Ardice + Christiana
Her southern drawl was so thick I could barely understand anything she was saying, but I did my best to piece her jokes together. On our first date we went to get lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn. We were both so nervous we could barely eat, but managed to take down more than a few tacos and Don Pepino cocktails while flirting our way through the meal.
She was sitting outside on my fire-escape drinking hot chocolate one night with the window closed, she leaned over and frosted the glass with her breath and then made a kiss-mark. I decided to be bold and do the same, but instead of a kiss I wrote I <3 U.
Among our big life changes, including moving to a new city and purchasing a house together, we had discussed marriage and its importance. In 2013, we were living in NYC where same-sex marriage was legal and openly celebrated, but when we moved to New Orleans that same year we found ourselves living in a tiny liberal bubble at the heart of a pretty conservative state where same-sex marriage was still illegal. In 2015, when the supreme court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, it was a glorious feeling.
I think Ardice had always imagined herself being the one to pop the question, but I needed to let her know how important she was to me so I made sure to beat her to it. I rented a 17 foot monster Uhaul, parked it in our driveway, decorated the interior with the help of some friends, and waited patiently for her to come home. She was in shock for a few moments, but after she said yes to spending "all of the times" together a car drove by playing our favorite song.
We held three days of events as many of our guests were coming in from out of town and we wanted adequate time to spend with all of them. A welcome to NOLA happy hour took place at our favorite bar, Bacchanal Wine, on Friday evening, the wedding was held at a venue in our neighborhood, Compass Point Events, on Saturday afternoon/evening, and we hosted a gulf coast shrimp boil at our home on Sunday afternoon.
We walked down the aisle together to La Vie En Rose, played live on the trumpet Louis Armstrong style, and said our vows together in unison.
We had seafood inspired hors d'ouvres, a cheese and meat tower for cocktail hour, and a beautiful spread of simple and rustic fall dinner fare. Instead of one wedding cake we had five ten-inch rounds in a variety of flavors that would appeal to all tastes.
We danced in our hand-made sequin bomber jackets in the middle of Ardice's little brother's brass band, Blowhouse, playing Cassanova. Only to be topped by then leading our own second-line parade of the band, friends and family up to the levy overlooking the New Orleans skyline, then on to the bar where guests and neighbors alike partied to the live music and danced in the streets.
Flowers: Erin Steen
Music: Blowhouse Brass Band, and Jack Magic Entertainment (DJ)
Wedding Planner: Ourselves
Venue: Compass Point Events
Photographer: Hannah Pickle (Hannah McSwain) of Love is Rad
Wedding Attire: (Gold Sequin) Badgley Mishka, and (white jumpsuit) Bardot, (cape jacket) Missguided
Hair: Courtney Bradberry (IG: @coco_shrimp)
Wedding Shoes: (Heels) Aldo, (Boots) Qupid, (Sneakers) Converse
Engagement Rings: Alexis Russell Jewelry
Cake: Shake Sugary
Wedding Bands: Alexis Russell Jewelery (https://www.alexisrussell.com/)
Catering: Martin's Wine Cellar