There’s something extra special about a wedding where loved ones generously offer their services, whether in the form of day-of coordination or baking cakes. Jen and Jared’s wedding was chock-full of special touches like this, thanks to their friends and family… (also, I am loving Heather Hester‘s photography and am so happy to have her on Snippet & Ink!)
Jen talks about their wedding venue: “Jared and I have lived in a lot of places, but both of our families are originally from Louisiana and we wanted that to be reflected in our wedding. We wanted all of our friends, who’d be visiting from all over the country and the world to experience at least a little of South Louisiana. We knew that we wanted to marry outside, and preferred the porch of the Amand Broussard house at Vermilionville. A few weeks after we first visited the property, we found out from my grandmother that the house was the house built by my great-great-great-great-great grandparents, for their daughter – as a wedding gift! Finding out about the history of the house cemented the decision. We felt like it was such a great omen and tied everything together.” Also, how special is that hand-drawn ferry?!
Friends and family helped to bring the wedding to life, from playing guitar at the ceremony, to arranging flowers, to baking a variety of cakes for the reception.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I knew I wanted it to be soft and romantic-sort of English Garden meets Acadiana. South Louisiana is so beautiful! Also, even though it was a bigger wedding (my family alone was 95 guests!) we wanted it to have an intimate feel – we really wanted everyone to feel truly appreciated and welcome.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? We really tried to think carefully about what to invest the most on and discovered that what was most important (for us, and for our guests) was to offer experiences rather than materials. There was so much natural beauty at Vermilionville that we didn’t want to compete with it, and kept our decorations and flowers simple. And more than anything else, so many aspects of our wedding were the direct result of dear friends or family members giving a little bit of time: to bake a cake, to hang some lights, to arrange some flowers or a table, to decorate the porch, to select reception music, to play a guitar. These favors helped us tremendously, and added so much to the day and the weekend. It personalized our wedding so much, and helped save on our total cost as well.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? There were so many! Being surprised by a dear friend who flew in from Spain for the occasion, riding with just my Dad to meet Jared before the ceremony, sitting with my Mama in the chapel beforehand, a surprise piñata at the reception and entire car decorated with chalk art celebrating our marriage. These definitely stand out. But one of our favorite moments took place at the very end of our reception, when “Home” by Edward Sharpe played, and we were surrounded in a circle by our friends and family. As the song played, Jared and I danced with each other and spun around, with the market lights twinkling in the background. As the song came to a close, we were surrounded by a crush of people, in one huge hug. I was so teary-eyed afterwards, overcome by how loved and supported we were!
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? Originally, I had planned to place a sterling silver sixpence in my shoe that my mother had worn in her shoe on her wedding day. Unfortunately, it was forgotten at my parents’ house, so we taped a dime in my shoe instead! I was also able to wear a brooch that was my maternal great-grandmother’s, loaned to me by my godmother. Also, Though our cake table was rather modern with multiple cakes made by friends, the largest cake was made by my aunts, and it was the same cake that was served at my parent’s wedding (vanilla cake, with dark chocolate and cognac-soaked currants). And my godmother surprised us with the cake topper that was used for my maternal grandparents’ wedding cake!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Some of the best advice that we received was: Find a moment, between the ceremony and the reception, where the two of you can just be together and take it all in. Eat something, and drink some water, right after the moment above! You’ll be on your feet the rest of the evening. Saying hello, and thank you, hugging everyone, and dancing. And try to spend as much of the reception together as possible. Jared and I held hands, and just didn’t let go. We were able to create our memories of that evening, together.
What advice do you have for other brides? My advice for other brides would be: A day-of coordinator is the best idea ever, whether it’s a family member or a good friend (as ours was), or someone you hire. Seriously. It. Is. Worth. It. Give them your phone first thing in the morning and don’t think about it again. Also plan for something other than your wedding or honeymoon, something after the wedding and honeymoon. It will help remind you that the wedding is just the beginning and being married to this person you love so very much is the most important part of this whole planning process.
Photographer: Heather Hester / Venue, catering: Vermilionville in Lafayette, Louisiana / Bride’s dress: J.Crew / Bridesmaid dresses: Anthropologie / Groom’s suit: Rubensteins New Orleans / Wholesale flowers: Whole Blossoms