What. a. weekend!!
I’ve only second shot alongside another photographer twice before. When I got the opportunity to shoot for Here With You Photography— I jumped.
Jumped into my car and headed off to New Orleans to the cutest (and definitely most unique) Airbnb I’ve seen. Complete NOLA decor floor to ceiling.
Everything about this wedding weekend was unique and exciting though. Arriving there was just the teaser.
Rehearsal dinner over live alligators?! You got it. Right when we pulled in to the Audubon Zoo I was already giddy because I was finally going to be shooting alongside Kaila Lassey! (Klassey Productions) Y’all. Go spend some time watching her videos. Fall in love. I promise you’ll be wrapped up in random love stories of people you’ve never met and you’ll get it.
This crazy crew of artists was ready to take on the night. The zoo was closed as the guests arrived and got to hop on little trains (like we were at Disney!) and went on what seemed like a night safari heading back to the alligator exhibit. They had the entire alligator boardwalk section of the zoo open just for their crawfish boil.
After being scoffed at more times than I could count for not having tried them, I knew I had to head to the oyster bar. Ok y’all. I did it. I have had ONE oyster! Not the worst thing I’ve eaten on my travels, but I doubt I’ll be ordering a tray anytime soon.
We listened to sweet speeches and danced to a live band… and the night wouldn’t be complete without getting to pet an alligator, right? Well check that right off the list. Did that, too.
Next morning I got to start with the guys while they “prepped” at the Pontchartrain Hotel. I always find that funny, because there is not much prep that guys need to do. On a wedding day- a group of girls could start at 9am, and guys could start at 1pm, and they would all get done at 1:30. It’s just how it is, no matter how unfair I think it is.
We got to use the Hot Tin Rooftop Bar which turned out to be a great spot for the guys to have some fun before heading to the Ritz. The Ritz Carlton NOLA is stunning at every angle. Aaaand I may have found a grand piano down one of the stairwells while waiting for the first look… Don’t judge me. It’s the perfect way for me to have downtime if I have one to play!
From the moment the first look happened it was like an explosion of happiness. Everywhere. The guys were pretending to be penguins (just go with it) and the girls were such a pretty crew backing up their Carrie-Underwood-doppelgänger of a bride. (Seriously- how pretty is this lady?!)
Once we got to Il Mercato we had a little more fun before the ceremony. Who wouldn’t want to stop and sing with a Rod Stewart look alike while you’re drinking with your friends? Seems like a normal day to me. It rained but there was zero worries with the clear tent already in place. I had never seen that before. Such a beautiful idea for a wedding cover!
The string quartet started to play. The skies were perfectly moody. They walked their seven circles. The words that they spoke had everyone sure that these two had found their match for life.
Now. I knew we were doing a second line. I was pumped about the second line. What I didn’t realize was how far we were walking for it!!! Ha. Oops. If you don’t know about a second line- you will now be forced to click this link: —> You’re Welcome. I still had my gear bag on while running the streets! But the band marching alongside us had me feeling like I was in a music video- so that helped me forget about the weight I was carrying. *(A little.)
If you’ve lost count- that’s now 3 live bands I have heard during their wedding weekend so far- and there was a different one waiting back at Il Mercato!
We watched them enter the room to so many whoops and hollers that I couldn’t help but be pumped. Their first dance was another exciting experience (I had never heard their song before!! I love that.)
I threw a light up ice cube into my water glass, grabbed a blow up guitar and set up to enjoy the night. Y’all might already know how much I love to watch the Horah— and this one was epic. Everyone actually joined in running the circles and although I may have almost gotten kicked it was totally worth it.
We watched them cut into their velociraptor topped cake (oh, yes.) and somehow the party was just getting started. It was SUCH a treat to get to hear the bride and her sister get up on stage and sing Proud Mary as the crowd surrounded them and danced like crazy. *(You know I’m included in that group, obviously.) Beignets started getting passed around and I joined right in. I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to get one before I left and I am so happy I grabbed one.
Ok I promise I’ll wrap it up- but not before saying that they checked out of the venue with sparklers, a Rolls Royce and me with a temporary tattoo on my face.
See you next love story!!
Wedding Venue: Il Mercato