I was that little girl who dreamed about her wedding since she knew what weddings were! I remember the princess Halloween costume that evolved into a bride the next year, then a dead bride the following. I always doodled wedding dresses, bouquets and the occasional groom, all while dreaming of what my wedding day would be like! I’ve always been in love with love! I could partly attribute that to the fact that I’ve been in love with my now-husband since I was 14 years old! And there was no one more supportive of me when I turned my love of weddings into a career and started Elyse Jennings Wedding!
Many years (and other bride’s weddings) later, of course my childhood wedding plans had changed. But I was finally getting to be the bride and Jack and I were finally going to make our relationship official after 11 years of dating! So with a pencil, paper, and Pinterest, we started cataloguing things that would portray our love story and ways to add those details to our wedding day!
After endearingly being called “Fancy Skansi” for years by Jack’s friends, I knew that we wanted the wedding to feel glamorous and elegant, yet naturally effortless and organic at the same time! So we planned a formal affair among the oaks of Stella Plantation!
I hope you enjoy our wedding as much as we enjoyed living every moment! XOXO
We chose some romantic elements that we would carry throughout the event, and since I’ve signed all of my letters to Jack with “xoxo” for years, we fell in love with the idea of having “xoxo” accents throughout the design! As guests were first introduced to the wedding through the Save the Dates, they noticed my hand written “xoxo” at the top. We then commissioned one of the best local calligraphers to design our “xoxo” logo which we used as a dance floor vinyl, had laser cut for our wedding cake topper, gold foiled on our napkins, and printed on our koozies! We even used “elysexoxojack” as our wedding hashtag! Then to really add glamour, we accented with gold leafing- starting with the invitations and continuing on our cake, the cake wall, gift tags, thanks you notes, and even the leaves in our wedding bouquets and boutonnieres!
We really enjoyed showering our bridal party with unique gifts of gratitude! My bridesmaids received gold names bracelets that I ordered from my own handwriting! It was so fun to see them discover the bracelets on the stems of each of their bouquets! The groomsmen were gifted hanging garment bags with their monograms to carry their suits on wedding day!
But one of my favorite golden moments happened at our rehearsal dinner during my dad’s toast to us. After telling Jack how important it is to be a strong patriarch and role model to his future children, my dad gave Jack my late grandfather’s gold Rolex to wear on wedding day as his something borrowed! Dad said, “I would like you to wear it this weekend so that her grandfather can be a part of his granddaughter’s wedding in spirit. Keep it on your wrist so he can feel your pulse quicken as you watch Elyse walk up the aisle in her beautiful wedding dress.” I swear there was not a dry eye in the room!
And after our first look, I surprised Jack with an oversized card just like the ones that I used to make for him when we were 14! Added gold leaf to this one though!
As the guests arrived at Stella Plantation for our wedding ceremony, they were greeted by my 6 honorary bridesmaids at our confetti bar! They were instructed to make their own mix of colored confetti to toss at us as we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife! The immediate families were given wedding bells to ring after our kiss, and my sorority sisters were each handed a Killarney rose- Delta Zeta’s signature flower! After my dad and I’s long walk down the aisle, the ceremony began with an original ode to love by my aunt. This was followed by the reading of the poem “Love” by Roy Croft, a poem that was read every preference night in DZ, by my maid of honor, and a contemporary version of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” sung by a dear friend. Thank goodness I had gifted Jack a “Mr.” hanky because I needed it a few times myself! As we walked back down the aisle with confetti fluttering, I remember thinking that this dream moment couldn’t be real life
Our guest book was a nod to the hopeless romantic in each of us! Like the Parisian Love Lock bridge, we asked guests to sign and add their well wishes for our relationship to a pad lock, then lock in their love by attaching it to a trellis- which we continue to enjoy in our landscaping in our backyard!
The cocktail party started at our champagne table with rows of pre poured champagne, each glass adorned with either a gold pom, a rock candy stick, or a rim of edible gold sugar! Our family and friends would continue to enjoy cocktails outside the tent by the glow of our candle walls.
As cocktail hour came to an end, the drapes of the tent were pulled back to reveal the reception inside. A golden draped tent with 13 different crystal chandeliers added the perfect backdrop and lighting for the perfect night! Our tables were a mix of round and square tables, our chairs were a mix of gold chiavari, gold estate, and ghost chairs, and our three different linen styles added different navy textures to the room! Our centerpieces included tall and lush arrangements in cut glass vases, custom table top chandeliers, and three lower lush arrangements in cut glass vases- all accented by smaller bud vase arrangements and a mix of silver and gold stemmed mercury glass candles, chalices, and votives! The whole room twinkled!
Our cakes also added some wow factor! The wedding cake was a four tier fondant cake accented with gold leafing and topped with our xoxo wooden cake topper! It sat upon a gold bar cart- a gift from my aunts for my bridal shower- with candles on the bottom shelf and on the floor around the base! The backdrop was a custom painted and gold leafed wall by our florist that framed the cake perfectly! After we cut our cake, we asked the ladies of the bridal party to join us for the cake pulls- a Southern tradition where each girl pulls a charm out of the cake that will predict their fate (next to be married, next to have a baby, etc)! The groom’s cake was 4 stacked king cakes, a New Orleans delicacy, with a fleur de lis topper and purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras beads laid on the table!
Our incredible candle and lighting guru’s, Lisa and Jason of Luminous Events, with our incredible floral geniuses, Eric and Carolyn of Bee’s Weddings and Events!
With Jack being a fantastic chef, we wanted to let our guests take home a little love from our kitchen! For our favors, we bottled Jack’s homemade hot sauce and accompanied it with a little book of his favorite recipes!
Then in true dramatic fashion, we ended the night with fireworks to celebrate not only our love, but all of the love that surrounds us each and every day! A truly magical ending to the most incredible weekend of our lives and the perfect start to our forever!
Planning and Design | Elyse Jennings Weddings
Photographer | Greer Gattuso Photography
Ceremony + Reception Venue | Stella Plantation
Florist | Bee’s Wedding and Event Floral Designs
Videographer | Bride Film
Rentals | Perrier Party Rentals
Vintage Rentals | Distressed Rentals & Revivals
Candles and Lighting | Luminous Events
Catering | New Orleans Catering
Bakery | Royal Cakery
Ceremony Musicians | New Orleans Finest Musicians
Officiant | Rev. Johnny Adams
Band | Groovy 7
Hair Stylist | Hair by Ginger
Make Up | Ashley Sievert Beauty
Wedding Morning Location | Loft 523
Bridal Gown | Ines Di Santo
Bridal Salon | Ivory Bridal Atelier
Bride’s Veil | Wedding Belles
Bride’s Earrings | Kendra Scott Jewelry
Bride’s Shoes | Jimmy Choo
Bride’s Robe | Flora Nikrooz
Menswear | Express
Save the Dates + Invitations | Tupelo Honey Design
Calligraphy and Signage | Ebb and Flow Ink
Tinsel Stirrers | Em for Marvelous
Cake Topper | My Girl Josephine
Bouquet Ribbon | Frou Frou Chic
Name Bracelets | Yvonne Boutique
Monogram Garment Bags | Monkey See Boutique
Dance Floor Decal | Off the Wall Expression
Confetti | Inside My Nest
Custom Cups and Napkins | For Your Party
Koozies | Discount Mugs