• Romantic Handmade New Orleans Wedding: Kathryn & Chris

    romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios

    This New Orleans wedding is so full of personality, so full of fun, that I swear I can feel the love and hear the music right through my computer screen. I’ve always thought a NOLA wedding would be so festive and romantic, and this gorgeous celebration confirms that with a big exclamation point. I’m totally in love with this venue, the couple’s style, and the stunning images from G. Chapin Studios. 

    romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios

    Our advice for couples planning now? Make some decisions together about which parts of the day are really important to each of you (the music, the food, etc.). This’ll help you make your budget line up with what you actually care about. It helped us realize what we were happy to DIY, and when it was crucial to get some help (like our day of coordinator, who we couldn’t have done without!)

    romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios

    This couple did their version of a ring warming (remember ours?) To get our guests involved in the ceremony, we passed our rings throughout the crowd, tied to an engraved porcelain plate, with a few lines from one of my favorite poems on it, and everyone was able to say a prayer or blessing or wish for us. While they were being passed, Chris and 5 of our performer friends sang and played our song in an arrangement they’d created for the ceremony. Total magic! 

    romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios

    Each of the women on my mother’s side of the family has worn this little gold & pearl wishbone pin on their wedding day. It’s been passed down for 5 generations, and when I got engaged I knew it was my turn. So to celebrate that tradition, the wishbone symbol became my inspiration for a lot of the planning.

    We gave away the potted herbs on the tables as favors, so to encourage people, I added little tags in the soil with the name of the herb and a little note like “Take me home!” and “I’m yours!” – made with just some white printer labels wrapped around a coffee stirrer, and snipped to look like a flag (and the help of one of my bridesmaids)! I explained the significance of the favor in a note card stuffed in the napkin talking about Chris’ first gift to me (a jade plant).

    romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios

    My favorite DIY is what I took to calling “Ye Olde Pennant Bunting” – I wanted something to give the space a personal touch and keep that New Orleans eclectic vibe it already had, so I made bunting to string between the trees. I needed a sewing machine (which I have no room for in my New York apartment!) and I mentioned this to Chris’ sister on a visit, and she graciously lent me their mother’s old, amazing, Kenmore sewing machine. I did not get a chance to meet Chris’ mother, she passed away a month before he and I met. I knew the day would be emotional not having her there. Getting to use her sewing machine to create this project for the wedding was a really beautiful experience, and I’ll never forget seeing it hanging above everyone’s heads as I walked down the aisle. – That’s the kind of special and personal detail I swoon over. Made me teary-eyed!

    romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios

    Our favorite moment of the day was everyone losing their minds dancing to the brass band playing New Orleans Jazz, waving umbrellas in the air, and Chris and I standing still in the middle of it, just taking in all those smiling, sweaty faces of everyone we love!

    romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin Studios romantic New Orleans wedding | G. Chapin StudiosI think those last photos pretty much sum up the fun, don’t you? And I love the special touches like the bunting sewn on the groom’s mother’s sewing machine and the incorporation of the wishbone and the bride’s family tradition. So much meaning and so well done too. The bride did so much DIY that I’m sharing a bit more from her below. And be sure to check out the gallery below for even more. Congrats to Kathryn & Chris!

    More DIY details:

    Cocktail hour trivia tags – To encourage our guests to meet each other, and hopefully make them laugh, Chris and I thought up little bits of silly trivia about ourselves (Our first date, How many beaces we’ve been on, or this one: How many meals has Chris cooked for Kathryn? 16,351, how many has Kathryn cooked for Chris? 6) and I made little tags with the question on the front, the answer on the back and my maid of honor and I tied them around the jam jars I had recycled for candle holders. We put them on the cocktail tables. It worked great, and thinking up your own personal trivia is actually a really sweet/hilarious way to spend an evening with your fave person!

    Specialty Cocktails – We had some fun teasing our Dad’s by naming specialty cocktails after them! I made a little caricature of each of them in photoshop, and created a little sign with their caricature, their name, the cocktail ingredients, and a saying that each of them always says. I printed them out on card stock and framed them using some leftover packing paper as a mat and a spray painted frame. It was pretty funny, and both Dad’s loved it.

    Table number flags in the flower arrangements – I used card stock, a large stamp for the background, and stencil & black paint to add the table numbers. I cut the cards into a flag shaped, hole punched them and slide them onto some little balsa wood sticks I found at the craft store. I made some with little sayings like “yay!” and “love!” to add a fun vibe to the tables

    Seating chart – a spray painted frame from Michael’s, with string hung like clothes line between each side. I stamped the cards and stenciled the table numbers on each, and just ran the cards through the printer to add the guest’s names. The b&w photos are pictures of Chris and I from our trips together, they were in frames around our house, and I just repurposed them. I hung everything on the string with mini-clothes pins.

    Altar Lanterns – Picked these up at hobby lobby! They were green and blue, so Chris and I coated them with spray paint. Maybe the best $30 I ever spent.

    {Vendors/Artists} / Photography: Gabbi Chapin Cowsert (ß LOVE!!!) / Flowers: Mary-Ruth Chapin This is actually Gabbi’s mother, who is a florist in Maryland. I was going to DIY my flowers, and Gabbi suggested I could talk to her mother for some tips. She was so helpful and generous with her time, and then she ended up being in town to visit Gabbi the same week as my wedding and was able to do all the flowers… totally kismet!) / Catering: Brack May/Cowbell NOLA, Brack is the chef at Cowbell NOLA, and his catering is called Green Tomato Productions. Every time I told a prospective vendor he was doing the catering they would invariably say “Are you serious?? That’s my FAVORITE RESTAURANT!!” / Venue: Race and Religious / Coordination: Sarah Sadler, Owner of Mint Julep Productions / 2nd Line Jazz Band: Alex Holmes & the Storyville Jazz Band / Photobooth: BOOYA! Photo Booth Rental / My Hair: Stephanie Mince / My Makeup: Trish Popovich / Groom’s socks & Chris’ shave: Local New Orleans barber shop Aidan Gill / Lighting & Rentals: Event Rental / Bowties: Created for Chris and his Groomsmen by The Cordial Churchman This is a fabulous mom & pop shop in South Carolina, they were great to work with, and this bowties are handmade with love J / Bridal Headpiece: Designed by NY based costume designer and friend, Lex Liang. Lex designed this from scratch! What he created was so personal and unlike anything I could’ve imagined. / Veil: January Rose Bridal on Etsy January did a gorgeous job fitting the veil to the headpiece, she was so game for collaborating with me on it, and I think we might be up for winning the longest-convo-ever-on-etsy-award / Bridal Gown: Gobi by Watters / Groom’s suit: Ermenegildo Zegna / Wishbone image used throughout the décor was based on a gold leaf painting by artist Jennifer Latimer of Gilded Mint on Etsy / Wishbone cufflinks: I gifted Chris with a pair of these on the morning of the wedding, they were designed and created by FeinFein Studio on Etsy / Ring Bearer Bowl, Paloma’s Nest on Etsy / Flower Girl dresses by Juliana Design on Etsy / Bridemaid’s Wishbone Necklaces created by Bijoux by Meg on Etsy / Gift bag stickers created by Wood and Grain on Etsy / Table runners: Handmade by my mom & I. I sewed the basic runner, and then my mother had the idea to sew a little red leaf pattern on each edge, it made them really special. / Cupcakes: Baked with love by my sister, CJ Flannery! They were such a massive hit, and she loved doing it so much, that after the wedding she actually started a cupcake business out of her home outside Dallas, TX! www.sweetiecakescupcakes.com / Chocolate chip cookies: Made by me.  I’m obsessed with chocolate chip cookies, so it was a great excuse to make “test batches” all winter before the wedding.

    Leave a comment.


    1. Posted Aug 30 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Loving the grooms attire!

    2. Posted Sep 28 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Beautiful wedding! Congratulations!

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