I love how Krista Turner‘s photos of Catherine and Tom’s New Orleans wedding make you feel like you were there – they really convey a sense of the place and the energy and the experience of this celebration. From the unique bridge location to the hot dog stand to the second line… well, you’ll see what I mean!
Catherine describes the significance of their choice of the Magnolia Bridge for the ceremony: “The Magnolia Bridge is the oldest bridge in New Orleans. It’s a footbridge that crosses Bayou St. John, which runs through our neighborhood. The bridge is a sacred place in our community, the spot of so many formal and informal gatherings over the years. People have gotten married there, held memorials and birthdays and anniversaries, as well as canoe races, baby showers, Voodoo ceremonies, and pyrotechnic New Years’ celebrations, all centered around the bridge. We never really had to think about where we would get married. The bridge is such a special part of our lives; it was the natural decision.”
After the ceremony, the couple made a quick stop for some photos and so that the bride could change into a short dancing dress. Then everyone joined in a second line!
What’s a wedding without hot dogs and snow cones?
Guests enjoyed two signature punches: an “Afternoon Punch” of grapefruit, pomegranate, orange, and basil and a “Green Citrus Cooler” of vodka, soda, lime, mint, and tarragon. In a New Orleans tradition, the bridesmaids pulled charms from the cake before it was cut.
SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR MORE FUN PICS FROM THIS ENERGETIC NEW ORLEANS WEDDING.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We are both parts of so many diverse communities of people, and we wanted to create an environment where everyone, from my 88-year-old Southern grandmother to all of our artist and social justice friends, would feel not only comfortable but honored and welcomed. We decided to optimize the natural beauty of our surroundings while also highlighting our love of the food, music and culture of New Orleans.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? Catherine: Walking at the front of our second line with Tom and three of my brothers and looking back to see everyone we loved dancing in the street together! Tom: Our first dance when we finally got to talk to each other!
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? My cousins and I are all very close, and all of my female cousins wore our great-grandmother’s wedding earrings on their wedding days, so I wore them too. That felt very special.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? So much! I don’t know how I could have done it without all the help and support of so many friends and family, most of whom had been married already. Some of the best was: use your bridal party. They really want to be there for you. My bridesmaids did everything including tracking down a microphone cable minutes before the wedding, taking Tom to urgent care when he got food poisoning hours before our rehearsal dinner gracefully extricating me from long conversations so I could talk to our guests, and fixing me a plate and making sure I ate. The other thing that helped us a lot was being reminded to figure out early on what was really important to us, and what we would be willing to compromise. That helped us a lot when making hard budget visions, or having different visions with family.
What advice do you have for other brides? It’s potentially really stressful, expensive and emotionally charged. Keep it in perspective. This is an amazing time that will only happen once.