included a second line as their recessional including personalized beads & color changing cups holding hurricanes, a classic New Orleans drink. For dessert, in addition to their wedding cake, they also had a bananas foster flambe station and a king cake buffet with 21 different flavors of specialty king cakes from 7 different bakeries. Some of the more unique flavors included cinnamon babka salted caramel, bourbon tiramisu, champagne orange almond cream and a traditional French galette des rois. Their purple marble wedding cake featured gold veins &, of course, had traditional southern cake pulls for Alex’s 8 bridesmaids. To end their evening, they did a second 2nd line to a bar across the street from the venue for their after party.
The Japanese elements we included were beautifully brought together by Greg’s relatives who brought tenugui on the plane with them from Japan which served as the second line hankies. They also used a Japanese maple tree for their unity ceremony and planted it with dirt from each of their grandparent’s properties. They have very sleek, modern taste so we took the idea of origami paper cranes and used that as inspiration for some of the other Japanese elements. I had wooden origami cranes laser cut to use as decor on the front gates and on their chairs for the reception. I also had metal geometric origami cranes made to incorporate for the bridesmaids to use, which we then re-purposed as reception centerpieces. Alex & Greg made mini gold origami cranes themselves to scatter around the welcome table for their guests to take along with flip flops for the ladies to 2nd line and dance in.
Other wonderful elements of their wedding really spoke to who they are individually and as a couple. Family is extremely important to them & they both have such giving hearts & sweet spirits. When Alex changed for the reception, she traded her veil for the headpiece her mother wore in her own wedding many years ago and in lieu of favors, they donated to a medical fund for their younger cousin who had recently been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Upon reading the favor cards at each place setting, several other guests were so touched that they also donated to the fund as well. This couple was surrounded by so much love on their wedding day, which really showed in how their bridal party & guests interacted with them. In my almost 20 years of coordinating, this is the first wedding I’ve had where guests were loudly cheering, whooping and clapping for each family/bridal party member as they walked down the aisle! The couple also had an aunt & uncle officiate the ceremony & the groom’s father did a reading during it. Then to end the maid-of-honor’s speech that evening, their guests surprised them with a giant flash mob that everyone had coordinated online throughout the many different states they all live in.
This wasn’t just a wedding where the guests walked away talking about it, but the VENDORS all walked away saying it was the most fun wedding they had ever been part of as well. This sweet, fun loving couple definitely gave us all a night to remember!