Callie & Matt, May 2016, New Orleans
Yes, this is my own wedding! Matt and I love New Orleans and wanted a destination wedding to keep the guest list intimate. We were fortunate to have 80 friends and family join us for the celebration. It was a dream of mine to have a whole roasted pig at a party and that’s exactly what we did. Calcasieu, a private venue above the amazing Cochon restaurant, served up a four-course family-style Southern dinner with fried alligator, boudin, gumbo, cochon de lait, catfish courtbouillion and a brown butter tart for dessert. We had a craft cocktail drink menu to accompany the meal, and Cochon’s signature caramel cashew popcorn as the party favor (which was described by one overindulgent guest as her hangover cure for that cocktail menu). While I love to dance, Matt does not, so we hosted a whiskey tasting as an alternative activity to the dance floor.
Matt and I both have a long history in nonprofit work and really wanted to direct our wedding budget in positive ways in New Orleans. We had rehearsal dinner for all guests the night before the wedding at Café Reconcile, a nonprofit restaurant with a life skills and job training program for students interested in the food service industry. We were excited to support local musicians, so we booked a high school brass band for rehearsal dinner, a DJ who’s a blues artist and spins vinyl, and the eclectic Ibervillianaires, featuring their tap-dancing lead singer, for the wedding cocktail hour and ceremony. I encourage people to think about how they can spend their wedding budget in ways that will support causes they care about!
Destination weddings equal planning a vacation for your friends, so we started the party on Thursday night with bachelor/bachelorette activities including a private Haunted Tour of the French Quarter. We hosted happy hour at Luke in the Hilton before Friday's rehearsal dinner, and partied on Frenchmen Street after. Post-wedding, we took our guests to the classic Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel, and hosted goodbye brunch on Sunday at Balise. See the full weekend itinerary we planned!