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The story of Felicity Church is simply amazing: The land on which Felicity Church sits was deeded to the Methodist church in 1849. The first church at this location was dedicated on Christmas Day in 1850, and known as the Steele Chapel. It was designed by architect Thomas K. Wharton who worked with James Gallier, Sr. in New Orleans and later on the US Customs House in New Orleans.

Later named the Felicity Street Methodist Church, it burned on April 17th, 1887 due to a fire started by a candle dropped by an organ repairman named Shippler.

The congregation enlisted the architects William C. Williams and Samuel Patton to design the current Gothic Revival building, which was rebuilt and opened in 1888. At one time it was the largest Methodist Church in New Orleans and was one of the first churches in the city to have electricity. The church was described at its dedication in 1888 as “one of the finest edifices in the city  in the Daily Picayune.”

Its new, massive steeple stood until it was toppled—like many church steeples around the city—in The Great Hurricane of 1915. Alterations and repairs were designed by Sam Stone Jr., architect of the Maison Blanche building. Felicity’s exterior remains largely unchanged since those repairs.

With hard work and love, Felicity has survived each of her trials. She is rejuvenated by each smiling couple that passes through her doors.



















Thank you to all participating vendors!

Host: Styled Shoots Across America

Event Design: Merry Memories Event Planning

Photographer: Bri Photography

Venue: Felicity Church

Floral Design: Hummingbird Floral Studio

Smilax: Nature Fly

Invitations: Invito Bella

Calligraphy: Nib & Flow

Candles: Truly Haute

Luxury Rentals: Distressed Rentals

Jewelry: Brilliance in Diamonds

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Figuring out your budget and including vendor tips can be hard and one of the last things you want to worry about on your wedding day. The truth is that there is no real rule when it comes to vendor tips at weddings and it often depends on several different factors. Many wedding vendors do not expect a tip, but it is always nice surprise and gratefully accepted. However, there are a few vendors where it is considered customary to provide a tip.

Photographer or Videographer

Should I tip? As most photographers and videographers own their own businesses, tipping is not expected or required in this case. If you are working with an employee of the company then a tip is customary. In any case, a small gift is definitely appreciated. You can also leave a positive review of their services as a token of your appreciation.

How much to tip? Generally 15% of the total fee, or a gift

Wedding Hair Stylist + Makeup Artist

Should I tip? Yes, this is one area where a gratuity is definitely expected, the same as any time you go to a salon or spa. However, if they own their own business this can be an exception.

How much to tip? 15-25%, just as you wouldafter any regular everyday normal salon appointment

Florist, Cake Baker + Decor Company

Should I tip? As most of these vendors often own their own businesses, tipping is not expected or required in this case. However, I strongly advise you double check your contract to ensure you are clear if a gratuity is expected. If you are working with an employee of a company then a tip is customary.

How much to tip? Generally 15% of the total fee, or a gift

Photo by: Bri Photography

Limousine + Transportation

Should I tip? Check your contract, often the gratuity is already included in the total fee or instructions for providing a gratuity are outlined in your contract. If not, then a tip to the driver is expected on the day of the wedding

How much to tip? 15-20% of the total bill if a service/gratuity charge is not included in your contract. If a gratuity is included and you’d still like to go above and beyond, a flat tip per driver of $5-10 per hour of service is common etiquette.

Officiant

Should I tip? It isn’t necessary to tip religious officiants like a priest or minister (many of them, in fact, won’t accept cash tips). Instead, a donation to their house of worship is required or a nice token of appreciation. It’s not expected that you’ll tip a civil or non-religious officiant, either. For all officiants, a personal gift, such as a gift certificate to a nice restaurant are great options.

How much to tip? A donation to the house of worship of anywhere between $100-$500 is appropriate if there is no fee for the officiant, or $50-150 if you have already paid them a fee. If you’re working with an independent officiant, $50-150 is appropriate.

Ceremony Musicians


Should I tip? This one’s definitely optional. If the string trio you hired has arranged or learned a particular song for you at your request, then a tip would definitely be a nice thank you to them.

How much to tip? $20 – $50 per musician, or 15% of total fee

Reception Band or DJ

Should I tip? It’s completely optional, but somewhat common. For bands that book their own gigs (i.e. separate from an entertainment agency), tipping is not customary.

How much? If you choose to tip, set aside $40-$100 per musician or $50-$200 for DJs

Wedding Planner

Should I tip? If your planner owns her own business, then no tip is expected, since it’s not customary to tip the owner of a business. However, if you would like to recognize exemplary performance, a personal gift or check is an option. If your planner has assistants on your wedding day (which most do), she will likely split the tip among them if she is the business owner.

How much? Up to $500, or 15% of her fee, or a nice gift

Delivery + Set-up Staff

Should I tip? It’s a lovely gesture, especially if they were careful to set everything up to your specifications and without causing damage to the surroundings.

How much? $5 – $10 per person

Catering + Waitstaff + Bartenders

Should I tip? Gratuity is usually included in the bill, but if it is not, I would recommend tipping.

How much? 15-20% OR $50-100 per chef or person in charge and $20 per server. If you do not allow your bartenders to have a tip jar out, I would recommend tipping them a larger amount.

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As you probably have already guessed, I absolutely LOVE tropical elements being brought into the overall wedding design! Who says you have to have a destination wedding in Hawaii to have a tropical wedding? Here are just a few of my personal favorite design elements I like to incorporate when designing a tropical themed wedding.

Pineapples

I love using pineapples! Pineapples make for a unique vase for your centerpieces, you can also incorporate pineapples into many other areas of your wedding decor.

Photo Credit: www.tidewaterandtulle.com

Coconuts

Who would have thought coconuts can be so versatile? Coconuts can make for a gorgeous centerpiece and definitely speak to the tropical vibe.

Photo Credit: https://ruffledblog.com/dinner-party-coconuts-coral/

Palm Tree Leaves

Palm leaves can really be used for just about anything, whether they be used as a placemat, smaller leaves can be used as place cards with your guests names written in a stunning metallic script font.

Photo Credit: www.marthastewartweddings.com

Pops of Color

Pantones Color of the year, Living Coral is absolutely perfect to include in your color pallette bringing a pop of color to your design.

Photo Credit: www.revista.icasei.com.br/cactos-decoracao-casamento

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If you are planning a New Orleans destination wedding, here are my top three tips to make the process as smooth as possible!

  • Hire a wedding planner

    • In my packages, I include a set number of vendor meetings, where I will collect information, pricing and photos to help YOU make a decision.

  • Plan to make at least one trip to New Orleans during the wedding planning process

    • If you can come over a long weekend or another holiday, it will allow you to meet in person with your planner and make important planning decisions

  • Make sure you explicitly communicate your expectations

    • Since you won’t always be in town for in person meetings, make sure you are very clear about what you want and expect from your hired vendors.

    • Your wedding planner will be able to assist you in navigating this as well!

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Bright Tropical Summer Wedding

I feel bright colors are typically appropriate for a summer wedding. Whether you get married in a tropical location, or not, you can bring in tropical elements for your summer wedding. You can use leaves or flowers that are grown in a tropical climate, or macrame accents. My favorite accent I have seen for a tropical wedding was the use of pineapples on the tables and in the beverages served.

If you are planning a summer wedding, what colors are you planning to use and why? Tell us in the comments below!

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Neutral Wedding Colors

Spring 2019 weddings may be ending soon, but many couples are in the beginning stages of planning their Spring 2020 wedding. Below I have attached one of my favorite color palettes for spring weddings — all neutrals. Whether the neutrals are more beige or more grey is up to you, but I love the simple elegance of this inspiration board.

If you had a spring wedding, or you’re planning a spring wedding, what colors did you choose and why? Tell us in the comments below!

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How much do New Orleans weddings cost?

It depends upon your spending priorities. My New Orleans couples spend $50,000 - $80,000 on their weddings. One of the main factors that will influence costs is your guest count. The more guests, the more you will spend on nearly every category (food, drinks, tables, linens, chairs, tabletop decor/flowers, etc.)

Do I need a wedding planner for a New Orleans wedding?

Yes! Wedding planning in any town is tricky enough, but New Orleans weddings can be much more complicated logistically. Planning a wedding requires expertise, and the majority of couples have never planned an event on this grand of a scale before.

I want to plan a destination wedding to New Orleans. Can you help me with the planning process?

Yes! I have a New Orleans destination wedding post coming out in a few weeks, so make sure you check back!

What New Orleans wedding vendors do you recommend?

I recommend vendors who either I have worked with personally or I know from trusted sources that they will do an excellent job. I only give specific recommendations to my clients. Just remember--you get what you pay for!

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Prioritize Your Wedding Budget

One of the first things I do with my clients is discuss priorities. I will ask the couple where do they want to spend money and where do they want to save money. I will also have them rank spending categories. This means you may want to spend more in a category that I say you could save. Ultimately it is your decision! Below I have some guidelines regarding where to spend your money, and how to save in certain areas.

Stationery

Paper goods are the first impression guests will have of your wedding. An invitation is not just to give them information; it sets the tone for the formality of the event. Below are some MINIMUMS for spending on you wedding invitations.

  1. Do not print them at home. I have seen this go so wrong! They will be low quality compared to a professional print job.

  2. Look up etiquette guidelines. This can be done through your wedding planner, your stationery designer, a book, or even a Google search. Wedding etiquette is still important in 2019!

Ceremony + Reception Venue

Your venue will determine many other factors that will impact spending. Here are some questions to ask when looking at venues:

  1. Does the venue include chairs, tables, linens, decor, etc? Some do, some do not. If they include tables and chairs, make sure you know how many!

  2. If it is an outdoor venue make sure you ask what options you have in case of inclement weather. Tents can be an added expense, so take this into consideration!

  3. Parking availability is also something to consider. If guests cannot all park at your venue, you may have to provide a shuttle, which is another expense.


Wedding Planner/Coordinator

Hiring a wedding planner or coordinator SHOULD be a priority for every couple getting married. I know some couples think they can handle it all themselves, or with a family member or friend’s help. Ultimately, your mom, sister, cousin, or friend is not a professional, and wants to enjoy your wedding—not work it! Hiring a coordinator is the minimum you should allot funds for.




Catering/Beverages

In Louisiana, catering companies must be licensed and insured. This means if someone gets sick from food, there is accountability. If you hire an amateur caterer, you run a huge risk. If someone gets sick from their food, and they have no license or insurance, you are ultimately at fault by having booked them. The risk is NOT worth it—hire a professional caterer.

Similar with bartenders—hire a professional company! They need $1,000,000 liability insurance policy as a MINIMUM due to their line of work. Serving alcohol is a liability that you should not take lightly. If someone drinks at your wedding and is hurt, or hurts someone else, that insurance is essential to have.

I know these are worst case scenarios, but part of my job is to prevent these scenarios, so that there are no adverse affects on the couple. As a general rule of thumb, only hire professional vendors who have liability insurance!


Photography + Videography

Photographs of your wedding is one of the memoirs of your big day. It will be over quickly, and you will want good photographs to remember it by. You can hire students or amateurs for photography, but you will get what you pay for (lower quality).

Videography is similar, but for most couples it is the first line item cut in the budget. If you can invest in a videographer, it is something you will not regret. Personally, I regret that I did not hire one.

Flowers

Wedding flowers are so beautiful, but ultimately they are a fresh good that will not last. Some brides consider silk or other options. I am always a proponent of fresh, even if you can only afford personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, etc). Table and reception decor can be done in a multitude of ways. Here are two ways to save on flowers:

  • Decorate tables with items OTHER than flowers. Candles, especially for an evening reception, can be very beautiful table decor. If you really want flowers, only do half of your tables with flowers, and the other half with candles.

  • Use bridesmaid bouquets after the ceremony for table centerpieces. This will reduce the number of table arrangements you need. Just make sure you have enough vases with water!

I hope this helped give you a starting point for your wedding budget. Let me know in the comments what your wedding budget questions or concerns are—I would love to help!

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Mr. and Mrs. JohnsonOctober 27, 2018 | Botanic Gardens

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson were married at the Botanic Gardens in Baton Rouge. The burden gardens serve as a beautiful backdrop for a ceremony, and their pavilion was beautifully decorated with string lighting for an evening reception. The bridesmaids wore gold sequin gowns, and all accessories and flowers were red, a classic wedding color choice. Sean’s grandfather officiated the ceremony, which was a sweet touch.

At the reception, there was plenty of good food, drinking and dancing, as well as a S’mores station. The couple’s grand exit was a sparkler lit path that led to a Rolls Royce getaway car.

Overall, a wonderful evening was had by all. We wish you a lifetime of happiness Sean and Deanna!






















Vendor Team:

Event Management: Merry Memories Event Planning

Photography: Studio Orleans

Videography: Admit Two Productions

Venue: LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens

Cake: Ambrosia Bakery

Catering: Bacon & Fig Events

DJ/Photobooth: Premier Sound Services

Ceremony Musician: Rebecca Babin

Tents/Lighting: Box K Events

Getaway Car: Capital City Classic Cars

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Jewel Toned Details

This styled wedding inspiration was captured at Arlington Plantation in Franklin, Louisiana. Inspired by the jewel toned bouquet, the stationery featured an artistic representation of those flowers with rose gold detailing. This historic home and gardens has the perfect back drop for any southern wedding or special event. Finally, the cake was covered in fondant and hand painted to coordinate with the floral inspiration. The attention to detail and talent of the vendor team was quite amazing!



















Vendor Team

Event Planning and Styling: Merry Memories Event Planning

Photography: Hannah Herpin Creative

Floral Design: Hummingbird Floral Studio

Cake: The Sweets by Thelisha

Venue: Arlington Plantation House & Gardens

Hair: SOHO of River Ranch

Makeup: Makeup by Steph Tommasini

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